F1 Manager 2022 Review – Motorsports Menu Madness

F1 Manager 2022 Review

F1 Manager 2022 scratches the armchair quarterback itch common to sports fans. Passionate fans question decisions made by their favorite team: made by management, the coaching staff, or the players. Hard-core fans will go so far as collecting statistics with which they can simulate and support their decisions versus the ones made by the team.

There have been simulators for a variety of sports, including football, baseball, hockey, and even horse racing. Motorsports have not received the same attention. The last notable racing manager sim was the 2016 Motorsport Manager from Sega. Developer, Frontier Developments aims to rev up interest in Motorsports Management Sim once again with F1 Manager 2022.

F1 Manager 2022 aims to fill the gap by allowing F1 Fanatics the opportunity to manage your own F1 team. As the F1 team owner, you oversee all aspects of running such an enterprise. This includes managing on and off-track activities. You have to hire everyone: engineers, researchers, two drivers, sponsors, pit crews, and office staff.

That’s a lot to manage, so the game needs a well-thought layout and user interface. Hope you like menus because there are lots and lots of them. This shouldn’t be a surprise because these types of management games have lots of variables to maintain. There’s not only equipment and material directly related to the F1 cars, but money and budgets too.

Menu Managing

To start a new game in F1 Manager 2002, or season, you choose from one of ten available teams. There is no option for creating your own team, a restriction probably done to limit the amount of variables to track. The ten teams represent difficulty levels.

The best-known teams, such as Ferrari, Red Bull, and Mercedes Benz, equate to the easy setting. With the best teams, you have the biggest budgets, the best cars, and the best drivers.
The McLaren, Alpine and AlphaTauri represent medium difficulty. If you want the hardest management challenge, then you pick from the Williams, Haas and Aston Martin teams. The harder the difficulty, the greater the handicap is for the team in each of the areas.

Once you pick your team, F1 Manager 2022 runs in a tutorial mode for the first race. You pick your drivers and get them ready for the first race. This involves taking them through the practice sessions and then evaluating the results. You improve their confidence by tweaking the car settings to maximize performance.

The game steps you through the menus for practice and qualifying sessions and makes recommendations. The game also gives you the opportunity to take over control and make your own adjustments. Things become more dynamic as you move out onto the track.

F1 Manager 2022 Track Views

Races can be completely simulated or handled manually. You can determine how aggressive you want your team of two drivers to be. Plus, you control your pit stop strategy. Weather is another factor that makes on track events more dynamic. You can go into a race planning on a dry track, but if the weather doesn’t cooperate, you must be ready to quickly switch to a wet race strategy.

On track, you can break away from all the menus and engage in a TV style presentation of the race. There are a variety of camera angles to choose from, including a cockpit view. In contrast to the menu screens, the TV style presentation is not on par. There’s a softness to it all that it is still quite palatable but noticeable if you are familiar with the graphics of racing sims.

If you prefer to keep a god’s eye view of the game, you can opt for a map-only presentation. The advantage of this view is you can easily see where your cars are in relative position to the other teams. You can choose to speed up the race time to avoid sitting through each on-track event in real-time. Depending on how you quickly you decide to play the on track events, expect twenty hours to play through a season.

There are some other graphical disparities. Driver models are quite good. However, the rest of the team uses lower definition models. So the crew all walk around with those dreaded zombie dead eyes.
While there is much to be impressed with, it quickly becomes apparent this is very much a first effort. If you delve a little deeper, flaws become apparent. Most of the issues have to do with your AI opponents. From the management perspective, the AI teams do not develop over the course of the season in accordance with the economy of the game.

A Couple of Potholes

On track, the AI has a pre-defined race strategy and doesn’t react to changing conditions. Their on-track behavior can affect your qualifying runs or overtake attempts as they don’t observe racing etiquette. To be fair, AI behavior is a sticking point in all sim racing games.

Beware that tire compounds are not properly accounted for. They all have the same performance, which is incorrect. Softer tires should provide a better performance, but wear down quicker whereas the reverse occurs for hard tires.

F1® Manager 2022_20220901155353

There is a lot to like about F1 Manager 2022. The menus are clean and intuitive. You control all aspects of running an F1 team with the option to pick what you handle directly. However, depth-wise it feels very much like a first attempt.

Hopefully, Frontier Developments will address some of the current issues with updates. With some fine-tuning of the AI, the game could own the sim racing manager game niche. This is a good start for a game that seems poised to be the start of a new franchise. Despite current shortcomings, F1 Manager 2022 does make you feel like a manager of an F1 team.

*** PS5 code provided by the publisher ***


The Good

  • Clean UI
  • Easy navigation
  • Challenging racing strategy

The Bad

  • Shallow game depth
  • AI not impacted by variables
  • Some variables don’t affect race performance