Top 5 Tips for Getting Faster in F1 23

In this article, we will be covering Driver61’s top five tips for improving your lap times and consistency in the F1 game series.

Written by teams at
Top 5 Tips for Getting Faster in F1 23
Written by the teams at trophi.ai & Driver61

1. AVOID BRAKING TOO LATE 

Now, this might seem like an obvious point, but you’ll be amazed by how common it is. Even at the highest levels of motorsport, the term “out-braked themselves” is somewhat overused. That’s because there is such a fine line between nailing the braking point and overshooting it. 

Missing your braking point will usually result in the car running deep, which makes the corner tighter than it needs to be. Now you have to steer the car back towards the apex drastically, reducing apex speed and also leaving the door open for other cars to pass.  

To avoid this, the braking point (the point on the circuit where the brakes are applied) should allow for the car to completely slow up to the apex of the corner whale maintaining the optimum racing line. 

The important thing to consider is that braking too early and releasing some of the brake pressure on corner entry is not as slow as running too deep and having to cut back to meet the apex.  

To summarise, braking earlier than necessary is faster than braking too late. Build up to the perfect braking point before overshooting it. Once you gain confidence and develop an understanding of where the braking point is, then you can start to make fine adjustments by moving it further back or forward.

2. TURN OFF ABS ASSISTS IN F1 23 

Firstly, Formula 1 cars do not use ABS (anti-lock braking system) in the real world, so you shouldn’t use it in the game either! ABS is a device that stops the car from locking the wheels under braking. Almost all new road cars are fitted with ABS because it is proven to reduce the risk of collisions when braking heavily.

F1 has strict rules regarding ABS and as a result cars are not permitted to run any type of anti-locking system. This is to increase driver feel through the brake pedal and demands a higher level of driver skill to prevent the car from locking and skidding.

In F1 Sim Racing and high-level F1 23 esports series like PSGL, ABS is also not permitted, so learning to brake with ABS turned off is advantageous in developing your skills as a driver. Understanding when the brakes are on the limit of locking (with ABS turned off) is vital to the performance of the car. 

There are a few key things to consider in F1 to achieve this:

  • Aerodynamics: aerodynamics play a key role in how much braking force can be applied. At high speeds, you have a lot of aero and therefore a lot of grip. The car physically does not have enough braking force to lock the wheels at high speed. At low speeds, however, the braking force must be reduced to avoid locking.
  • Sight and Hearing: visually you should be able to see when the tyres are locking, this is an obvious sign to ease off the brake pedal. Audibly you should hear when the car is skidding either with the classic high pitch screech or silence of the tire gliding across the track surface.
  • Feel: this only really applies to drivers using a steering wheel and pedal setup. When the car is locking, the steering should feel lighter in your hands as if the car is understeering forward. For gamepad users, a vibration will be sent through the controller. In both cases, you need to marginally release the brakes to regain steering control and retardation.

3. LOOKING FAR ENOUGH AHEAD 

This almost seems like a ‘no-brainer’, however, you’ll be shocked to find how narrow-visioned you can be on track.  For example, how many times has a car ahead of you spun out and the next thing you do is miss your braking point or an apex? One of the products of your body’s eye-brain-muscle system is that if you want to hit something, you need to look at it. The term is called “target fixation” and it’s the body's natural tendency to steer towards something we intently focus on. 

In almost all forms of sport, target fixation is a necessity to perform well; baseball, golf and darts are good examples. In motorsport, however, there are two sides to this, as naturally you want to focus on hitting apexes, not spinning cars. So if the body tends to follow your line of sight, you need to focus on where the car needs to be, using your peripheral vision to gauge other cars and circuit reference points.  

Once you’re near the apex, your vision should now be on the exit of the bend and beyond. Looking far ahead allows your body to take in more information, “seeing the bigger picture” as it were. This same skill can also be carried over to road driving as so many real-world accidents can be avoided by looking far enough ahead, especially on motorways or highways. 

The common error is to fixate on the car directly in front of you, when in reality you should be looking four or five cars ahead. This gives you time to react, as you are taking information in from further away.  When looking this far ahead, your subconscious and muscle memory take over with the ‘now’: you don’t need to look directly in front of you to know where you are going. 

Allow your brain to drive the car while your vision is focused as far ahead as possible. For more about ‘Vision in Motorsport’, check out the Driver61 training video here

4. SMOOTHER STEERING 

In all forms of motorsport, not just F1, it is advantageous to be smooth on the steering wheel. Sudden shocks and movements to the steering will unsettle the balance of the car and cause you to run off-line, miss your braking points or induce some nasty snap oversteer. 

The weight of the car pivots across its four tyres and acts as a pendulum. The more aggressive your steering inputs, the further the pendulum swings, and vice versa.  An easy way to visualise this is with a motorcycle rider. The mass of the rider is mounted very high, so when the rider turns the handlebars the weight of the rider must lean into the bend to compensate. If the rider turns very quickly and fails to lean over, then their weight is thrown outside and they fall off the bike. 

The same is true for cars, except the weight is spread across the four tyres, and instead of the rider transferring the weight the car transfers weight through its suspension systems. Every time a sudden shock or movement is made, the suspension of the car has to react to compensate. Often this will create unwanted compression and extension on the four corners of the car, causing an imbalance and loss of control. 

So how do you correct this? Concentrate on moving the steering wheel in one fluid motion when on track. No sudden jerks, no over-turning and releasing, one smooth motion of the wheel: turn in to the apex, turn out to the exit. That’s it! 

If you are using a steering wheel and pedal setup, a great way to visualise this is if you attach a brightly coloured cable tie (a black one works too) to the top of your steering wheel, with the tail of the cable tie sticking directly upwards. The cable tie should be right in the centre of your vision, in front of your screens and monitors. When you are out on circuit, focus on keeping that cable tie as smooth as possible. No flapping around and no sudden movements.

5. TRAIL BRAKING 

To successfully trail brake first you need to understand what ‘trail braking’ is. Check out the Driver61 University Vid here for a more in-depth review. Trail braking is a term used to describe the technique of lightened yet continuous braking while turning into a corner. By using the brakes effectively, you can control the pitch of the car (weight from front to back). This means that you can move the grip of the car from front to back and improve cornering speeds. 

Braking % over Distance. After the initial stamp on the brakes, release the pedal on corner approach

A lot of drivers believe they are trail braking, but in reality, they need to be maximising the braking pressure correctly. This can be very apparent when looking at brake pedal pressure graphs in a data logging system. Locking the brakes in F1 23 is extremely common and this is due to a combination of two things: aerodynamics and trail braking. 

As mentioned above, aerodynamics in F1 play a big role in the braking phase. F1 cars generate so much downforce at high speeds that brakes don’t have enough strength to lock due to the grip levels created by the car’s downforce. However, when the car slows, the downforce reduces along with the grip levels. 

This means that the brake pedal must be released slightly to compensate. Ideally, you want to keep the car on the limit of locking throughout the braking phase of a corner, using the brake pedal right up to the apex of the bend in heavy braking corners. This will allow the car to correctly settle its weight displacement and will make it easier to accelerate out of the corner.  

The common mistake is to either release the brake pedal too much, resulting in re-pressing the brake, or pressing the brake too much and locking, causing you to release the brake pedal further. You essentially want a combination of the two and you want the pedal to be slowly released in one smooth motion, rather than on-off on-off.   

Thanks for checking out our top tips for going faster in F1 23. If you think we’ve missed anything then please let us know. If you want to improve your driving further in F1 23, why not check out our AI coach here?

Last Updated
April 29, 2024
CATEGORY
F1 23

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