F1 Manager 2022 Review In Progress
While the drivers are easily the most marketable superstars of the Formula 1 traveling circus, they are really only part of the sport with teams of hundreds supporting their high-speed efforts. F1 Manager 2022 puts you in the shoes of the team leaders who lead these combined efforts, from car development to the split-second strategic calls of a race weekend in a sports management simulation.
It’s fair to say that F1 Manager 2022 is hanging on to the popularity of the highly polished and somewhat overproduced Netflix series Drive To Survive which thrust team managers into the limelight. Team bosses like Christian Horner, Otmar Szafnauer and the much-quoted Guenther Steiner have gone from relatively unknown cogs in the F1 machine to globally recognized faces. More than ever before, the team principals who oversee all aspects of a Formula 1 team are in the public eye – which no doubt played a part in Frontier’s decision to create F1 Manager 2022.
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This isn’t the first time we’ve been able to manage a team in an F1 game – you might remember EA’s unique F1 manager from 22 years ago or the MyTeam mode found now in Codemasters’ F1 racing series – but F1 Manager 2022 is by far the most in-depth management sim we’ve seen of the sport.
Much like its genre mates, F1 Manager 2022 bypasses the action and puts players in control of everything behind the scenes. Manufacturing auto parts, hiring staff, maintaining facilities and, of course, supervising races, and much more are all part of the action in F1 Manager. There’s an almost overwhelming amount of depth at your fingertips.
At a high level, F1 Manager 2022 allows players to take control of the ten teams currently on the grid. This includes big hitters like Mercedes and Red Bull, but also ambitious midfield teams and laggards like Alpine, Aston Martin and Williams. Each team’s starting status reflects its real-world counterpart and showcases the current lineup of drivers, but as the seasons pass and time passes, the roster will change and Formula 2 and Formula 3 drivers can be promoted to the next level. motorsport.
The action is divided into two main parts. There’s the races themselves where you have pretty minimal control but can make decisions for your racers, and there’s the menu-driven management of everything about your team. Both are backed by an algorithm that controls everything in races.
Your effectiveness as a manager will affect your ranking within this algorithm, which calculates your strength against other teams on the grid. This has its downsides, as the racing in action can feel a little awkward at times. There’s no dynamism to the car physics, so racing can feel a little robotic as cars take turns, or they can suddenly stop directly behind a car rather than passing it.
During a race weekend, you can manage your runner in each session. Practices and qualifying can be simulated, but there is no option to do so for the race. It feels like an oversight, as each is a complete affair, and even with the ability to fast forward, you’re still locked in for at least thirty to forty minutes. Equally serious is the fact that, unlike F1 2022, there is no mid-session save, which again feels like an oversight. Especially if you want to perform all actions in real time.
Before each race, you are responsible for choosing each driver’s strategy. There’s a lot of depth to dig into with them, as the game features a number of common strategies and lets you create custom plans. Figuring out which strategies work best for each driver, based on driver experience, is a lot of fun. It also gave me a better understanding of how strategies play out in real-world racing.
During the race itself, you can take a rather hands-on approach and just focus on pit strategy and reacting to racing incidents. However, you can also take it a step further and tell your drivers how to behave on the track. It may be up to you to decide on the use of ERS, tire strategy and fuel consumption. Push too hard for too long, and your driver will be more prone to making mistakes, and potentially forced to retire. Don’t push them at all, and they just won’t cross the field. It’s really about finding the balance and learning how hard you can push each car.
Off the track, you are responsible for overseeing all key aspects of your team. One of the most comprehensive elements by far is manufacturing and engineering. F1 is a sport that constantly looks forward, so teams are always building new parts to improve throughout the current season, while preparing for seasons to come. In F1 Manager 2022, you take direct control of car development, working on individual car elements.
Throughout a season, you’ll receive updates on where your car is underperforming. It could be that your cornering speed is slow or that your car’s ability to brake at speed leaves a lot to be desired. Each of these elements is measured against your competitors, letting you know where you stand on the grid. Using this information, you can research and develop new parts to give your team the edge or recoup a shortfall. It certainly makes the daunting task of understanding how cars work that much easier to digest.
You’ll also manage the drivers themselves, supporting them by investing in new training facilities and improving their abilities and skills. There doesn’t seem to be a performance drop for older drivers in the game, which has always played a pretty big role in the sport. It makes sense that a pilot’s abilities would decrease with age, but from the time we’ve been able to spend with the game so far, there doesn’t seem to be a system surrounding this in the game. I wonder how that might play out in teams that move drivers and move young F1 and F2 drivers up, and I’ll find out as I go deeper into my career over several seasons.
I’m still learning about all the mechanics and systems at play in F1 Manager 2022, and while it may not have captured all of the exciting and dynamic elements of Formula 1, it’s an enjoyable experience in itself. It gives fans like me a deeper insight into the real workings of the sport, while giving die-hard fans almost unlimited access to running their own F1 team. The only thing I really would have liked to see was the ability to create your own team from scratch.
This is an ongoing review. Keep an eye out for our finalized F1 Manager 2022 review in the days and weeks to come.
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