I wasn't commenting on Micro Machine 3 in particular,nor intending to necessarily trash all race car games A.I. in general regarding extremes.
But (for me at least),as an example Gran Turismo on PSX. Whilst playing through all the simulation part of the game & completing all the cups with a friend, we seemed to notice (particularly in the harder stages), that generally the CPU cars would assign 1 designated CPU car as its "golden child", with the rest of the CPU cars generally co-operating to protect this car's lead at all costs without ever challenging it-once past that car you virtually guaranteed 1st place every time.
Now I'm not saying GT was bad, its definitely my favourite race game, but like most gameplay aspects with pursuits of eye candy 3D visuals or ultra realism, I just feel its an opportunity waiting to be exploited and expanded upon-who knows, maybe Geoff Crammond will look at that with the so-called Stunt Car Racer sequel idea.
I'm no expert, & obviously it'd be torture trying to create a "realistic" A.I., but its just a thought that for the racers I've seen, there still doesn't "feel" a genuine individuality about the CPU A.I. yet.