It’s surprising that it’s taken 22 years for another Formula 1 management sim to see the light of day, but here we are. With the sport’s growing popularity around the world, Frontier have taken the ball and run with it, taking a superb approach to the sport and giving fans an in-depth yet enjoyable opportunity to captain one of F1’s 10 official teams, starting with the 2022 season with authenticity and style. Whatever your knowledge of F1, there’s an entry point for all skill levels, and with a solid tutorial, it won’t take long to take your team to new heights.
There’s plenty to do within your squad, with all roads eventually leading into the race weekend. Everything you do will impact performance, and even small changes, whether it’s fitting a new car part or changing your compound approach on race day, F1 Manager 22 is a rich and satisfying experience. Going into it without any guidance would be career suicide, even for those with a lot of knowledge about the sport. Frontier has built in a tutorial that doesn’t drown you in information, but rather layers its approach so you’re never overwhelmed.
You’ll manage anything you can imagine in F1 Manager 22. It’s an incredibly deep game that not only gives you plenty to do between races, but makes race weekend and an exciting time that keeps you invested. throughout each round. You’ll get hands-on time on how your cars can be upgraded, from upgrading facilities and hiring staff to crafting specific car parts. Not only do you make sure your races go as smoothly and successfully as possible, but you are in charge of how you approach it. Spending a lot of money to carefully build a new suspension or subfloor takes time, but there is less chance of error.
If you choose to assign more people to work and speed up this process, it may mean that your parts are ready sooner, but it could have a negative impact on performance. You’re still managing progress, whether it’s upgrading or building from scratch, as well as board satisfaction and meeting certain sponsorship goals. There are always fine lines between which you have to stay. Mistakes will be made, but you are never punished for making them. Instead, F1 Manager 22 gives you a ton of options to make your team a success. Going with Red Bull or Ferrari will potentially reap rewards faster than, say, Williams, but taking on those unsuccessful teams could provide more long-term satisfaction.
Whatever you decide, the menu designs are clear and filled with information. Week-to-week data on your team’s performance, emails that share vital production information, rival teams, and updates on all your picks fill every menu. You can view track data for upcoming races, a full overview of your staff and drivers, including scouting opportunities for new ones, and much more. You always have something to do, but you never feel rushed or overwhelmed, thanks to the simplicity of the presentation. As good as that would be, it wouldn’t mean anything unless the real thrill of the race weekend was worth investing your time in, and again, the developers pull it off in almost every way.
When it comes to getting into practice laps, qualifying, and the actual race, you have tons of options on how to approach each facet. Like much of the game, you can assign certain responsibilities to your staff so you don’t have to do everything. With race weekends you can simulate practice laps and qualifying, but that’s what makes F1 Manager 22 so enjoyable. All your hard work throughout the season translates into improvements in your positioning for the race, whether it’s installing a new part or adjusting your tire strategy depending on the weather or the course. .
During the race, you can observe your drivers from the cockpit or above the car, getting involved in the smallest details throughout the duration of the race. Some races take over an hour or so depending on how fast you watch them, you can make tiny changes at each turn or just speed up the race to x16 the normal pace. Even if you don’t drive the cars yourself, you still feel like you’re there in the car. By managing the pace, when to enter the pit stop, the deployment of the ERS or the fuel consumption, you can have full control if you wish. If you’d rather just race through the races, the ability to watch from a bird’s eye view where the cars appear as specks on a track, you can. Even when this view is in effect, the action slows to a normal pace if something big happens.
For example, if there is an accident on the track, a member of your team will let you know and you can even watch a replay. These random, potentially positive mistakes made by other drivers can be exciting, but they can also affect you if you get involved. It doesn’t have the same styling and details as EA Sports F1 22, but it still looks good. Crashes, car and track design, and weather aren’t as detailed, but the visuals are still solid. F1 Manager 22 features real audio of your team and drivers as they communicate over the radio, providing another level of authenticity.
F1 Manager 22 offers as much depth as you want. The data, strategies and options are all there for fans who love the sport, but if you’re new to Formula 1 or want a more laid-back experience, the game is also for you. The menus are designed to be easy to use, and the race weekend visuals and audio are impressive, even though the focus is behind the scenes of the sport. Some of the daily task elements aren’t particularly exciting, and some of the emails don’t really do much to excite, but these are things that Frontier Developments can work on for future iterations. For now, though, there’s plenty for fans to do.