Review | In ‘F1 Manager 22,’ races thrill but off-track play feels like a chore (2023)





F1 Manager 2022

Available on: PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X and Series S, Xbox One

Developer: Frontier Developments | Publisher: Frontier Developments

Release: Aug. 30, 2022

Can a racing game be fun — even if it features no actual racing?

That’s the question you’ll likely be asking yourself as you begin “F1 Manager 22,” a new racing game that tasks players with sifting through menus instead of steering racecars. In many ways, the game is a spiritual successor to Electronic Arts’ “F1 Manager,” released back in 2000, and is one of the most high-profile sports sims since the NFL Head Coach series from the late 2000s.

Unlike the long-standing Formula 1 racing series developed by Codemasters and Electronic Arts, “F1 Manager 22” puts you in the shoes of a Formula 1 team principal, controlling every aspect of your team from staffing to budgets to car development to in-race strategy. Sound like a lot? That’s because it is, and the massive scope of the game is both a blessing and a curse: hardcore Formula 1 fans will lose themselves in the seemingly limitless options of team management, while newcomers to the sport may be turned off by the steep learning curve.

You probably know someone who just got into Formula One

The overall structure of the game is deceptively simple. “Career” is the only gameplay mode available, allowing you to control one of the 10 existing Formula 1 teams and play through as many seasons as you’d like. You can aim for instant success by picking front-runners Ferrari or Red Bull, or choose a struggling team like Williams and try to return it to glory.

Once you’ve picked your team, you’ll be introduced to your headquarters, a central hub of menus that lets you view all sorts of information and make various upgrades and decisions. Visually, it can be a bit overwhelming, and, as with many management games, the controls are best suited for a mouse and keyboard, though Frontier did an admirable job making console controls as intuitive as possible (I played on PS5 and felt comfortable with it after a few races).

As team principal, the options at your disposal are staggering right from the start. You can research new additions for your cars, manufacture spare parts, build new facilities, scout up-and-coming drivers, and even scout opposing teams’ staff members. The level of detail and accuracy here is phenomenal: each team’s actual staff is present, including engineers, technical chiefs, and heads of aerodynamics.

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From the main hub, you’ll also be able to check your in-game email, where the game tries to steer you (no pun intended) in the right direction by making suggestions as to what your next moves should be. The tutorials early on are helpful, though a lot remains unexplained, and you’ll likely spend a good chunk of time at first just familiarizing yourself with the menus and going back and forth to compare stat bonuses of different car and facility upgrades.

Simply put: there’s a lot to take in, and you should be prepared to do some reading.

After making your preparations, you’ll begin the second phase of “F1 Manager 22,” and without question the highlight of the game: a Grand Prix weekend. Accurately following this year’s 22-race season, starting in Bahrain and ending in Abu Dhabi, you’ll guide your drivers through each practice and qualifying sessions (or simulate them, if you’d like to speed things up) as you tweak each car’s setup based on your drivers’ feedback.

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The races themselves are a blast. Featuring commentary from Sky Sports announcers David Croft and Karun Chandhok — and with surprisingly good graphics, especially for a management sim — you oversee all aspects of the race, juggling multiple plates as you determine pit-stop strategies for both of your drivers, tell them how aggressive to race, when to deploy ERS (a battery charge that essentially increases pace), and how much fuel to consume. You can view the races from multiple cinematic camera angles based around your two drivers, and the overall presentation is solid.

I found the majority of the races to be completely absorbing and, to my surprise, even more exciting than most actual racing games. With two cars in play, you’re almost always guaranteed to find yourself in at least a few dramatic scenarios, providing some real edge-of-your-seat entertainment. There is simply nothing more satisfying than switching up your strategy on the fly and guiding your driver to an incredible last-lap overtake to secure a top-10 finish.


You can choose to speed the races up to 16 times normal speed, though I rarely did so in case I’d miss a key moment.

That being said, there’s still room for improvement. AI opponents hardly deviate from the recommended strategies, making it easy to predict what they’ll do. Safety cars and crashes seem to be a rarity — in fact, I encountered only one safety car throughout my first eight races, which is incredibly low for Formula 1. And the otherwise nice graphics are laughably bad during crash replays: animations are jittery, and cars will awkwardly spin into walls with seemingly no visual damage. It’s nearly impossible to tell just how badly a car is banged up based off those poor visual cues.

Once each race concludes, you’ll head back to HQ, where you are inundated with a healthy dose of emails and new suggested tasks as you prepare for the next race. Halfway through my first season, the novelty of these emails began to wear off, and it started to feel like actual work to answer them. You’ll order spare parts, vote on next season’s rules regulations, and build recommended facilities, among a host of other things. By the end of the season, I wished I could turn on my out-of-office and go on vacation.

The esports vision of Lando Norris and McLaren Racing

As you progress to a new season, drivers will swap teams, engineers may retire, and you’ll have to begin tweaking your car’s design to accommodate new provisions. It can be immensely satisfying to slowly achieve your long-term goals (I never thought I’d be so excited to improve my “dirty air cornering”) even if the tedium of the off-track action remains.


Be prepared to sink some time into this game: each race weekend can easily take more than an hour to play, and a full season could run you anywhere from 12 to 25 hours. There’s a lot of content here to keep you busy.

Through it all, though, I couldn’t help but wish that the game had additional gameplay modes to spice things up and make it more accessible for casual fans. A quick-play option to call strategy on a one-off race weekend — at any of Formula 1’s global tracks — would have been a wonderful addition, instead of having to follow the actual race schedule through career mode. Creating your own team from the ground up, a feature available in the Codemasters series, also would have been a nice touch. And there are no multiplayer options whatsoever, which is a real shame, since I would love to wage battle against some of my friends (especially since the AI tends to be so vanilla).

So, who should play this game? Obviously, Formula 1 fanatics will love it — there’s no doubt about that. It’s a tougher sell, though, for casual fans who may just be getting into the sport. Hopefully, “F1 Manager 22” can serve as the foundation of an annual series, and future iterations can build off this very promising start to flesh out more game modes and broaden its appeal.

As it stands, “F1 Manager 22” can be an incredibly fun and absorbing game — just keep in mind that you’ll have to put in some real work to get the most out of it.

Gregory Leporati is a freelance writer and photographer covering esports, tech and motorsports. His recent work has appeared in GQ, the Los Angeles Times, Pitchfork and Ars Technica. Follow him on Twitter @leporparty.


How do you do good in F1 manager 22? ›

F1 Manager 2022: 10 Beginner Tips & Tricks
  1. 9/10 Attack, Attack, Attack! ...
  2. 8/10 Your Investments Matter. ...
  3. 7/10 Be Generous With Tests. ...
  4. 6/10 Never Skip Practice Sessions. ...
  5. 5/10 Never Underestimate Good Research. ...
  6. 4/10 Practicing Aggressive Play Isn't Really Worth It. ...
  7. 3/10 Manage Your Strategies Well. ...
  8. 2/10 Keep Track Of Tire Wear.
23 Sept 2022

How can I make my F1 Manager easier? ›

F1 Manager 2022 tips
  1. Prioritise underfloor, front and rear wings. There are several areas of the car you can redesign throughout the season: ...
  2. Start the race in the red. ...
  3. Tweaking setups is tedious but worth it. ...
  4. Use safety cars and VSCs to harvest ERS and save fuel. ...
  5. Take everything out of your tires on your in laps.
12 Sept 2022

Is F1 Manager 2022 fun? ›

F1 Manager 2022 is a strong first entry in Frontier's new series, filling a niche that's been sorely lacking on PlayStation for years. Capturing the spirit of Formula 1 with its strong attention to detail, there's some thrilling races to be had and we're impressed by how well it handles race days with its 3D engine.

Is F1 Manager 2022 worth it? ›

Despite its quirks and the fact that it's missing some features that experienced sim fans might expect, F1 Manager 2022 is more than worth the long, 22-year wait since EA's similarly named, but unrelated, F1 Manager.

How many seasons can you do in F1 manager 22? ›

Unlike several other F1 games out there, F1 Manager 2022 won't limit the number of seasons you have to play with. This means you can develop your chosen team until the heat death of the universe. This means that you can, if you so choose, play well beyond the 2022 season, and into the future of the sport.

How many seasons can you do in F1 manager? ›

Will the game have a limited number of seasons? Or unlimited with “regen” drivers coming until play (or do the drivers not age?)… F1 2021 has a limit of 10 seasons.

How do you make a car faster in F1 Manager 2022? ›

Five 'F1 Manager 2022' tips to get fast, quick
  1. Invest early in Design Centre and Factory.
  2. Manage the practice sessions.
  3. Don't neglect pit crew ratings.
  4. Be aggressive at the start of races.
  5. Don't fret about fuel.
31 Aug 2022

Is it harder to play F1 with a controller? ›

Racing on controller

You'll have less of an ability to carefully monitor your steering but this will balance itself out with traction. When correcting steering, the small action of needing to move an analog stick is far easier than a correction on a wheel, so there is another advantage on controller.

Which is better F1 22 or F1 Manager 22? ›

F1 22 Manager is the latest F1 game on the gaming market. We have played the game and think that it can be even better than F1 2022 from EA Sports and Codemasters. F1 Manager 2022 is currently thrilling all motorsport fans.

What's the difference between F1 22 and F1 Manager 22? ›

While the mainline F1 22 game lets players take control of their favorite drivers and speed around the 22 circuits included in the Formula 1 season, F1 Manager 2022 gives players unprecedented control over the 10 teams who make up the Constructors Championship.

Do you actually race in F1 Manager? ›

Though players cannot take part directly in the racing side of things in F1 Manager 2022, those races are still played out in fully rendered glorious 3D visuals, with all the detailed recreations of global Formula 1 racing tracks, car models, dynamic weather conditions, crashes and more that ably reflects a ...

Is F1 Manager fun? ›

As it stands, “F1 Manager 22” can be an incredibly fun and absorbing game — just keep in mind that you'll have to put in some real work to get the most out of it.

Can you simulate races in F1 Manager 22? ›

Detailed race weekends

Practice and qualifying sessions can be played in real-time or simulated up to 16x speed. The decisions you make can affect your team's position on the grid.

What happens if you dont pit in F1 2022? ›

After the driver stops in their pit box, mechanics must wait for 5 or 10 seconds before touching the car. If the driver doesn't need to pit, the time penalty will be added to their time at the end of the race.

Can drivers retire in F1 manager 22? ›

Drivers can retire as they get older, but this doesn't happen at predetermined ages. In Frontier Developments' save, Lewis Hamilton has retired from Mercedes. If a driver retires, you'll need to scout for young fictional drivers and staff.

Can you drive the car in F1 manager 22? ›

Despite the racing pasts of Team Principles such as Christian Horner and Toto Wolff, you sadly won't be able to jump into the car yourself. F1 Manager 2022, as the name suggests, is a management game, not an out-and-out racing game.

Will there be a F1 Manager 23? ›

With the franchise's potential looking good from its first outing, F1 Manager 2023 is in active development for release next year.

How do I stop my F1 22 from spinning? ›

Do not apply full throttle immediately on corner exit, gently squeeze the accelerator gradually will prevent wheel spin. Change gear early during low range for maximum traction, again, to prevent wheel spin. This is called short shifting. Make sure you only apply full throttle when driving in a straight line.

What is the best rpm to launch at? ›

3K RPM is right where you wanna be. Dump the clutch and mess with it a few times. Depending on tires, temp & power you want to be more/less aggressive with first gear to get a good launch.

What rpm is good to launch? ›

Typically, the launch revs will be about 3000 rpm which corresponds to about 20 mph (this will vary depending what car you have).

Are there Regens in F1 Manager? ›

As the seasons progress through your save, AI generated drivers – commonly known as 'regens' in the world of Football Manager – will fill the gaps created when the real world drivers retire or leave the junior formulae.

How much does an F1 team manager make? ›

However, it is reported that most of them have a net worth of around $5 million: the most popular team principals earn between 5 and $10 million per year. Toto Wolff's net worth is $450 million. If you're looking for some F1 merchandise, check out the awesome stuff at the official F1 store here. What is this?

Can you play F1 Manager offline? ›

F1 Manager 2022 supports Steam's Offline Mode. In order to use this, you will need to start the game online once on the first launch to enable Offline Mode later.

Why is F1 22 so hard on controller? ›

Racing F1 22 with a controller can be a little tricky at first. The cars in F1 22 are incredibly fast and can corner with a lot of speed. This makes controlling them at high speed with just a small joystick a bit of a challenge. And that's not even to mention trying to accelerate without spinning our wheels.

Is F1 game better with steering wheel? ›

A set of pedals and wheels won't make you as fast as Jarno Opmeer, but it will improve your lap times by a few tenths compared to using a controller pad. This is down to the greater range in steering and control you can give while braking, accelerating and turning.

Is controller harder than steering? ›

Also, a racing wheel is typically made from more durable materials like metal and leather because as it is put through more stress and strain than a controller while racing. However, that's not to say you can't pick up a relatively inexpensive wheel.

How much slower is 22 F1? ›

The 2022 Formula One cars were supposed to be three to five seconds slower than the 2021 cars, but it turns out that's not quite the case. The designers have already done a good job this year, as the top has stayed pretty close to last year's times.

What is the sharpest corner in F1? ›

1. Eau Rouge, Spa-Francorchamps. Eau Rouge is the most famous and iconic corner in Formula 1. Turns 3, 4, and 5 of the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps make up Eau Rouge and Raidillon, just before the long Kemmel straight.

Is motorsport manager better than F1 manager? ›

F1 Manager 2022 doesn't have the same level of freedom and range of possibilities as Motorsport Manager, isn't as granular as Football Manager, and requires much more time to be invested into it than in previous officially licensed F1 management games.

Who is the best driver in F1 manager? ›

Max Verstappen

The Dutchman looks set to defend his F1 Championship and is rightly one of the highest-rated drivers in the game. The Red Bull driver has a rating of 88 and also tops cornering (96), braking (93), and accuracy (96). He's unstoppable at the moment and that's reflected in F1 Manager 2022.

Can you get fired from your own team in motorsport manager? ›

It is very well possible they decide that if things go wrong, they can fire the team owner as a manager. So the owner will no longer manage. He can still be owner. This happens all the time in the world of investment.

Can the race leader use DRS in F1? ›

The leading car can only use their DRS as a defense mechanism if they are also within one second of a car in front of them. Other conditions determine at which points in the race DRS can be used. It cannot be used within the first two laps of the race start, restart, or after a safety car has been deployed.

What is the most difficult race in F1? ›

Nürburgring Nordschleife is the legendary race track that earned its nickname because of difficulty. The number of turns, the various surfaces and unpredictable weather conditions made this track even tougher. Unfortunately, many drivers didn't survive their Nürburgring adventure.

What is the most realistic race simulator? ›

The best sim racing games for 2022 | FOS Future Lab
  • It's a question more and more are asking, as sim racing breaks out from its nerdy subculture chrysalis into the billowing butterfly of real relevance to modern-day racing. ...
  • iRacing. ...
  • Assetto Corsa. ...
  • Assetto Corsa Competizione. ...
  • Project Cars 2. ...
  • rFactor 2. ...
  • Automobilista.
13 Jan 2022

What simulation do F1 drivers use? ›

F1 teams also work with external simulation software such as rFpro to make the track environment as realistic as possible, as visual cues are important for the drivers to determine braking points or the right moment to start turning the car.

Do F1 drivers use racing sims? ›

Red Bull's Max Verstappen has explained how his use of online sim racing has helped him become a better driver. Max Verstappen is well known as an online sim racer during his off weekends from Formula 1, and occasionally takes part in online endurance events when his busy schedule allows him the opportunity.

How do you become successful in football manager 22? ›

Football Manager 2022: 13 Beginner Tips For New Players
  1. 13/13 Don't Overcomplicate Tactical Instructions.
  2. 12/13 Be Wary Of Each Player's Workload.
  3. 11/13 Adjust Set-Piece Routines Sporadically.
  4. 10/13 Assign Staff Roles On The First Day At A New Job.
  5. 9/13 Pay Attention To Dynamics.
  6. 8/13 Keep Promises.
4 Jan 2022

How do I get better at motorsport manager? ›

Five 'F1 Manager 2022' tips to get fast, quick
  1. Invest early in Design Centre and Factory.
  2. Manage the practice sessions.
  3. Don't neglect pit crew ratings.
  4. Be aggressive at the start of races.
  5. Don't fret about fuel.
31 Aug 2022

How do you pit a F1 manager in 2022? ›

Pit stops can make or break your race. In F1 Manager 2022, use the strategy editor to create multiple pit stop plans, adjust or add stints, and tell your drivers how hard to push their tyres.

How can you tell a good FM22 player? ›

They are given on a scale that takes into account the overall ability of your squad, so whatever club you manage, a player with 4 to 5 gold stars is likely to be one of your key players and a player with 2.5 to 3.5 gold stars is also likely to be good enough to be considered for a part in your tactical plans.

How do you avoid injuries in FM22? ›

Get hands-on with training

If players have struggled with fitness, you can drop them down to half intensity, or even ensure that they don't do any on-pitch or gym work. When a player is recovering from injury, the best thing to do is give them a couple of weeks' worth of half intensity training.

Who shoots the hardest in FIFA 22? ›

Cristiano Ronaldo is the best shooter in FIFA 22, with the Portuguese striker receiving a rating of 93 for shooting. The Manchester United superstar remains one of the most devastating finishers in the world, with his shooting rating of 93 being a major contributor to his overall rating of 91.

Do you actually race in F1 manager? ›

Though players cannot take part directly in the racing side of things in F1 Manager 2022, those races are still played out in fully rendered glorious 3D visuals, with all the detailed recreations of global Formula 1 racing tracks, car models, dynamic weather conditions, crashes and more that ably reflects a ...

Why is my car slow in F1 22? ›

This is in part due to the new regulations for 2022. Cars are now heavier and have much less aero generated from the front and rear wings. These changes make the cars in F1 22 feel a little clunkier through some of the slower corners.

What is the best car in F1 22? ›

McLaren 720S (211.9 mph)

The McLaren 720S is the best supercar in F1 22. It takes the top spot with its blazing speed and is the fastest car in F1 22.

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