Williams Grand Prix Games
With the summer break just around the corner it’s time to turn your attention to how you can fill those long Williams-free days. Good news, I have some suggestions for you in the form of Williams related games released over the years. Enjoy the break!
Williams Renault Grand Prix Championship board game
Released around 1993 this was a unique board game built around the idea that you had to build a winning F1 team and take the world championship.
As it says on the box “imagine for just one second that you are Frank Williams” (who hasn’t?) and:
- Manage the Williams Renault Grand Prix Team for one whole season
- Use your sponsors money to build the team of your dreams
- Complete the 16 Grand Prix on a unique six piece jigsaw board
- Utilise strategy game play to set up your cars and engines differently for each Grand Prix
- Achieve championship status by team work and players own skill.
The great thing about the game, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen this before, is that the board can be turned into lots of different tracks due to the board pieces being a jigsaw. This means that each time you play will be different, although if you did a complete 16 round world championship it could take as long as the real thing!
This is probably my favourite piece of Williams game memorabilia simply for its inventiveness.
Computer racing games have been around a while, I remember playing one on my Sinclair ZX Spectrum in the early 80’s, but we had to wait for 2000 for a proper Williams game. This was the Hot Wheels Williams F1 Team Driver for PC.
The following is the release from the games developers at the time:
“Hot Wheels Williams F1 Team Driver; is a computer game where players get to get behind the wheel of an F1 race car and speed to victory. In this racing simulation game, players start out as go-kart drivers, eventually working up through F1600s and F3s before finally reaching the pinnacle of racing – the F1. Nothing beats the thrill of sitting in the driver’s seat of an F1, or cheering on your favourite drivers from the stands as cars whisk by at 200 mph! But a fun game can at least remind you of what it’s like to really be at a grand prix event
What we think makes this game unique, though, is its role-playing aspects. In the regularmode, players start out at the beginning – racing go-karts. Eventually, by winning races, players move up through the ranks, from F1600s, to F3s, and finally to F1s. Of course, each level of car is more difficult, and super-realistic driving physics and controls really let the player feel the difference.
As far as other teams being included, there aren’t. This game is officially licensed by the Williams team, and to the best of my knowledge, it is the only F1 racing game that has a real racing team behind it. This is really cool because the team allowed us to record interviews with some of their top drivers, and they offer advice and tips on how to become a better driver.”
These days that’s all pretty standard for console racing games but back in 2000 that was pretty unique. Also, as you can see from above, the boxed game also came with a Williams HotWheels car too!
Staying with computer games but something much more contemporary and mobile this time. Created in association with longtime Williams sponsor Oris watches and released in 2015 Reaction Race does exactly what it says on the tin and tests your reaction times.
Given that this is heavily branded by watch supplier Oris it is not surprising to find that the game is all about timing and testing your speed and accuracy over five tasks:
- Starting Grid
- Gear Change
- Braking Point
- Photo finish
Starting Grid, for example, allows you to channel your inner Bottas to see if you can be as quick off the grid as he was in the 2017 Austrian Grand Prix. The other games are all variations on the same theme, testing your reaction times. Fun but not a great deal of depth to it and I quickly bored.
Monopoly – Williams Edition
Next up a timeless classic – Monopoly with a Williams twist.
Originally released in 1903 the classic Monopoly board has well known streets and places on which you build hotels and bankrupt other family members! Over the years other versions have been released, particularly around other locations and now there is a Williams tie-in too.
In place of the familiar streets are Williams related milestones such as “1979 First Victory”, “2012 Maldonado’s Unexpected Win” and “2016 Tie World Record 1.92s Pit Stop”. These are interspersed with other things such as “Williams Advanced Engineering”, “Factory” and “Pit Stop”. You can see some images of the board below:
Game play is, of course, exactly the same as in the standard game.
This version was produced for the Williams 40th Anniversary and, as far as I am aware, is only available from the team shop at Grove.
F1 on Consoles
While not exclusively Williams the latest release of F1 videogame, F1 2017, does have a couple of things to excite Williams fans.
Along with the latest machinery such as the FW40 you can also race in either a Mansell’s FW14B or Hill’s FW18 – both championship winning cars. This means that rather than battling it out in the midfield you can have a clear track in front of you as you power your way to victory with a 3.5 litre V10 Renault engine behind you!
- Average top speed
- No of Podiums (better hope you get the FW14B and not the FW40!)
- Constructors points (ditto)
- Fastest laps (you get the idea)
- Top Trumps rating
With 30 cards in the set it spans the whole life of Williams Grand Prix Engineering from the March 761 to the current FW40.
The set also includes a special card called “Frank’s Dream Racer” (there was also one of these in the Monopoly set too) which apparently “combines elements from the most successful race cars in Williams’ history with the latest Formula One technology to create the ultimate FW” – sounds like what they out to do for the FW41!
If you were at Autosport International Show in January 2017 you may have seen giant versions of some of these.
Hope you have enjoyed that look at Williams gaming through the ages and if you know of any other Williams related games then contact us and we’l update the page.