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But doing a whole season of racing is quite different compared to going in and out of singular grand prix races. There are a lot of gameplay factors to consider, such as car reliability, team performance, rivalries with other drivers, and more. Thus, forward thinking is crucial to success in Career Mode.
Making heads or tails of all the concepts relevant to Career Mode can be quite difficult, especially for new players or those that might not have the time to invest learning the ins and outs. But that’s why we’re here with a full guide to F1 2022’s most complex game mode.
Career vs. My Team Career
First, we need to distinguish the regular Career Mode from My Team Career. Both modes function more or less the same way, but with one big difference: My Team Career involves the player joining the grid with their own outfit. This means that there will be 11 teams competing in the season as opposed to how it is in real life with 10 teams.
My Team Career also incorporates more management aspects compared to regular Career Mode. Players will have to deal with financial obligations, sponsorship deals, questions from the media, employee satisfaction, and more. And because every F1 team needs two drivers, players will also need to hire and develop their teammate as well.
Regular Career Mode does away with most of these aspects, focusing more on just the driving and overall competition. If you want to just race without worrying too much about managing a team, go with this mode. Otherwise, if you want to experience something with a bit more depth and personal touch to it, choose My Team Career.
Understanding the Formula 1 World Championship
If you’ve ever followed traditional sports leagues like the NBA or NFL, you’ll know that teams play each other a few times over the course of a single season. For example, teams in the same NBA division face each other four times a year. At the end of each regular season, teams get their playoff seeding positions based on their win-loss record.
Formula 1 and other racing leagues are nothing like traditional sports in this regard. For one, there are actually two titles to win instead of one, those being the World Driver’s Championship (WDC) and World Constructor’s Championship (WCC). The WDC concerns individual drivers, while the WCC is a competition between teams on the grid.
Moreover, drivers and teams are scored based on their finishing positions in each grand prix, rather than a win-loss record. The governing body tallies these points after every grand prix weekend, with the highest point scorers winning the WDC and WCC at the end of the season. Naturally, this means that it is possible for a driver or a team to clinch either or even both championships before the end of the season, mathematically locking up the titles through a sheer advantage in points.
Only the top 10 finishers at each grand prix are eligible for points. The points distribution is as follows:
|Grand Prix Points Distribution|
|Finishing Position||Points Awarded|
One additional point also goes to the driver that finishes the race with the fastest lap on track. However, said driver must finish within the top 10 places in order to be eligible for the extra point.
Race Weekend Structure
Quick disclaimer before we get into this section: the exact format of your race weekends in Career Mode will vary depending on the settings you choose at the start. We’ll get into some of the available options in this guide, but for the most part we will assume that you have at least full qualifying and 50 percent races (half of the real life distance of any given track) or more enabled.
Formula 1 weekends take place over three days, going from Friday to Sunday. Under normal circumstances, Friday is reserved for Free Practice 1 (FP1) and Free Practice 2 (FP2), Saturday is reserved for Free Practice 3 (FP3) and Qualifying (Q1, Q2, and Q3), and Sunday is for the grand prix itself.
Free Practice allows drivers to familiarize themselves with the track that the grand prix is taking place in. This is all about getting to grips with the characteristics of the circuit, as well as figuring out the best way to approach the different corners.
Also available in Free Practice sessions are the various practice programs, which consist of short challenges that serve as stress tests for different components of the car. For example, the tire management program requires players to keep tire wear to a minimum over the course of a lap. The race strategy program, on the other hand, is all about putting in a consistent performance over five laps, collecting data for the optimal race strategy on Sunday as you go.
Additionally, practice programs provide your team with valuable resource points. Resource points allow you to purchase various upgrades for your car throughout the season, which increase its performance relative to the rest of the field. Gathering as many resource points as possible each weekend is vital to climbing the ladder in Career Mode.
There are three 60-minute practice sessions available to drivers throughout the weekend. Anyone participating in each session is entitled to an unlimited number of laps, though teams are limited to the number of tires allocated to them by the FIA. This means that while it is theoretically possible to just keep going around the track for an entire session, cumulative tire wear effectively prevents this from happening.
We always recommend going through practice sessions in the F1 2022 game’s career mode. Not only does it allow you to become more familiar with the track you’re racing in, but it also ensures that you get the maximum amount of resource points for your upgrading endeavors.
Qualifying is all about banging out the fastest laps possible in order to earn the highest possible starting position in the race. Teams generally pull out all the stops in qualifying; engines are set to full power, the softest tire compounds are used, and drivers are instructed to push as hard as they can.
Qualifying is divided into three separate sessions, in a format known as knockout qualifying. Every driver’s goal is to make it into the next qualifying session, by placing above the cutoff for each one. For example, Q1, which lasts 18 minutes, knocks out the five slowest drivers (16th-20th) at the end of the session. Q2 knocks out the next bottom five (11th-15th) from there, while Q3 determines the starting order for the top 10.
Only a driver’s fastest lap in each session will count towards the qualifying order. Let’s take the Bahrain International Circuit, for example. If you put in two laps in Q1, with the first being a 1:31.000 and the second being a 1:30.500, only the latter will count once the session ends.
Depending on where your team is in the pecking order for the season, you may want to set your sights on just Q1 or Q2. Your car’s performance plays a huge part in how far you can get here, so we recommend managing your expectations based on that. Nevertheless, qualifying is an extremely important aspect of Formula 1, as qualifying higher up the grid vastly increases your chances of collecting points in the grand prix.
The simplest part of the weekend to understand, the race is where points are actually awarded. In real life, almost all races on the F1 calendar run for 305 kilometers (around 190 miles) minimum, with each race adjusting the number of laps to the finish in order to meet this race distance requirement.
For example, the British Grand Prix at the Silverstone Circuit runs for 52 laps, which covers the distance of one lap: 5.891 kilometers. The Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring, meanwhile, runs for 71 laps over a distance of 4.318 km per lap. Of course, since F1 22 is a video game, there exist options to cut down the race distance for each grand prix. 50 percent cuts it by half, 25 percent cuts it by three quarters, and so on.
Since going for a full race distance is quite the time investment, we recommend going for 50 percent races to start off with. This setting gives the best mix of brevity while still providing a satisfying grand prix experience, complete with the bells and whistles like pit stop strategies.
Remember when we said “under normal circumstances” when referring to the typical race weekend format? Sprint weekends – implemented in the 2021 season – add a new twist to the formula. In contrast to regular weekends, there are two races in a sprint weekend, one being the grand prix on Sunday as per usual and the other being the “sprint race” on Saturday after FP2.
The sprint race is not a full-length race, however — but rather a third of the grand prix distance at around 100 kilometers. The final result of the sprint race determines the grid order for the grand prix itself. The starting grid for the sprint race, meanwhile, is determined by a typical qualifying session that takes place after FP1 on Friday, rather than on Saturday.
To incentivize fierce competition between the teams during sprint races, points are also awarded, albeit only for the top eight finishers.
|Sprint Race Points Distribution|
|Finishing Position||Points Awarded|
This year’s game mirrors the sprint weekend schedule of the sport in real life. The first sprint race takes place in Imola, Italy, with the other two taking place in Spielberg, Austria and São Paulo, Brazil.
Players can, however, disable sprint weekends entirely through the Career Mode settings screen. This removes the format altogether and forces the three aforementioned race weekends to operate as normal.
Car Development, Upgrades, and Component Allocation
As mentioned previously, one of the key aspects of the F1 2022 game’s career mode is that of car development. Just like in real life, teams periodically apply new, upgraded parts to their cars. The player’s team is no exception to this, as resource points contribute directly to research and development throughout the season.
There are four distinct areas of research and development available in Career Mode: Aerodynamics, Chassis, Powertrain, and Durability. Each one is responsible for improving a specific aspect of the car’s performance.
Each category includes several research items for you to pick and choose from, but not all of them are available right away and need to be unlocked first. For example, the engine power category under the Powertrain department has seven upgrades in total — some of which are unavailable for purchase until you complete lesser research projects.
For My Team Career in particular, some of these parts may also be locked behind team facility upgrades, adding another obstacle to bar your way before you can begin working on higher tier parts. In regular Career Mode, though, your team will automatically upgrade facilities for you.
The Aerodynamics department deals with the aero devices on the car, such as the front and rear wings, the floor, and the sidepods. Upgrading parts in this area primarily increases downforce, which increases the car’s grip and therefore its cornering ability.
If you find yourself suffering from understeer a lot, consider investing resource points in this department. Front downforce upgrades help with cornering, while rear downforce upgrades help with traction off the starting line and coming out of turns. Some parts in this area also deal with drag reduction — which is to say that they reduce the effect of the air in the atmosphere when it hits the body of the car. Less drag means higher acceleration and top speed at the same level of engine power.
Incidentally, the parts that deal with drag reduction also increase the effectiveness of your car’s DRS; that is to say, you get a larger speed boost when opening your rear wing.
The Chassis department is responsible for developing the overall bodywork of the car outside of aerodynamic devices. Such parts include the suspension, brakes, overall weight and weight distribution, and improvements to tire degradation. Investing into this area primarily increases the car’s agility, allowing it to remain stable when turning at high speeds and to produce responsive steering.
The upgrades related to weight also help improve the car in many aspects, particularly in terms of top speed and handling. After all, a lighter car can go faster and turn more easily compared to a heavier one. While it’s true that upgrades from the Powertrain department increase engine power and therefore speed and acceleration, weight upgrades do both as well as improve cornering ability at the same time.
As for the tire wear upgrades, these help the car dissipate unwanted heat from the tires in racing conditions, thus prolonging tire life. Tires that can go the distance allow drivers to run more aggressive strategies that involve softer tire compounds, or go ultra-conservative with a one-stop strategy using harder compounds.
Lastly, the brake-related upgrades in this category increase the stopping power of the car’s brakes, allowing it to bleed speed despite braking later than usual.
This department is arguably the most impactful one of the four available, as most upgrade projects here improve several characteristics all at once.
The Powertrain department deals with the development of the V6 turbocharged engine and the hybrid system, the latter of which includes the energy recovery system (ERS). Upgrades you can find here include direct improvements to the combustion engine, turbocharger, and the capacity of the ERS battery itself.
Need to go fast? Then you’d do well to invest resource points into this department. An underpowered engine can only get you so far in Formula 1, so making sure yours is up to scratch is important. More horsepower under the hood means higher top speeds, which come in particularly useful on tracks with a lot of long straights or high speed corners.
The ERS upgrades here are of particular note, as using the Overtake button does juice the engine up a lot — at the cost of much higher energy consumption. Upgrading the battery allows it to store more energy, which in turn allows you to deploy Overtake mode more liberally.
Note that despite it being called “Overtake” mode as such, it does not necessarily mean that it is only used for passing other drivers on track. Using Overtake mode boosts your speed no matter where you are on track, so it is also useful for putting in faster lap times and increasing your race pace. Thus, battery upgrades also help you just go faster overall.
As the saying goes: in order to finish first, first you have to finish. Motorsport sets itself apart from traditional sports through the use of machinery, which does go through wear and tear and sometimes even breaks down in the middle of a race. This is where the Durability department comes in.
Component failures can easily lead to DNF (did not finish) results, so keeping your parts dependable and reliable is crucial to fielding a good campaign through the grueling 22-race Formula 1 season. The Durability department takes care of this, providing upgrades to the various components of both the power unit and the gearbox.
These upgrades do not directly impact the raw performance of your car, but allow you to actually take the checkered flag at the end of every race. If consistency is your goal, you’ll definitely want to spend resource points here. For starters, we recommend grabbing the gearbox and internal combustion engine (ICE) upgrades, as these are the two parts that wear the fastest in the first season.
The FIA allocates a limited number of power unit components to each team’s cars during the season. For example, teams are limited to three ICEs per driver, and must work with the wear and tear that these individual units accumulate over time. Worn components have less overall performance, and are more at risk of failing during a grand prix.
In the F1 video games, wear and tear manifests itself as one would expect. A worn gearbox is prone to misshifts and failing altogether, a worn ICE runs with reduced power and can shut down in the middle of a race, and so on.
Thus, it becomes necessary for some teams, particularly those that don’t have that many durability upgrades, to order fresh components in excess of the allocation. This allows them to reset the performance and reliability of specific power unit parts. But, this comes at a price: teams that opt to do this will incur grid penalties, forcing them to start the grand prix several places down the order from where they qualified.
It is therefore quite important to minimize wear on engine components, in order to prevent having to take on grid penalties during the season. Of course, this won’t always be possible depending on the component as some wear out faster than others. Even top teams like Ferrari and Red Bull will have to contend with penalties from time to time.
Recommended F1 2022 Game Career Mode Settings for Beginners
Now let’s get into the settings themselves, and what we recommend for first time players. These settings make for the most fulfilling experience right out of the box, without making the game too easy or too difficult to begin with.
The F1 calendar is 22 races long in real life, starting in Bahrain and ending in Abu Dhabi. This can be a daunting number of races to go through for new players, so we suggest cutting it down to the 16-race calendar. This sheds six races from the schedule, making things a lot more manageable and allowing you to see the conclusion of the championship sooner.
What’s more, you get to pick which races get the boot from the calendar, which is great because tracks like Monaco and Hungary are very difficult for beginners to get accustomed to. Once you’ve got a season or two under your belt, you can switch the full calendar back on.
This setting is locked to Full in Career Mode, so you have no choice but to have all three practice sessions available. No worries here — you can always just fast forward time in each session to skip ahead.
That said, we still recommend going through the practice sessions wherever you may be on the calendar, due to the potential resource points on the table as well as acclimatizing to the tracks themselves.
We suggest keeping the qualifying format at Full, as it provides the most authentic qualifying experience which mirrors the real thing. Qualifying doesn’t take long anyway, so there’s no real reason to shorten it.
That said, should you wish, you can opt for One-Shot Qualifying, where you are limited to just one flying lap, or Short Qualifying, which is a single timed session.
This option determines how long practice sessions and the grand prix itself go for. We recommend turning the setting up to Long, which sets practice sessions to the full 60 minutes each but keeps races to 50 percent.
As mentioned before, 50 percent races give the best balance of brevity and realism, so this setting is perfect for those getting into Career Mode for the first time. Once you’ve experienced what it’s like to go for more than just one fourth of the race distance, you can turn this setting up to Full in subsequent seasons.
Career Mode Specifics
These are settings that pertain to Career Mode aspects in particular, such as the ability for drivers to switch teams, and for the player to manage research and development manually. We recommend leaving both of the aforementioned settings on, especially the R&D one as it is a large part of the experience to begin with.
There’s also the resource accumulation settings, which we recommend leaving on default. This way, any resources gained (resource points, acclaim, cash) won’t come in too slowly or too quickly. If you want an extra challenge, like driving for a team at the back of the grid, you may want to set the player resource accumulation rate to Reduced.
Finally, there’s the mechanical fault settings for the player. Fault Frequency refers to the rate at which technical issues with the car arise during sessions in Career Mode. You can opt to disable them entirely, but we think it’s much more exciting to have it at least on Low. Standard makes things even more thrilling, as you never really know when something might go wrong and slow you down.
Fault Types, meanwhile, determines what kind of failures can occur. Low and Standard both enable technical faults only, which are debilitating but not necessarily race-ending. Low makes technical faults less severe. High enables mechanical failures, which cause DNF results.
Which setting you go with here is entirely up to you, but be aware that restarting race sessions will not prevent faults from happening. This is because faults are predetermined on a per-race basis.
Rules and Flags
These settings pertain to how the rules of racing, such as corner cutting and collisions, are enforced in each session. We recommend keeping this setting on, as allowing oneself to cut corners isn’t really racing the way it was meant to be done.
As for Corner Cutting Stringency, we’ve found that the Codemasters F1 games are too heavy-handed when this setting is on Strict, so to keep things balanced we recommend setting this to Regular.
Parc Fermé Rules dictate that a car cannot have its most of its setup changed for the rest of the weekend, once it leaves the garage for the first time during qualifying. This tends to catch first time players off guard as they try to make setup changes right before the grand prix, say to prepare for a possible weather change during the race. This is illegal in modern day Formula 1, so teams have to decide whether or not they want to sacrifice some pace in qualifying in favor of having a setup that suits the inclement weather during the race.
We recommend keeping this on for the full experience, but if you so desire, you can simply disable Parc Fermé Rules entirely.
For the Pit Stop and Formation Lap Experience settings, we recommend setting both to Immersive. We talked about Immersive Pit Stops before in our F1 22 basics guide, and we feel it adds a bit more excitement to pit stops despite it just being about pressing a button with correct timing.
As for the formation lap, we’re fairly sure this is an oversight on the part of the developers, but setting it to Broadcast (which automates the process) makes it much more difficult to get a good launch off the starting line. This is apparently due to tire temperatures (which determine grip and traction levels) being out of whack otherwise. So, we definitely suggest driving the formation laps yourself.
Finally, there’s the Safety Car. Definitely keep this at least on Standard, because the Safety Car is one of the most thrilling aspects of motor racing, period. Safety Car periods allow you to get cheap pit stops, too, in the sense that since the entire field has to slow down, your pit stops will lose you less time compared to normal. The Safety Car Experience setting should always be set to Immersive, as we’ve also found bugs with it similar to the formation lap Broadcast setting.