After a first preview which had allowed us to see certain aspects of the management of an F1 team, Frontier invited us to take the game in hand. We therefore went to the premises of the studio, in order to see what gives F1 Manager 22 once in hand. Attention, with a demo that lasted about 30 minutes, the objective was not to focus on the management and development aspect which takes much more time, but on the role of the team manager during the race in it -same.
You understood it, so we suggest you take a look at our first preview that you can find at this address in order to find out more about F1 Manager, and what it will offer the player. Among other things, it explains how the management of a long-term structure works. Recruitment, research, development, but also the production of spare parts. Each decision must be taken with discernment, since the rules of F1 specify a budget which must not be exceeded. We must therefore keep financial means on hand in case of a hard blow, if ever a driver screws up a car for example.
F1 Manager: the art of tuning
Once the team is made, the engineers recruited, and the life of the factory well rehearsed, comes the key moment in the life of an F1 team: the Grands-Prix. Each GP is structured in the same way, with free practice, qualifying, then the race. During the tests the objective will be to help the drivers to adjust the car according to their preferences. If we can let the computer manage everything, the interest is of course to get your hands dirty, and to test different settings. We can thus radically modify the behavior of the car via the various mechanical settings, whether it is the suspension or the aero downforce. Inevitably, each driver has his own style of driving and his own preferences, which means that your two driving aces will not be satisfied with a car set up in the same way.
On some circuits you can also decide to favor certain aspects, such as top speed, or curves. This also makes it possible to bet on strategies that will wear tires more or less, or consume more or less fuel. Indeed, a race run on economy allows you to fill the tank less, to have a lighter car, and which will wear the tires less at the start of the race. Because the tests are also an opportunity to determine what will be the best strategy to adopt for the race. Once again, it will often be necessary to adopt different strategies for each driver, in order on the one hand to maximize his chances, but also to prevent the cars from showing up at the same time.
jack in the box
Moreover, the strategy will also be based on the tests, and the tires that will remain at the end of the days. Some useful tune-ups for R&D require a specific setup, and if you use up most of your soft tyres, you risk running out of them during the race. As in real life, the objective of F1 Manager is to have a car that inspires confidence in its driver, so that he can attack with peace of mind. Do not panic if you are not a pro mechanics, we can let the AI take care of everything, and zap these passages. Nevertheless, we will of course gain in performance if we manage to find the ideal setting ourselves. The trials will also allow us to test new, freshly developed and produced parts. Our engineers generally doing a good job, these parts are almost always more efficient than the old ones, but they can also modify the behavior of the car, and according to the circuits, the result is not identical.
Clearly, it will sometimes take old components out of the closet for a driver to feel more comfortable. Qualifying remains the least intense moment for the team manager, since there is not much to do, apart from seeing the results of the work done during practice. In our case, with the Alpine team, we managed to place ourselves in the middle of the grid, our two drivers sharing the same line, with the advantage for Esteban Ocon. Before the start of the race, we will therefore have to decide on a strategy for our two drivers. Again, the AI will suggest several options to us, while it will be quite possible to establish a personalized strategy. Engines screaming, lights going out: it’s the start.
The race as in real life with F1 manager
The good surprise is that we will be able to follow the GP as on TV, with the same camera angles as during the official broadcasts and the star commentator of the discipline, David Croft (Sky Sports). We can also follow any driver, even if we generally focus on our team. Each strategy is of course modifiable on the fly, and as in real life, F1 Manager lets us give instructions to our pilots. Concretely, we will be able to ask them to be more or less aggressive on the tires (which will influence the speed in curves), on the engine and the fuel consumption (more horsepower, but without refueling, over-consuming at some point , involves doing eco-driving later), as well as on the use of the hybrid system. The management of the ERS is certainly what will take us the most time since we can opt for a measured use (which gently drains the battery), an “overtaking” use (we burn everything to pass a competitor), and not use at all when the batteries need to be recharged quickly. The objective is obviously to gain places, and to push our drivers to give their best. We can also give team orders, even if these are limited. We can ask our drivers not to compete, and tell the second to block the rest of the opponents so that our leading car can widen the gap. Of course, safety cars and other red flags will regularly spoil our strategy, as will driver errors. We saw Alonso spin off in the first corner after leaving the pits, surprised by his cold tires.
Veni Vidi Vici
You also have to think about strategy, since as in real life, a race victory is not necessarily an objective, the aim being to collect points, and to appear as high as possible in the constructor’s championship at the end of the year. Yes, the objective of a team is above all to obtain the manufacturer’s title, the driver’s title being largely secondary. Because beyond the desire to win and the natural goal of advancing your team in the rankings, you will also have to fulfill objectives. The companies that finance the team, whether it is a constructor or the sponsors, have clear objectives, and not fulfilling them means the ousting of the boss of the team, that is to say the player. Moreover, each race will give rise to negotiations with our employers. By promising them crazy results, we will be able to obtain substantial bonuses, which will make it possible to bail out the finances of our team. However, if these promises are not kept, the consequences will then be disastrous for our bank account, with sometimes penalties to pay. In short, it will therefore be necessary to make the right choices, and succeed in not selling your dream too much.
F1 Manager 2022, we await it with…always as much curiosity
F1 Manager 2022 therefore promises to be a particularly complete management game, which will not surprise us coming from Frontier. Surfing on the renewed interest around F1 (thanks Netflix), the game also seems more cut out for novices than for fans of the discipline for whom each technical point no longer holds any secrets. It is thus possible to greatly simplify the game, even if it means losing its interest sometimes. Similarly, some aspects are totally overlooked, such as everything that revolves around engine development for engine manufacturers. Each team will therefore be a simple customer of an engine manufacturer, even if we decide to play with Mercedes Ferrari or Alpine who nevertheless produce their own engines. But what do you want, you have to attract customers to a management title (therefore not necessarily the most fun) without repelling the hordes of people who discovered F1 through the fictionalized Drive to Survive series. All we hope is that the final game will keep its promises, and that it will succeed in selling itself to justify the production of future opuses with more ambitious ambitions. Because you have to keep in mind that those looking for a simplified management experience could be quite satisfied with what is offered by Codemasters with F1 22.