Racism in the dating game
Formula One Grand Prix boasted detail that was unparalleled for a computer game at the time as well as a full recreation of the drivers, cars and circuits of the 1991 Formula One World Championship. On the other end of the spectrum, Sega produced Virtua Racing in 1992.While not the first arcade racing game with 3D graphics (it was predated by Winning Run, Hard Drivin' and Stunts), it was able to combine the best features of games at the time, along with multiplayer machine linking and clean 3D graphics to produce a game that was above and beyond the arcade market standard of its time, laying the foundations for subsequent 3D racing games.
It also featured a garage facility to allow players to enact modifications to their vehicle, including adjustments to the tires, shocks and wings.
CBS Sony released Paris-Dakar Rally Special, an imaginative racing game with platformer and action-adventure elements, featuring Dakar Rally cars that could fire bullets, the driver able to exit the car and go exploring to lower a bridge or bypass other obstacles, underwater driving sections, and at times having avoid a fleet of tanks and fighter jets.
In 1989, Atari released Hard Drivin', another arcade driving game that used 3D polygonal graphics.
It is, however, untrue to say that there were no games considered simulations in their time.
In 1984, Geoff Crammond, who later developed the Grandprix series (Known collectively as GPX to its fanbase), produced what is considered the first attempt at a racing simulator on a home system, REVS, released for the BBC Microcomputer.