F1 2021

How to Get Faster in F1 2021

Have you been hot lapping multiple laps, but can’t seem to beat your previous best time? This article provides you with a succinct guide on some pro tips which you can use to get faster in F1 2021.

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Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or someone who’s starting fresh in F1 2021, you’ll always reach a wall where it seems like you can’t progress any further. However, given the complexity of a formula one car, there are many tips and tricks which you can leverage to get faster lap times. This will definitely be a tough journey and will take countless number of hours to achieve those consistent faster lap times. However, taking into consideration some of the below tips and tricks and putting in the effort to practice, you will be beating your friends in no time!

Experiment with Car Setups

Utilizing the best setup which suits your driving style for a particular track is one of the most important factors to take into consideration when trying to achieve faster lap times. Some setups provide you with more downforce, this is particularly important for maps where there are a lot of corners such as Sector 1 of the Suzuka Grand Prix. Understanding the behavior of your car and being able to make the necessary adjustments can make all the difference in making you faster by a few tenths of a second or even a few seconds if you are just starting out.

Tampering with car setups can be quite daunting especially since there are so many different aspects you can customize including aerodynamics, transmission, suspension, brakes and tires. This is where you should utilize prebuilt setups on the leaderboards of F1 2021. To do this, head over to time trial mode and copy the setup used by the record holders of the track that you are planning to race on. Be careful with this though, as some of these builds are made for hot lapping and won’t be applicable in longer races as the tire grip will wear out too quickly. Usually, you’ll need to cycle through a few setups before you find one that is suitable for you. Keep in mind that each individual driver has different wheel setups as well as driving styles.

Load-Setup-F1-2021
Load-Setup-F1-2021

If you would like us to cover an article on how to adjusting car setups manually, let us know in the comments below!

Adjusting Brake Bias and Differential

Having a thorough understanding of brake bias and differential is fundamental to getting faster lap times in F1 2021. In hindsight, brake bias is the relationship between the braking force applied to the front and rear brakes. In F1 2021, you will be able to adjust this number from 50% to 100%. A brake bias closer to 50% means that the the braking balance is applied to the front brakes and less force is applied on the rear. This is beneficial when you are turning into sharp corners such as turn 2 of the Austrian Circuit or Turn 1 of the Bahrain Circuit.

On the other hand, differential is another core understanding that is required to achieving the faster lap times in F1 2021. Differential directly correlates with handling of the car. An open differential which is closer to 50%, means that most of the power is sent to the rear wheel with the highest amount of grip. This ultimately improves the cornering ability, but it also reduces the amount of traction when exiting the corner. Conversely, a locked differential which is closer to 100%, means that the power is distributed equally to both rear wheels. This ultimately makes the car harder to turn as the inside tires are forced to turn equally, increasing the wear of the tires. However, this method will increase the corner exit as there will be more traction on the tires. In racing terms, an open differential will be more beneficial for longer corners where the rear tires are able to move more freely at different speeds. For shorter/slower corners, a higher differential can improve the overall balance of the car upon exit.

F1 2021
To activate this screen, open up your MFD menu.

Trail Braking Technique

Moving on to more a more advanced braking technique, Trail Braking. One of the best tips I was given when I felt like I just couldn’t progress anymore, was utilizing the trail braking technique. Trail braking involves gradually releasing the brakes on your car while entering the corner. Essentially in this method, you are braking and turning at the same time, accommodating for later braking by a few meters. This method is not applicable for all corners and using this technique does affect the life of the tires. This is a difficult technique to master, however, when applied correctly, this method can ultimately save you a few tenths of a second in just one corner alone.

Below is a step by step guide on how you can use the trail braking technique.

  1. As you approach the corner, step down on the brakes hard with the maximum braking force you have available. Try to brake later than you normally would when you enter the corner.
  2. Gradually release pressure applied on the brakes and start steering into the corner. When you ease off the brakes, you will go from 100% braking force to about 50% within a second. As you are releasing the pressure applied onto the brakes, begin to turn into the corner.
  3. As you continue to steer into the corner, release the amount of braking force applied. Do this until the braking pressure applied is about 15%.
  4. You will eventually hit a point on your brakes where you can’t brake anymore and you will only be turning. Find the right angle and ensure that your car hits the apex. Once you’ve found the balance and have straighten your car, apply the throttle.
  5. The key to this process is to find the limit of the tire grip and make sure that the car is balanced throughout the turn. If the process is not smooth, you may risk oversteering in your turn.
  6. If you are struggling, you can also consider moving the brake bias towards the back of the car. If you lower the brake bias towards 50%, you will be able to turn more while braking.

Using this method of braking ensures that the front tires are generating the maximum amount of grip when entering the corner, consequently leading to quicker times when exiting the corner. I would personally classify this as an advanced method of braking that will take hours and hours to master. However, once you have mastered this technique, you will see lap times that weren’t achievable before.

Appropriate Sim Racing Gear

Another aspect to consider to get quicker in F1 2021 is to have the appropriate gear for sim racing. If you currently have a sim racing setup that doesn’t have force feedback, then this is a heavy limitation in being able to achieve faster times. When you have a wheel that outputs feedback when the track and car condition changes, it’ll make the difference of a few seconds. Depending on budget, there are multiple brands that offer decent to high fidelity performance. The Logitech G29 wheel is a fantastic option for individuals who are just starting out and would love to experience a force feedback wheel. On the other hand, brands like Fanatec offer sim racing gear for enthusiasts who’s looking for an authentic racing experience.

F1 2021
Image owned by The Downforce.

Turn Off Assists

While assists may be fantastic for individuals who are starting out their sim racing journey and may be tempting to keep them on for convenience sake, there are certain assists in the game which purposefully slows down the car. Once you learn to drive with the following assists turned off, you will start to see an improvement in lap times.

  1. Steering Assist – With this assist turned on, the game will provide steering assistance to guide players around the track when required. Enabling this assist will also set the braking and traction control assist to the highest setting.
  2. Anti-Lock Assist – Anti-lock assist means that the brakes will not lock up during braking.
  3. Braking Assist – Braking assist means that the game will provide automated braking input.
  4. Traction Control – Traction control means that the car will be less susceptible to losing traction when accelerating.

Some of these assists are quite self-explanatory as to why it will make you faster when they are disabled. However, the ones to cover specifically are anti-lock and traction control assist. Having traction control enabled, will cut power from your engine when the car senses you getting wheel-spin. Having traction control off, gives you more freedom and flexibility over this. Similarly, disabling anti-lock brakes (ABS) will also limit the braking power to avoid lockup. Thus, the stopping distance is increased and thereby making you slower in corners.

Initially, it’ll be quite tough driving with these assists disabled. However, it is highly recommended that you disable these assists one by one and practice many laps/hours until you feel more confident in your braking and steering. While disabling the above assists and learning to drive without it, it might be helpful to turn on racing lines so that you know when to brake and the amount of braking pressure to apply.

F1 2021
Assists are accessible from the Settings menu.

Learn From The Best

While reading articles on how to get faster in F1 2021 may help you, learning from the best drivers in F1 eSports is a fantastic way to understand the track and simulation better. The professionals understands the optimal braking zones in each track to optimize the overall lap times. For example, in Monaco Grand Prix, there are many technical turns that can only be learnt from watching the best do it. You can dial in on these videos/streams on YouTube and Twitch. There are a few eSports professionals who make superb content that will keep you engaged. A few eSports professionals that I highly recommend you watch are Jarno Opmeer, Marcel Kiefer and James ‘TRL Limitless’ Doherty.

F1 2021
A video on Jarno Opmeer’s world record hot lap, including car setup.

Conclusion

We hope this article gave you a detailed breakdown on some of the techniques and options you can utilize to speed up your lap times. It’s a tedious process at the start, but the best advice we can give is practice as much as you can until you fully feel comfortable with your car. Ultimately with patience, persistence and consistency, you will be surpassing all your rivals!

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