Whilst My Team will take most of the career mode focus in F1 2021, the Driver Career Mode still has a role to play in the game – namely, the appeal that it has for you to take a team like Williams, Aston Martin, or Alpine to world title glory.
It is a different challenge to My Team, so here, we’re giving you a few tips and tricks to get the most out of your Driver Career Mode playthrough.
Know where to prioritise car development
This is the most vital aspect of progressing in the Driver Career Mode of F1 2021: knowing which parts of the car that you need to develop over others. Initially, you should look at the reliability of the car. Get the general reliability sorted to avoid a mass of grid penalties for new components to the engine later in the year. Sometimes, this alone can decide a season.
Next, check out both of the recommended upgrades that your R&D manager suggests, and then the areas of your car that are worse than the others.
For example, you might have the best power unit upgrades on the grid, but be lower down when it comes to chassis development. So, focus on moving the chassis development up to the same level as aspects like the aerodynamics, and then you could prioritise development over the races that are coming up.
If you are heading to races such as Monaco, you will want to prioritise aero and chassis, if possible, to maximise your points potential in that race. If you are into the triple-header of Spa, Zandvoort, and Monza, power unit upgrades might be the way to go as Spa and Monza are more power sensitive than Zandvoort.
Don’t expect wins and podiums instantly
This, of course, doesn’t apply to you if you are in a Mercedes, Red Bull, or perhaps even a McLaren, but it certainly does if you are lower down the order, in perhaps an Aston Martin, Alfa Romeo, or even a Williams or Haas. You will be in this career mode for the long haul, and you need to be prepared to have a season or two under your belt before you make it onto the podium.
Racing for a team like Williams, aim to get into the points places as much as you can in that first year. As the first season progresses, you’ll perhaps want to be going from P9 or P10 in races to P6 or P8. Plus, if you are able to out-develop the other teams and make a leap in the offseason, you might then get onto the podium quicker than expected.
Ensure that you do all of the practice programs
Whilst it might feel like a bit of a chore at times, the best thing to do when undertaking free practice sessions is very much to complete all of the required practice programs. F1 2021 now features the option to do quick practice, whereby the game simulates the sessions for you and you don’t have to run the sessions yourself, but there is a risk to doing that.
Not only do you get fewer recourse points than if you do the program yourself, but you also run the risk that the simulation doesn’t fulfil successfully, meaning that your engine components will be worn potentially without any gain. At least when you do the program yourself, you can change the difficulty if desired, or restart the program or session if you just fall short. For maximum points, do the programs yourself.
These are our main tips and tricks that you should take note of if you are undertaking an F1 2021 Driver Career Mode.
Just like My Team, racing for one of the official teams may require some patience as you look to launch your team further up the grid. Should you be successful in doing so, you could end up taking a team like Williams back to the front, or allow Aston Martin to compete for their first-ever Formula One World Championships.