F1GP/WC General Information

What is F1GP?

F1GP is MicroProse's first attempt at a car racing simulator and is based around the high-speed world of Formula One races. You take the place of a driver and compete at all 16 races in the 1991 series, with results counting towards both the drivers and constructors championships. The game features practice and qualifying at all events and you are pitted against 33 other drivers. It is one of the few proper racing simulators to use polygon based graphics, Indy 500, being the only other major one at the time of its release.

More recently an IndyCar and a NASCAR game have been released by Papyrus and they both feature more complex graphics and physical models, although they do not seem to be as much fun to play. Also, they require some serious processing power to run well.

There is a demonstration available, ftp://ftp.microprose.com/pub/mps-online/demos/wcdemo.zip, which features the Monaco circuit and has only keyboard (not joystick) support.

It's now becoming difficult to obtain, with F1GP2 looming closer. In Europe, call MicroProse in the UK on +44-1454-329510 (or fax +44-1454-326499) to ask for a local distributor or order the game directly. Digital Integration sell a budget version on floppy and CD; call +44-1276-684959. In the US, call 800-879-PLAY (+1-619-693-1200 from ouside the US), or fax 800-PC1-GAME (+1-619-530-0229 outside the US).

System requirements

According to MicroProse the PC version of the game runs on a 286 or higher with at least 1mb of RAM. Of this you require about 600k base memory (less for the basic game; more if you use some of Trevor Kellaway's nice TSRs which are available). The game should be installed on hard disc, and it takes up 6mb with all animations, 3.2mb without intro animations, and 2mb without any animations. This can be cut down further if you delete a few of the .DAT files! [GB: I have managed to get the game onto a single 360k disk, although with only one course.] The only other requirement for the game is a VGA/MCGA graphics card. Mouse and joystick are both optional.

The Atari ST version comes on 4 double density disks, and the first can be skipped on start up.

The Amiga version comes on 4 DD disks, the first of which can be skipped. It can also be installed to hard drive. There is also a version which comes on 3 DD disks, with some of the intro sequence removed.

Support software

Like most modern games there have been many support products released, mostly as shareware or public domain software. It appears that no add-on utilities are available for the ST version; one driver reports that the ST version completely bypasses the operating system and uses a non-DOS filing system, which explains why it's been so hard to "crack", but does not feature any sort of checksums or compression, which may ultimately make the job easier.

The PC updates, 1.04 and 1.05

These two update disks were supplied by MicroProse, both being sent out by the company. They were supposed to add the facility for modem play, plus a few other features. 1.05 is the most recent update, and both are compressed to 1mb and 1.05 is available via most FTP sites. Recently MicroProse have themselves gotten on the Internet so you can download the patches from:This site can quite busy, however, so if you're looking for the European or Italian patches, try FSP on port 21 or FTP to ftp.inf.tu-desden.de in the directory /pub/ms-dos/games/patches/, and look for f105ptci.zip (European) and f1gpit.zip (Italian). This site is also available via FTP and is mirrored at ftp://ftp.cdrom.com/pub/dresden/patches/, at ftp://ftp.midnight.com.au/pub/patches/, and at ftp://ftp.cis.nctu.edu.tw/Games/dresden/patches/.

1.05 also adds much better SoundBlaster support, proper support for wheel units like the Thrustmaster T1 and the AutoRacing Cockpit (including both pedal setup and wheel sensitivity when steering help is off), decreases the amount of grip somewhat (the game oversteers more easily in 1.05 than 1.03 and earlier), and allows you to load a saved game without affecting your control selection.

Note that the 1.04 patch is applied by reinstalling the game using the 1.04 disk to replace the old disk 1. The 1.05 patch works by being installed on top of an existing game.

There is also a difference in grip levels between version 1.03 and 1.05 (1.04 appears to be the same as 1.05). Christopher Jordan explains:

The test that I did last night gave me an idea. If you don't make a rule all times in the top 10 must be done on V1.05, I'll only use V1.03 from now on. Why? Well the times I did last on V1.03 in Brazil were 6 tenths faster than the ones I could do on V1.05 last night. V1.03: 1:11.469, V1.05: 1:12.011, (personal best) 1:11.839. Both times were done with same setup.

So I went to Mexico and found why V1.03 is faster than 1.05. Too cut a long story short I could use the wing set-up 61/30 and still get around the Peralta without any sign of oversteer. When I tryed this wing set-up on V1.05 I ended up in the pit wall! I could only do a 1:12.053 though, however this was in limited track time (homework had to be done!).

I then went to Portugal and, same story through turns one and two. V1.03, wings 64/34 and car was stable, V1.05, wings 64/34 and massive amounts of oversteer, undrivable! On the second lap on V1.03 I did a 1m09.488! I then had to do my homework!

Therefore it would seem that the car is more ballanced on V1.03 thus allowing more radical and faster set-ups while still allowing the car to be drivable around the faster corners.

PC add-ons

There are too many add-ons for the PC to go into detail here. You can get virtually all of the PC tools via the PC home page, http://www.mal.com/~dgymer/f1gp/.

To use the editors on the CD version of the game, you must install it onto your hard drive.

PC cracks and password removers

The GPPatch program available as part of GPTools can remove the password protection, altering the game so that the same word is required each time. Soapbox: I'm not going to insult anyone by whining on about piracy, but I will reiterate that the game has been rereleased on Digital Integration's PowerPlus budget label (a mere 15 quid or less in the UK) so there's really no excuse for not rushing out and buying it if you haven't already. End soapbox.

Amiga editors

There are a couple of editors for the Amiga and a patch program. Check them out at http://www.amigaf1.co.uk/ or via FTP from most AmiNet sites.

Amiga add-ons

There are also a couple of neat add-ons for the Amiga, both available from the places mentioned above. The first is Grant Reeve's AGPPerf, a version of GPPerf for the Amiga (which sadly need more than 1MB RAM). Anyone who's tried the PC GPPerf will no just how useful these telemetry logging programs are. The second is René Smit's SplitTim, which extends the concept opf the split timer found in the PC's GPLap. Again, PC players will know how useful this is.

Where can I compete against other people?

Details of the various online racing series and halls of fame can be found on the Amiga and PC home pages.

Grand Prix 2

The next major version of the game will be released under Spectrum Holobyte's World Circuit Racing label, so it appears that they've as good as dropped the MicroProse name. The game's official title will be "Grand Prix II", not World Circuit 2 or F1GP2. They asked me to point that out.

I'm preparing some web pages for the new game. The URL is http://www.mal.com/~dgymer/gp2/. All the information about GP2 that used to be in this FAQ has moved there.