F1GP/WC Questions And Answers

What machines is it available for?

The game was first released on the Amiga and ST with the PC version following around a year later. The Amiga and ST versions can both be run of disk and do not need hard drive installation.

GB: As far as I know there are two version of the game for the PC, F1GP on floppies, which is supplied on 4 high density disks with optional upgrade disks, and F1GP on CD, which is EXACTLY the same game but on a silver disk. Do not buy this unless you don't have a floppy drive, since it costs more and has no extra features. Quite what MicroProse is playing at is unknown, but the CD version represents bad value for your money.

The game is now reissued by Digital Integration on the PowerPlus budget label.

DG: Having played both the Amiga and PC versions, I noticed some important differences. First, some of the tracks are physically different, Monaco and Imola at least. Second, perhaps because of the low frame rate or different control routines, the car is much, much harder to set up on the Amiga than the PC; it's very hard to feel whether the car has any under- or oversteer. It's also much harder to time the turn-in points properly, as Ivanhoe's explanation of frame rates above predicts.

What sort of performance can I expect on my PC?

Here is a rough table of machine against performance:
 CPU MHz Memory Detail Occupancy FPS
 P5    100  8MB  4d  T   33%  25fps  (Squirty's w/ D.Stealth 24 2MB VRAM)
 P5     90 24MB  4d  T   37%  25fps  (Gizmo's tower of power w/ PCI K64)
 P5     90 24MB  4d  T   90%  50fps  (Gizmo's tower of power w/ PCI K64)
 486DX2/66  8MB  4d  T   70%  25fps  (Gizmo's Linux box w/ VLB CL5428)
 486DX2/66  4MB  4d  T   60%  25fps
 486DX2/66 32MB  4d  T   53%  25fps  (Pete F's Dan4Win w/ Spea V7 VLB)
 486DX2/66  ?    4d  T   70%  25fps  (MBP's under OS/2)
 486DX  33  ?    4d  T   90%  25fps  (Graham A's)
 486DX2/66 16MB  4d NT   35%  25fps  (Nigel Bovey's)
 486SX  33  4MB  4d NT   66%  25fps
 486DX2/50 24MB  4d NT   95%  25fps  (Paul Smyth's w/ ISA ET4000-W32)
 486SX  25  4MB  4d NT  100%  25fps  (a DELL)
 486SX  25  ?    4d NT   80%  25fps  (Nightshade's oldie)
 486SX  25  4MB  4d NT  100%  23fps  (Ben Lester's)
 486SX  25  2MB  4d NT  100%  21fps
 386DX  40  4MB  4d NT  100%  20fps
 386DX  40  2MB  4d NT  100%  20fps  (possibly optimistic)
 486DX2/50 24MB  4d NT  100%  18fps  (Paul Smyth's w/ ISA S3-924)
 386DX  33  8MB  4d NT  100%  17fps  (Gizmo's old faithful w/ T8900CL)
 386SX  20  2MB  1d NT  100%  15fps  (Max Behara's)
 386SX  25  2MB  4d NT  100%  14fps  (Stingray's)
 386SX  20  2MB  4d NT  100%   8fps  (Max Behara's)
It appears that as long as you have at least 2mb of RAM, the actual amount makes absolutely no difference. The difference between the DX2/66s above is attributable to graphics card alone; see the difference between Paul Smyth's machine with two different graphics cards installed. DG: IMHO if you have a 486SX/25 or better with a VLB or PCI graphics card you should be able to crank the frame rate right up without texture; a 486DX2/50 or better will add texture without any penalty. A 486DX2/66 should be able to do linked play at 25fps, possibly with detail cranked down a bit, and a Pentium 75 or faster is pure heaven. (Lots of memory is useful, for logging data to a RAMdrive when using the GPPerf and GPLap TSRs.)

The details level is shown by the amount of detail around the track, 1d being the lowest level and 4d the highest, the other detail option is the track shading, this is shown by T (track shading on), NT (no track shading). The average processor occupancy is as you go around any track. This is just a rough estimate, since tracks can vary quite a lot (Phoenix and Hockenheim are quite stressful, with lots of buildings and tress), but the occupancy really shouldn't go above 100% very much. The final column show the speed in frames per pecond that this set-up allows.

Even on similar machines, several things will affect speed. A machine with some external cache will outperform one without; the actual amount of cache is probably not going to make much difference. Graphics card performance also makes a big difference; a local bus card will run much faster that an ISA card, and some cards have better DOS performance than others (Cirrus Logic based cards are good, ET4000 and derivatives are even better; VLB and PCI cards will be much faster than ISA ones).

The general consensus seem to be that people would rather have it running smoother, but with less detail, this shows one of the main advantages of F1GP over IndyCar, in that it runs quickly on a slow machine and smooth graphics are possible quite easily.

The Amiga version runs at a similar speed regardless of the machine's capacity, about 3-8 fps, depending on circuit and level of detail, even in the fastest 68060 system. (The latest F1GP-Ed and also F1GP-Patch can alter this, at a compatability cost.)

Does the performance vary on an ST? Mail me if you know.

So how does this affect lap times?

Short answer: it doesn't.

Long answer: it doesn't... directly. DG is in the fortunate position of having both a P90 and a 486DX/66 on his desk and a 386DX/33 under it, and loaded identical copies of the game up on both machines. The first and most obvious difference was that the game does not do a good job of matching "real time" (measured on a stopwatch during laps on qualifying tyres at Monaco). The first tests were done on the 386. With 100% to 130% occupancy, the game's timer runs slow, being about three seconds behind reality. With all the detail turned off and the occupancy down to about 70% to 110%, it was about three seconds ahead of reality. With the frame rate reduced and occupancy between 45% and 75%, it was about 4 seconds behind. Then testing moved to the P90. With maximum detail and about 33% to 44% occupancy, the timer was about 4 seconds fast.

Now, here's the crunch. Despite these differences, the lap times reported by the game were very close, all in the 1:14.4 range. The game was noticeably easier to play at higher frame rates and lower occupancies. However, with very high occupancies (more than 200%, such as on the 386 with texture turned on), the difference from real time becomes very noticeable; the whole game runs in slow motion, and is potentially easier to play as you get much longer to react. Ivanhoe Vasiljevich came up with the superb (and very lightly edited) explanation below.

[...] a high frame rate [as opposed to occupancy] may have its advantages (my opinion, not proven!):

Using a frame rate of 25 fps means that you have 25 possibilities to perform an action (eg. braking, accelerating) every second, whereas driving with 16 fps only allows you 16 `slots' per second, to brake, for example.

Assuming that a typical braking maneuver begins at 300 km/h (188 mph), this equals a speed of 83 m/s, so that at 25 fps you can take action (brake) every 3.3 m as opposed to every 5.2 m when using 16 fps. (Using an even lower frame rate naturally worsens the situation. At 8 fps the distance between two points of action is 10.3 m!) During a normal lap including many braking maneuvers, this may affect the overall performance, not to mention techniques like pulsing the throttle.

In my opinion it would be best to turn off as much detail as necessary and increase the frame rate as high as possible. (It may not look as cool, but honestly, who has got the time to enjoy the beautiful panorama when chasing a new lap record?)

However, since the game's physics model is imperfect (after all, it's just a model), playing at different frame rates will reveal slight differences in certain circumstances. Here's a short test done for the LFRS championship:
I ran three tests, each consisting of two laps round Mexico City. Each test was at a different frame rate, and each lap was consistent with the other. I looked at the entry and exit speeds for the Peralta (the final, awesome corner). All tests were done using GPLap 5 to remove any randomized BHP or AI grip effects, under version 1.05, on a 90 MHz, 24MB Pentium, with a 1MB DRAM Orchid Kelvin 64 PCI graphics card.

Test 1. Frame rate: 25 FPS. Entry: 189 mph, exit: 190 mph. Gain of 1 mph in corner.

Test 2. Frame rate: 18.7 FPS. Entry: 189 mph, exit: 188 mph. Loss of 1 mph in corner.

Test 3. Frame rate: 13 FPS. Entry: 188 mph, exit: 186 mph. Loss of 2 mph in corner and 1 mph before entry.

Probably one could also find example situations where 13 FPS or 18.7 FPS were optimal and 25 FPS went slower. This is what happens when you simulate a continuous system with a discrete model; you get rounding errors.

Can I boost the frame rate?

You can boost the frame rate beyond the option screen maximum of 25 FPS by using the GPFPS editor. However, this turns out to be a bad idea because the game can and up quite badly confused. On the Amiga, the nasty side effects are more subtle; the general consensus is that it's okay to boost the frame rate from 8 to 10 frames per second. Visit the Amiga F1 web page to find some editors which can do this (see the "index" article).

Why does the installation fail on the PC?

When installing the game unpacks some large files. On a fragmented hard disk there might not be a large enough free block for them and the Installation will crash with a very unhelpful message. Just run a defragmenter on the hard drive, such as Norton Speed Disk or the one supplied with MS-DOS 6, the game should then install no problem. You can also try disabling SmartDrive, since it is reported to create problems too.

Another potential problem pointed out to me is that the game copies all the Data files onto hard disk before decompressing them, and this effectively doubles the amount of space it uses at installation time, so make sure you have plenty of free hard disk space, as this will cure both this problem and the one above.

Why doesn't the game work under Windows 95?
Why does the game exit immediately before even the title screen?

The answer is almost certainly insufficient conventional memory. The game itself requires about 600000 bytes of free conventional memory; if you don't have enough it will typically exit immediately without even printing a warning message.

Windows 95 is a common culprit. Bill Gates has chosen to deliberately mislead users, telling them that Windows 95 will solve all their DOS memory management problems. He lied. The good news is that the vast majority of users can solve the problem themselves, by editing their config.sys and autoexec.bat files to ensure that DOS device drivers aren't loaded if Windows 95 can supply protected mode equivalents; this usually means CD-ROM and network drivers.

As an example, here are my configuration files. My (sanitized) config.sys is:

DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\emm386.exe noems ram
My (again sanitized) autoexec.bat is:
@echo off
path C:\WINDOWS;C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND;c:\bin;c:\dos;c:\usr\bin;c:\game\f1gp\bin

set SOUND=c:\sb16
set BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 H5 P330 T6
c:\sb16\diagnose /S
c:\sb16\sb16set /p /q

Why don't the TSRs work under Windows 95?

If you're finding that TSRs such as GPLap and GPPerf aren't working under Windows 95, you probably have the "protected" option in the "memory" tab of the game's "properties" box turned on. You must turn it off for the TSRs to work, otherwise the memory protection will prevent them "seeing" the GP.EXE.

Why does the fade between screens take so long?

We don't know, but it's awful isn't it? DG: On the Amiga I believe there is a patch to help cure this; on the PC I run from a Windows DOS box with the Exclusive option selected, which for some reason speeds it up. I think it must have something to do with timer emulation because under Windows/NT I have Hardware Timer Emulation turned on and it fades slowly again. Version 1.03 and earlier on the PC seem to use a different fading technique to later versions (bitmapped rather than palette) which is faster on faster machines. The Technical FAQ has some C source to remove the fading on the PC.

Why does the game sometimes slow down?

The graphics for generating the pit-lane are quit complex and so your occupancy will always rise when in the pits, though this isn't usually too much of a problem. The only other place where the game seems to slow is the back straight at Phoenix and the second straight at Hockenheim. The slow down at Phoenix is probably due to the large buildings it has to draw, the one at Hockenheim because of the number of trees. Turn down the detail if you notice a slowdown and don't like it.

Why doesn't it save my lap records & setups?

Qualifying records are only saved after a complete event; if you aren't interested in the race, you must still go to it, then immediately press escape and accelerate time. After a quick race, you must wait wait until it says "race over" and goes to the post-race menu. In both cases you will be able to select the "lap records" option and should see "(Record)" in yellow under any new records. Race records set in races shorter than 100% distance will not count. To actually save them for posterity, you must exit to the main menu, go to "load/save game", and select "save track records". On the Amiga, you must load them by hand every time you start the game; on the PC, there is an option called "startup files" which allows you to load names, setups, and records when the game loads. Sadly, it will not save them automatically; you should make sure you save any the records and setups if you have changed them before you exit the game.

What is the best controller method?

On the Amiga, keyboard or digital joystick seems best.

On the PC, keyboard seems to be preferred by many of the top drivers, with analog joystick coming a close second. DG: The professional wheel systems (such as the T1 or ACP) don't seem to work wonderfully. I've had a few success stories but many people go back to the keyboard!

Javier Vizcaino provided the following information about using radio control units with the game.

It is [...] possible to change a transmitter used in radio control (R/C) to turn it into a PC joystick, and play F1GP. I've modified a few, and let me tell you that there is nothing similar to drive with these devices.
He also provides some information about PC game ports which help a few folks out. Note that if you're going to play games on a PC with a joystick, you really should invest in either a decent soundcard with credible joystick ports [DG: my Gravis UltraSound is pretty good, and my SoundBlaster 16 also seems reliable a drift-free] or a dedicated game card.
About the game port, this is what happens. Game ports on the PC can be full (the initial good ones with a 558, still found on SB cards at least, four pots and four buttons), or half (cheaper chinese solution, two pots and two buttons, simple joysticks). F1GP goes well on a half port. The problem is that there are a lot of multi I/O boards with Winbond chips including a half game port which presents the missing buttons pressed. When F1GP starts calibrating the joystick, it stops till seeing the four buttons released (it can't know if your game port is full or half); with the above board, calibration doesn't start, and you have to abort it with the ESC key. So if calibrating the joystick the game seems to freeze till you press ESC, may be you have this problem. Check with DEBUG: i201; if you see bits 7-6 at 0, the game port presents the third and fourth buttons pressed.

What is the sound like on a SoundBlaster etc?

Not all that much better unfortunately if anything the PC speaker is more irritating and thus more realistic! The Amiga sound is reported to be quite good with a good use of stereo, and the ST is as bad as the PC! The SoundBlaster support was improved considerably in versions later than 1.01, but is still quite poor.

DG: The Amiga sounds good even through a TV. The PC with 1.05 and a SoundBlaster is okay if you turn it up real loud, but not a patch on the Amiga. A PC with MT-32 or other MIDI is pathetic, but the music is better. *sigh* I don't know about the ST, but I'd guess it's better than a PC speaker and nowhere near as good as the Amiga.

How do I make the (PC) game more challenging?

Aside from using the editor to speed up the opposition, the easiest ways to make the game more difficult are to turn of Traction and Steering Help, both of these options are listed off the Games Control menu, in the Accelerating and Steering menus respectively. With these off the game becomes a good deal harder, but it still leaves a lot to be desired.

Several top Hall Of Fame drivers, both on the PC and Amiga, report that driving with Traction Help off, whilst harder, also improves lap times at many circuits.

I am bored with the game, what now?

Well it has to happen eventually, so what now? You could join one of the championships on the Net and learn to really hate the game or try either of these two very sad games...


The basic idea behind this one is to make your car indestructible and then wipe out the opposition as fast as possible. Top tip, go backwards quickly. This is fun for about 30 minutes whilst you do each of the tracks and marvel at the difference of the courses when viewed from the other direction.


A particularly rubbish game this, but set your cars up for no down-force and then drive over the rumble strip and become air borne and see how far you can get. Remember to save the games as you land so you can show off to your friends and family...

Is there a difference in car performance?

With the performance set to Random or 1991 Levels the cars do vary in speed, except for the car you are driving. For this reason there is no point in choosing car No 1, just because it should be 10% faster like real life since the performance of human cars is always the same, modulo the BHP degredation mentioned previously.

Why is the AI (artificial intelligence) so rubbish?

Who knows, but it reeks doesn't it? There seems to be no real way to cope with this, except to learn what the other cars do, and avoid any of there stupid overtaking maneuvers. This is the main area that the game falls down in, since everything else has been really well written.

One of the areas in which to pay most attention is the pit lane, since the computer cars will quite happily pull out in front of you as you do 150 mph down the lane and so cause a collision. Conversely, watch your mirrors as you pull out since they appear quite quickly if you are in the last pit.

On the track, they basically follow the ideal line unless slipstreaming. If you can get your front wheels ahead of theirs they do move over so perfect your drafting technique!

Why aren't there extension disks?

At the moment there are no extension disks available and none are likely to become available, this is not through any fault of MicroProse, but due to the strict licensing agreements with FIA, who are in charge of the licensing of Grand Prix related material. MicroProse only bought the rights to the 1991 season so that tracks will have to stay at that level.

Who are the drivers meant to be, and why aren't they?

The game comes supplied with a set of names which bear almost no relation to the actual drivers names. This is because the drivers would probably want to be paid for there names, so MicroProse took the cheaper and more sensible option. The names that are supplied are meant to sound like names from the same country as the real driver, hence Carlos Sanchez instead of Ayrton Senna. The correct list of names can be found at the end of the supplement to the game, and the names for 1993/94 season can be found on the Rec.Autos.Sport.F1 newsgroup.


Which circuit does it default to around the world?

Well, on the European version it selects Silverstone as the default GP if English language is chosen, Magny Cours if French is the language, and if the language is German it chooses Hockenheim, so it looks like it depends on what country you live in! Hence World Circuit uses Phoenix and the Italian version should choose Monza (but apparently it chooses Phoenix!).

What are the best circuits?

This is a scored listing of the tracks as posted by readers of the amigaf1gp mailing list and rec.autos.simulators. This vote is now closed; Monte Carlo is the clear winner, not a great surprise!
   Race                   Qualifying              Total
   1 Monte Carlo     41    1 Monte Carlo     40    1 Monte Carlo     81
   2 Magny Cours     34    2 Mexico City     36    2 Mexico City     68
   3 Spa             33    3 Hockenhiem      35    3 Imola           64
   4 Imola           32    4 Adelaide        34    4 Hockenhiem      51
   ==Mexico City     32    5 Imola           32    ==Magny Cours     51
   6 Monza           31    6 Silverstone     23    6 Spa             50
   7 Interlagos      20    7 Suzuka          20    7 Monza           49
   8 Suzuka          19    8 Monza           18    8 Adelaide        47
   9 Hockenhiem      16    9 Spa             17    9 Suzuka          39
  10 Adelaide        13    ==Magny Cours     17   10 Silverstone     35
  11 Silverstone     12   11 Montreal        12   11 Interlagos      21
  12 Phoenix         10   12 Estoril          7    ==Montreal        21
  13 Montreal         9   13 Phoenix          5   13 Phoenix         15
  14 Barcelona        3   14 Hungaroring      3   14 Estoril          7
  15 Estoril          0   15 Interlagos       1   15 Barcelona        3
   ==Hungaroring      0   16 Barcelona        0    ==Hungaroring      3
Scoring: the top four tracks score 5, 4, 3, 1 points, with the most hated getting a 1 point penalty.

Is there a track editor?

No, nor is there ever likely to be one. DG: I did hear rumors that someone had turned Mexico into an oval, but don't have any more details. There are quite a few talented people working on it, though.

I'm in love with the author, who is he?

The author of the game is Geoff Crammond, he has been responsible for most of the innovative games to appear in the auto simulation world, he previously wrote the original version of Revs for the BBC Micro. It was based on Formula 3 racing at Silverstone (the old circuit without the Vale complex and with the chicane at Woodcote) and was developed with help from David Hunt (James Hunt's brother), who was racing in British F3 at the time. The track was quite accurately reproduced and the game played quite quickly. The game had practice, qualifying and race sessions like F1GP, but it didn't have pits and you started your practice and qualifying sessions out on the track! There was also an expansion pack released which contained four other British tracks, Oulton Park, Snetterton, Donington Park, and Brands Hatch. Revs was also released on the Commodore 64.

He then wrote Stunt Car Racer for the Amiga/ST (and the PC, although the conversion is reported to be poor: 4 color EGA only; the port was apparantly not done by Crammond) which was as it's name suggests was a stunt car racing game. The main aim of the game was to race another stunt car around an elevated circuit, trying not to fall off. Getting in your way were large gaps in the circuit which had to be jumped by hitting a ramp at the right speed. Too slow and you went down the hole, too fast and you cracked the chassis. When the chassis was fully cracked, your race was over. The best part about this game was the two player serial option which allowed you to push your mates off the track.

The rest of the programming team seems to be members of his close family! The only other name that jumps out is that of Pete Cook who wrote some of the best games on the Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Interestingly he was involved with the game Grand Prix from CRL, which attempted to simulate the management of a GP team. It was very simple but great fun.

Outside of auto racing games, Crammond also made an excellent 3D game called The Sentinel, for Spectrum, C64, Amiga, Atari, etc, and it was a very nice idea. You were in a landscape, absorbing some objects, teleporting from one place to the other, always trying to be out of sight of a sentinel that was guarding the landscape. The goal was to have enough energy to climb higher then the sentinel (you were able to build little platforms) and absorb him and take his place. There were people who didn't like the game, but those who liked it were addicted to it. It would be nice to see the game in Virtual Reality, it would be easy to write.

What do the real drivers think?

There have been two drivers who have commented on the game, they are Oliver Gavin, and Derek Warwick. Gavin is a top F3 driver who, according to MicroProse, played the game on a friends Amiga before the race at Spa, and the went on to win it!
"Because part of the circuit is on the public road, Oliver couldn't practice on the circuit", explains Geoff, "so he used F1GP to learn the track, took pole position and won the race."
Derek Warwick on the other hand drove for the F1 team Arrows/Footwork (who helped write the game!) and gave it a glowing write up in Autosport Magazine, just before the Canadian GP (the 10 June 1993 issue). There was also an interview with the Footwork engineers. He gave some lap times but they were very poor, and he had to drive with full help. This provoked a spate of letters to the magazine from people asking for his job, including the following, from the 17 June 1993 issue:

I read last week's Canadian Grand Prix preview - about Footwork Formula 1's computer game - with interest.

I have been playing the game for several months now and was delighted to read how accurate it is. Allen McDonald claimed he could lap Montreal in 1m19s. Well I can lap in 1m17.627s so does this mean I can take Derek Warwick's place if ever he feels like having the weekend off.

J Mosley
Sheffield, Yorkshire

Also, a Canadian driver contacted him to say how accurate the Montreal course was.

What the difference between WC and F1GP?

There seems to be no difference apart from the name, with the version numbers staying consistent with each other. The only difference is the loading screens (see separate question).

What are the WC gif files?

These files are used in the US version of GP, known as World Circuit.

Why do I not seem to be able to go so quick some days?

The game randomly degrades the player's car's horsepower from its default of 716BHP, presumably to simulate changing track conditions. The latest GPLap (version 5.0) fixes this.

Why does the car steer itself sometimes?

This effect is most noticeable in the pits, when the car is pulled into the correct lane as you drive past, though the computer 'aids' you steering as you go round every course. The reason for this is the Steering Help option set in the Game Controls, Steering, menu. This feature is there to help users who driver using the keyboard or a standard joystick, since they find it hard to make slight course adjustments. The only way to disable this feature in a race is to put the car in the 'turning gear' you can then steer the car anywhere you want in the pits etc, thought quite why you would want to...

How are the pit bays allocated?

This is more of a general GP question than specific to the game, but the pits are given out according to the team's position in the previous years constructors championship. There seems to be a bit of a bug in the game when you drive for the top team, in that at some courses it is very hard to get into the pit bay correctly! The corner is too sharp and with the steering help on, you almost always over shoot. DG: Can't say as I've noticed this, but then again I slow down on the pit lane like you're supposed too.

One correspondant reports that he is working on a patch to alter the pit-bay allocation.

What happens if I overshoot my pit?

To put it simply, you cannot over shoot your pit (unless steering help is turned off) the computer will always try and pull you in. This means that you can be parked at very strange angles, but this does not seem to hurt your stop time, though the get-away may become more difficult! (Of course, some people would consider this cheating!)

One correspondant reports:

I've overshot the pit at Monza. The pit entrance is very straight and you can build up enough speed so that the game won't actually stop you.

Linked play

Why doesn't the modem play work?

If you own the Amiga or Atari ST version then you are out of luck since the modem support never appeared on either of these versions, the PC game is the only version with the support.

There is no modem support on the first version (1.01) but this was added on the updates 1.04 and 1.05, the link option needs two quite fast machine to work well, on 386SX it is almost unplayable, and the slowest machine dictates the speed of the other machines; on a 386DX you'll probably need a 16550 UART to get acceptable performance. If the game seems to pause a lot or you get regular (but not constant) link data mismatches, try reducing the frame rate on the slower machine by 30% or more.

You should also be aware that if one of you has altered your gp.exe in anyway (either by a patch or a TSR), then you must both be running identical games. This means that:

If you forget any of these, you will almost certainly get "data link mismatch" errors. The best policy is to copy the gp.exe from one machine to the other, and also a batch file which is used to load the TSRs and start the game.

What are these modem menus?

On the PC, if you hex edit the .EXE file from version 1.00 you will find some references to modems and COM links, these menus are not enabled and you will have to upgrade to 1.05 to access the link option.

Can I play across a real network?

No. Neither IPX nor TCP/IP are supported; only the COM ports may be used.

If you have a dialup connection to the Internet, you may be able to use the Internet Head-to-Head Daemon (IHHD) to play with someone on the net. You can find more details in ftp://cactus.org/pub/IHHD/.

In theory, one could use a null-modem cable to loop the COM ports on two machines together, and write a TSR which would transfer bytes between the network card and the COM port which isn't selected in the game. So far, nobody has reported trying this.

We tried to reload a saved game and it went nuts!

It appears that there are a couple of nasty "gotchas" in the linked play code. Doug Reichley takes up the story (slighted edited; Doug was unsurprisingly rather annoyed about this)...
There is a bug in the linked code that is a real bitch. It involves having only one or none drivers (ie. human) in the race.

In other words, both human drivers must be actively racing or you will get a data mismatch error when the game is reloaded. Obviously, this is only if you reload the game during a race and one or both of the human drivers have crashed out.

This nasty little [bug] bit my friend and I over the past weekend. It was Monza and we were both trying to catch Schu who was running away with the championship (we have the AI turned up quite a bit). My friend crashed out real early. My car had so much oversteer that I was run down by the AI and passed for the lead [...]. I got really frustrated and crashed myself out as well.

Just as I crashed out, the modem link disconnected. I dutifully saved the game as I exited the screen. When we reloaded this game later, it gave us a mismatch error. There goes the season. The latest saved game we had was for Belgium, but we had both crashed out of that as well (however, the race finished, therefore, the mismatch bug was eluded).

Well, we tried to reload the bad game with the mismatch from Monza, but it still had the error. We then selected to restart (the race in Monza), however, the 2nd bug came about. This time, he was me and I was he. This was quite interesting because both of our files said we were selected as ourselves. What was more strange was that, obviously, I was in his car and he was in mine. In other words, my joystick controlled his car and his mine. When I hit N on my computer, it said I was him.

Well, we tried to drive each others cars and ended up crashing out anyway. Needless to say, we just accelerated the rest of the season, handing the title over to Schu.

The moral of the story: if one, or both, human drivers crash out, make sure that you finish the race! Do not save a game with only one human driver or else when it is reloaded, you will get mismatch errors.

Is there any way to connect two computers other than null modem cable?

Javier Vizcaino suggested the following alternative method of connection,

You can play F1GP (and other games) through a direct connection, informing the game you are connected "Direct", and having a modem at each end. You establish the connection through a communication package, or from the DOS prompt, before entering the game. The link is done from modem to modem, through a direct telephone cable, with RJ-11 connectors at each end. This has some advantages:

Of couse, there are some disadvantages:Procedure:(Check if this is correct: I write without the DOS manual). Execute the programs and listen to the modems. Adapt the batch to your requirements and to your modems. Disable MNP/V42/V42bis (error correction/compression).If you try this, pass on your experiences to Javier Vizcaino <[email protected]>.

Warp Speed?

John Robert Cole writes concerning edited GP.EXEs with enormous horsepower settings (most editors can only go up to 999; in fact because of the way it's stored internally, it's possible to push it up to 1432 BHP). John calls this "warp speed" but I prefer to think of it as "wrap speed"; read on and you'll understand.

This is the where you can push the computer cars to their limit, and they literally explode. What I can figure out is the program never expects the AI cars to go over a limit of 394 km/h, but if this occurence happens their speed is instantaneously reset to zero. So think about this scenario your happily pushing Nigel Mansell down the straights of Hockenheim at around 400 km/h, he hit's WARP SPEED! but your still doing 400km/h so the logical thing for the program to do is destroy his car. Funny maybe for the first time but thats about it.

Also it's interesting to go up alonside a driver while doing over 400km/h and clipping their wheels just enough to make them hit warp speed and make them dissapear into distance.

[DG: I believe the exact speed is 411km/h, which is 256mph, since 255 is the largest value a single byte can hold, so 256 becomes 0.]

What happens when I restart from a saved game?

Firstly, you can view a "replay" of the events just before you saved the game. So, a saved game is actually what is meant when people talk about "replays" in F1GP.

Next, the game will not let you avoid some things by restarting a race. For example, if the race is wet, reloading, even before free practice, will not avoid the rain. (It is possible to do something about this with some of the Amiga editors, but not yet on the PC.)

Also, one correspondant has reported that pit stop times stay constant too. If you are in a race, save the game, then pit, and get a bad stop time, reloading will not help you.