F1 Manager 2024 Hands-On Preview: Create a Team is a Real Race-Changer

F1 Manager 2024 Hands-On Preview: Create a Team is a real race-changer


F1 Manager 2024 Hands-On Preview: Create a Team is a real race-changer

F1 Manager 2024 is introducing a number of new features to the series. From creating your own team from scratch to managing every team member’s mentality to keep them happy, players will find a range of innovative additions to the game when it launches later this year.

Frontier invited us to get hands-on with F1 Manager 2024 to try out the new Create a Team mode, including managing the team’s first race. We also got to experience another new feature coming to the game.

Establishing the team

Create a Team is by far the standout new feature in F1 Manager 2024. Heavily requested since the series debuted, players finally have the license to create their very own Formula 1 team, taking the eleventh spot in the paddock.

F1 Manager 2024 Hands-On Preview
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Once again, Frontier has taken a game feature and dialed it right up to 11. Every section of the team is customizable, from the name and team colors of your new racing outfit right the way down to the team’s origins. You can also fully customize your starting resources and level, making the game as easy or difficult as you want for your first season.

Every aspect of the team can be edited. Your starting balance can be adjusted to make you filthy rich or barely scraping by, while facilities can be upgraded to the max using the preallocated points. A fine balance is needed for the best results. This is the case for drivers, staff, and operations facilities.

Just designing the team setup is detailed enough, but Create a Team has another trick up its sleeve. Once you have the team’s origins sorted, you get to design the car livery you’ll be racing with.

F1 Manager 2024 Hands-On Preview
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Before you get to the livery editors though, you must first pick your personnel and engine supplier. Depending on your starting resource choices, drivers and staff will be recommended to suit your team’s level. You can, of course, ignore this and choose your favorite drivers and staff to create the team of your dreams.

When swapping out drivers or staff, the game allows you to choose from a select range of options. This can be filtered by rating, age, or whether the person is real or game-generated. This means you can have an entire team filled with regens if you so wish - an option some players will no dfoubt choose to take.

The engine supplier is the only section so far that’s unchanged from previous F1 Manager titles. Players can select from F1's four current engine suppliers (Honda Red Bull Powertrains, Ferrari, Mercedes, and Renault). Each has its own pros and cons, with higher performance leading to less reliability, so it’s important to find the right balance when making your selection.

F1 Manager 2024 Hands-On Preview
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Livery editor

With the team populated, it’s now time to hit the livery editor. Even though your car livery is selected from presets, a lot of customization is available. Three color options per section give players a lot of freedom already, but there’s more.

Each color's finish can also be changed. Five different finishes dramatically change how each color appears, with the fifth being a simple black carbon fiber effect. You can also choose from three different gradient effects to tweak things even more.

Each gradient changes the way colors blend together on the car. Horizontal, vertical, and radial gradients can be used to create the livery exactly the way you want it. This technically means up to six colors can be used together on the car if you’re clever with your design.

Every section of the car can also be recolored, from the wings and side pods right the way down to the halo and wheel hubs. Each can be refinished as well, whether that’s in a nice gloss or a solid matte.

Bespoke liveries can be created during each season too, meaning players can enter every race with a different livery.

F1 Manager 2024 Hands-On Preview
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This customization also applies to designing the team’s logo, race suits, and helmets. Although the suits don’t feature the finish options, each can combine gradients to create the sharpest look on the grid.

For the logo editor, players can create different layers, each with its own shape, character, or background. Once again, this shows the level of customization available when making a logo that only appears a few times during a game.

Sponsors

Before you can hit the track, you must go through one last round of customization options. The team might be established now, but you, as a team principal, are still a blank canvas.

After choosing your name, you can select your experience level with the F1 Manager games, as well as choosing the career difficulty. These determine the difficulty of car upgrades and the races themselves and can be changed at any time once your career has begun.

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Now you’re in the game, there is still one last big decision to make before you can prepare for Bahrain. Sponsors are a huge part of F1, with teams made or broken based on which sponsors they have. Create a Team enables you to select a title sponsor for your team, before selecting up to five other sponsors.

Each sponsor comes with its own demands, with you needing to keep up their engagement or risk losing them as an investor. Engagement can be maintained through a series of sponsor activities, either using your facilities, staff members, or drivers. Whichever sponsor you choose could risk one of these areas having their performance affected, so choose wisely.

Once you’ve selected your sponsors, you’re sent back to the livery editor to add the new sponsors’ logos to the car and your race suits. Again the amount of options are staggering, with players able to change the size, location, and color of each logo on both the car and driver overalls.

F1 Manager 2024 Hands-On Preview
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This is such a small element of the game, but being able to design things exactly how you want is something so many players have been asking for so it will definitely be popular with fans.

At this point in the preview, we managed a race of the Bahrain Grand Prix with little to no fanfare. Our team choices had us as backmarkers, struggling to climb the grid during the race and ultimately finishing right at the back.

Mechanical issues

After completing the race in Bahrain, we were then loaded into a Race Replay set at the Australian Grand Prix. Before starting, we were told that something was likely to break in one of our cars, but we still weren’t prepared for the events that unfolded.

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Managing Red Bull, things started off pretty routine. Even though Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez started in the middle of the grid, Max was pushing for the lead after a few laps.

Both cars were in bad shape, with every component of Verstappen’s engine nearing breaking point while Perez’s car was borderline on most parts. Our aim was to get both drivers as high up the grid as possible without causing a DNF.

Careful management of each driver was required to ensure both came through unscathed. Verstappen eventually took the lead of the race, managing to maintain pace even after two rounds of pitstops, but Perez was dropping back through the field.

At one point during the race, Perez experienced an ERS failure. This led to a period of no overtake being available while his ERS system rebooted, causing him to lose more places.

Then, with a handful of laps to go, Perez came over the radio to say his engine was starting to go. With smoke billowing out the back of the car, he had to retire from the race. His last act before pulling into the pits was to hold up the McLaren duo to buy Verstappen some time, ultimately seeing the three-time world champion take the victory.

F1 Manager 2024 Hands-On Preview
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This event shows off perfectly the new mechanical failure feature in F1 Manager 2024. That save, in particular, was designed to randomize the failure each time, showcasing how players need to be on their toes more than ever this year.

The red herring was Verstappen. Carefully managing his car meant taking our eyes off Perez, so we missed the first signs that his car was in trouble. Perhaps on a different day, both drivers could have taken a 1-2, but that element of randomness is something the F1 Manager series has been crying out for in previous years.

No two races are the same now, with the risk of random failures increasing as the season progresses. Cautious management of race scenarios can prevent DNFs, so players will need to monitor every situation carefully to ensure maximum points.

This, combined with the new Create a Team mode, provides the shot in the arm the F1 Manager series has been crying out for. It also shows once again how Frontier uses community feedback to grow and evolve their games, improving with each iteration.

F1 Manager 2024 release date, preorders, and price

The long-awaited release date was also revealed during our preview. F1 Manager 2024 will arrive in the paddock on July 23. At the time of writing, no early access period has been confirmed.

Two editions of the game will be available at launch. The Standard Edition comes with no perks other than the F1 2024 Show Car Preset in the Create a Team livery editor.

F1 Manager 2024 Hands-On Preview
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The Deluxe Edition, on the other hand, comes with the Show Car Preset, along with five historically inspired livery patterns for Create a Team and five exclusive Race Replay scenarios. Players can also get a 10% discount if they preorder the Deluxe Edition.

The Standard Edition of F1 Manager 2024 can be preordered from today for £29.99 ($34.99). The Deluxe Edition is available to buy for £39.99 ($44.99) before the 10% discount is applied.

F1 Manager 2024 is set to launch on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC via Steam and the Epic Games Store.

Are you looking forward to creating your own team in F1 Manager 2024? Let us know in the comments below!

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