The new game is finally here so it is time to share some F1 Manager 2023 tips & tricks with everyone. We've been pouring time into the game and enjoying every minute of it.
F1 Manager 2023 is the second instalment of the officially licensed management game by Frontier Developments and has a huge amount of managerial decisions for players to make as Team Principals of a Formula 1 team. If you are new to the sport or a 20-year fan there will be plenty of complicated choices to make in this game.
So here are a few of our tips & tricks to master F1 Manager 2023.
Practice makes setups perfect
The first session of the race weekend is practice. Sometimes you'll get three practices before qualifying, sometimes it's only one. You need to make the most of these sessions, but why?
Well, there are three things you are trying to refine during practice: Track acclimatisation, car parts knowledge, and setup satisfaction. Each of these impact your driver's performance and the basic premise is that a big number is good!
Track acclimatisation starts from zero every weekend and can only be built up by running laps out on track. That means even if it's raining you should be out there pounding in the times.
Car parts knowledge does carry over from race to race but will drop when you introduce a new upgrade. This again improves with laps completed, so get out on the track.
F1 Manager 2023 setups require perfecting a five-slider balance to put the car exactly where your driver likes it. Unlike F1 23 there is no universality here, each driver will like things a little differently, and it will even change year to year as your car performance changes.
There are some shortcuts you can make, like maxing out the wings at Monaco and dropping them all at Monza, but overall it is a careful balancing act.
After about 15-20 laps your drivers will give you feedback on the current setup, narrowing the ranges you want to hit for each of the bias sliders.
It might not take you long to get this perfected, it might take an age. Any loss in track running, like a crash, will limit the amount of feedback you can get back and the number of times you can tweak things.
Setups aren't the be-all-and-end-all in F1 Manager 2023 but they help your driver confidence and provide small stat boosts for the race. It's also important to note that lap time doesn't matter for any of these three factors, so you want to make sure you are using well-worn engines, ERS units, and gearboxes, saving your healthiest units for qualifying and the race. Just remember to swap them back in for Q1!
In Formula 1 you will see drivers do two or three laps per session, trying to get a banker lap in or just desperate to find the extra time to get into the next session.
This isn't something you need to do in F1 Manager 2023, but it can be beneficial. The track is always at its fastest at the end of the session than at the start, so you can sit in the garage and save tyres in qualifying by only doing one run. While end-of-session flags and stoppages can happen they are extremely rare.
The risk here is traffic. AI cars are woeful at getting out of the way if they are on an in- or out-lap so if you get caught behind one it will RUIN your lap.
A clean run at the end of the session is worth a good few tenths on a clean run in the middle, and the gap is even bigger from one at the start. Get caught in traffic though and you are in a lot of trouble.
Of course, the one exception here is
The race is when it all happens. Points are on the line and they can be the difference between keeping your job and getting the boot!
The most important tip for race day is that the pause button is there for a reason. Sure, it's not realistic but you also don't have a whole team of strategists with massive computing power, weather radars, and sim data to help you. So if a safety car comes out or rain is on the way don't be afraid to hit pause and assess all your options before inputting them and hitting play again.
With that cleared up let's look first at the tools you have for a typical race before diving into some of the wilder scenarios.
The main tool in your arsenal when it comes to racing is the ERS. You can tell your driver to deploy the electric boost, which will give them a real surge to lap time, to keep it neutral, to do a little top-up per lap or to do a big harvest.
The key is to never let your battery run out unless you really have to. Having something left in the tank will stop your lap times dropping dramatically. ERS is best used to close up into DRS range, or to break the DRS gap to the car behind. Once you have completed that you can flip the ERS deploy back to neutral or even to top up to make sure you've got the juice for another charge.
The Pirelli rubber plays a huge part in the race. Keeping your tyres in good condition will prevent you from taking additional pitstops and also keep your lap times strong.
The important thing is to not let your tyres get below 30% wear. This is the "cliff edge" and performance will rapidly deteriorate after this point. You can hold on another lap or two if the rain hasn't quite arrived yet or there aren't many laps left, but keeping tyres healthy is key to a good race.
One driver attribute, smoothness, is particularly effective for this. Drivers with high smoothness ratings will be kinder to their tyres, letting them last longer and be able to push harder on them without overheating.
Speaking of overheating. You can get away with being slightly too hot on your tyres, but once you get a "moderate overheating" warning you should back off a little as tyres that are too hot wear rapidly and are less grippy.
The third and final tool in your command arsenal is fuel. This is a three-point system of telling your driver how hard to push. Balanced will see you nicely to the end of the race with enough fuel, while push will burn the gas much quicker and could lead to you running out but you will be faster while you use it. Conserve, rather obviously, will conserve your fuel but make you slower.
It is important not to forget about flipping one driver up or down and leaving them there. You can run out of fuel in the race and leave your driver stranded on the side of the track!
Reacting to safety cars
The virtual safety car (VSC) or safety car (SC) comes out when there is debris from a crash on the track. The VSC slows everyone down but keeps them circulating while the full SC will see the safety car itself come out and back the field up into a long snake behind it.
Both of these are an opportunity to turn everything down. As soon as one of them comes up on screen you should drop your tyres and fuel usage to conserve and your ERS to harvest.
It's also a great time to make a pit stop. With drivers lapping at reduced speed, your effective time loss for a pit stop is much less than it otherwise would be. It is a tricky decision if stopping under a safety car is worthwhile or not, but if your tyres are worn and you would be stopping in five laps time you might as well come in. It's also a good chance to put some fresh softs on if you are near the end of the race and won't lose too many positions.
The only thing to be aware of is that the safety car will rarely be upgraded to a red flag, so making a marginal stop that costs you a few positions can soon be undone by a red flag. Watch the crash highlight and if it is spectacular and involved 3 or more cars there is a risk of a red flag.
For more articles like this, take a look at our F1 page.