F1 Manager 2024 sneak preview: Our verdict as two most desired features are added

Sam Cooper
F1 Manager 2024 cover

F1 Manager 2024 if the third edition of the management game.

If the F1 Manager series was a Formula 1 team, it is safe to say that as of yet it has not been a front-runner.

The first edition of the game was met with a lot of excitement but that quickly fell away with a game many found lacking. While the 2023 edition was an improvement, it was not enough to overturn some negative feelings amongst the fan base but game developers Frontier will hope F1 Manager 2024 takes them closer to the top of the grid.

F1 Manager sneak preview

Create a team finally arrives

One aspect that fans have been crying out for is the ability to create your own team, a popular feature in the EA F1 games, and that has finally arrived for 2024.

To start with, you are given an option of how good you want the new team to be from complete newbie to an existing title contender and you can adjust sliders depending how competitive you want your car to be and how strong you want your facilities to be.

There is also the chance to add your own logo and design your livery/driver suits and while it feels a little basic to begin with, it is a big improvement from the lack of such a feature in 2022 and 2023.

Away from the aesthetics, the game mechanics also allows you to sign two drivers and your technical staff and depending on which level you choose, you have a different size budget (meaning you cannot just get Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton from the off).

But if that’s your ultimate goal, you will need sponsors on your side and there is greater interaction with them such as goals and also the ability to decide where to place their logo on the car’s livery.

After the creation process has been done and an engine supplier selected, the game operates largely the same way as it would do if you selected a pre-existing team, although there are some added voice lines from Crofty about the arrival of an 11th team.

Driver affiliates make team academy possible

Another big change fans were crying out for was the ability to run your own driver academy and thankfully that has also arrived.

Whilst signing a highly-rated young driver as a reserve meant condemning them to the sidelines in previous games, the 2024 version now let you sign affiliate drivers meaning they can continue racing in F3 and F2 and improving their ability.

The game is also realistic. The likes of Liam Lawson and Oliver Bearman are attached to Red Bull and Ferrari respectively and may require some more persuading than in previous seasons.

Mentality measurement adds another dynamic

F1 Manager has also introduced a new mentality feature which allows team principals to monitor across their drivers and key staff.

Similar to the confidence feature in previous years, mentality will have an influence on their performance ratings, development rate and their patience in negotiating with you.

This can be affected by their own performance, their opinion of how well you’re doing as their boss and for drivers, whether their car has the edge over their teammate.

The AI finally has a brain

Anyone who played the game before will know that the AI was definitely lacking when it came to intelligence.

While time will tell if racing has improved, there is at least some improvement away from the track and poaching a team’s best driver and staff is no longer as straightforward as it was in previous years.

Another big factor is that teams will now actively try and take your best talent meaning you will have to ensure they are happy and financially rewarded to stay with your constructor.

What we said about F1 Manager in the past

👉 F1 Manager 2023 review: Are latest improvements enough to win back fans?

👉 F1 Manager developers respond to fan backlash that plagued inaugural launch

Mechanical issues bring another element to racing

In terms of on-track, Frontier were keen to stress that racing is no longer a case of managing fuel loads and tyre wear and just like teams in real life, you now have to watch out for mechanical issues during a race.

In the demo run, we were dropped into the Australian Grand Prix as Red Bull with both drivers about to suffer issues but I must admit, in my playthrough at least, this was easy to navigate with Verstappen still going on to win the race.

This could just be my experience of the game and no doubt with another team that does not have a rocketship for a car, you may have to compromise a little bit more but for now, it seems there could be a bit more refinement with how severe an issue is and how much it affects your run plan.

Small changes help to improve quality of life

There are also a number of small changes in the game which should make for a more enjoyable experience.

One of those is the ability to simulate races meaning if you just want to get through a season, that is now far quicker and easier.

There is also a new camera angle with the heli-cam whilst the broadcast camera view now incorporates cable camera shots on valid circuits.

F1 Manager 2024 – Our verdict

There is no doubt the things like driver affiliates and create a team are some of the features fans have been crying out for since day one and while a short play session is never going to be a true test, we were at least impressed with the changes we saw.

As with both previous games, the proof will be in the pudding and only when players have amassed dozens of hours will we get a true understanding of whether the game is a notable improvement from its predecessors.

For now though, it looks like Frontier and F1 Manager is making a positive step forward.

F1 Manager is out July 23 across PC, PlayStation® 5, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation® 4 and Xbox One for £29.99/$34.99/€34.99. A deluxe version of the game is also available for £39.99/$44.99/€44.99.