What we learned from playing the new F1 Manager 2024 game

F1 Manager 2024 is the third installment in the management game franchise developed by Frontier, a series that generated a lot of hype and never quite lived up to it.

With this year’s game, the developers have once again focused their efforts on the off-track side of the game.

A number of new features and refinements to existing features have been made to make each career mode more personalized and less repetitive in the long run.

We took a hands-on look at the game and delved into the off- and on-track portions of F1 Manager 2024 to see what exactly has changed and how much progress the series has made.

The most important new feature

The main addition to this year’s episode is the ability to create your own team and manage it as the eleventh participant on the grid. Our time with the game allowed us to create a team and compete with it in the first race of the season.

What’s immediately clear is that many cues have been taken from the EA and Codemasters F1 series of games when it comes to the user interface and team creation. The paint scheme design system is very similar in terms of color and finish options and customization of pre-made paint scheme templates.

However, it sets itself apart from the main F1 series by being able to have gradients in your liveries and driver racing suits, as well as having more control over sponsor placements.

There are six different ‘origins’ – which act as different starting scenarios for your team. Ultimately, though, you have control over how much money you start with, the quality of your car and your team’s facilities, your powertrain supplier and who you employ.

A backmarker quality outfit limits your options for drivers and backroom staff, but you always get a choice of some existing F1 drivers, those in the feeder categories and some of the game’s fictional staff.

If you choose real staff, the other ten teams will respond accordingly. So the signing of Alex Albon to our created team meant that Williams started 2024 with F2 driver Richard Verschoor racing alongside Logan Sargeant.

Of course, the image of an F1 team would not be complete without sponsor logos on your car and racing suits of the drivers. Running your own team means signing your own sponsorship deals, with each potential backer offering different amounts under different conditions.

We have not been able to test how much this affects the functioning of the team in the long term. But from race to race you’ll need to select certain events to meet a pre-agreed engagement target – similar to the activities in F1 23’s ‘My Team’ mode.

Unlike Codemasters, Frontier allows you to manually position, scale, rotate and color your sponsor’s logos on your car and racing suits, rather than just placing them in certain preset slots. That same level of customization also applies when creating your own team’s logo.

This is accompanied by pre-race objectives that you set for each of your drivers, with higher promised results earning you more money if you reach your target. It’s a system that will be familiar to anyone who has played any of the Motorsport Manager games.

Mechanical failures

Previous F1 Manager games have emphasized the racing side of running an F1 team, but a major omission in F1 Manager 2022 and 2023 was the lack of random reliability errors.

In previous entries they only occurred when a part was completely empty, and that would require a lot of negligence and cost you huge amounts of lap time long before your car stopped working.

New to F1 Manager 2024 is the inclusion of completely random mechanical faults that vary in severity. On the one hand, there are small, temporary ERS problems that prevent your driver from having full electric power for a few laps.

And on the other hand, there are problems that can force a retirement. This also applies to the AI ​​teams – with Charles Leclerc missing out on a potential podium finish due to a mechanical problem during our session.

Our time with the game also included a period managing a Red Bull team that, appropriately enough, suffered some significant mechanical problems during the Australian GP.

Both drivers started the race in the midfield with no car problems, but as the laps progressed the list of problems started to pile up.

Max Verstappen got the better end of the deal as by the time his car suffered some major problems he had the track position and just enough speed in hand to hold on to first place even with Lando Norris having just drove around a little faster behind it.

Sergio Perez, on the other hand, had ERS problems early on, which left him stuck in the middle of the pack and slowly fell further back. Minimal electrical power combined with possible gearbox and engine problems meant that, despite our efforts, he finished in a modest 15th place.

There are some steps you can take to prevent problems from developing or worsening, such as telling your drivers to stay away from high-risk curbs and drive in clean air. These instructions already existed in the previous games, but seemed to be of little use until now.

Improved driver market

This includes a few individual changes, not all of which we were able to experience during our time with the game.

What we were able to gain insight into is the all-new connected driver system, which essentially allows you to create your own driver academy. All drivers you have as affiliates are looking for places in F2 and F3 and can be called up for FP1 sessions.

The affiliated drivers also include the drivers of the F1 Academy. While the women-only series itself is not featured in the game, the full line-up is also not present, although the final roster of drivers for the game has yet to be fully confirmed.

Recruiting affiliates is the same as any driver and they are signed via the updated negotiation system.

In short, there’s room for a little more back and forth, because you can do that so the person you’re negotiating with has to respond immediately, or you can give him or her time to think about the proposal, and then he or she can give you a clear answer. -offer.

Their patience in the negotiations will also be determined by their general mood, which is helpfully outlined and explained by the F1 Manager 2024 mentality system.

Car performance, their opinion of you as team boss, their existing contract and many other factors all influence their view of your team.

Another new facet of the negotiations is the inclusion of escape clauses. That ties in with something we haven’t seen happen yet, but certainly one of the most notable changes for this year: the fact that drivers and backroom staff can be taken away early and unexpectedly by rival teams.

On top of all of the above, there is the all-new heli-cam perspective to view the races and the ability to fully simulate races. The latter is especially useful for players who do not want to invest the time required to oversee every race, but would like to continue with their chosen team for several seasons.

F1 Manager 2024 will be released on July 23. There are standard and deluxe editions available for £29.99 and £39.99 respectively. The deluxe edition comes with five historically-inspired patterns for the create-a-team mode, along with five additional ‘Race Replay’ scenarios.

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