Sidepodcast - All for F1 and F1 for all

Board of F1 - Playing the motorsport game of life

Published by Christine

I met up with some family this weekend, and as so often happens, we ended up playing board games. My dad brought out a vintage find, trying to get me to guess what it was until eventually I gave up. “Formula One!” he said, proudly before revealing the box. I was very excited, only vaguely being aware that motorsport board games existed, and wondering how on earth you can squeeze something so complex as F1 into a simple roll-of-the-dice.

Plastic cars on the start/finish line
Credit: Sidepodcast

As it turns out, this game isn’t just about rolling dice. You each get a steering wheel shaped dashboard to keep track of your game, you select your colour and the game begins. It’s a bit complicated to start with, and takes getting used to, but once you’re in the zone, the real strategy and genius of the game comes to the fore.

Essentially, each square represents 20mph, and each player can speed up or slow down a defined amount on each move. Be warned though, you also need to navigate certain corners at certain speeds. By dealing with the corners differently, you risk tyre damage and brake wear, which in turn could result in a trip to the pit lane.

Just like in Formula One, you can go steady and slow and hope to get a good result, or you can go all out for speed, but risk spinning off or having a hefty delay in the pit lane.

Formula 1 board game fun
Credit: Sidepodcast

We played with three people, and you can have up to six. I think the more the better, because there’s a limited amount of space round each corner, and blocking comes into play the more cars there are.

It was great fun, far more strategic than I thought it would be. I pulled out a perfect first lap, but then overcooked it on the second and fell behind. Working steadily through the next few laps, I moved back ahead and pulled out a strong gap but that was eroded gradually as we wound our way to the last lap. I crossed the line in the lead, but on the final turn, my mother pulled out a strategic card and jumped ahead. It was painful, but brilliant. Much like Formula One itself.