Reviews Strategy

Motorsport Manager

Developer: Playsport Games | Publisher: Sega | Release Date: 9 November, 2016

Big brother to the impressive mobile app of it’s shared namesake. The PC version includes more modes, options and incredible detail within the game design and graphics during race days.

Motorsport Manager is an incredibly immersive experience. Anyone interested in racing or management strategy games will feel at home here. Hiring & firing staff, drivers, tactics and selecting sponsors is all at your fingertips in the pursuit of building a winning Motorsport team. Thanks to the impressive craft and design of the game although their are technical aspects to the parts and performance of the car setups it’s not overwhelming for newcomers to jump straight in and make decisions. Every race is a challenge and every decision has a consequence whether it’s good or bad.

The career mode includes 3 championships. Your provided the choice of which to start whether it’s the top tier (similar to F1) or a lower championship (GP2 equivalent). If you do well enough your team could be invited to compete in a higher tiered championship with larger financial rewards.

At the start of a season the team is provided with a budget. Sponsors can be selected to boost income throughout the season. Each sponsor runs for their own specific duration of races and include perormance bonuses depending on whether you finish within the required race position.

The team can be assigned tasks between races such as improve performance or reliability of car parts e.g. brakes, engine etc. New part designs can also be requested but they do so with a heavy cost and long build time until completion. Within this new part build process your provided choices such as added reliability or a boost in performance. Risky add-on’s can also be implemented which will provide even more performance or reliability to the part compared to the standard options. After each race the cars are automatically checked for any violations of the rules. Low risk modifications may pass without notice however that isn’t guaranteed. If a part on the car fails the inspection it will be permanently banned so you’ll never be able to use it again. As the parts are hugely expensive this pursuit for the best performance can come at a price.  As manager of the team it is your decision as to how far to push the boundaries to win.

Reliability of parts is just as important as the performance. Of course its essential to push the car as fast as possible but if the engine fails every 10 laps then those regular long pit stops for repairs will certainly prove longer than the time gained from the improved engine performance. It can be rather disheartening to see your driver pushing through the grid into the top 3 only to lose all those places gained and finish at the back end of the grid due to an unreliable car.

Drivers can be scouted from the driver pool as to their racing skills and marketability etc. Top end drivers wont be interested in driving for a low tier team so you wont even be able to enter negotiations. Better the driver the higher the salary demands and they can vary hugely to 3 or 4 times the race day equivalent of existing drivers. Firing a driver or team member during their existing contract can be costly and often not a good choice unless your left with no other option. Contracts can be negotiated, though it’s pretty much a 3 strike rule. If an agreement isn’t reached within this time-frame then negotiations will cease and further offers will not be considered (I lost my reserve prospect driver to this situation).

The best part of Motorsport Manager is the races. You’ll have the option to participate in the practice session the day before the race or skip the session. It’s an important part of the race weekend as you’ll be able to test out varying strategies between both drivers for better data analysis to help you decide on the best car setup for race day. You’ll be able to tinker with the down-force, gear ratios and suspension settings to name a few.

Race day is filled with suspense and intrigue going into the race. Game-plan’s can be undone by varying factors such as weather changes, reliability issues and accidents but it’s best to be prepared in advance and be ready to adapt on the fly during the race. Prior to the race you’ll need to consider a pit stop strategy for both drivers. Maybe driver #1 has enough fuel for 10 laps on Soft tires, and you’ll push driver #2 fuel up for 12 laps on medium and then switch the tires for the remaining laps. It’s all up to you but its detrimental to the team to have a driver queuing behind the other at the pit stop so it’s best to stagger them.

Drivers can be instructed individually during the race to burn more fuel to push the car faster in the pursuit of overlapping the car in front or conserve the fuel as your trying to see out a few extra laps in anticipation for rain or maybe to get through to the end of the race without another pit stop. Tires can also be pushed hard for improved cornering and warming for traction. Though they will degrade faster the harder they are pushed which will result in a sooner than scheduled pit stop requirement.

Rain can disrupt a racing strategy if it’s not factored into before deciding on pit stops. If a driver just came in for a new set of medium tires and then 2 laps later needs to change to inters because of rain on the track it wouldn’t be good tactics. Your job is to make better choices than the other teams. If the safety car is deployed and your due a tire change or refuel within a few laps its best to get it done during the safety car instead of bunching up with the other cars. Their speed is restricted during the safety car so it’ll be easier to catch up with the other cars. Then when they eventually pit you’ll be zooming past them and have a much better race in comparison.

No race is ever the same!

The teams infrastructure and facilities can be improved with a large selection of options such as a scouting center, to high tech design facilities with a private test track. These are very costly, costing in the millions and they take a very long time to complete their construction.

The chairman’s happiness is important regarding your tenure as manager. Plan for the future but don’t forget about now. Motorsport is a performance based business and results matter. At the beginning of the season you’ll be provided with an objective to reach by the end of the season such as finish 9th in the constructors championship. For the most part the team isn’t focused on individual driver standings. The overall teams performance in the constructors is how the team earn their financial reward at the end of the season. Finish higher gain greater rewards.

Throughout the season their will be opportunities to vote on upcoming rule changes to the championship such as adding another race to the calendar or restricting specific parts. Often the team will benefit one way or the other so it’s for you to decide what’s best for the team. If its not an important vote for the team you can abstain and build up that extra vote for a future ballot which could turn the vote in your favor when you need it.

Closing Comments

Football/Soccer has had Football Manager for years. Finally Motorsport has it’s own to be proud of in the form of Motorsport Manager. Even now in it’s infancy it’s truly brilliant. Every Motorsport fan should have this in their collection. Management simulation at it’s best!

Motorsport Manager

£24.99
Motorsport Manager
8.8333333333333

Gameplay

9/10

    Graphics

    9/10

      Story / Content

      9/10

        Pros

        • Impressive Detail
        • Great Race Day Experience

        Cons

        • Lost Practice Data Next Season
        • Parts Don't Role Over to New Season
        Stephen Bradley-Waters
        Website creator and gaming geek! Huge fan of Zelda. During my early teens I loved playing Unreal Tournament & Age of Empires. I'm currently enjoying Euro Truck Simulator 2, American Truck Simulator and various other games from racing, strategy, rpg to action, fps and indie.
        http://www.stevieonline.me