F1 Manager 2023 Review

Richard Walker

Last year, developer Frontier Developments released F1 Manager 2022, its first foray into Formula One management, in which you adopt the role of Team Principal for any of the season's official constructors. It was comprehensive, dizzyingly detailed stuff, covering practically every facet of running a motorsport team. So, where to go next? The answer is to add more things, of course, although, fundamentally, F1 Manager 2023 is a very similar experience to last year's game.

Iterative it might seem, but there's still ample reason to invest in F1 Manager 2023, the most significant of which is the new Race Replay mode. Enabling you to relive and rewrite any of the 2023 season's races (stopping Red Bull Racing and Max Verstappen's flawless run, if you're good enough), Race Replay is entirely separate to the main Career Mode, and your sole objective is to improve upon your chosen team's real-life result.

Race Replay is perhaps the best thing about F1 Manager 2023, its live race results presenting a new challenge after each Grand Prix has finished, including a 'Race Moment' challenge in which you're assigned an objective to complete as a specific team. Alongside Scenarios, Race Replay is a comparatively bitesized way to play F1 Manager 2023, outside of the far more involved Career Mode, where there's a mind-bending array of tasks to be taken care of in your role as Team Principal.

Researching and manufacturing new parts, determining the optimum setup for your car, managing the morale and confidence of your drivers, planning out race strategies, maintaining and upgrading your facilities, scouting for new drivers (from F2 and F3) and engineers, keeping your staff happy, ensuring your pit crew is amply trained and well-rested, making promises to sponsors, and countless other errands have to be seen to before you even think about hitting the race track. At times, playing F1 Manager 2023 can feel like an actual job. One you're not getting paid to do, no less.

Your hard work pays off once you get to race day, however, and take your team through Practice and Qualifying sessions, before the Grand Prix proper. It's at this point that you discover just how easy it is to run a successful Formula One team into the ground. During my time with this year's Career Mode, I decided to kick Toto Wolff out and take over as Team Principal at Mercedes, hoping for a mid-level challenge. Little did I realise how bloody difficult it would be.

It doesn't help that every Grand Prix during my 2023 season was beset by ludicrously improbable events. On the first corner of the Bahrain GP (race one on the 2023 calendar), Hamilton and Russell managed to run into one another, causing damage to the side pods of one car, and the front wing of the other. Both needed to box to the pits for repairs, meaning the race was essentially over before it started. A couple of races later, and two thirds into said race, Bottas rammed Russell into the tyre wall. Another race ruined. My first go at Race Replay, and Charles Leclerc's Ferrari went spinning into the gravel on turn two of lap one. Great.

The trouble with all of this, of course, is that real-life Formula One is almost never that eventful. Cars are more reliable than ever in modern F1, and driver error is remarkably rare. In F1 Manager 2023, chaos reigns, and too many times a Grand Prix can be lost to something totally unpredictable. The solution? Make regular mid-session saves so you can go back and try again when something out of your control screws up your race.

F1 Manager 2023 leaves no stone unturned when it comes to the level of sheer depth and detail, then, and the broadcast-style visuals (including the addition of a new inside-helmet driver's-eye view) and slick presentation are impressive. But be warned: this year's game is tough. Really tough. Failure to prepare for a Grand Prix is preparing to fail, and, invariably, your race will go adrift should you overlook something or get the racing strategy wrong.

Like last year's game, each Grand Prix can be managed in granular detail as it unfolds, enabling you to set your driver's tactics, instruct them to attack or drive conservatively to manage tyre wear and temperature, activate ERS, keep an eye on your fuel load, and pit when necessary. You're in control of everything, except for the mad unpredictable shit. Still, there's a meditative joy to tinkering with options, setting up your car, keeping your team running, and then managing a Grand Prix, like you're sat on a stool behind the pit wall, doing it for real. Sort of.

Whether it's worth upgrading to F1 Manager 2023 if you've already racked up hours in last year's game is debatable. Race Replay is a worthwhile addition, and, if it's possible, there's even more intricate detail covering every conceivable facet of being a Team Principal. Do you want to do it all over again? If the answer to that question is yes, then get on it. And, if you've yet to revel in the menus and options, then F1 Manager 2023 is a good place to start.

F1 Manager 2023

Not exactly a huge leap over last year's game, F1 Manager 2023 is nonetheless an impressively deep, all-encompassing motorsport management sim, with an enjoyable new Race Replay mode. Just don't expect any huge, sweeping changes.

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More monosyllabic radio chatter from all 20 F1 drivers and team engineers, as well as a bit of music on the menus. Functional.


A few slightly slow-loading textures in the game's menus let the side down a little, but the TV broadcast-style presentation is superb.


All of the game's myriad options are well laid out and clearly presented, while on the track, strategies and other settings are intuitive and easy to adjust. Comprehensive tutorials and hints will also get you up to speed.


As if the massive, all-encompassing Career wasn't enough, Race Replay and Scenarios add even more longevity. Whether you'll want to put in the hard work to get the most of it, however, is really down to how patient you are.


A nice, modest list that covers plenty of bases and goes light on the grind. This is a very digestible, nicely thought out trophy list.

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