Formula 1’s exhilarating, high-octane action has been able to engross fans globally, keeping a keen eye on the sport for over a seventy-four years. The palpable presentation behind its dazzling presentation, is of course its risk factor, inviting onlookers to watch in amazement as a fierce flurry of professional motorsport racers vie for pole position, leaving second best in their dust, while sharing the spoils with their team. F1 Manager 23 gives fans a peek behind the curtain of what it feels like to be a part of the crew, without being behind the wheel. The appetite of winning is certainly evident, as you guide your driver through multiple locations, learning the ways of F1’s team management, while directing the action that occurs with your designated driver on the track.
The allure of being in charge is what makes F1 Manager 23 all so entertaining, but the stress that’s involved gives teachable moments for the uninitiated, and those that aren’t as acclimated with the sport itself. As for gamers that loved its predecessor, and primary entry to the franchise, apart from aesthetic differences and few updates, you’ll immediately jump into its next iteration without a worry or any need to tutorialise. However, newcomers will need to get a basic grasp on how to manage, navigate and execute various strategies to successfully get their crew member across the finish line.
Let me preface this entire review by stating, if you’re going to pick this up, and you have a PC with capable hardware to run the title, then it’s definitely made for that platform. While I appreciate a multi-port benefactor, the pacing can be quite turbulent on home console using a controller. While it’s not troublesome, it’s not ideal in quickly making changes on the fly. With that said, F1 Manager 23 is an incredibly engrossing and addictive strategy title from start to finish. Running seasonal simulation campaigns, it delivers a diverse look at motorsport’s third-wheel behind the pit, leading the charge. As team manager, your responsibilities also require you to sought sponsors which can be crucial to funding, keeping up with cost measurements, facility maintenance and scouting expertise from hopefuls looking to get their foot into the industry.
While it’s all explicably fun at first, the tension of tendering to your teams needs does get tedious further into your season. The title reminds you that this is a simulator, not a racing game and it does so with having put your management skills to the ultimate test. Morale is metered, as you do your best to keep up with crew members, while scheduling your next trip to practice with your superstar driver. I stumbled into overworking my crew once, but this was an oversight as I wasn’t thinking of the campaign as a realistic situation, but more an item to check off the box. I had to be sure that my morale was in check and everything was kept in balance to keep my team happy, which boosts the overall performance of my driver. But of course, practice makes perfect which is called upon for you and your team in a variety of instances here.
Burning rubber and marking your territory, you need to be sure to train your racer before the big day and this means getting pivotal members out to the track which can be arduous, but is needed to help improve a myriad of facets that come with understanding the complexity of being the person on the headset. On track, it’s your job to pace your driver appropriately, while keeping their confidence at bay. You can’t have them be overly confident, or they will take it upon themselves to be reckless, but keeping it in check will help you as a manager steer them into consistent wins. Objectives are highlighted, including avoiding kerbs, keeping the peace with teammates and simply directing traffic by telling your driver to either overtake or defend their position as safely as they can. It’s certainly an interesting peek into how coaching your crew can be a divisive, yet satisfying experience.
F1 Manager 23 promises to deliver a fantastic fix for those that want to be in control from a mission statement, rather than making marks on the tarmac.
Now it’s important to state an overwhelming amount of information will confuse some players on orientation here. Initially confronted with an absolute avalanche of information, I found myself quickly studying the how-to’s and whatnot’s of the simulator’s gameplay loop, not to mention the abundance of options that are present from simply starting a new campaign. It’s not to be taken for granted that the tools at your disposal will exponentially aid your journey off the track, but it can be quite tedious to overcome the onslaught of tasks that may apprehend you from training your driver, or simply talking to crew members that are suffering from trepidation. Your business acumen will be tested overall, but the gratification of a successful race day is a sensational pay off in the end. Just keep in mind, if playing on console, it’s an extreme time sink as you skirt through a plethora of choices, again aiding my plea to pick this up on PC.
✔️ An in-depth look into motorsports’ management, not just from the inside the shed, but outside too.
✔️ Engaging and engrossing. Will keep players busy for hours with multiple objectives to complete.
✔️ Showcases the glitz and glamour, while players experience the hardships and triumphs.
❌ Few bugs. Nothing a patch can’t fix.
Presentation wise, the game looks great but its primal focus is most certainly on detailing facets from afar, rather than intricate close-ups. While load times are non-existent, it ultimately suffers from exhibiting a dated look, with some models looking polygonal, low resolution textures, and environments with little detail added. At times, the rush of a race day is flattened by a desolate and robotic overlay. It can be a saddening sight, but overall this is second to what the gameplay is targeting here. It’s about management, but added polish to the action would have gone a long way, delivering the perfect F1 Management simulator, rather than focusing its attention on one lane.
Keeping the immersion alive, commentary from BBC’s official Formula 1 broadcasting team details the events occurring on the track, while this intends to give the player audible cues to shift and change strategies on the fly, making for an exciting and sometimes unexpected turn of events. The importance of a successful race day is the aim, with goals met to earn an exponential bank flow to pay off your staff. This is also reflected on overall performance, as everything develops an escalating or cascading effect, depending on how well crew members follow your instructions.
Viewing your handy work through multiple windows, precarious events can be nerve wracking while spectating your driver on-screen. You can change the view of your team’s automobile, giving you the chance to get up-close into the action, all while aiding your driver on their cumbersome sixty lap escapade. The anxieties, the adrenaline rush and the frustration are all felt watching on from the team’s shed while you can only do your best to steer the action behind the scenes, while fine tuning the situation on the fly. An genuine and authentic experience is certainly felt here and is a major factor for fans that are looking to dive into the deep end of Formula 1 action, from a business perspective rather than the rush of the track.
With that said, F1 Manager 23 demonstrates how a racing simulator can deliver an influx of emotion through simple tasks and various mission statements. From being a manager, a mentor, and a coach, it’s all relative to becoming one with your career as the best on race day, whether you’re in the cockpit or screaming directives into your drivers headset from the shed. I never thought I would be as invested in a simulation title as I was with F1 Manager, but again it’s definitely a ton of fun for those that adore the sport, or even the casual fan that just wants to chill with something different. F1 Manager 23 promises to deliver a fantastic fix for those that want to be in control from a mission statement, rather than making marks on the tarmac.
F1 Manager 2023 is an sports management game developed and published by Frontier Developments. It is the official racing management simulation game of the 2023 Formula One, Formula 2, and Formula 3 championships.