As someone who is both in love with the sport of Formula One and awful at racing sim games like F1 22, Frontier Developments’ F1 Manager 2022 felt like the perfect way for me to satisfy my hunger for more F1 when it wasn’t a race weekend. From the first announcement, spending my evenings taking a Formula One team to glory was all I could think about.
Given my apathetic approach to Football Manager games, despite my love of football, I was shocked at just how tightly F1 Manager 2022 would grip me when it launched. From in-depth car development and research to team headquarters expansions and engineer contract negotiations, there’s so much to do in this game before you even think about hitting the circuit. However, every minute of the on-track action is thrilling; I can’t take my eyes off of it. It’s now got to the point where F1 Manager 2022 is ruining my life – but, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
If you’re sitting there reading this asking yourself ‘why does this mean F1 Manager 2022 is ruining his life if he loves Formula One?’, then allow me to explain.
Everything about this game is time consuming – I am practically watching an entire Formula One race weekend an evening. I care so much about getting a double points finish with Mick Schumacher and Kevin Magnussen right now that I can’t really enjoy anything else. Whether it’s getting stuck in with Joel and Ellie in The Last of Us Part 1 remake or catching up on Elrond and Galadriel in Amazon Prime’s new Rings of Power series, none of them are as big a priority for me right now than making Haas the greatest F1 team in the world.
F1 Manager 2022 has put me and my free time in a chokehold,and I think I have worked out why: Frontier Developments has given players too much control during races.
Now, okay… I know what you’re thinking. The fact that a Formula One-based management game is offering its players such a detailed and responsive management system during races is far from a bad thing – and I agree with you. However, this is a system that lets you micromanage every corner of every lap when it comes to a race – if you’d like – for two drivers. If you’re not content with just simulating the race and hoping for the best, it’s almost two hours of constant work.
From dictating ERS deployment and charging to managing fuel loads and tyre wear, you make decisions during a race that can be the difference between a podium finish and a pointless one – even if you think you have nailed the strategy. It’s hard to put into words just how important it can be. It’s what makes F1 Manager 2022 so fantastic – and so addictive.
When you couple this already innate need to micromanage an entire race with more sporadic occurrences like spinning drivers, unexpected rain, or the deployment of a Safety Car, you can’t really afford to take your eyes off the action.
F1 Manager 2022’s flashy visuals and excellent sound design make it all too easy to enjoy watching races in real-time while playing. However, the way it perfectly captures the intensity and unpredictability of the sport – and the fact that this is coupled with simple and responsive controls that cover almost every manageable aspect of the game – are the real reason why it’s ruining my life. My life is F1 Manager 2022 now, and I’m certainly not complaining about that.