For your career in F1 2018 you will need to complete a minimum of 41 race weekends, which is one race shy of two full seasons. The first season will need full participation in practice and qualifying to ensure all but one trophy is unlocked before season's end (roughly 14 to 16 hours), and the second season will only require you to complete the races themselves (roughly four hours).
A staple of recent F1 games is a trio of trophies for accepting a contract with a team at each of the competitive tiers, two of these will be immediately abandoned, the third and final one will commence your main career play-through. So to begin, from the main menu select Career, then progress to the Team Select screen. Highlight and then select Wiliams Racing, and then on the Choose Your Team Mate screen select Advance. This will unlock...
Unlocked by 1,446 tracked gamers (62% - TT Ratio = 1.26)
From the Weekend Structure screen, you are now on, select Back and then Back again to return to the Team Select screen. Now highlight and select McLaren F1 Team, and repeat same as above to unlock...
Unlocked by 1,387 tracked gamers (60% - TT Ratio = 1.29)
Again back out of your selections to return to the Team Select screen. Highlight Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport and you will see that the team's Attitude Preference is Sportsmanship (in contrast, if you highlight Scuderia Ferrari, they prefer Showmanship). NOTE: This factors in how your answers in media interviews are perceived by the team throughout your career. Advance to the Choose Your Team Mate screen, leave Lewis Hamilton selected by default, and select Advance to unlock...
Unlocked by 1,512 tracked gamers (65% - TT Ratio = 1.24)
Now, beginning at the Weekend Structure screen, you need to adjust various settings to make your career as quick and easy as can be. Being career mode, there are some settings you will be unable to change, but for what you can change, apply the settings as below.
Configure the Weekend Structure tab as follows:
- Weekend Tyre Allocation > Balanced (NOTE: This is set within sub-menu screen)
- Qualifying > One-Shot Qualifying
- Formation Lap > Off
- Race Distance > 5 Laps
- AI Driver Level > 0 (Very Easy)
Configure the Gameplay Settings tab as follows:
- Flashbacks > On
- Parce Ferme Rules > On
- Vehicle Damage > Off
- Corner Cutting Stringency > Regular
- Race Starts > Assisted
- Press Interview Time Limit > Extended
- Tyre Temperature > Surface Only
Configure the Assists tab as follows:
- Driving Proficiency > Custom
- Braking Assist > Off
- Anti-Lock Brakes > On
- Traction Control > Full
- Dynamic Racing Line > Full
- Dynamic Racing Line Type > 3D
- Gearbox > Automatic
- Pit Assist > On
- Pit Release Assist > On
- ERS Mode > Automatic
With these settings in place, select Advance and the game will load a cutscene where Emma, your agent, introduces you to motorsport journalist Claire, and the game reinforces the message that your media interviews can affect your reputation with the team. Note here that your first media interview will be after the Free Practice 1 session. Next, you meet Carl in the team's data centre, which is where you will be able to drive the direction of R&D across the season(s). You will sit down at your workstation opposite Lewis Hamilton. Select Workstation and you will zoom in on the computer screen. Here is where you can control and review every aspect of your career, and also read email messages from Emma, Carl and your race engineer Jeff (amongst others). Take a few minutes looking over each section and subsection to familiarise yourself with them - you will be returning here frequently.
You can start R&D progress immediately. The "currency" that you spend on R&D is Resource Points (RP), which you earn throughout all sessions of a race weekend, and better performance will earn more RP. At the start of your career you have an initial balance of 2000 RP, so you can spend that now. Still within your workstation, navigate to the Research and Development > Performance section, and select View R&D Tree. For trophy purposes, you will need to focus your RP spending almost exclusively on a single department. The total costs are very similar across all departments, but for a minor boost to progress towards the "Bright Spark" trophy that you will finally unlock in multiplayer mode, it is best to focus on the Powertrain department. Highlight this department in the tree view and select Zoom In.
In this zoomed in view, you can select each individual upgrade and view detailed information about them. Apart from the vehicle upgrades, you can also upgrade the department itself, in terms of efficiency and quality control. Spending in these areas will reduce costs and the chance of failure respectively and will pay for themselves via the savings they produce. When combined with a boosted department morale as the season progress, you will have no trouble fully upgrading the Powertrain R&D tree before the end of your first season, and with very few failed upgrades along the way. The quality control upgrades themselves are quite cheap and also provide instant benefit, so I recommend spending your first 1800 RP in order as below:
- HPP Upgrade Quality Control 1
- HPP Upgrade Quality Control 2
- HPP Upgrade Quality Control 3
With R&D commenced, it is now time to get some driving done, so return to the Overview > Advance section of your workstation, and select Advance to go to the FP1 session. A once-off extended introduction cutscene plays for the start of the season, so I recommend watching it through, after which you will be in the car in your team garage. Select Garage Tutorial for a brief video explanation of the aims and goals of practice sessions. Then Jeff, your race engineer, will introduce himself over the team radio after which you can get out on the track. Select Session Info to zoom into the view of the right-hand monitor in front of you. This is where you set the plan for each of the three practice sessions in a race weekend. By default, you will be viewing the Practice Programme Select screen, and this is what you will be looking at most, but spend a couple of minutes now looking through each of the other screens so you know what is there.
Back on the Practice Programme Select screen, you will see there are six different programmes to complete, as well as team objectives. Completing these will earn RP, up to a maximum of 325 RP (300 RP via practice programmes and 25 RP via five team objectives worth 5 RP each) across all practice sessions per race weekend. What you will notice is that when you have not yet completed any practice programmes, you can earn up to 100 RP total in each of them - via 50 RP for satisfactory performance, and an additional 50 RP for optimal performance. As you complete practice programmes, the available RP on offer for each of the remaining ones is reduced by 20 RP, thus if you perfect the first five practice programmes you undertake (earning respectively 100 + 80 + 60 + 40 + 20 = 300 RP - the maximum available) you will end up with zero RP allocated for the one remaining practice programme. Knowing this, and as you familiarise yourself with your strengths and weaknesses regarding each practice programme, you will be able to determine a preferred order in which you wish to tackle them across each race weekend. Play to your strengths first, and this will mean any RP missed out on via sub-optimal performance in any weaker programmes is minimised.
You should review the team objectives at the start of each FP1 session - some of them can relate to specific practice programmes - so make sure you are aware of them ahead of time. The on-screen description for each practice programme gives you the main pointers towards success, and for a bit more detail on each, you can watch the tutorial videos from the Tutorials option within the Pause menu. If you are equally adept at all practice programmes, then consider skipping the Race Strategy practice programme to save time through your career, because this is the only one that requires a minimum of three laps, all others can be completed on the first lap provided it is good enough. Also note that the Track Acclimatisation practice programme is best done at the very start of a session before you are joined on track by too many other drivers - they can impede your progress and performance to a greater degree on this one than the others. Finally, for the three "management" practice programmes, where your performance along a sliding scale is indicated in real-time as you progress through the lap, don't get discouraged and abandon any laps early if you are performing below where you need to be. This is because your actions have a greater impact on your final rating relative to how near the end of the lap you are, and as long as you are keeping roughly to or slightly ahead the target lap time, you will probably be okay. The video below is an example of a last-second lift-and-coast across the finish line to scrape into an optimal performance rating after being well down on it just moments before.
There is additional RP to be earned in smaller amounts by simply participating in each practice session, having an unblemished disciplinary record (meaning no incidents or unsafe or illegal driving) and completing laps, so rather than completing five practice programmes in FP1, complete at least one in all three sessions for a small RP boost. NOTE: Any additional RP earned for completing extra laps is so low that it is not worth spending time driving any laps that are not done as part of a practice programme.
Keeping all this in mind, you can get out on the track for the first time in your career, and it is worth checking if wet weather will be a factor in any of the practice sessions for this race weekend, which you can take advantage of to earn an trophy. Toggle over to the Overview screen where you will see the track map and driver positions, as well as the imminent weather forecast. Select Toggle Weather to cycle through all sessions of the race weekend. If you see that rain is forecast for any of the practice sessions, make a note of it, and leave the Qualifying Pace practice programme until the rain is falling in that session - against slow drivers, this will be the easiest practice programme to perfect in wet conditions. If the forecast is dry for all practice sessions, check again for wet weather at the start of each FP1 in subsequent race weekends until you finally get the opportunity.
Highlight and select your preferred practice programme accordingly, then select Start, then Flying Lap to get out on track. Five lights will go out one-by-one to count you into taking over control of the car, after which you will be nearing the end of your current lap and practice programme formally begins at the start of the next lap. Complete the lap(s) with your focus on the technique specific to the practice programme. You should aim for a perfect result, which will mean you remain on target for earning maximum RP points this race weekend and the corresponding trophy. If you did not obtain a perfect result and wish to try to improve, then from the Pause menu, select Retry Practice Programme to start over. Either way, at the end of the lap having completed your first practice programme, you will unlock...
Unlocked by 1,725 tracked gamers (74% - TT Ratio = 1.16)
If you were lucky enough to have wet weather in this very first session and you obtained a perfect result, then you will also unlock the below (otherwise keep aiming for it in subsequent practice sessions, you will unlock it eventually) ...
Unlocked by 1,106 tracked gamers (48% - TT Ratio = 1.45)
Now, from the Pause menu, select Return to Garage. This will take you back to the garage and you will immediately be shown a summary of your performance in the practice programme you have just completed. Consider doing another one or two practice programmes (again with perfect results) in this session to earn some more RP. With at least a few minutes remaining in this session, and in preparation for unlocking an trophy at the end of this race weekend, you also need to ensure that your fastest lap is the fastest of all in this session - with the AI driver level set as it is, this should be easy enough. But to make sure of it, within Session Info, toggle over to the Timings screen and check that you are on top of the list, and in the Gap column the value for the next fastest driver is at least +2.0 seconds, this should be a good enough buffer that even if they reasonably improve their times you will remain ahead. Select Accelerate Time to speed up the session and run the time out more quickly, you can cycle through each of x5, x10, x30 and back to real-time. The timing data will update as the other drivers complete their laps. If you fall into danger of losing the fastest lap with ~5 minutes in the session remaining, complete one or two more flying laps as necessary to build up a bigger gap. Otherwise, at any point that you are confident of retaining the fastest lap time, from the Pause menu, select Retire from Session, then select Okay to confirm.
Having reached the end of the FP1 session, you will see the Results screen and your name atop the list. Don't select Advance just yet, because you are about to be thrown into your first media interview. Your strategy here is as important to your career as any strategy out on the track, because your answers have an impact on your reputation with the team overall, which in turn affects your bargaining power in future contract negotiations, and on the morale of each individual R&D department, that drives potential RP discounts and quality control for parts development. That said, it is a pretty simplistic reputation system and following a few simple rules to determine your answers will maximise the benefits for your career and the trophies you are chasing.
With your team preferring an attitude of sportsmanship, this should be the compass that directs how you answer all interview questions. You need to act humble, never talking up your own abilities, but rather always giving credit to the team. When asked about other drivers, do not sledge or trash-talk about them or boast about yourself, but treat them with respect as a strong competitor. There will be other questions more focused on the car itself, and the different answers will either build up or tear down morale in one of the R&D departments. Given the initial focus for R&D is on the Powertrain department, look to select the answers with the relevant terminology such as "engine" or "power unit". Again, you should always be looking for an answer that has a positive outlook and pays credit to the department - this will build the morale. If your interview follows a session in which you made a mistake (such as hitting a wall or another driver), some answers are such that they assign blame to the team or a department, these are to be avoided. In such scenarios, all answers may seem negative ones, but you should have a "No comment" option amongst the others, and this is the safest choice and will leave current reputation and morale levels unchanged.
You will receive on-screen feedback in the bottom left corner when the answer you gave had an impact on reputation, sportsmanship or R&D department morale, as per the examples in the screenshots below.
An interview will typically consist of 3-4 questions, and it is now time to face the media, so from the FP1 Results screen, select Advance and you will immediately start your interview. Once over, you will progress on to a summary of your RP earnings from the FP1 session, then a summary of your reputation with your own team and all rival teams, and any changes resulting from that session and media interviews (if applicable), and lastly a summary of your respect level and any changes in terms of rookie versus veteran and sportsmanship versus showmanship respectively. Then you will find yourself back at your workstation.
Select Workstation, then toggle over to Driver Profile, then to Contracts within. You renegotiate your contract with the team after every fourth race weekend, but for the early rounds of the season, you should take note of your current team goal in this screen and make sure you fulfil the requirements within the requirement timeframe - it is a good source of extra RP. You will also receive an email from Emma when a new team goal is available. Also in future rounds, you will need to review and change worn out power unit and gearbox parts from within the Vehicle Management screen. While you can spend RP on R&D whenever you are at your workstation, for simplicity's sake you can save up your earnings for the entire weekend and spend it post-race, prior to advancing to the next race weekend. But for now, you can progress immediately to the FP2 session. Toggle back to Overview, then to Advance within, and select Advance to commence FP2.
Back in the pit lane, you will see that the practice programme results and team objectives fulfilled have persisted from FP1. Tackle one or two more of the remaining practice programmes, again aiming for a perfect result in each. Once done and confident that you will have the fastest lap time of the session, you can retire from the session and from the Results screen select Advance. There is no need to review anything within your workstation following FP2, so continue immediately on to FP3 in the same way. Complete the remaining practice programmes (remember that it is not necessary to do the sixth if you have perfected the first five) and wrap up any team objectives still not met. Again, make sure your fastest lap is safe before ending the session. If you have earned the full 325 RP available across all three practice sessions, upon ending FP3 and progressing to the Results screen, you will unlock the below (but if you missed a perfect result in any of the practice programmes, you can attempt the same again at the next race weekend, for which you will be much better prepared)...
Unlocked by 1,146 tracked gamers (49% - TT Ratio = 1.42)
From the Results screen, select Advance to return to your workstation. You will have more emails to read (although not much useful content in them), and prior to qualifying it is worth checking whether you can select a second career rival yet (your first rival is by default Lewis Hamilton). So select Workstation, then toggle over to Driver Profile, then to Rivals within. If you have the option to select Select Rival then do so. Choose whichever driver has the highest Potential Respect value, you are a sure thing to win the rivalry regardless. Each rivalry battle is a race to 30 points, and these points are earned across qualifying and race sessions only. Otherwise, if the option is not yet available, check back again before commencing each subsequent qualifying and race session - it will most likely be after the race in the second race weekend (Bahrain) at the very latest.
Next, you can toggle back to Overview, then to Advance within, and select Advance to commence qualifying. After the introductory cutscene, you will be in pit lane and viewing the Vehicle Management screen. Being the first race weekend of the season, your power unit and gearbox are still brand new, so there is no need to review their condition yet and you can select Go To Track immediately to start your one-shot qualifying lap.
Again you will be out on track at pace with lights counting you in to take control and quickly approaching the start of your qualifying lap. Complete this lap just as you have done previously during practice and you will have no trouble securing pole position. There are four key points of interest on screen during qualifying laps:
- If you are not currently fastest, you will see the name of the fastest driver and your position in the pack at top-left of screen,
- The position and team colour of the fastest driver other than you is indicated by a small circle on the track mini-map at bottom-left of screen,
- The faint ghost of the fastest driver other than you appears in their current position, either in front or behind as the case may be, and
- The ERS Mode is set to 5 (Hot Lap) to give you optimal pace on a qualifying lap (and necessary for trophy purposes).
These are all indicated in the screenshot below.
As you cross the finish line, you will unlock...
Unlocked by 2,078 tracked gamers (89% - TT Ratio = 1.05)
Then very shortly thereafter, when the Results screen loads, if you secured pole position you will unlock the below (but if you missed out on pole position, you should select Restart Session from here to try again) ...
Unlocked by 1,836 tracked gamers (79% - TT Ratio = 1.12)
From the Results screen select Advance to see the points awarded in any active rivalries based on qualifying just completed. Given that you secured pole position with the fastest lap, you will be a point ahead of any rival. Select Advance again to move through each of RP earnings, team reputation and respect levels post-qualifying, before returning to your workstation. You will have an email to read from Jeff with the weather forecast and then you can toggle back to Overview, then to Advance within, and select Advance to commence the race. For the first race of the season, the introductory cutscene provides a good overview of the season as a whole, so it is worth watching in full. Then the starting grid will be reviewed, but you can select Advance to skip this and save a little bit of time, and you will then find yourself out on the starting grid and ready to go racing.
There is no need to review or adjust car setup in this or any future race, so select Start Race. The five lights turn on one by one, then once they go out the race is on in earnest. Try not to be revving your engine at maximum RPM as this will impede your acceleration off the line. But even if you do get away a bit slowly and other drivers jump ahead, you have the full five laps to claw back the lead, this is ample time to do so. Combine all the techniques you have been working on across the practice programmes together - this will help you to drive more smoothly and efficiently and minimise wear on the various components of your car. This will help to reduce - if not totally avoid - some grid penalties later in the season if you need to replace components earlier than is mandated by the rules. Use flashbacks to correct any serious mistakes if necessary. Having maintained or regained the lead, cruise on to the end of Lap 5 and the victory. On crossing the finish line you will unlock...
Unlocked by 1,645 tracked gamers (71% - TT Ratio = 1.19)
A cutscene with the podium celebrations follows, which you can then skip to end up on the Results screen. From here you can select Standings to view the current standings in both the driver and constructor championships, although there is generally no real need to do so. Select Advance to end the race session, and given you had fastest laps throughout practice, pole position and the race victory, you will unlock...
Unlocked by 1,013 tracked gamers (44% - TT Ratio = 1.51)
It may not be guaranteed, but you will likely face another media interview after your first race victory, so continue to build up your reputation and department morale if you get the chance. Select Advance again to move through each of rivalries, RP earnings, team reputation and respect levels post-race, before returning to your workstation. You will have some new emails to read, including one from Emma about optional invitational events. These truly are optional, participation is not required for any trophies nor does it help your career progress in any way.
With some sizeable RP earnings saved up, and before advancing to the next race weekend, now is a good time to return to R&D. The first upgrade that you must develop within the Powertrain department is Spark Plugs at a cost of 500 RP (or slightly less if you have sufficiently boosted the department morale via previously completed media interviews). If your current total RP is 1000 RP more than the cost of the Spark Plugs upgrade, then you should develop the instantly available HPP Factory Efficiency 1 upgrade first, which will immediately reduce the cost of the Spark Plugs upgrade by 10%. Keep this approach in mind when purchasing any future efficiency upgrades as your career progresses and it will save you some RP overall. After these purchases, if you still have remaining RP to cover the HPP Upgrade Quality Control 4 upgrade, then that is another worthwhile investment to make now for benefits in the long run.
With your R&D activity complete, you can now progress to either an invitational event or jump immediately to the next race weekend - the Bahrain Grand Prix. Complete this race weekend with exactly the same approach to earn as much of the RP on offer as reasonably possible - complete practice programmes, qualify in pole position and win the race. You want to boost your team reputation and department morale via your performance both out on track and in front of the media. Review R&D at the end of the weekend as per best practice, but you will likely not spend anything at this point. When you then progress to the next race weekend, if you had developed the Spark Plugs upgrade at a reduced RP cost due to boosted morale, and it was completed successfully, then you will unlock the below (but if either developed at full RP cost or it failed, you will still have numerous opportunities to unlock this at a later point)...
Unlocked by 1,398 tracked gamers (60% - TT Ratio = 1.29)
Repeat same again for the next two race weekends - Chinese Grand Prix and Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Also remember to read your emails as they arrive, you will likely have fulfilled a team goal and will receive email notification of the next one by this stage. When you are performing at such a high level and winning every race, you will be able to renegotiate your contract with the team after every four races. Thus, at the conclusion of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix race weekend, you must enter and complete this process before you can progress your career any further. After advancing from the post-race Results screen, you will be back at your workstation and locked into the Contracts screen. You will see that due to your high level of performance and via aligning with the team's attitude preference in media interviews your value is significantly more than that of your initial (and imminently ending) rookie contract as per the screenshot below.
Select Start Contract Negotiation to get yourself a better deal - you've earned it. Emma will give you some good advice about pushing for better terms rather than immediately accepting the default contract offer, and some better perks are certainly well within your reach. You have three chances to negotiate an agreeable contract with the team - the team will agree if they perceive your value to be greater than the value of the contract you propose. So it is a case of finding the optimal balance between the difficulty of the conditions the contract places on you and the contract perks you will receive in return. More difficult conditions reduce the contract value, better perks increase the contract value. You don't get a second chance to negotiate if you undersell yourself (the team will accept and negotiations are over), and the actual contract value is only shown to you after you attempt to accept it. This makes it a bit of a guessing game (otherwise, where is the challenge?), so your best strategy here is to demand slightly too much and be rejected, then reduce the perk levels slightly and end up with a contract value that is below, but still as close as possible, to your own value.
You will have no trouble meeting any of the conditions, so maximise the difficulty of all four of them as follows:
- Expected Qualifying Position > 1st
- Expected Race Position > 1st
- Team Order > 1st Driver
- Team Goal > Hard
With strong results out on track and your attitude expressed in media interviews being to your team's liking, your value should be at about 25% of the full value range - that is, roughly in alignment with the "T" in "PROPOSED CONTRACT VALUE" as per the screenshot below.
This being the case, you should be able to safely negotiate perk levels as follows:
- Race Bonus > Level 2 - 50% resource point bonus for races
- Upgrade Speed > Level 1 - Minor upgrade time reduced by 1 week
- Simultaneous Development > Level 1 - 2 upgrades per department
- Pit Stop Efficiency > None
Note that there is no benefit from seeking a Pit Stop Efficiency perk due to the short races in your career having no pit stops. Rather than going with the above perk levels as is, consider increasing one or both of Upgrade Speed and Simultaneous Development to their respective Level 2 options. Select Propose Contract, and the valuation will be updated and the team will either accept or (most likely) reject your proposal. You still have two remaining attempts. If the contract value is only very slightly over your own value, reduce one of them back down to Level 1 and propose again and the team should accept. If there is a significant gap in values, you may need to play it safe and drop immediately back to the levels outlined initially above for your second proposal, because the worst outcome is three rejected proposals after which you will be stuck with a contract valued far below what it should have been. After a successful negotiation, your new contract comes into effect from the next race weekend, and will give a good boost to both your RP earnings and the speed at which R&D progresses. Select Return To Overview, then select Advance to load the next race weekend. As you do so, you will unlock this pair...
Unlocked by 1,439 tracked gamers (62% - TT Ratio = 1.27)
Unlocked by 1,378 tracked gamers (59% - TT Ratio = 1.30)
For the next 10-11 race weekends it is business as usual. Practice, qualify, win, renegotiate your contracts with improved perks levels as your value increases, set up new rivalries after each one completes so that you always have two rivals at any given time. Also keep developing R&D within the Powertrain department. As you obtain higher level contract perks and build higher department morale, development should be cheaper and faster, with very few failures, if any.
You will also need to begin to monitor wear and tear on the power unit and gearbox more closely. Take note of the expected lifespan, which is expressed in terms of laps remaining. You will be prompted when you are able to replace the gearbox without penalty - you should always do so. However, as a general rule, you should be proactive to replace parts if they are heavily worn, even if a grid penalty will result. It is better to take a grid penalty and fight your way back to the front during a race than risking a forced retirement due to a broken car. NOTE: If you make these kinds of management changes during practice, it will consume time in the current session, as per the screenshot below.
Preparation for Future Trophy ("Best laid plans")
: Approaching the final third of the season, most likely post-race at the Italian Grand Prix, you will receive an announcement regarding regulation changes for the next season, and can have a varying effect on certain teams depending on which R&D departments will be affected by the new regulations. With these regulations now known, when you return to R&D, you will have visibility of the impacted departments and which upgrades already developed will need further changes to remain legal in the next season, as per the screenshot below. These can be adapted at a reduced RP cost. For trophy purposes, it is important to have at least one upgrade developed, but NOT
adapted, at the end of the current season. Having focused on R&D in the Powertrain department, if this department is subject to new regulations, then you already have un-adapted upgrades that you can leave as is. Otherwise, you will need to expand your career R&D outside of the Powertrain department. Make this a priority and develop an upgrade subject to the regulation changes as soon as possible. Once successfully developed, do not adapt it, and you will fulfil the trophy requirements at season's end.
Winning every race as you are, somewhere within the vicinity of the Russian Grand Prix (Round 16) you will have a big enough points lead to secure the Drivers' Championship. A special post-race cutscene featuring celebratory donuts (of the smoking tyres variety) will play when you do this. When you advance from the Results screen, and because still prior to the United States Grand Prix, you will unlock this duo...
Unlocked by 809 tracked gamers (35% - TT Ratio = 1.69)
Unlocked by 715 tracked gamers (31% - TT Ratio = 1.80)
The Constructors' Championship is more closely contested, but with solid support from Lewis Hamilton, within the next couple of race weekends (Japanese Grand Prix, United States Grand Prix) it should be secured by Mercedes. When you advance from the Results screen you will unlock...
Unlocked by 739 tracked gamers (32% - TT Ratio = 1.77)
By now the Powertrain R&D tree will be nearing completion, so keep working on it. When advancing to the next race weekend at which the final Powertrain upgrade(s) are successfully delivered, you will unlock...
Unlocked by 477 tracked gamers (21% - TT Ratio = 2.21)
With the necessary R&D complete for trophy purposes, earning RP is less critical so feel free to save some time by skipping all practice sessions if you wish - be prepared for some difficult questions about it in the media interviews though (this is where the "No comment" answer will prove very useful). Then, after the final race of the season - the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - when advancing from the Results screen you will unlock...
Unlocked by 860 tracked gamers (37% - TT Ratio = 1.64)
That's the end of your first season - you will get a nice end-of-season RP bonus, and a brief chat from Emma to introduce another contract negotiation. Treat this just like the numerous negotiations you have done before. Then all that is left for you to do is to advance to the next season. Upon doing so, you will see a Season 1 Results screen which shows your race results and vehicle performance comparison. Select Continue to commencing loading into the new season. As you do so, and having one or more non-adapted upgrades within R&D, will mean that you unlock...
Unlocked by 675 tracked gamers (29% - TT Ratio = 1.85)
All that remains for your career is to earn another 20 podium finishes for 41 total in your career. This means you can skip all practice and qualifying completely to save time and drive only the races themselves. You will lose reputation with the team for skipping practice and qualifying and likely miss some teams goals related to those sessions, but this is more than offset by your race podiums and victories, so you are never in danger of losing your contract. Also, you no longer need to worry about progressing R&D in other departments. While there is an option to simulate the races, in spite of your career performance, the simulated results, even should you start from pole position, will not reflect this at all (often placing your finish in positions 6 to 10), so you will still need to actually complete the five laps of each race in full. At this rate you can finish around five races per hour, meaning four hours of career racing still ahead.
Note that only a podium finish is required, so battling back from 20th on the grid to 3rd by the end is sufficient even though short of the victory. As you cross the finish line for your 41st podium finish (most likely the Brazilian Grand Prix), you will unlock...
Unlocked by 436 tracked gamers (19% - TT Ratio = 2.31)
By this stage, your cumulative progress towards the "Bright Spark" trophy will most likely be around ~60-65%, the remaining ~35-40% can be mostly, if not entirely, completed during the racing in Multiplayer mode still ahead.
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