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Video Game / Motorsport Manager

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"It's the final few seconds before the lights go out..."
Motorsport Manager is to Formula One and other professional motorsports what Football Manager is to football. Developed by Playsport Games and published by Seganote , Motorsport Manager tasks you with running your own motorsport team in one of several categories. It's up to you to hire and fire personnel, develop new parts, upgrade your HQ, plan out race strategies, and balance the books, all while keeping your chairman and your drivers happy.

Initially released on mobile platforms in 2014, an enhanced version was later released for PC and Mac in November 2016, with three updates and challenge pack DLCs, released in February, June, and November 2017. A Nintendo Switch port based on the third mobile game was released in March 2019, published by Curve Digital. This page covers the PC/Mac version.

The game contains examples of the following tropes:

  • The Ace: At the start of the game, the best drivers are Panther's Zoe Sharp, Steinmann's Harry Chapman, and Rossini's Dieter Wexler, respectively expies of Daniel Ricciardo, Lewis Hamilton, and Sebastian Vettel. All of them have nearly 5 of 5-star ratings.
  • Achilles' Heel: Most of the WMC teams start off with at least one area in which they lag behind. Van Dort, for example, have shoddy brakes and front wings, while Kitano have terrible engines and mediocre staff. The exception is Chariot, who lag behind in just about everything.
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  • Action Girl: Pretty much all the female drivers. Special mention goes to Zoe Sharp who is arguably the best driver at the start of the game.
  • The Alleged Car: In Create A Team mode, you initially start out with one of these, and have to gradually get everything up to snuff.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: One of the stranger potential rule changes is for sprinkler systems to be installed at every track, giving every race the chance to be a wet race regardless of the forecast. If you're not familiar with Formula One, you may not realise that this was actually proposed, back in 2011. Nobody liked the proposal and it was quickly shelved.
  • Amazonian Beauty: Any female driver with the "Beautiful" Trait qualifies, since top-level racing drivers have to be tremendously physically fit. Van Dort's Maria Gonzales is the most prominent example at the start of the game. Likewise for any male drivers with the "Beautiful" Trait, which means they are hunks.
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  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Several of the challenges unlock extra cosmetic items that can be used when creating your manager in Career Mode.
  • Ascended Meme:
    • The game gets a lot of mileage out of Kimi Raikkonen's famous "Leave me alone, I know what I'm doing!" outburst from the 2012 Abu Dhabi GP. It's the flavour text for the "Radio Shy" Trait, and also the name of an achievement (unlocked by winning a race with a driver who's 'Gone Rogue').
    • Sebastian Vettel's "Honestly, what are we doing? Racing or ping pong?" outburst from the 2016 Spanish GP is one of the possible things your drivers can tell you when someone else crashes into them.
    • Kimi Raikkonen's Fan Nickname of "Ice Man" is a driver trait, which increases Focus in exchange for slicing the driver's Marketability in half. Unsurprisingly, Kimi's expy Niilo Saarinen has that trait.
  • Audience Reactions: Played In-Universe via a Twitter Expy. Fans and journalists will react to your performances in each session: the better your performance, and the higher your overall Marketability, the more enthusiastic their responses will be.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Drivers with the "Crazy" Trait can still be world-class, even if they do believe in lizard men.
  • Doing It for the Art: Drivers with the "Passionate" Trait are in-universe examples; they love racing so much that they're willing to take less pay than other drivers, as long as it means they can keep on doing what they're doing.
  • Down to the Last Play: Just as in real-life, it's possible for a race to go down to the last lap, especially as drivers' tyres start to wear down. It's also not uncommon for the championship to be decided at the final race, especially if that race is worth double points.
  • Dumb Jock: Racing is very physical, especially in-game, and anyone with the "Dumb" trait defaults to this.
    Well, nobody told me not to juggle the brake discs.
  • Expy:
    • The WMC is clearly based on Formula One, with the teams and drivers based on real-world teams and drivers. The circuits are also based on real F1 tracks with the notable exception of Phoenix, which more closely resembles NASCAR's Daytona International Speedway.
    • While both of the GT Series aren't really based on any particular real-life series (although there are some subtle relations to a few such as Blancpain GT), the Endurance series is very loosely based on the World Endurance Championship. The reason for this is that there are 6 teams in each class (A and B), but only 3 participated in the 2017 WEC season's top LMP1 class (Porsche, Toyota, and ByKolles, the latter withdrawing halfway into the season). The other 3 in Class A are fictional non-expies, while Class B has "Tony Zang Motorsport". If you're at least slightly familiar with the world of sportscars, you'll know how obvious this one is.
    • Note: There were 6 teams in 2016 LMP1 for Le Mans. Nissan, Audi sport, and Rebellion, who returned to LMP1 in 2018. Rebellion and ByKolles were both in the Non-Hybrid sub-class, while Nissan only showed up to Le Mans that year due to their program's Development Hell; they closed the program that Christmas and haven't returned since.
  • The Fashionista: Women can get this trait, which temporarily boosts their Marketability.
  • Gender Flip: While real-world motorsport is very much male-dominated, Motorsport Manager is split almost 50-50 between men and women, so there are quite a few gender-flipped drivers. Notable examples include 2016 champion Nico Rosberg (Nina Holtz), Daniel Ricciardo (Zoe Sharp), Felipe Massa (Ana Oliviera), and Jenson Button (Jenny North).
  • Golden Snitch: One of the rule changes that can be implemented makes the final race of the season worth twice as many points. The Asia-Pacific Super Cup has this rule enabled when you first start.
  • Handicapped Badass: Drivers will occasionally pick up injuries that reduce their stats. You can leave them at home to let them recover faster, or have them race anyway, in which case they become this by default. AI teams will never rest injured drivers, so it's not that uncommon to see someone scoring points (or even winning) despite being covered in bandages or wearing a neck brace.
  • It's All About Me: Drivers with the "Selfish" trait will lower everyone else's happiness just with their presence.
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority:
    • Tire compounds for dry conditions follow a color strip code that indicates how much grip and durability they have. Purple-strip tires are Ultra Soft, and are the fastest yet have very low durability. After that, there are Super Soft (red), Soft (yellow), Medium (white) and Hard (orange) tire compounds, each one slower yet more durable than the previous one. As for wet-weather tires, "intermediates", for use on damp tracks, are green, whereas full wet tires (for torrential conditions) are blue. The lineup and color code are exact matches to the ones used in F1 circa 2016/2017.
    • Car part knowledge has different colours (white is original, green is Average, light blue is Good, dark blue is Great, purple is Epic and orange is Legendary) to indicate the quality of upgrades that can be given to new parts. Downplayed in that the higher-level upgrades don't necessarily make a part better - some of them reduce risk, cost or allow the making of two parts at once for no extra cost; likewise, lower-level upgrades can give larger boosts than higher-level ones, but they have some risk of being penalized if found out.
    • Car part stats are green if they are the best in your team in that area. They can also be purple if they are the best in the entire competition.
  • Marathon Level: The endurance series is, well, a marathon mode. Races last one-and-a-half, three, or six hours in-game time, depending on what you select at the beginning, far longer than the races in the other series. Regardless of how long you select, you also have to juggle three drivers per car to keep them from getting too tired or going over the maximum time they can be in the car.
  • Money, Dear Boy: In-universe.
    • Drivers with the "Mercenary" Trait are only in it for the money and don't care about winning trophies.
    • Since you control your team's finances, you can invoke this trope yourself by doing everything possible to earn money regardless of any negative effects. This includes hiring pay drivers who may not be as good, but whose sponsors will actually pay you for the privilege of racing.note 
  • Moving the Goalposts: A game mechanic. Several times a year, the Global Motorsport Association - which you as a team manager are part of - will meet to vote on potential rule changes, which are then implemented for the following season. If you choose the "Politico" background for your manager, you gain additional voting power to influence these decisions and can suggest new rule changes for free (when they would otherwise cost $1 million), helping you shape the rules in a way that benefits your team.
  • Nice Guy: It's a driver trait. A weaker version of "Team Player", it raises the teammate, mechanic, and chairman's happiness.
  • Nintendo Hard: The "Create Your Own Team" game mode. You start off with a poorly-equipped HQ, two mediocre drivers, a bad car, terrible staff... and a low Marketability rating that makes it difficult to raise enough sponsorship money to fix all those things. Have fun!note 
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
    • Most of the WMC drivers are clearly based on real F1 drivers from the 2016 season, right down to their traits. For example, Jenny North, the game's Jenson Button Expy, has a trait that sharply reduces her stats at her home race, reflecting Button's infamous poor form at the British GP (in 17 attempts, he never finished on the podium).
    • The GMA's leader, Ernie Hecklerock, is a thinly-veiled Expy of real-life F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone. Ironically, by the time of the PC version's release, F1 had been bought out by Liberty Media and Ecclestone had been replaced in that role by Chase Carey.
  • Old Master:
    • Kitano are explicitly described as having "the best driver line-up on the grid". They also have the oldest driver line-up on the grid: Javier Vasquez is 34 and Jenny North is 36. The former even has the Trait "Wise Old Hand", which boosts his teammate's morale.
    • In the third-tier European Racing Series, meanwhile, Garuda Racing's drivers are 39 and 40, yet it's not unusual to see them winning races.
  • The Rival: If two drivers get into close battles on a regular basis, they have the potential to become rivals. The only real effect this has is that they will point-blank refuse to sign for the same team as their rival.
  • Sadistic Choice: Every so often, you'll be hit with a random Dilemma, many of which fall into this category. For example, one Dilemma has one of your race mechanics get caught smuggling data out of the team, and you're given three options: firing them (which will leave you scrambling for a replacement, especially if they're top-class), fining them (which upsets both them and your chairman), or doing nothing about it (which severely upsets your chairman, enough to put your job at risk).
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: If your drivers are cursing at someone else (if they got overtaken or cannot overtake), the cursing is replaced with "[censored by GMA]".
  • Unwinnable by Mistake:
    • Make sure you have enough money for when you have to choose your providers for the next season's car or you'll be forced to reload an earlier save, for once you start choosing parts and suppliers, you cannot leave until you finish the entire process.
    • If you underfuel your cars too much - especially in series where refuelling is banned - they'll never make the finish line. The game will warn you during pit stops if you underfuel the car, but not at the start of a race.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: Some of the challenges are based on real-life events, but with fictional drivers and teams and a sprinkling of artistic liberties. One tasks you with replicating Lewis Hamilton's last-second title win at the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix; another is based on Niki Lauda's improbable comeback from his near-fatal accident at the 1976 German GP, except that your Lauda stand-in has to win the championship, something the real Lauda gave up on out of fear of having another fatal accident.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: Praise the drivers that are not in your team, and they will get the "Buttered Up" trait, making them be willing to sign for them. This is especially useful if the driver otherwise wouldn't be interested.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: On the other hand, mocking other teams' drivers in interviews will give them the "Offended" trait, which means you cannot even try to sign them for barely over a year. Be careful how you talk about world-class drivers...
  • Weather Report: An important part of race planning. Giving your cars dry compounds when it's about to rain (or giving them wet compounds when it's drying, or Intermediates when the track is very wet) can easily cost you points. Upgrading the Forecasting Center is, therefore, crucial to plan tire changes in advance.
  • What the Hell, Player?: If your driver is penalized for having rule-infringing parts, they'll call you out on it. And if you choose to fire someone, regardless of how justified you are in doing so (and regardless of whether this person wanted to leave anyway), they'll really let you have it.
    Fired Staff Member: Screw you, [player]. Screw you.

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