I´d like to preface the suggestion by saying what I personally want Forza to be:
Not Assetto, not Gran Turismo, not Need4Speed.
I want it to be the Forza I love, but with a stronger set of Options for Simulation Style Racing.
Forza has the luxury problem of a very wide audience, from Sim to Arcade, imo today more so than ever.
And I think it has the capability to satisfy both sides. They always kinda tried, but didn´t really succeed with that imo.
Imo the solution to this is > Options for the player to shape the experience they want to have.
And I mean that throughout the whole game, Career Mode included!
Basicly, the first thing the next Forza game should do is ask “how do you want to play?”
So, if we get lots of Options, we also get very different Gameplay “Flows”:
-One player will do “classic” Forza, spending about 5 minutes per Race plowing through a field of AI set to a difficulty that allows him to win.
-The other player will spend 15 minutes on a Qualifying against very challenging AI, followed by 15+ minutes of Racing in the mid field, having fun fighting to gain a single position.
Sorry for the long intro, but this is where I am coming from proposing an Experience based Progression and Reward System.
The time spent on a Qualifying must not feel like wasted time in regards to progression/credits/rewards. Winning against easy AI must not be worth more or less than fighting for a single Position like in real life racing.
I think Experience based Progression would be the solution here, and basicly experience equals time spent doing whatever you enjoy on track (with measures taken to prevent cheating such a system).
I Suggest 3 lines of Progression: Experience, Fame, Reputation.
Experience mostly looks at the time you spend on track, and it´s how you earn credits and common rewards such as cars.
E.g. you could get credits for every “level up”, and a car as reward every 5 “level ups” (until a certain level).
Stuff everyone does could make for small amounts of bonus XP, such as hitting Apexes.
Fame measures your skill, or how well you do in general.
It is relative to your settings. Gaining 10 Positions vs easy AI gains a similar amount of Fame like gaining 1 Position vs difficult AI. Same during Qualifyings.
Fame converts into small amounts of XP. High Fame Levels unlock special rewards such as uncommon cars. Fame levels unlock “Titles”.
Reputation is your measurement for Online Racing, telling if you are a fair driver or a maniac.
I am not into Online Racing myself, so I´ll skip over this point. But I am sure something like that would be good, if it´s possible to code it in a reliable way.