F1 Manager 2022by Aethyna Sep 3, 2022 | 1 Votes | 78 Played | 0 Reviews
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F1 Manager 2022 is the latest title in the long-running F1 Manager series, giving players the chance to rally get their hands dirty by becoming the team principle of a F1 team of their choice. Whether you chose an underdog or one of the consistently-top teams, the goal is the same – to reach the goals of the season, keep your team and the sponsors happy, and most important of all, keep improving!
To start, you’ll need to choose a team to manage as their team principle. You can, for instance, try your hand at getting the lowest scoring team to the front of the pack to showcase your skills; or you could simply go with one of the top dogs and help them maintain their coveted position. It’s entirely up to you!
The game kicks off with the first season where most of the decisions had already been made by your predecessor, including new car part developments from the previous season and sponsorship deals. In a way, the first season works as a lengthy tutorial where you can really dive in and familiarize yourself with the intricacies of F1 managing.
Coming into F1 Manager 2022 - or almost any kind of manager-styled sports games in fact, it can be fairly intimidating and even overwhelming, especially if you’re a casual fan of F1 racing. There is, after all, a ton of data you’ll need to sift through before making the right decisions for your team as their team principle. Thankfully, this game does try to ease you in by presenting their features one bunch at a time, explaining things as you go along.
As a manager-styled game, the game has an extensive and comprehensive management aspect. Every season starts with a substantial budget, even if you chose a team with a low-ish budget, and you can then decide where to invest those monies in. Naturally, if you want to win races, you’d be wise to put most of those cash into developing your drivers and your cars.
Car development in this game is very realistic in the sense that designing a new car part takes time and that you’ll likely be able to see your efforts bear fruit in the second season. There’s no chance for a design failure here though, and every new design will often be better than what you currently have, which does take away a fair bit of risk investment-wise. The only risk I’d say comes from spending a ton of money on a specific design focus which proves to be not as crucial in the next race. After all, using the wrong parts, even if they are top-notch, for the wrong circuits may cost you.
You can also spend a bit more money to rush things but it’ll cut into your budget, reducing your allocations for other parts of development. If you’re not as familiar as to the inner workings of race cars, a lot of the stats and attributes here may be rather technical, but the game does helpfully simplify things by highlighting important parameters so you know whether or not a new part you’re designing will be helpful in the upcoming race.
In terms of your drivers, you’ll start with two drivers – one for each car – and a backup driver. They should be relatively competent at their jobs but if you want to make sure they can keep up with the competition, you’ll need to hone their skills by simply getting on the tracks and race, be it on the actual race weekend, during practice rounds, or during qualifying. Their respective growth potential will also affect the total experience they will gain. This potential decreases as drivers age. Morale may affect your drivers’ performance as well.
Not only will you need to ensure your drivers’ performance on the tracks and your cars’ maintenance and improvements, there’s a large team behind them that needs your attention too. From the engineers to the head of aerodynamics, having a great team makeup will give your team the advantage it needs out on the tracks. As such, you have complete freedom to scout for new and better people for your team, and hire them if they are open for negotiation.
Your team needs to work in facilities that are top-of-the-line as well so as to have all the tools they may need to perform at their best. You can spend money to upgrade various car development, staff, and operations facilities, from to the design center and the suspension simulator to the weather center and the board room. Considering that funds and human resources are both limited, you’ll really need to know which to prioritize and which to upgrade later.
On the business side of things, as team principle, it’s also your job to make sure the board and your sponsors are happy with your team’s performance on the tracks. For sponsors, they may require you to host events at the factory or send your drivers for media appearances which may affect production of car parts or the morale of your drivers. These obligations are necessary, however, and you just have to handle whatever “fallout” from those events that may affect race performances.
Managing may be where all the real hard work goes, but racing is also a crucial part of the game where you can reap the fruits of your labor by seeing it in glorious action! Of course, before you can start, there’s some prep work to do!
Prior to the main racing event, the game will have you set your performance targets which would determine the monetary rewards you’ll get. Although you can’t change the targets set by your sponsors, you can add guarantees by promising results for extra funding. However, guarantees can backfire on you since they do come with a penalty if you can’t hit it, so be sure to set realistic goals. After all, every bit of money you get will ensure that your team will be able to stay competitive on the race tracks and even surpass your racing bracket.
Once done, you’ll then need to do last checks on your drivers and car builds, to make sure everything’s correct for the circuit the race will be held at. As mentioned, using the wrong car parts may hurt your team’s overall performance so it’s best to avoid that as much as possible.
Now, unlike Motorsport Manager, your team will have to go through 3 practice rounds and qualifying (Q1 to Q3) before getting to the main race. Practice runs are testing grounds for your drivers to gain points for track acclimatization, car parts knowledge, and set-up confidence, all of which will add to your drivers’ respective performance bonuses when the impactful races come around.
Note that there’s no need to manage every single session if you don’t want to. You can just as easily hand over the reins to your team to manage everything on-site for you. However, Ai being AI, it’s, of course, better if you are present in person during crucial races like qualifying to put your skills to use.
For qualifying, your drivers will have to go through 3 knockout rounds to decide their racing positions with the fastest drivers advancing to the next round. Although you can keep sending out your drivers to have another go on the track in an attempt to improve their time, there’s a time limit for qualifying and you have limited tires to use.
Unlike qualifying however, on the actual race day, you’ll need to decide on a pitting strategy before you can start. Well, technically, having no strategy is a strategy in on its own I guess, but having an actual strategy beforehand can be mighty helpful since the game does give you a heads-up whenever a car is within its pitting window, helpfully marking out the most optimal pitting time. Of course, you can always adapt your strategy on the fly since anything can happen on the track.
During races, you can also ask your drivers to modify their racing strategies from three main aspects – tire usage (by increasing or decreasing the pace), fuel usage, and most important of all, the ERS (Energy Recovery System) and the constant battle between charging it up and using it at the right time. If the race is tight, micromanaging your drivers across these three parameters should grant you crucial advantage in snagging a good position on the leaderboard for your team.
F1 Manager 2022 did everything pretty well enough, except that the effects of tire wear aren’t as prominent in this game, for some reason, unless you go below the 30% cutoff point. The game doesn’t show any difference – and it should – between say an old hard tire and fresh softs. There isn’t a noticeable difference between the tire types either, but that might just be me.
Its overtaking mechanism here needs some improvement as well. Granted that in real F1 racing, there are usually certain points on the track where overtaking makes sense, but even when that is applied to the game, overtaking cars here often feel like a never-ending game of leapfrog with the winner being the one in front when the checkered flag appears.
Despite the complaints, F1 Manager 2022 does the sport right by showing that it’s not all just speed, but also making the right calls at the right times and managing the limited resources you have, both during a race and the in between. It’s definitely a lot deeper. The races are very realistic as well. Personally, I felt the pressure to perform during a race, making every major call I make feel so much more “high stakes”. However, the game does have several glaring flaws that could use a major patch or two to fix. Hopefully, the developers will fix this game and not leave everything for the next sequel.
Regardless of whether the players can agree that the gameplay in F1 Manager 2022 is great or not, everyone can definitely agree that the game really outdid itself in the graphics department. The game features gorgeous car models and characters, as well as very realistic races. In terms of sound, the game managed to nail the atmosphere and the ambiance perfectly on the head. They even got real F1 commentators to do the comments in this game.
F1 Manager 2022 is the game to buy especially if you’re a big F1 fan. The game gives both fans and players an unprecedented look behind the scenes, putting them squarely into the role of the Team Principle where their every decision may make or break the team. The realism is, unfortunately, more skewed towards the aesthetics and the atmosphere rather than the actual gameplay right now, due to several issues with tire wear and type, poor overtaking mechanics, and some illogical AI driving.
That being said, F1 Manager 2022 is a respectable entry to the F1 racing niche and a great first try for Frontier. The game may be raw and in need of polishing, but it just means that the game can become even better much like the F1 cars you manage in the game.