F1 Manager 2023: The Most Efficient Car Development – Complete Guide

What approach should you take to car development in F1 Manager 2023? This guide looks at the most efficient development strategy in this year's F1 Manager game.

F1 Manager 23 Development Guide

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As well as spending time on track in F1 Manager 23, a lot of your time will be spent away from the track. You’ll be managing driver contracts, sponsor deals and possibly most importantly, your car’s development.

Throughout the season you should look to utilise all of your development hours to improve your car. This is the real key to progressing through the field and becoming a championship contender.

In this guide, I’m going to look at car development in F1 Manager 2023. I’ll show you my top tips for maximising your development and efficiently developing upgrades that will improve your car.

How to develop new car parts in F1 Manager 23

F1 Manager 2023 gives you a lot of control over how to develop your car. You can really dictate which parts of the car to develop, exactly how to develop them and what area to focus on. And managing your team allocation to speed up development if required.

Watch our complete development guide video

Below is a full video on how car development works in F1 Manager 23. Continue to read on below if you don’t fancy watching this video.


Analysing your car performance

So the first step in developing your car is to always compare your car to your rivals. You can quickly see where your car stands against the competition by checking out the car analysis screen.

Comparing performance against other teams

In this screen, you’ll get a lot of information about how your car compares to other teams. You can directly compare your car by choosing a different team to specifically compare against.

Then, I would recommend changing the display in the top right corner to “rank on grid”. This will show where your car ranks against all other cars on the grid. And it’s a very quick way to easily identify problem areas.

You can then delve deeper into different parts of your car to see where each part of your car is letting you down. Or, if you’re running a career as Red Bull, you’ll see just how much you’re dominating the competition by.

F1 Manager 2023 Car Analysis

This gives you a real indicator as to how to develop your car, as you can really identify problem areas. In the overall performance screen, you’ll see some green and blue ticks. These show how important these parts of your car are for the upcoming race.

You’ll see here that Bahrain really rewards good acceleration, as well as low to medium-speed cornering.

I would really recommend writing down some of the areas where your car is particularly weak. As we can then jump into the development screen to fix these problem areas.

Seeing which parts are required for upcoming races

Another area where we can look at when choosing what parts to develop is to check out the upcoming races. In F1 Manager 23, new parts are slightly quicker to design than in last year’s game, so we can really adapt and react to upcoming races.

It is important to note that new car parts can take up to 45 days to design, and then another 15-20 days to manufacture.

You can speed this up by assigning extra engineers to the project or by rushing. Meaning generally, a new car part will take around 25-30 days to design, and 15 days to manufacture. This gives us an average turnaround window of around 40 days for now.

This means we can start developing new parts for races that are 40 days away. I’d highly recommend checking out the circuit information screen and seeing which races are upcoming.

For example, in the period around the middle of the year from Austria to Monza, there are 5 tracks which all reward high-speed cornering. This could represent a good focus area in the future. Developing car parts that reward higher-speed cornering would benefit this batch of races.

This can help you structure your season from a development perspective.


Designing new car parts

Once we have identified areas where our car is weak, we can head over to the development screen where we start to design new car parts.

This is the part of development in F1 Manager 2023 where you design the specific car parts. You can decide which parts of your car to focus on as well as how to develop that part.

F1 Manager 2023 Design Underfloor

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This is where the focus areas from the car performance analysis earlier come into play. If you wrote down where you need to improve your car, you can implement it here.

For example, with Mercedes here, my car was poor at high-speed cornering as well as DRS performance. I can then focus on creating a new underfloor for example that focuses on high-speed performance.

This will jump me up considerably in the performance rankings, helping my car become one of the better cars at high-speed corners.

How many CFD and wind tunnel hours to use per part

When choosing to design a new part, the second decision you’ll face after choosing the part to develop is how many hours to spend designing each new part.

These are broken down into two categories, CFD MAU hours and wind tunnel hours.

You can assign whichever combination of hours you like to a new design. But the more hours you assign, the better the new part can potentially be.

I like to design two new parts each ATR period. So I generally spend half of my CFD and wind tunnel hours on each new design. This is the most efficient way of designing parts and provides the biggest return on your investment.

You can design up to 4 new car parts at once, but each new design will have a much smaller performance gain.

What is an ATR period?

An ATR period is a designation of time in which you get to develop your car. These generally last a couple of months, although the very first one in a new career mode is just two weeks.

You should use all of your development hours every ATR period. Because if you don’t, you will lose those hours. Then, at the end of each ATR period, your CFD and wind tunnel hours reset.

How durability works

Durability is new to F1 Manager 2023 and gives each car part a lifespan. Once a part becomes too worn, it will need to be replaced. This ensures you need to be manufacturing new parts throughout the season and cannot use the same chassis for example for an entire season.

When designing new car parts, you can increase or decrease the new part’s durability. Increasing it will also increase the weight of that part and will negatively affect your performance. However, it will last longer and require replacing less often.

If you lower the durability, the part becomes lighter which gives you a weight advantage. However, the part won’t last for as many races.

The problem with the added durability in F1 Manager 2023 is that the cost cap is much more of a concern this year. You will need to manufacture many more parts throughout the season compared to last year’s game.

And new parts can cost anywhere up to $550,000 per new part. So you can quickly see how the cost cap is much scarier this time round.


Tips for designing new parts efficiently

Now I do want to touch on some tips that I have for designing new car parts efficiently in F1 Manager 23.

How to focus lifespan

Lifespan and durability is the big new addition here. For your first set of developments, I would recommend moving the lifespan focus to the left. This will reduce the overall durability, but it will give you a really good boost in performance.

Moving the durability to the right will hurt your performance gains. And chances are, by the time the parts come to the end of their lifespan, we will have designed new parts in that category.

F1 Manager 2023 Minimum lifespan durability
Where to assign the design focus

When it comes to dictating where you should assign the design focus. I would highly recommend designing parts to tackle areas where your car is weak.

Remember to use the upcoming circuit information to see if there are any groups of circuits with the same characteristics. This can help you guide your design, giving you goals to aim for.

As I mentioned earlier, you could look to create a big new development focusing on high-speed cornering to be ready before Austria. Five of the next six tracks all reward cars with good high-speed cornering, so this is the ideal time to bring a new upgrade.

Try to design multiple parts before manufacturing

Now, one top tip I have is to actually design a few different versions of a single part before manufacturing it. This will really help make the best use of your limited budget this year.

Manufacturing costs a lot of money as I mentioned earlier, up to $550,000 per new part. So if you manufacture every new part you design, you’ll be spending millions every month on new parts. These new parts may become redundant over time after you further improve the design.

Instead, I would recommend designing say a new underfloor. And then, once the design is complete, start another new design project for the same part. This will give you a much larger performance benefit and won’t cost nearly as much as manufacturing a part each time a new design is made.

For example, designing a new part will cost up to $1.6 million. Then the cost for manufacturing two of that part can cost up to $550,000 per part, meaning a manufacturing cost of $1.1 million.

That is a total of $2.7 million to get a new part designed and one manufactured for each car. Then, every time you designed a new part moving forward, you’d be hit with the manufacturing cost.

Instead, I’d recommend designing the part two or three times before manufacturing it. This will save the extra manufacturing time and cost and will allow you to deliver a single much bigger upgrade.


Conclusion

Hopefully, this guide will help you navigate the world of car development in F1 Manager 2023. Using the tips such as multiple design phases before manufacturing and analysing your car’s performance will hopefully help you take your team to the front of the grid.


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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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