Hutch Games has released quite a few racing games in the past, including Hot Wheels: Race Off, Race Kings and Top Drives. They’re now back with a new title for iOS and Android devices, F1 Manager, which invites you to “be the boss” and take control of your own Formula One racing team.
The game is officially licensed by the FIA, which means you’ll have a chance to race against, or field a team featuring drivers such as Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen, and Daniel Ricciardo, as you take on players from all around the world and match wits with other players in real-time, PvP duels. F1 Manager focuses on the management aspect rather than the driving aspect, so if you’re a fan of any of the Motorsport Manager games, this title just might be up your alley.
While not as complex as the above series, there is a bit of a learning curve in this new title. But that doesn’t mean the game is exactly hard to pick up. Still, if you need help getting started, we’ve come up with a F1 Manager beginner’s guide that focuses solely on tips, tricks and strategies for first-time players. You’ll want to get a good start in the game and earn more Checkered Flags to unlock a good number of racetracks (real-life ones, might we add) and unlock more drivers, so keep reading so we could show you how it’s done!
1. The Basics Of F1 Manager
As opposed to last year’s F1 Mobile Racing, F1 Manager does not require you to have the best of reflexes or the best control of your vehicle while negotiating those tight corners and overtaking other drivers. There’s no need to worry about driving in this game, because this new title is all about the management aspect of things.
Aside from upgrading your car and putting the right drivers behind the wheel, your ability to choose the right pit strategy will also be tested in this game. In other words, you can expect something similar in a lot of ways to the Motorsport Manager series, albeit with real-life drivers and real-life teams (except yours, of course). However, there are also a number of differences that you should keep in mind before playing this game.
While your rivals in the Motorsport Manager series are AI-controlled drivers and teams, you will F1 Manager will pair you up against other human players in PvP duels — since we mentioned F1 Mobile Racing earlier, that’s one similarity these two games have with each other. Of course, both players will be competing with AI drivers making up the rest of the 24-car pack, but it’s essentially you versus your opponent, matching pit strategies and hoping luck is with you over the next several laps. (Probably “several” is an overstatement, because the races in this game typically last about eight to 10 laps, depending on which circuits you have unlocked so far.)
If your team has more points than your opponent, based on the combined finishing positions of both drivers, then you win the duel and earn some Checkered Flags (i.e. trophies), as well as the total prize pot in coins (i.e. the amount of coins both drivers paid in order to compete in the duel — that’s 1,000 each for the first set of courses). Otherwise, you lose Checkered Flags (slightly fewer than the number of Checkered Flags you can earn for a win) and the entry fee in coins.
Once you reach certain Checkered Flag milestones, you will unlock new sets of courses that are more challenging than the ones in the series you had last mastered, while the entry fee and the number of Checkered Flags you can earn or lose in a race go up accordingly. The number of laps per race could also increase, while the conditions may also vary — Series 3, for example, is all about wet weather and optimizing your pit strategy in such a way that you can make the most out of the sunny weather and properly adjust when the rains start falling.
2. Soft Tires And Two-Pit Strategies Usually Do The Trick
At first, your instinct may be to opt for those hard tires so that you only have to head to the pits once in a race. During your first few races, especially while you’re still in the tutorial stage, a one-pit strategy with hard tires may suit you just fine. But as we found out over time, we’ve usually gotten the best results by opting for soft tires.
Most of the time, soft tires will allow you to shave about two to four seconds per lap compared to hard tires, and if you extrapolate that over an eight-lap race, we’re talking 16 to 24 seconds — that’s usually more time than the average 6-7-second pit stop and the 10 seconds (or less) lost for the time you slow down en route to the pit lane and get your car started on the way out! Ergo, you’re better off making that extra pit stop for a tire change, inconvenient as it may sound at first.
3. Open Crates For New Cards And Other Resources
The card menu — the third and rightmost button on the bottom of the screen — is where you can access the different cards available in the game, and access each of the three sub-menus corresponding to the different types of cards, namely Drivers, Cars, and Boosts. Drivers pertains to the cards of real-life Formula 1 drivers which you can collect while playing F1 Manager — from top stars like Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, to lesser-heralded names such as Lance Stroll and Alexander Albon. (The latter two, incidentally, will likely be your first two drivers, and are the most common drivers available in the game.)
Cars refers to the cards you can collect for individual parts — engine, gearbox, brakes, etc. Lastly, Boosts would be for those statistical boosts you can use to improve your car/driver stats in any given race. But how do you get these cards in the first place?
The answer to this question, of course, are the various crates which you can win and unlock in the game, starting with the standard ones you’ll usually win during the races, which typically come with a handful of coins, one or two Bucks (the game’s premium currency), and several Driver and Car cards. Boost cards are much rarer, but not impossible to obtain while opening crates, especially the higher-end ones (Gold, etc.) you may luck out with from time to time.
Take note as well that you can only store a maximum of four crates, and unlock one at a time! Otherwise, you forfeit whatever crates you could win in the duels if you keep on racing with all four crate slots filled up.
Every four hours, F1 Manager will allow you to open a Free Crate, which, unlike the aforementioned race crates that come with upward of 10 cards plus resources, usually come with several thousands’ worth of coins, some Bucks, and one Car/Driver card. You’ve also got the Race Crates, which can be unlocked once you accumulate a total of 100 points, depending on how many points your team finishes with in the duels, regardless whether you win or lose. These also come with thousands’ worth of coins, a few more Bucks than what you could earn in the other types of crates, plus Car/Driver cards, with a higher chance of rarer cards than on the other crates, at least based on what we’ve observed so far.
4. Review Those Stats Before Choosing Your No. 1 And No. 2 Drivers
As we explained earlier, you will likely start out with the lowest-level, most common drivers after the tutorial stage is done — stats-wise, both Lance Stroll and Alexander Albon are all-rounders who aren’t especially gaudy in any specific attribute. But as you go on and win more races and go from one series to the next, you’ll have a chance to unlock the other 20 drivers for the 2019 Formula 1 season, with the cream of the crop slowly but surely becoming available as you progress from Series 1 onward. (That means you can expect some Rare and Epic drivers even in the early series, such as Epic driver Nico Hulkenberg in Series 1 and Rare driver Robert Kubica in Series 2.)
Generally, you’ll want those Rare and Epic drivers in the No. 1 and No. 2 slots ahead of your Common drivers. However, you’ll also need to review each driver’s stats before making your decision, regardless of their rarity. Each stat is graded from a scale of 1 to 100 — Overtaking, Defending (avoiding getting overtaken), Consistency, Fuel Management, Tyre Management, and Wet Weather Ability — and as you can see, most are self-explanatory.
Aside from reviewing those numbers by tapping on your Driver 1 and Driver 2 cards, a better way to choose Driver 1 and Driver 2 would be to tap on any Driver card slot on the bottom of the screen and see how they compare to your current No. 1 and No. 2 drivers. If you see more blue than red numbers, chances are that driver would be a better choice than the ones you currently have at No. 1 or No. 2, though you will want to prioritize certain stats, such as Wet Weather Ability for the rainy weather-oriented Series 3, in special situations.
5. How Do The Car Cards Work?
The Car cards, for lack of a better general term, are subdivided into six types — Engine, Suspension, Front Wing, Rear Wing, Gearbox, and Brakes. Each part is rated based on four main stats/attributes, also from a scale of 1 to 100 — Power, Aero, Grip, and Reliability — as well as a fifth one (Average Pit Stop Time) at the bottom of each card that would be the same for all six parts.
We’d say that each of the four main stats are almost as important as each other, though Power, quite clearly, will give you the advantage you need to overtake more drivers and perform well in the straights, while Reliability will reduce the chances of a random car breakdown occurring in the middle of a race. Grip is arguably the third most important stat, as it determines how well your car performs in the turns and corners, while Aero allows your car to overcome winds and perform more gracefully on any track without losing much speed or sacrificing fuel economy.
As for the Average Pit Stop Time, this could go up or down depending on the new parts you equip. For example, using the Sticky card under Rear Wing could substantially reduce your pit time, while the Tractor Beam engine, conversely, will make your pit stops last a bit longer on average!
6. Upgrade Car And Driver Cards Alike
Now it should go without saying that there’s a way you could improve those driver/car stats, and that’s by upgrading them once you’ve accumulated enough cards to qualify for an upgrade — that’s four from level 1 to 2, 10 from level 2 to 3, 20 from level 3 to 4, and so on.
The cost of upgrades will progressively increase from one level to the next, and may vary depending on the card’s rarity, so make sure you’re upgrading wisely — typically, Rare and Epic cards should be upgraded ahead of the Common ones, though that isn’t always the case! That’s something the game will actually tell you as one of the random tips that pop up from time to time.
7. A Draw Is As Good As A Loss, And Other Situations Where You May Lose Some Coins
In almost all cases, each duel will have a decisive ending, where one player’s team has more points than the other player. However, in very rare situations, you may find yourself with the exact same amount of points as your opponent. Does this mean that you and your opponent will both get your entry fee back, much as the case is in the event of a draw in other situations? Does this mean neither of you will earn any Checkered Flags, given that you ended up even-steven at the end of the duel?
Sadly, the answer to these questions is no — pretty much, there is no such thing as a draw in F1 Manager. If you, as the player initiating the challenge, finish with the same total points as your opponent, regardless whether your top driver finishes ahead of your opponent’s top driver or vice versa, you’ll lose your entry fee and lose Checkered Flags just like you would if you decisively lost the duel.
In addition to the above scenario, there’s another instance where you may lose Checkered Flags and coins through no fault of your own, though in this case, it’s basically the game blaming you for initiating a challenge on a dodgy Wi-Fi or cellular connection. If you get kicked out of a race because of internet problems, the race is automatically forfeited — you won’t notice any change in your Checkered Flag or coin totals immediately, but you will, sure enough, see them take a hit after the next race. We’re not sure if this is an in-game quirk, but mistake us not — you will get “penalized” for internet connection-related “mishaps.”
8. Bad Form? Shift To A Lower Series!
Unfortunately, F1 Manager’s matchmaking system appears to be exclusively based on how many Checkered Flags you have, in relation to that of your potential opponents. And more often than not, you’ll be paired against someone with a higher Checkered Flag total, as opposed to someone with fewer Checkered Flags than you do. That means having an impeccable pit strategy won’t be enough to win a duel, due to the possibility your opponents will have better vehicles/drivers than yours — we haven’t even mentioned the random events that could happen during a race, such as those often unpredictable car breakdowns, yellow flags (as implied by the presence of the safety car), and accidents!
Cutting the long story short, there’s really no way to avoid those bouts of bad form, where you lose one race after another and find yourself with substantially less in-game currency due to those costly losses. And if your strategy suffers as your morale declines, we can’t blame you — it happens, even to the best of us. In such a situation, we suggest moving to a lower series so you can regain those lost Checkered Flags and re-earn the entry fees you lost with less pressure. Sure, it’s going to take more time, and even a move to Series 1 won’t guarantee that you get paired against a weaker opponent. But the operative words here are “less pressure” — the stakes are lower, and if you lose Checkered Flags/coins in the process, it’s only going to be two of the former and 1,000 of the latter.
If all else fails, there’s always the option to step away from the game for a bit, while waiting for a chance to open that free crate and earn a ton of coins (in comparison to the standard crates) to replenish your currency.
This ends our beginner’s guide for F1 Manager, but stay tuned, as we will be back with more tips and tricks for the game in the nearest future! In the meantime, if you’ve discovered additional tips, then don’t hesitate to let us know by using the comment box below!