The F1 series is actually pretty good for what it is. I think people play GRID or DIRT or some of the rally games/sims, or even iRacing and then come to the F1 series and use them to compare to F1 and it's not really a fair comparison. F1 is somewhat unique, I feel. I don't know, maybe it's me, I've just felt that the F1 series just did it's own thing in the genre and I was ok with that. I've never had problems with it and each year they bring something new with the always mandatory graphical upgrade.
For first time racers or casual, I don't think an open-wheel sim is the best 'learning' experience. Open wheel takes a lot of practice to avoid nearly all
contact with your opponents, unlike games like GRID and GSC, or even NFS. Speaking of NFS, that might be a good 'gateway' sim for him to play until he gets better and grows out of the arcade-ish handling. You could run NFS Hot Pursuit and Rivals and then go to the SHIFT series for a little more realism. From there he could 'graduate' to GSC, Race07, rFactor, GRID, and then eventually to the F1 series and, if he really likes it, a sub to iRacing. In the meantime, we have Assetto Corsa and Project Cars on the horizon, as well as The Crew...lots of options...
Survivor of the 12/10/21 Mayfield EF4 tornado
'Sorry, we thought you were dead.'
'I was. I'm better now.'