While the difference in performance of F1 cars is minimal in both the real-life sport and F1 2016, the tiniest upgrade can make a huge difference to the outcome of your race. Therefore, it’s important that you invest enough resources into your team’s R&D department to ensure that your car can give you the best possible chance of standing on top of that podium come the end of the Grand Prix.
In order to upgrade your car in F1 2016, you’re going to need Resource Points. Resource Points are essentially the currency that the game rewards you with for meeting team objectives, beating your rival, and making the most of your practice sessions. Practice Sessions are going to be your most lucrative moment during a weekend for earning Resource Points. During each circuit’s Practice Sessions, you’ll be given a number of objectives to complete. Track Acclimatization, Tyre Management, Team Objectives, and Qualifying Pace will all not only allow you to help learn the track and get a sense of how it matches up against your car’s strengths and weaknesses, but also offer Resource Points for meeting targets. For example, Track Acclimation has you speeding through gates around the corners of the track and helps you to learn when to use your DRS. Speed through these gates smoothly and use your DRS at the right time and you’ll start building your score. Beat the score set by your team and you’ll earn a bunch of Resource Points. Tyre Management has a similar score system but tasks you with driving a quick lap without dealing too much damage to your tyres. For each of these tasks that you complete, you’ll be given a healthy number of Resource Points that you can then put towards an upgrade.
Beating your rival, winning Grand Prixs and generally performing well out on the track will also bag you Resource Points, so always be sure to bring your A-game to the track.
Once you’ve got enough points to finally upgrade your vehicle, you’ll need to open your laptop at your team’s lobby, and hit R1 to go to Research and Development. You can now select which upgrade you want to purchase, and also see how much of an improvement each upgrade will make by looking at the bars on the right-hand side of the screen next to each team’s name. The higher up the table you are and the longer the bar, the better your car compares to the rest of the field. Once you’ve decided what upgrade you want, simply press X on PS4 or A on Xbox One to confirm the upgrade.
Your R&D team in F1 2016 doesn’t work instantaneously, so any upgrades you do buy won’t be made to your car until the following race weekend. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on Resource Points and spend tactically to keep yourself ahead of the curve.