5 Tips To Get The Best Race Starts In F1 2019

F1 2019 Race Starts

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One of the most important parts of any race is the start. At the start of a race you can win or lose multiple places within a couple of corners. So prioritising your start technique is key. 

In a race where you are closely matched with the AI or your multiplayer competitors it can be extremely difficult to catch and overtake a single car. So being able to gain 2, 3 or more positions at the start of a race can drastically increase your finishing results. The key to being consistently good at race starts is to practice and perfect your launch technique.

Below we will show you 5 of the best tips you can implement to improve your manual race starts.

Mastering The Formation Lap

Every race in real life has a formation lap. It is the slow lap just before the race start where you will find cars weaving down the track. This is done to prepare the car, tyres and brakes for the start of the race.

In the F1 2019 game you can turn on formation laps for any race, and certain league races will have the formation lap turned on. During the formation lap you want to do everything you can to ensure the car is ready for the best possible start.

As you set off for your formation lap, the first thing you should do is turn your fuel mix and ERS to their lowest setting. This will result in you having maximum ERS charge as you start the race.

Next you want to change your MFD to show the tyre and brake temperatures. Keep this screen open the whole way round your formation lap. You want to ensure you are moving the car about and braking to keep your tyre and brake temperatures up.

To increase your tyre temperatures you want to weave left and right on the straights, and do small burnouts. As you weave you will see in your MFD, that the front and rear tyre temperatures will be increasing. If you stop weaving they will start to decrease. Don’t go too crazy when weaving as you will quickly wear your tyres out.

The perfect tyre temperatures are as follows;

  • Soft tyres – 89-92°C
  • Medium or hard tyres – 92-96°C


To ensure your brakes are up to temperature you can mix in some short heavy braking to your perpetration lap. Do this on the approach to corners and down the straights periodically. Ensure your brakes are in the green heat zone as you come to the end of your lap.

The final piece of preparation as you round the end of the lap is to change your fuel mix and ERS mode up to their highest settings. This will ready your car for the race start, and ensure you get the best engine and ERS performance away from the line.

Get Your Revs Right

F1 2019 Race Start Revs

Once you have listened to Crofty introducing the track, announcing the grid line up and completed your formation lap, the lights will start to turn red. This is the moment you need to concentrate. You will have only a few seconds to ensure you are ready before the lights go out and the race starts.

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In this moment you need to do a few crucial things.

  • First of all, hold your clutch in. This will normally be done by holding the gear lever on a racing wheel, or a button on your controller. Keep the clutch held until the lights go out.
  • Second, quickly switch the MFD panel to show your fuel mix, and ensure fuel mix is set to rich, and ERS is set to overtake. This will give you the most power off the line.
  • Finally set your revs. Set your revs by holding down the throttle ever so slightly. You want your revs to be between 11,000 and 12,000 at the start of a dry race. You should aim for around 8,500-9,000 at the start of a wet race. Once you have your revs between this range hold them there until the lights go out.


It is key to keep your revs within the range above as under or over revving will hamper your start. Too many revs and you will spin your rear tyres off the line, and could even spin the car out instantly. Too few revs and your car will bog down and your launch will be poor, losing you many positions. If you under rev so much, your car could even go in to anti-stall.

Get a Smooth Launch Off The Line

F1 2019 Race Start

Once you have your revs in the range above and the lights go out, you need to be ready to manage your launch off the line perfectly. As soon as the lights go out release your clutch and slowly start to increase your throttle input. Do not put your foot down right away as this will simply spin up your tyres and you’ll lose control.

Instead you want to slowly put more throttle input as you start to pick up speed. You will want to change up to 2nd and 3rd gears quickly by short shifting before you hit the rev limiter. This is a key technique to avoid any wheel spin. By the time you shift up to 4th gear you should have almost complete traction and be able to floor the throttle. At this stage you are underway and you should have made a decent get away from the line.

You wont be able to practice this whole procedure often, only once per race. So we recommend jumping in to quick races in F1 2019 and honing your race starts there. You can simply restart the session over and over until you have a good feel.

Perfecting Your First Corner Braking Point

F1 2019 First Corner Braking

When you’re starting a race you will normally always find yourself in amongst traffic. When you and 19 other cars are screaming towards turn 1, all battling for position it can be hard to stay out of trouble.

The key to staying safe in turn 1 with all 4 wheels still attached to your car is to learn when to brake.

You will find that because your starting position is always part way down the straight you will normally be arriving at turn 1 considerably slower than on a hot lap. This means your braking point would be much later, and this is the case. When approaching turn 1 for the first time you and the other cars around will initially brake later than usual. So be ready for this. If you brake at your normal point you will find cars flying past you and you’ll quickly lose positions.

Despite your braking point being much later, you will have another factor to contend with when deciding when to brake. If you have a group of cars in front of you they will all bunch up when you approach turn 1. This will cause a train of cars going very slowly during the first braking zone. If you are approaching from further back on the grid you may find that the later braking point you are aiming for isn’t achievable. Instead you actually need to brake earlier to avoid hitting other slow moving cars.

The variables above will be different at every race so you need to be wary. The best thing you can do to practice staying out of trouble in turn 1 is to run a variety of quick races. By competing in a selection of quick races you will quickly get an understanding to how the AI act approaching turn 1. You can also restart the same quick race over and over again to experience different first corner approaches.

Remember that a race isn’t won or lost at the first corner. You may be able to gain a few places at the start but don’t try to be too greedy. If you see a gap by all means go for it, but don’t try to dive bomb the whole field. You will undoubtedly come up worse off. Instead, make gains where you can. The reverse is also true. If you get a poor start, don’t worry as you will have chances to make up for it during the race, whether that is through pit strategy or pure speed.

Avoid Jump Starting

F1 2019 False Start

Jump starting is a very real possibility in F1 2019 just as it is in real life. In real life Sebastian Vettel jumped the start in 2019 and got a drive through penalty. The same can happen to you in F1 2019.

Jumping the start means your car moved away from the line before the lights went out. This will happen if you release the clutch too early. If you do accidentally jump the start you will automatically receive a penalty.

Unlike Vettel who immediately stopped after moving forward ever so slightly, we recommend not stopping if you accidentally release the clutch. Instead continue to accelerate forward and try to make the best of a bad situation. As you will definitely receive a penalty you should try to limit the damage by driving away from the other cars on the grid and trying to make up some time before having to serve your penalty.

If you do this you could limit the amount of damage caused. You will still be at a disadvantage after serving your penalty so there is never any reason to try and jump the start.

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Article written by Mjolnir

Mjolnir is one of the main setup creators and content writers for SimRacingSetups. He has had years of experience in sim racing, both competitively and casually. After a decade of sim racing experience, he co-founded SimRacingSetup.com to share his passion and knowledge of sim racing and Formula 1 with other sim racers.
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