August 30, 2022
It’s surprising that it has taken 22 years for another Formula One management sim to see the light of day, but here we are. With the popularity of the sport rising across the globe, Frontier has taken the ball and ran with it, taking a superb approach to the sport and giving fans a thorough yet enjoyable opportunity to run one of the 10 official teams in F1, starting off in the 2022 season with authenticity and style. No matter your knowledge on F1, there’s an entry point for all skill levels, and with a strong tutorial, it won’t take long until you’re leading your team to new heights.
There’s plenty to do as part of your team, with all roads eventually leading to race weekend. Everything you do will have an impact on performance, and even the small changes, whether the implementation of a new car part or changing your compound approach on race day, F1 Manager 22 is a rich and satisfying experience. Jumping in without any guidance would be career suicide, even for those that have plenty of knowledge about the sport. Frontier has built in a tutorial that doesn’t drown you with information, but rather layers its approach so you’re never overwhelmed.
You’ll manage everything you can possibly imagine in F1 Manager 22. It’s an incredibly deep game that not only gives you plenty to do between races, but makes the race weekend and exciting time that keeps you invested throughout every lap. You’ll spend times being hands-on with how your cars can be improved, from upgrading facilities and hiring staff, to manufacturing specific car parts. Not only are you making your races go as smooth and successful as possible, you’re tasked with just how you approach this. Spending lots of money on carefully building a new suspension or underflooring takes time, but there’s less chance of error.
If you choose to throw more staff at the job and rush this process, it can mean your parts are ready sooner, but it could have a detrimental impact on performance. You’re always managing progress, whether its upgrading or building from scratch, as well as keeping the board happy and meeting certain sponsorship goals. There’re always fine lines you need to stay between. Mistakes will be made, but you’re never punished for making them. Instead, F1 Manager 22 offers a ton of options for you to make your team a success. Going with Red Bull or Ferrari will potentially reap rewards faster than say, Williams, but taking those unsuccessful teams on might provide more satisfaction in the long run.
Whatever your decisions, the menu designs are clear and filled with information. Data regarding how your team performs week-to-week, emails that share vital information about production, rival teams, and updates on all of your choices fill each menu. You can view track data for upcoming races, a full rundown of your staff and drivers including scouting opportunities for new ones, and so much more. You’ve always got something to do, yet you never feel rushed or out of your depth, thanks to the simple presentation. As good as this is, it wouldn’t mean anything unless the actual thrill of the race weekend is worth investing your time in, and again, the developers get this right in almost every way.
When it comes to entering practice laps, qualifiers, and the actual race, you’re given tons of options with how to approach every facet. Like much of the game, you can give certain responsibilities to your staff so that you’re not doing everything. With race weekends, you can simulate practice laps and the qualifiers, but playing through these are what makes F1 Manager 22 so enjoyable. All your hard work throughout the season can be seen by improvements to where you’re positioned for the race, whether that’s from fitting a new part or adjusting your tyre strategy in reaction to the weather or course.
During the race, you can either watch your drivers from the cockpit or above the car, getting involved in minute details for the duration of the race. With some races taking in excess of an hour or so depending on the speed in which you watch it, you can make tiny changes at every turn, or simply speed up the race to x16 the normal pace. While you’re not driving the cars yourself, it still feels as though your right there in the car. Managing pace, when to enter the pit stop, ERS deployment, or fuel usage, you can be in complete control if you wish. If you’d rather just blast through races, the option to watch from a birds eye view where cars appear as spots on a track, you can. Even when this view is in effect, action slows back down to a normal pace if something of note happens.
For example, if there’s a crash on the track, you’re told through a member of your team, and you can even watch a replay of it happening. These random and potentially positive mistakes by other drivers can be exciting, but they can also impact you if you’re involved. It doesn’t have the same flair and detail as EA Sports F1 22, but it’s still looks good. Crashes, car and track designs, and weather isn’t as detailed, but the visuals are still strong. F1 Manager 22 features real audio from your team and drivers as they communicate on the radio, offering 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 adore the sport, but if you’re new to Formula One or want a more casual experience, the game caters for you too. Menus are designed for ease of use, and the visuals and audio on race weekends is impressive despite the main focus being on the behind the scenes of the sport. Some of the elements of day-to-day tasks aren’t particularly thrilling, and some of the emails don’t exactly do much to excite, but they are things Frontier Developments can work on for future iterations. For now, though, there’s plenty for fans to get stuck into and enjoy.
Plenty of depth
Great authenticity on race weekends
Welcoming to new players
Some jobs are dull to complete
Replays and visuals aren't as strong as other racers
F1 Manager 22 is a strong step back into managing a Formula One team, with plenty of depth and a thrilling race weekend experience.