Multiplayer questions for experienced players [PC]

Once in a lobby - is there a way to activate your mic / headset to talk with or spectate the drivers in the current race? I have my set plugged in but i couldnt figure out how to get it to work.

Seems like you have to twiddle your thumbs while you wait for the in progress race to finish which can be 10-15 minutes. You can look at other peoples driver/car combos but that seems about it. Is this normal Forza behavior?

Im a little perplexed why you cant type either - this is something that existed in gran turismo games on a console but you cant type in a pc game? I thought i read they optimized for pc?

Im new to the forza games so im wondering if the lobbies will get better - or if they were better in previous games?