F1 Manager 2022 Review

Richard Walker

My dearly departed grandad is to blame for my love of Formula One, but until playing F1 Manager 2022, I don't think I realised just how little I understood the myriad complexities and intricacies that come with the job of an F1 constructor's Team Principal. Offering a unique glimpse into the role, Jurassic World Evolution developer Frontier puts its expertise in making management games to good use, immersing you in the world of Formula One in a very different way to Codemasters' F1 series. Where that game is primarily about the driving, F1 Manager 2022 is all about getting neck-deep in the details – crunching the numbers and coming up with the right strategies to win races. If you're obsessed with all things F1, you'll be in petrol-soaked nirvana.

It's not as overwhelming as it looks, honest.

For anyone with only a passing fancy in Formula One on the other hand, F1 Manager 2022 may seem somewhat impenetrable, although the game's guidance system does a fantastic job in gently easing you in to the intricacies of tyre strategies, the process of developing new car parts, hiring staff, managing your budget cap, and the numerous other facets you'll need to get to grips with. That's before you even get to race day and its preceding practice and qualifying sessions, much of which you can simulate by delegating the task to your crew, if you'd rather not sink the requisite time into doing it all yourself.

This isn't quite so simple when managing a race proper, as there are myriad factors that you'll need to be mindful of as the laps go by, and events can change on a dime. Keeping an eye on your fuel level, knowing when to push to overtake, deploying the Energy Recovery System (ERS) at the optimum moment, and employing the best possible tyre strategy are some of the surface-level concerns you're constantly juggling, which is moderately straightforward when you're overseeing a race in real-time. But winning races – and, vitally, supporting both of your team's drivers – demands complete focus, and an ability to deftly flip between making decisions for one car and then the other. It can be remarkably tricky.

It's all too easy to zone in on a single driver and neglect the other, especially if one is already in an embattled position - you may as well leave them behind and put your energy into the driver in the best place to score points. As Ferrari's Team Principal, I found it far simpler to stick Sainz on hard tyres on a one-stop strategy I'd hoped would help him finish at a more favourable placement, and put more effort into ensuring Leclerc took the podium, but, then, it all went spectacularly wrong for the Spanish driver. Sainz's tyres fell short of their predicted lifespan, and blew out during the penultimate lap – this is but one example of how your best-laid plans can go awry, and there are countless other ways even the most elegantly orchestrated strategy is prone to unforeseen occurrences.

Frontier clearly has a deep understanding of how Formula One works, then, covering every conceivable little detail of the motorsport. Casual players will likely feel out of their depth, despite the clarity and intuitive layout of the game's menus, and the ease with which you can get an overview of a race as it unfolds. Being able to pause the race to tinker with settings, or speed it up (you can fast forward the race up to x16, if you like) once you're comfortable enough with your setup to let a few laps rolls by without your intervention, also lends you a nice sense of control over proceedings, so you don't necessarily have to stay glued to your cars as they navigate each and every corner.

Leaving your drivers to their own devices without your input is a risk, of course, and, thankfully, the game will always return to normal speed should something major crop up mid-race, ensuring you never miss anything important. Preparation before a race is also crucial, as failing to develop and manufacture new parts for your car will see you falling behind, but it's how you manage a race, and make the big decisions that ultimately determine the outcome. Performance targets for sponsors provide an element of risk vs. reward, as you can lose money for making promises you fail to keep, but scoop a hefty payout if you manage to deliver the goods.

Expect to tussle with these lads A LOT.

Getting lost in F1 Manager 2022's menus, fiddling with options, shuffling staff, designing car parts, upgrading and maintaining facilities all feed into the experience, and when a strategy you've put some thought into works out, and your minute-to-minute choices come good, it's immensely gratifying. Having to adapt to changing, unpredictable conditions, or working around a mechanical failure or driver error will also keep you on your toes, just like the real-life motorsport. Given the sheer depth and detail on offer in F1 Manager, it's not exactly the sort of thing you'd casually play on a whim, but if you've the time and inclination to put the effort into a full season, Frontier's game proves to be compelling and rewarding in equal measure.

F1 Manager 2022

F1 Manager 2022 succeeds in being an engaging experience, immersing you in the various intricacies and minutiae of running a constructor, while determining the ideal race strategy – you can't help but feel fully invested.

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Voice work from every one of the 2022 season's official drivers lend authenticity to the radio exchanges, although most are monosyllabic, while the soundtrack and commentary from David Croft and Karun Chandhok contribute to the race day atmosphere.


Frontier has gone to great lengths to ensure F1 Manager 2022's broadcast-style presentation is spot on, while car models and driver likenesses are robust. There are one or two visual hiccups now and again, like textures popping in, but overall, if looks pretty good.


The dizzying number of options and menus to navigate could have made F1 Manager a real headache, but, even when using a controller, everything is logically and intuitively laid out, making your job as Team Principal marginally less complicated.


While it would have been nice to have a few extra options beyond the core career, it seems slightly churlish to bemoan such an in-depth and impeccably put together management game. If you're into Formula One and fancy a go at being a team boss, you won't feel shortchanged.


A rather bland and unimaginative list, which covers all of the rudimentary milestones you'd expect. Win a race, achieve pole position, complete a season, design a car part, fit a car part, yada yada yada. There are only 29 trophies (plus the Platinum), too, which makes this list seem like a bit of an afterthought.

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