The developers of F1 Manager 2023 have announced some of the new features that have been added to the game ahead of its release this summer.
After its debut game last year, Frontier Developments are getting set for the second edition in the F1 Manager series and have unveiled some of the new features fans will be able to enjoy.
PlanetF1.com was given an exclusive look at the new game and here’s what fans can expect come lights out this summer.
New contract offering system with ability to plan for the future
For anyone who played F1 Manager 2022, they will no doubt have run into the frustrating experience of being unable to offer a contract for the following season. Thankfully that has all changed for 2023.
Now players will be able to plan ahead by choosing to either sign a driver immediately or get them locked in for the following year’s campaign.
It is not just your main drivers you get this option with either as you can also get your own mini-academy going by getting in the sport’s hottest prospect as your reserve driver.
More focus on Formula 2 and Formula 3 potential stars
Speaking of reserve drivers, the 2023 edition is also much more in-depth when it comes to the F1 feeder series. Players will now be able to track results throughout the F2 and F3 season so if there is a young star you have your eye on, you will be able to see how they have competed so far.
Alternatively, if your reserve driver is not improving as much as you like, you can try and steal a newly crowned F2 champion.
Smarter AI mean no more Williams World Champion in season one
One of the main complaints from last year was the ease of which players could take a backmarker like Williams and make them dominant World Champions in a short space of time.
This was mainly due to car development with players able to develop much quicker and much more intelligently then their AI counterparts, meaning it was not long before your car was more than a second faster than the rest of the field.
PlanetF1.com can reveal that has changed for 2023 with an increased focus on the car development mechanic.
“I think one of the areas where it was possible to perhaps overperform last time was in the car development area,” game director Andy Fletcher told PlanetF1.com. “And one thing we’re really doing is we’re looking at that and going ‘okay, that’s a really key component of the game loop, let’s analyse it, let’s learn from it, let’s learn from the community feedback.’
“And so there’s a number of different elements that feed into this. To get quite detailed, the trade offs that you can take advantage of when you’re editing the focus of a car part are much more pronounced now so it’s much harder to sort of specialise in everything,
“The other element that we’ve added is the reliability of parts, there’s a lifespan to them. If you want the best performance, you’re going to have a lower lifespan part, if you want a slightly heavier, more reliable part, it’s going to have less performance.
“And then that feeds into a revised cost cap balance so maybe you can’t just pump out all the car parts that you want to and all the replacement spares that you want to.
“Last year, we saw what happened with Red Bull. We thought ‘well, this needs to be more pertinent for more teams in season one.'”
Upgraded pit stops and new sporting director role
As we all know, it is not just one person pulling the strings within an F1 team and as such, the new game has been updated to reflect that with the introduction of a sporting director.
In last year’s games, players were given the option of recruiting their own race engineers, head of aerodynamics and technical directors but the sporting director will have a particular impact on the team’s pit stops.
The vital mechanic has been greatly expanded on with players now able to customise their training schedule which was created in discussion with the real F1 teams.
Driver development improvements
Drivers are less like machines and more like humans in F1 Manager 2023 with changes both to how they develop and how they approach a race.
Firstly, whereas in the ’22 edition drivers had a set-up confidence, in the 2023 game, that confidence aspect has been greatly expanded on.
If a driver is feeling confident, they may be more likely to go for a risky overtake whereas if they are down on their luck, the result could be closer to George Russell and Valtteri Bottas in Imola ’21.
In terms of development, instead of assigning skills points, players will now select what focus area they want their drivers to improve on. When a driver is young, this development rate is much quicker but as a driver gets older and reaches their peak, their development rate will slow and even regress if they do not continue to develop strong performances.
Tactical changes requiring players to be more hands on
One of the biggest complaints from 2022 was the performance of the tyres and how there seemed to be little difference between the compounds. That is another area of focus for 2023 with an increased look at how both the track temperature and the car temperature will affect the rubber.
What’s more, known tyre whispers like Sergio Perez will have an easier time keeping their wheels in the zone than some of the less skilled drivers on the grid.
F1 2023 calendar and formats changes
F1 never stands still, in particular in 2023 when not only have the venues changed but also the race weekends themselves. For the first time, sprint weekends have been added to the F1 Manager game and the Las Vegas Grand Prix circuit is also featured meaning you can get a hands-on trial before the real thing in November,
The developers say they have also ‘dialled up’ the incident system so expect more early crashes and wheel-to-wheel racing.
F1 Manager 2023 will be released on Steam, Epic Games Store, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S in the summer of 2023.