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Racing in the rain or wet weather in F1 2019 is an undoubtedly tricky affair. Almost everything you have learnt about a track goes out the window as soon as the rain starts to fall.
Your braking points change as you can’t slow the car down as quick. The speed you can carry in to and around corners decreases. And you wont be able to accelerate out of corners anywhere near as early as you could in the dry.
We have put together this guide to help you get to grips with how to easily manage driving in wet conditions in F1 2019. By utilising and remembering a few of these tips, your next wet race should be a much funner and faster experience.
One thing that will help is your car setup. Read our complete F1 2019 setup guide here.
When you exit the pits for the first time in wet conditions you will instantly notice the difference in grip levels compared to your normal dry laps. You may drive towards the first corner, hit the brakes like normal and just continue straight onward and miss the corner completely.
This is because in the rain you will have less grip regardless of your tyre choice. Even if you are driving a full wet tyre you will still have less grip than driving on a dry track. Having less grip means you wont be able to slow the car down as quickly and you wont be able to carry the same amount of speed around a corner.
Instead you should try and adapt your driving style to drive slower around a track. You will notice that you have to brake much sooner than normal to allow the car extra time to slow down.
Also try and be careful to always brake in a straight line in wet conditions. If you brake while turning even the slightest your car balance will be upset, meaning the rear of the car is likely to step out of line and break grip. Alternatively you may experience a lock up at the front of your car which will cause you to aqua plane.
Locking up your tyres in the wet is a much scarier experience than in the dry. As soon as your tyre stops rotating it means it will stop clearing the water in its grooves. It will make your car aquaplane in a straight line and you will lose almost all turning input.
Another aspect which needs to change when driving in the rain in F1 2019 is adjusting your brake pressure. In dry conditions you can brake at 100% for almost every corner. In the wet you can’t do this. You need to be much gentler in the wet.
Braking at 100% in the rain will also cause your wheels to lock up, initiating your car to aqua plane. This happens because you have much less grip in wet conditions, and you have much less of the rubber tyre touching the track.
Instead try to brake at initially 75-80% pressure at an earlier braking point than normal. This should slow the car down in a stable manor allowing you to make the corner without locking a wheel.
Similar to your braking, in the wet you will need to adjust your style when accelerating out of corners. Due to the lack of grip in the wet your car wont be as good at putting the power through the wheels and on to the track. This means you will be much more likely to spin your wheels as you try to accelerate out of a corner.
In the dry you will typically have to feather your throttle pedal slightly before applying 100% throttle as you straighten your car. In the wet you will have to feather the throttle much more, and you wont be able to apply 100% throttle until much further down the straight. In the wet you can even find yourself wheel-spinning in 4th or 5th gear.
If you find it hard to get the throttle down out of a corner without the wheels spinning you should look to short shift. Short shifting is when you change gear earlier than normal. This limits your revs and helps avoid wheel spin. By short shifting up to 2nd, 3rd and 4th you will find wheel spin much easier to manage.
We would always recommend running a wet setup when running in wet weather. However if rain strikes mid race your setup will be out of your control. One aspect of your car setup you can control mid race is your on-throttle differential.
Your on-throttle differential setup dictates how the rear wheels rotate together when you accelerate. A closed or locked setup (100% locked) makes the rear wheels spin at the same speed. This gives you better traction accelerating out of corners, but is likely to make your rear wheels spin.
An open or unlocked (50% locked) on-throttle differential allows your rear wheels to spin at slightly different speeds to each other. This stops them from spinning as easily, at the cost of less drive out of corners. However we want to focus on preventing the rear wheels from spinning. This is crucial when driving in the rain.
You can change your differential setup mid-race from the MFD display. You can fully adjust it from 50%-100% any time you like. As soon as rain starts to hit the track try lowering your on-throttle differential by around 10-15%. If the rain gets heavier or you find yourself spinning the rear wheels more than you were lower it even further. Many wet weather setups have the on-throttle differential set right down to 50% so don’t be afraid to lower it to its minimum setting.
Read all about setting up your differential in our complete F1 2019 setup guide.
Your normal driving style when attacking a dry track should have you using the kerbs throughout your lap. You should be putting a wheel over a lot of corners at the apex. And you should almost always be running out on to the kerbs as you exit and accelerate out of corners. You cannot do this at all in wet conditions!
Touching almost any kerb in heavy rain is a single track path to spinning off the track. Unlike the rough tarmac of the track, the kerbs around most tracks are smooth painted surfaces. When it rains the water sits on top of the kerbs meaning your car will have almost zero grip if you touch them.
You should try to keep away from the inside kerbs getting as close as you can without touching them. If you do accidentally touch an inside kerb, try to limit your throttle input and allow the car to straighten before applying more throttle.
While exiting corners you should try to keep quite a narrow line, preventing your car from running out on to the outside kerbs. Running out wide and on to the kerbs whilst applying any throttle will almost always unsettle your car, causing oversteer or a spin.
If you do run wide and on to a kerb, try not to accelerate and allow the car to drift back on to the track before applying throttle.
Knowing the difference between intermediate tyres and full wet tyres is something you should look to learn immediately. Each tyre compound is more suited for a different amount of water on track.
To give you a quick breakdown of the two tyres;
Intermediate Tyres – Lightly grooved tyre suitable for drizzle and light rain.
Full Wet Tyres – Heavily grooved tyre suitable for heavy rain.
If you are taking part in a race or practice session where the track starts dry and the rain starts to roll in you will need to know when to switch to the intermediate tyre, and when to switch to the full wet.
The intermediate tyre is a combination of the dry and wet tyre. It have small grooves designed to clear a light amount of water. The rest of the tyre is smooth to give the car as much grip and speed as possible in the light rain condition.
You can use the intermediate tyre in the following circumstances;
You will often find you need to change from dry tyres to intermediate tyres when it starts to rain. Then if the rain continues or gets heavier you will need to switch to the full wet tyres.
The full wet tyre is heavily grooved. These bigger grooves are designed to clear as much water as possible from the track to stop your car from aquaplaning. There isn’t as much rubber touching the road so these will be the slowest tyres you can drive on. However if you are driving in heavy rain, these will be the only tyres that will prevent you from losing grip entirely.
You should look to use full wet tyres in the following circumstances;
If you are unsure of when to use each tyre, you can listen to the advice of Jeff, your engineer in F1 2019. Jeff will come on the radio and tell you if rain is forcast and how heavy it will be. During a race Jeff will advise you which tyre you should be on and will even send stratgey options to you mid race.
Generally it is wise to follow the advise you receive from Jeff as to tyre choice.
If you are feeling confident you can ignore your race engineer and switch tyres earlier to try and gain an advantage on the other racers.
For example if you are on either full wet tyres or intermediates and the rain has stopped you will feel the track drying out. In this scenario eventually every driver will look to change their tyres to dry tyres. This is because in dry conditions any of the dry tyres will be faster than intermediate or wet tyres.
You can wait until you get the call from your engineer to pit and change tyres, but if you can feel the track is dry enough for dry tyres you could pit early. By having 1 or 2 laps where you are on dry tyres, and the other drivers are still on the slower wet tyres will play in to your advantage and you could make up a lot of time and positions. However if you make that call too early you run the risk that the track isn’t dry enough to run dry tyres. This would cause you to not have enough grip on the dry tyre and you could spin out or lose a lot of time.
Switching between the tyres manually is a risky strategy, but one that could be the difference between gaining or losing a bunch of positions. But when in doubt, listen to your race engineer!
One great tip for knowing when the track is dry enough to switch to dry tyres is paying attention to DRS. DRS is disabled in wet conditions and gets re-enabled once the track drys out enough. You can use this announcement to your advantage during a race.
If the track is dry, and it starts to rain, wait until DRS becomes disabled. This generally means the track is wet enough to be running intermediate tyres. Use this as your cue to come in to the pits and change to intermediate tyres.
The opposite is also true. Once the rain stops it will eventually become dry enough for DRS to be enabled. Watch for this announcement, and use this as a guide when to change on to the dry tyres. Typically you will need to change from intermediates to dry tyres within 1 or 2 laps of when DRS gets re-enabled.
When you are driving around on a drying track on intermediate or wet tyres pay attention to your tyre temperature. If you notice your tyres starting to overheat this means the track is too dry for the wet tyres. You can start to drive off the racing line to cool the tyres down by driving through puddles and deeper water. but ultimately you should look to come in and change to a dry tyre.
Following on from knowing what tyre to be on and when, another great indicator to pay attention to is your lap time.
If you are driving on dry tyres and the rain starts to come in you will notice your lap time will increase. This is because you will have to drive slower and more careful to avoid losing grip in the wet conditions.
Once you lap time increase by around 3 seconds per lap, that is a good point to think about pitting and changing tyres. If you stay out on track with dry tyres on you will eventually start to lap slower than if you were driving on the wet tyres. This is what you want to avoid as you will be losing time to other drivers around you.
One final tip to finding it easier to drive in wet weather in F1 2019, comes in the form of your power modes. It may seem counterproductive to lower your power modes to drive faster however it could help you manage your wheel spin.
Generally your fuel mix will be on its standard setting, and your ERS will be on medium or high throughout a race. These power modes, along with the higher power modes generate more power which all gets sent through your rear wheels. Sending more power through your wheels means it is easier to lose traction accelerating out of corners. This is where the benefit of a lower power mode in the wet comes in to its own.
By lowering your power modes you will send less power through the wheels, meaning your less likely to break traction. In turn this will prevent your rear tyres from spinning when you accelerate out of a corner.
We would recommend setting your ERS to medium, and your engine mode to lean mix when the rain starts to fall. If you find you are not struggling too much with wheel spin in the wet, then by all means increase these power modes back up.
So, there are our top 8 tips to consider when trying to drive faster and more consistently in wet conditions in F1 2019. They can be tricky to all manage at once, so start by implementing the easiest tips. Lower your power modes, lower your differential setting and concentrate on your braking points.
Once you have nailed the three tips above you should already be driving more consistently in the rain. Then you can start to implement the other techniques listed above, and continue on wards to wet weather domination!
Yes you can. If you find wet weather driving too hard or simply don't enjoy it you can change the weather settings in any game mode in the game mode setup options.
The most important aspect of wet weather driving is to manage your braking. In the rain you need to brake much earlier and with less pressure than in the dry. Learnt his technique first.
The best way to prevent wheel spin in wet weather in F1 2019 is to; First, lower your differential setting. Second, short shift out of corners. Third, accelerate with less throttle pressure exiting corners.