F1 Manager 2023 – Team Starting Difficulty

The purpose of this guide is to try to determine the starting difficulty of each team. As the sections progress, the analysis will be deepened, and more details will come into play and be explained.

If the information seems too detailed, don’t hesitate to stop reading and find out for yourself right in the game!


It seems that this year’s game is more difficult for many players than the 2022 edition, so let’s find out why!

The worst thing that can happen is to be fired at the end of the season, and that’s catastrophic! All these investments for the 2024 season will have been for nothing, so it’s impossible to continue with the plan implemented for the team’s future success, and we have to start all over again…

Reasons for being fired

They can be financial:

  • Debt (even temporary)
  • Exceeding the budget cap (refer to Money section of this guide)

They can also be sporting:

  • Not satisfying the board (race performance)
  • Failure to reach season objective
  • Failure to reach long-term objective in due year (should not concern 1st season)

The Board Confidence

The 5 Commandments for Managers listed above are your objectives.

  • Failure to comply with more than one will probably result in dismissal
  • Failure to comply with just one may result in dismissal, depending on its severity
  • Complying with all of them ensures that you won’t be dismissed


Money is an essential element in the difficulty of the game, which is why it is necessary to have some basic knowledge.

Money income

The game starts on February 20th, so there will only be 10 payments from the board.

  • The initial balance
  • The fixed amount paid by the board on the 1st of each month
  • The base amount paid by the sponsors for each of the 23 races
  • Sponsor bonuses and guarantees.

Sponsor bonuses and guarantees can be more or less easy to obtain, depending on the objectives set by the sponsors for the bonuses, and the guarantees you choose.

Be careful with guarantees: not reaching them will cost you a penalty on the base amount paid by the sponsors!

The budget cap

Recently introduced in F1, the budget cap limits the amount of spending authorized by teams, in order to reduce the gap between them, which used to be several hundred million.

It is set at 139 200 000$ and mainly covers running costs (cost of running the facilities, staff salaries – except for the drivers) as well as parts design and research for the following year’s car.

Facilities upgrades are not included in the budget cap.

Starting finances of the first season

As illustrated, the major differences concern the initial balance as well as the amount that can be allocated to facilities: all teams earn enough money, even without any sponsor bonuses, to cover the remaining budget cap.

Ratings and Objectives

The main value to consider is the car’s performance ranking:

  • The level of facilities can bring some advantages, but they are mostly minimal
  • The level of staff can make a difference in very specific cases, but they are not the key to success in the first season
  • Drivers come into play mainly if they destroy too many cars over the year, as this will have financial repercussions (budget cap!)

Objective and relative difficulty

To get a basic idea of how difficult a first season can be, you need to compare the car’s rank with its objective:

  • If the car’s rank is higher than the objective: rather easy
  • If the car’s rank is equal to the objective: easy to medium, the other ranks may have more impact
  • If the car’s rank is below the objective: medium to very difficult, depending on the difference and the competition for the same objective

Example for bottom teams

  • McLaren car is #8, objective is #7 – difference = 1
  • Alphatauri car is #9, objective is #7 – difference = 2
  • Alfa Romeo car is #10, objective is #7 – difference = 3
  • Williams car is #7, objective is #8 – difference = -1

We can deduce that:

  • Starting with McLaren, the main competitor should be Williams
  • Starting with Alfa Romeo, there’s a lot more competition: Williams, McLaren and Alphatauri, and beginning with the worst car!
  • Starting with Williams, there should be no problem finishing 8th

Why is x team this or that difficulty

Apply the above “formula”, based on car position and team objective from the table above, with, if necessary, the competitors.

  • Ferrari car #3 performs better than Aston Martin car #2 in most cases
  • Alpine car #5 performs almost the same as Mercedes car #4 in most cases

Initial rating at the start of a season

Related to each team, it’s obvious that if you already know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, most of them should be more or less easy to manage.

  1. Red Bull – very easy
  2. Ferrari – easy
  3. Mercedes – hard to very hard
  4. Alpine – easy
  5. McLaren – medium to hard
  6. Alfa Romeo – very hard
  7. Aston Martin – very easy
  8. Haas – easy
  9. Alphatauri – hard to very hard
  10. Willams – very easy

Notes about above difficulty:

  • Your 1st race should follow the above difficulty
  • From the 2nd and 3rd race, you will have new parts designed, as will the AI teams, which means that at this point, your career will be totally unique
  • This also means that the difficulty may vary more or less from this point on, depending on your design decision and the AI’s design decisions
Volodymyr Azimoff
About Volodymyr Azimoff 13579 Articles
I love games and I live games. Video games are my passion, my hobby and my job. My experience with games started back in 1994 with the Metal Mutant game on ZX Spectrum computer. And since then, I’ve been playing on anything from consoles, to mobile devices. My first official job in the game industry started back in 2005, and I'm still doing what I love to do.

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