Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

The night race manager // A new motorsport simulation for desktop gamers

Published by Lukeh

When it comes to running an F1 team I imagine that there's quite a lot to do. First there's getting an engine to actually power your cars, and not to forget the hundreds of people that work on said engine and chassis to make them work as well as possible. There are sponsors to appease too and plenty to do with promotional work to get that sweet money in. Don't forget the babysitting of drivers too, and even more so now with social media being so important to get the fan's conspiracy theories across. Wait - the catering too! How could I possible forget about the catering?

An early preview of the Motorsport Manager game

Yes, it's quite a lot and this is only glossing over the many stresses I’m sure owning a team can cause. This is why it's very exciting that in just a few months we'll finally have Motorsport Manager gracing the PC, Mac and Linux so we can all live out our fully fleshed dreams of stress and anxiety on the pit wall whilst being pressured out by a little man with a big ego for the sake of his wallet.

Under new management

Like many other people I've found over the last year or so the mobile version of Motorsport Manager has been a great little game to jump in and out of. Even for a mobile game the fundamentals were all there and all worked - recruiting drivers, signing sponsors, and of course getting those race strategies oh-so-perfectly spot on is all part of the fun of this great game developed by Christian West.

However as announced today Motorsport Manager is moving onto bigger and better things with a desktop version finally announced from West's Playsport team. Rather excitingly this comes with the expertise of Sega on board - no doubt being a huge benefit for a small independent studio. What is quite exciting about this is that Sega have the benefit of the Sports Interactive team on board too, a team that have dominated the 'Manager' scene of gaming for decades with Championship Manager and now Football Manager.

So far Playsport have released a few screenshots and a tantalising trailer for Motorsport Manager that already gives a wonderful glimpse of what to expect. As much as we love what happens on a Sunday in F1, we can all admit we love what happens off the track just as much and the idea of finally having a fleshed out F1 manager sim is all kinds of exciting.

Just think - what if you were Christian Horner and you had the chance to swap drivers at a whim? What if you were fed up of where the regulations were heading and you wanted your voice heard? What if you're running your team and you're having a bad season, only to concentrate on the following season with huge success? I'm hoping that Motorsport Manager allows all of these scenarios and so much more.

Success breeds success

Even on a larger scale the potential for Motorsport Manager is so exciting. There’s still plenty to be announced by the game but there are all kinds of possibilities for what a motorsport manager could entail. We know that this game is based on F1 without the license, but could we eventually see variations of IndyCar, WEC, junior formula and more going forward? There’s a chance it could even become another franchise for Sega as a publisher and we could see yearly iterations - who knows what the future holds if it does well?

A preview of the Motorsport Manager game for desktop computers

In fact it has been a while since a worthwhile F1 manager sim has been available to play on desktops - to my knowledge, the late 90’s - and whilst we have a few more months to wait it's hard not to be excited for what potential Motorsport Manager has to offer. Whilst it may not have the official license from a certain Mr Ecclestone this never stopped the mobile game from being utterly brilliant. In fact, even if Motorsport Manager doesn't come with Steam Workshop support it would be very unlikely that we wouldn't see some form of modding to update the game with the familiar sights and names of the F1 world.

There's something strangely appealing about these type of games too. Football Manager is of course the biggest name that has taken itself onto a whole new level in recent years, but other management sims such as Sim City, Rollercoaster Tycoon and Theme Hospital hold a very dear place in the hearts of many. It's odd when you think about it - what seems appealing about managing a hospital, or the stress of running a football team? The same thing applies to the disappointments of a bad race or the fallout of an angry driver line up and it's things like this that just make the genre perfect for F1.

So not long now until we can create our own journey in the paddock and no doubt lose many hours working our way up on a much larger scale. Motorsport Manager is scheduled for release in September on PC, Mac and Linux and I for one cannot wait. The game already looks very slick from the screenshots available and I'm sure Sega will ensure that the quality matches what we've already seen from their work with Sports Interactive and Football Manager. Just watch out if you start hiring any Venezuelan drivers - you might need a few more accountants to keep those damage budgets in check!