What we learned from playing the new F1 Manager 2024 game

F1 Manager 2024 is the third entry in the management game franchise developed by Frontier, a series that generated a lot of hype that it never lived up to.

With this year's game, the developers have refocused their efforts towards the off-road aspect of the game.

There are a number of new features and improvements to existing features that have been made to make play in each career mode more personalized and less repetitive in the long term.

We've taken a hands-on look at the game and delved into the off-track parts of F1 Manager 2024 to find out exactly what's changed and how far the series has progressed.

The new feature is in the title

The main addition to this year's edition is the ability to create and manage your own team as the eleventh entry on the network. Our time in the game allowed us to build a team and take part in the first race of the season.

What's immediately apparent is that a lot of cues have been taken from EA and Codemasters' F1 series of games when it comes to the UI and team creation. The skin design system is very similar in terms of color and finish options and customization of pre-made skin templates.

It differentiates itself from the main F1 series through its ability to have gradations in drivers' liveries and racing suits, as well as greater control over sponsorship placements.

There are six different “Origins” – which act as different starting scenarios for your team. Ultimately, you control how much money you start with, the quality of your car and team facilities, your power unit supplier, and who you hire.

A back-end outfit will limit your options to drivers and backroom staff, but you will always be given the option of some current F1 drivers, those in the feeder classes and some fictional in-game staff.

If you pick real employees, the other 10 teams will react accordingly, so signing Alex Albon to our created team means Williams starts 2024 with F2 driver Richard Verschoor racing alongside Logan Sargeant.

Obviously, a Formula 1 team look wouldn't be complete without the sponsor logos on your car and the drivers' racing suits. Managing your own team means signing your own sponsorship deals – with each potential backer offering different amounts of money on different terms.

How this will impact the long-term functioning of the team is something we have not been able to experience. But from race to race, it requires you to select specific events to achieve a pre-agreed participation goal – similar to the activities found in F1 23's My Team mode.

In contrast to Codemasters, Frontier allows you to manually position, scale, rotate and color your sponsor logos on your car and racing suits, rather than just placing them in pre-defined slots. The same level of customization also applies when creating your own team logo.

This comes with pre-race goals you set for each of your drivers, with promised higher results bringing you more money if you achieve your goal. It's a system familiar to anyone who's played any of the Motorsport Manager games.

Mechanical malfunctions

Previous F1 Manager games have focused on the racing aspect of managing an F1 team but one of the big omissions in F1 Manager 2022 and 2023 was the lack of random reliability failures.

In previous entries, this only happened if a component completely ran out of life, and doing so requires a lot of carelessness and costs you a significant amount of time long before your car stops working.

New to F1 Manager 2024 is the inclusion of completely random mechanical failures that range in severity. At one end, there are minor, temporary issues with the ERS function, which means your driver won't get full electric power for a few cycles.

On the other hand, there are issues that could force you to retire. This also applies to the AI ​​teams, with Charles Leclerc missing out on a potential podium place due to a mechanical issue during our session.

Our time with the game also included a stint working in the management of a Red Bull team that had some major mechanical problems, somewhat appropriately, during the Australian Grand Prix.

Both drivers started the race in the midfield with no car problems but as the laps passed the list of problems began to pile up.

Max Verstappen got the better end of the deal, as by the time his car ran into some major problems, he had track position and enough speed to hold onto pole, even with Lando Norris going slightly faster behind him.

In contrast, Sergio Perez suffered early ERS issues that left him stuck in the middle and slowly falling back. Minimal electrical power coupled with gearbox and eventual engine problems saw him finish the race, despite our best efforts, in a modest 15th place.

There are some steps you can take to help prevent problems from developing or getting worse, such as telling drivers to stay away from high-risk curbs and run in clean air. These instructions have been present in previous games but seem to have little purpose so far.

Improving the driver market

This includes a few separate changes, all of which we weren't able to experience during our time with the game.

What we were able to get an insight into is the all-new affiliate driver system, which allows you to create your own driver academy. Any drivers you have as affiliates will be looking for places in F2 and F3 and can be called up to FP1 sessions.

Affiliated drivers also include drivers who are in the F1 Academy. Although the women-only series has not yet appeared in the game, neither has its full line-up – although the final driver list for the game has yet to be fully confirmed.

The hiring process for affiliates is the same as for any driver and they will be signed through a rolling negotiation system.

In short, there is room for more back-and-forth discussion where you can have it so that the person you are negotiating with has to respond immediately, or you can give him or her time to think about the proposal and then he or she may give you a clear response-offer.

Their patience in negotiations will also be determined by their overall mood, which is easily demonstrated and explained by the F1 Manager 2024 Mindset System.

The performance of the car, their opinion of you as team manager, their current contract and many other factors all affect their view of your team.

Another new aspect of negotiations is the inclusion of side clauses. This ties into something we haven't seen happen yet, but is certainly one of the most attention-grabbing changes of the year – the fact that drivers and backroom staff could be poached by rival teams early and unexpectedly.

On top of all of the above, there's an all-new helicopter camera perspective to view the races and the ability to fully simulate races. The latter is especially useful for players who don't want to invest the time necessary to oversee each race but want to progress through multiple seasons with their chosen team.

F1 Manager 2024 will be released on July 23 with the Standard and Deluxe editions available at £29.99 and £39.99 respectively. The Deluxe Edition will come with five historically inspired modes for the Team Creation mode as well as five additional “Race Replay” scenarios.


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