Launching a new sports management franchise is never easy, but Frontier took the big step last year and released F1 Manager 2022. It marked the first release of a multi-year license agreement that brings the job of Formula 1 Team Principal to life like no other game.
While a good first game on its own merits, last year’s title failed to live up to the expectations of some in the community. With things like DRS balance, development metas, and bugs getting worked on via patches, the game slowly morphed into what it is today.
Now though, Frontier is announcing F1 Manager 2023, with some new mechanisms to add a degree of depth and strategy to the game that wasn’t present last year. So what does the new game have to offer to fans? Let’s take a look.
F1 Manager 2023 preview
We got an early look at the major features coming to the F1 Manager series this year. While we couldn’t play the game ourselves, we got a preview at the hands of Game Director Andy Fletcher, Executive Producer Stuart Warren and Senior Producer Lloyd Morgan-Moore.
It’s safe to say we were impressed with what we saw. There are plenty of new features this year and they are all aimed at one thing, adding more depth. From in-race improvements to more layers of decision-making required in car development, staffing, and driver/crew growth. It all looks like a big step forward for the series.
Of course the proof is always in the playing, but from what we’ve seen so far things look good for the wannabe Team Principals out there. Let’s start with the most exciting bit…
We all play this game to manage a team on race day, and now there are more races to manage as sprint races will be included in F1 Manager 2023.
The six sprint events will follow the real-world ones, with the same qualifying & race structure and tyre regulations so there is plenty to manage.
It will also mean needing to build up a few more spares just in case of incidents!
New staff member leads to revised pitting systems
A new staff member is joining the crew for F1 Manager 2023, the Sporting Director. We occasionally hear them on the team radio for races, but often they are the ones dealing with communication to and from the FIA, manage logistics, and handle a lot of the non-car related stuff that goes into a race weekend.
In F1 Manager 2023, the Sporting Director will be chiefly responsible for training and handling the pit crew, as the whole pit stop mechanic is getting an overhaul to be more reflective of your decision-making.
You can just hire your Sporting Director and leave them to get on with things, or you can get hands-on with a new training screen for your pit crew. Here you will have to balance the speed and consistency of your pit crew.
You can improve how quickly they can perform duties but that increases the risk of things going wrong in the race. You also need to make sure they are well-rested, otherwise you may find them slower AND more error-prone.
It's a lot to manage, but is sure to be a great way of expressing your own style within F1 Manager 2023.
Scout for the future
While you will start your F1 Manager 2023 saves at the start of the 2023 season, if you are to be ready for the years to come you will want to keep an eye on the junior talent in F2 and F3. In F1 Manager 2023, the game will now simulate Formula 2 and Formula 3 sessions, allowing you to track the performance of the next generation.
With the simulation of sessions comes more natural driver growth and development. Speaking of which…
Revised development & contracts
In F1 Manager 2022 drivers just accrued XP that players could assign to skills. That was ok, but not ideal. Well, this year things are changing. You can now assign your driver a development focus which will see them put their efforts into a certain part of their skill set and auto-assign points when they have then accrued enough XP.
Players will also see veteran drivers fade over time, with any regression tied to performances. If they aren’t scoring points, qualifying well, and making overtakes then their lack of results will start to show up in their attributes. And if they are out of the car completely their skills will erode even faster.
Likewise, the ability for reserve drivers to passively progress is limited this year, with their room for growth hampered by a lack of racing laps. So maybe you will be better off leaving your favourite F2 driver in the lower tier rather than grabbing them early!
When it comes to signing drivers, you can now agree contracts ahead of time for them to come in at the start of the new season. This means you can execute a true “silly season” and get your lineup set without disrupting your current lineup. Unless you want to of course!
There are more decisions, and more critical challenges, than before in F1 Manager 2023. The inbox will have choices to make that cascade into other ones, while budget caps will be trickier to manage than last year and car development has undergone substantial changes.
After each session, aero parts will undergo scrutiny to check for wear, which will affect their performance. As a result, you might want to keep a few more spares around or you can specifically build in better durability, at the cost of ultimate performance. The choice is yours.
Race day immersion
As we already mentioned, sprint races are coming to the game, but what else is changing on race day? The primary one is driver confidence. This will give you an indication of how they are performing, and also how willing they will be to take a daring risk and push the car to its limits.
If a driver has high confidence then your command to push for an overtake is more likely to be successful, and if they have low confidence then they could struggle. Will this be a vicious cycle like Daniel Ricciardo’s stint at McLaren? We don’t yet know but hopefully this new dynamic will reproduce the ebbs and flow of a season.
Tyres have also had an overhaul, with surface and carcass temperatures now coming into play. As any F1 fan knows, tyres are a crucial aspect of race management, and this added layer will make your pace commands all the more impactful to the overall performance of your team.
It will be much harder to just push all race, with tyres overheating and losing grip. Your driver commands will be reflected by different lines that the driver takes. Order them to push and they will start to take more aggressive lines and use kerbs more. Of course this comes with risks, but if you tell them to back off it will lead to coasting into corners and safer lines.
These visible indicators will also give you clues about what the other teams are doing, and all of these extra decisions and options you have in F1 Manager 2023 will be decisions the AI teams have to take as well. All of which should lead to a better and more rounded game.
Race Replay is an exciting new game mode coming to F1® Manager 2023, which will bring players closer to every twist and turn in the 2023 Formula One® World Championship, allowing them to rewrite key moments.
We’ll have more to share on this with players soon.
F1 Manager 2023 release date
While there isn’t an official F1 Manager 2023 release date just yet, we do have a release window to share.
F1 Manager 2023 is slated to release in Summer 2023. This points to a similar late-August release as we saw last year. With F1 23 coming out two weeks earlier this year, we may see F1 Manager move up the calendar as well, but we’ll have to wait and find out!
F1 Manager 2023 will be available on PC, via Steam & Epic Games Store, as well as on both the PS4 & PS5 and Xbox One & Xbox Series X|S consoles. PC players can only purchase the game digitally, while console players can buy a physical version or a digital one from their console store.
For more articles like this, take a look at our F1 page.