7 F1 2019 Career Mode Tips – Get The Most Out Of The Game

F1 2019 Career Mode Tips

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F1 2019 is the first game in the long running Codemasters series to introduce Formula 2. You will be asked for the first time to prove yourself and your ability in a selection of race situations before progressing your F1 2019 career. Luckily for those who don’t fancy jumping through a Formula 2 sized hoop, you can choose to not take part in these and progress straight in to F1.

If you do choose to prove yourself in Formula 2, the first decision you make as to what team to join affects your starting reputation with all Formula 1 teams. So if you’re eying up a drive in a certain Formula 1 team, you would be best to choose the corresponding F1 team. This leads us straight in to our first F1 2019 career mode tip.

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Choose A Team And Career Pathway

Once you have completed your short stay in Formula 2, you then have the big decision of which team to start your F1 journey with. The overall experience you have in the F1 2019 career mode depends massively on which F1 team you choose.

F1 2019 Driver Academy

A word of caution, each F1 team has differing goals you have to achieve while racing for that team. Ferrari for instance want you running at the front of the grid and winning races. Whilst a team such as Alfa Romeo or McLaren are happy for you to compete in the mid field. If you’re looking for an easy casual ride through the career mode, Williams or Toro Rosso have the easiest goals to meet.

If you jump in to the F1 2019 career mode too eager and choose Ferrari or Mercedes and you find it hard to run at the front, you may be in danger of being fired by the team. Never a good look on a young F1 driver!

If you are fired however don’t panic too much. Your reputation with certain teams will be harmed, but you will still be able to drive the rest of the season with another lower performing team. Your race and qualifying results matter more than ever in F1 2019, so be prepared.

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Learn How To Develop Your Car

A big part of the F1 2019 career mode and the main progression tool is your team’s R&D (Research & Development). You will earn R&D points for every action you complete in the career mode.

You drive a certain amount of laps and you will earn points. You meet your teams goals and you will earn even more points. Your goal really is to earn as many R&D points as possible so you can then improve your car.

To improve your car you have to spend the R&D points that you have earned, and these can be spent in a multitude of different ways. In a similar fashion to an RPG game you will be making the decision as to which areas of your car you wish to upgrade. From the reliability to the power your engine makes, you’re in control of the upgrade decision.

F1 2019 Career Mode R&D

Before you decide on which path you want to take when developing your car, try to make a decision on how long you are likely to spend with you team of choice. If you are planning on sticking with your team for a couple of seasons, your upgrade pathway may be focused more on long term development. Whereas if you are looking to change teams mid season, or at the end of a single season then you may look for more immediate gains.

If you are planning on staying with the same team for more than one season we have come up with one of the most efficient ways of developing your car to maximise performance gain and minimise R&D cost.

  • The first upgrades you should choose are the reliability upgrades.
    • These upgrades will prevent you from burning through your gearbox and engine components as quickly. When you first start your career mode, without these upgrade you will almost certainly be taking engine and gearbox penalties in the second half of the season. This will cost you race results.
    • Try to upgrade your gearbox and all engine components to the first tier early on.
  • You should then start to purchase the cost upgrades for each department.
    • The cost upgrades will make development cheaper in the long run and help you develop more upgrades for less development points.
    • Try to upgrade these to full before actually starting on performance upgrades.
  • Once you have the cost upgrades purchased try to get the first and second quality control upgrades purchased.
    • These QC upgrades stop parts from failing as often.
  • Once you have all of the above purchased you can then start to upgrade your cars true performance.
    • We found that the engine and power upgrades were the most noticeable early on, as you will get a significant power boost from the upgrades.

The above path will hamper your performance throughout the first half of the first season, meaning other teams will overtake you in terms of performance.

However going in to the second half of the season and in to the second season you will be developing your car at a significant rate. You will be able to max out your whole car’s development using this method after two and a half seasons.

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Use the practice programmes

With there being such a strong emphasis on developing your car throughout your F1 career, you should prioritise elements which reward you with the most development points. The practice programmes which take place during the three practice sessions are one of the best way to build your stash of points.

The practice programmes come in a variety of forms. You have programmes which acclimatise you to the track and help you learn the track you’re driving. There are also programmes to help you improve your tyre, fuel and ERS management. And then there is the qualifying and race simulations.

You should ideally aim to participate in all of these programmes. Each practice programme has two goals to meet, a green goal and a purple. The purple goal is always harder, and is achieved by bettering your original green goal to a certain degree. Even if you only achieve the green goal on each practice programme you will still receive a nice haul of development points.

Generally you wont be able to complete all practice programmes in a single session. And you shouldn’t attempt to do this as you will run out of tyres. Instead, utilise practice session 1 and 2. You receive an extra set of tyres in your second session which you should use on your qualifying practice.

Our preferred route through the practice programmes are;

  • Track acclimatisation on the hard tyres.
  • Tyre management on a medium set of tyres.
  • Fuel management on the same set of medium tyres.
  • ERS management on a second set of medium tyres.
  • Race strategy on the second set of medium tyres, or the hards you used in the track acclimatisation.
  • Qualifying practice on your soft tyres.

You should always try to utilise a couple of setups throughout the practice sessions as you will receive a few extra development points. If you aren’t comfortable on your current setup this will also allow you to try a few differing setups to see which works best.

We have a complete F1 2019 setup guide if you are looking how to best setup your car.

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Follow this practice schedule at every grand prix weekend to maximise your earnings. If you can, we would recommend aiming for the purple goal on each practice programme as this will truly maximise the amount of R&D you can perform.

Nail Your Interviews

A system which has carried over from the previous Codemasters F1 game is the interview system. You will often be approached after sessions such as the race and qualifying throughout your F1 career by the lovely in game journalist. They will ask you a couple of questions each time about your car and your thoughts on your rivals.

Getting your responses correct can have a big impact on different areas of your career mode. If you say the wrong response, you can harm your reputation and your R&D efficiency.

Formula 1 Game Interviews

Generally when you are asked about which part of your car gave you “the edge” you should look to answer with the department you are currently upgrading. This will give you a temporary, small boost in cost effectiveness and less chance of any new developments failing.

If you are asked why your car let you down after not meeting a goal, always select to not answer. If you answer, and say your engine needs improvement for example, you will negatively affect the cost and quality control for that department.

Your answers will also affect your sportsmanship and showmanship rating. Certain teams have a preference to one or the other, and will offer a better contract to a driver which matches their preferred style. You will easily be able to tell the difference between answers which affect your sportsmanship and showmanship.

Sportsmanship answers have a focus on the team and they compliment other drivers. Showmanship answers generally prioritise a more arrogant or humorous answer. Remember it’s always better to focus on impressing your current team rather than choosing answers randomly!

Contract Negotiations

Contract negotiations occur after every 6 races throughout your season. They are your only chance to increase your rewards that the team offer you, so prioritising the best contract possible is key.

F1 2019 Alfa Romeo Livery

If you perform better throughout the season, your team will reward you with more resource points and better pit stops during races for example. You can also set your own race and qualification targets. If you set these higher you will be able to set higher perks for yourself. If you choose for easy to beat targets your team will not allow you as many perks.

During a contract negotiation you will only be allowed three attempts. If you fail to agree a new contract in these attempts you will revert to your current deal, and have to wait until the next negotiation to improve again.

As a general strategy when approaching these contract negotiations, we would recommend increasing all perks by at least one level. You could even try some at level two. We would also recommend increasing your race goals if you are consistently beating them. And increase your driver status to first driver as soon as you can, as this will give you an R&D point boost.

Win Your Rivalries

If you want to earn bonus development resource points throughout your F1 career, and to improve your reputation with your team you should always shoot to beat your rival. In the career mode you are given two rivals, the first of which is your teammate. The second will be another driver on the grid of your choosing.

Each driver on the grid has their own reward, with harder drivers giving the most reward points. Be careful when choosing your second rival, because if you don’t manage to beat them you will suffer a reputation loss. If you are running in the middle of the pack we would highly recommend not trying to beat Max Verstappen or Charles Leclerc.

F1 2019 Rivals

You can beat your rival by beating him in a series of areas. If you out qualify him you’ll gain an advantage. You’ll also gain advantage if you out race him or put in a faster lap during a race. You should try to achieve as many of these as possible.

For example if you know you don’t have a chance of beating your team mate in position, possibly aim for a faster lap to even out the advantage. You could run lean fuel mix and low ERS mode for a few laps, and then give it everything you have on a single lap to better his lap time. Remember you can always ask your engineer to tell you what your team mate and rivals fastest lap times are, so you know what to aim for.

Throughout your career you will also be invited to invitational events. These are one off events between grand prix weekends which have you undertaking a single task. It could be to overtake a certain amount of cars or beat a lap time. These invitationals will give you a great break from the usual grand prix weekend format and allow you to drive some of the best cars from years gone by.

You will also see that your rivals often attend certain invitationals. When you see your rival is in attendance you should always attend the same event. You will see your rivals best performance whilst taking part in the invitational, which gives you a goal to aim for.

Beating your rival here will give you a nice little reputation boost.

Keep Track of Component Wear Levels

Throughout the season as you practice, qualify and race your car, the components which make up your engine and gearbox will wear down. As they wear down your performance will decrease, and you will even have more serious consequences as the wear gets really high.

For example if you wear your gearbox down to much you will start missing gears and the car will become very difficult to drive. The same applies to other areas of the engine. Your turbocharger will give you less power and will start to smoke. Your ERS wont recover as much energy and your supply will be limited.

F1 2019 Formula 2 Career Mode

You can avoid excess wear by changing your engine components as you start to reach 60-70% wear. You get 2-3 of each component to last throughout the year. If you require more than this you will take grid penalties at future races. This is what you are trying to avoid, as a ten place grid drop makes your race and championship goals increasingly difficult to meet.

If you are in a championship battle, replacing your engine at one of the last races can ruin your chances of becoming world champion. We know this experience first hand!

This is why in our first R&D tips we recommend prioritising the reliability perks early on.

One tip that we use is to have a race component setup and a practice setup. If you have a series of parts with 70% wear or higher, we would recommend moving on to the next part. Change this just before you qualify for maximum performance. When you get to the next weekend you can put the worn part back in to complete practice. This way throughout the practice sessions you are only wearing your old engine parts. Then in practice three, you can replace the worn parts with the newer parts you used last weekend. This once again gives you maximum performance going into quali.

You can also decide to take new engine parts just before a power hungry track such as Spa and Monza. This will give you maximum performance along the long straights of these tracks. Then when it comes to tracks such as Monaco where you don’t require as much power, use some older engine parts.

You can rotate your starting allowance of engine parts as much as you want throughout races so strategise for important races.

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So there are our top 7 tips to get you started in F1 2019 career mode. Follow these and you should be maximising your potential throughout the season, and really be able to challenge your rivals.

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Article written by Mjolnir

Mjolnir is one of the main setup creators and content writers for SimRacingSetups. He has had years of experience in sim racing, both competitively and casually. After a decade of sim racing experience, he co-founded SimRacingSetup.com to share his passion and knowledge of sim racing and Formula 1 with other sim racers.
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