F1 2020 – Guide To ERS

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F1 2020 ERS Tips Guide

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The F1 2020 game has arrived, and it has a lot of updated features from F1 2019. One of the most updated features comes in the form of the new ERS deployment method.

This guide will run you through the basics of the updated ERS gameplay. And then I’ll run you through some top tips to ensure that you utilise ERS to its fullest potential during a race.

What is ERS and how is it different in F1 2020?

The energy recovery system (ERS) talks about the electronic power deployment in modern hybrid Formula 1 cars. It handles the electric motor that makes up part of the cars powertrains, and is responsible for sending that power to your rear wheels, and recovering it during braking.

In a snippet, ERS gives your engine a boost in power. But you only get a certain amount of usage across a lap, and across a race. That means, you can’t just set it to its highest power output mode, as you will run out of power rather quickly.

Instead, you and your team need to manage your ERS usage across a race, to use it in the most efficient way.

ERS management in F1 2019 vs F1 2020

In the F1 2019 game, you as a driver had full control over the ERS deployment. You had 5 different deployment modes. These ranged from the lowest amount of power deployment, through to a qualifying mode using the full amount of deployment.

While this usage of ERS in F1 2019 did give drivers the ability to incorporate ERS in to their race strategy. It wasn’t implemented in a realistic way. View our tips for energy recovery system usage in F1 2019.

A lot of real Formula 1 drivers played F1 2019. And they fed back to Codemasters that the in-game method of ERS deployment wasn’t accurate to how it worked in reality.

In reality, drivers don’t control the ERS deployment. Instead the teams dictate how much ERS is deployed during a race, and how. The drivers then have access to an override button, which gave a boost in ERS deployment when pushed.

How does ERS work in F1 2020?

Codemasters took this on board, and they have completely overhauled how ERS works in F1 2020. Now, the in-game deployment matches that of real life.

How to use overtake button F1 2020

You no longer have full control over each deployment mode. Instead, your AI team will dictate how it is used depending on your race situation and how you’re driving.

Codemasters have confirmed that every track has a pre-programmed usage for ERS. And that the AI will use this as a template to adjust your own energy usage during a race.

As a driver, the only control you have is the override button, which is labelled “overtake”. Just like in real life, you can push this whenever you fancy, and it will give you a boost in power.

This is handy when it comes to attacking other drivers or defending from those behind.

How to use the overtake button in F1 2020

So, as we mentioned, the overtake button gives you direct control over when the full amount of energy is deployed. It works in a very similar way to how KERS did, back in the early Codemasters F1 games.

The overtake button is bound to one of the face buttons on your racing wheel. You can adjust which button this is assigned to in the game settings.

READ MORE – Our recommended racing wheels which are best for F1 2020.

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When you push the button, you get a short boost in power. This allows you to mount an attack on the car in front, defend from the car behind, or use it strategically if you are about to pit.

Due to the limited amount of ERS that you get during a race, if you hammer the overtake button too much. The AI controlling your energy deployment, will be forced to put your car in to a lower deployment mode, until you recover enough energy again.

This will stop racers hammering the overtake button too much, as it will put you at a massive disadvantage if your run out of energy.

When to use the overtake button during a race?

The overtake button was designed to do exactly what it describes, overtaking. One of the best times to use it, is to gain time on the car in front, allowing you to overtake. But this isn’t its only use.

Below are our favourite uses for ERS in F1 2020.


You should make full use of ERS when attempting an overtake. It will give you a speed boost over the car in front, allowing you to pull along side.

F1 2020 Overtaking

The best time to use this is on the exit of a corner before a long straight. Using it in this way will give you a great run down a straight, allowing you to gain on your opponent.

Be careful not to use too early, as it can cause the rear wheels to spin if you push the button mid corner. Try to time it with your right foot pushing the throttle to 100%. As soon as your foot hits the floor, push the overtake button.

Once you pull alongside your opponent, you can let go of overtake. You should have enough excess speed to continue past them, and complete the overtake move.


If you are in the opposite scenario, and there is a car on your tail. You can also use the overtake button to defend against a potential move. You have to try and time your usage to match that of the car behind.

F1 2020 Overtaking using ERS

So try to get in to their head, and predict when they will use their extra ERS. In a similar scenario to the above, your opponent is most likely to use it when exiting a corner ahead of a long straight.

In this case, you should try to mimic that usage. If you think an opponent is close enough with the slipstream, and potential DRS to overtake you. That is the perfect time to use the overtake button to defend a move.

Before or after a pitstop

There are times during a race, where a result can be dictated due to pit stop strategies. You will often see in races that drivers attempt overcuts, and undercuts during their pit strategy.

F1 2020 gameplay pitstop

This essentially means, pitting earlier or later than the car you want to overtake, to make use of quicker tyres. An undercut is a strategy where you pit early to change on to tyres which will be faster than the other driver. This allows you to gain time, while they aren’t pitting.

An overcut does the opposite. If you are about to pit on to a harder tyre compound which may be slower, you will want to stay on track longer before pitting. This is called the overcut. You stay out on track on faster tyres, while your opponent pits for slower tyres.

The ERS overtake button can be used to enhance these strategies. If you are attempting either an overcut or undercut strategy, you can combine useage of ERS to make you faster, either before or after your pitstop.

Drivers in real life will often do this, along with putting their cars in to a higher fuel mixture. Doing this will ensure you gain an advantage over your opponent during both of your pitstops.

When not to use ERS in F1 2020

So we have covered the best ways to use the new overtake button in F1 2020. But I thought it’d be good to give you a few examples of when not to use the extra ERS mode. Using ERS in these ways below, can cause your race strategy to be hampered or risk losing control of your car.

Don’t use ERS all the time

You should limit your use of the overtake button to the areas covered above. If you overuse this extra power deployment, you will very quickly run out of energy.

When you run out of energy, your team will lower your overall ERS deployment mode. This in turn will make you slower, especially down the long straights. You will be very vulnerable to being overtaken, and will have to wait for your ERS to regenerate before being able to use overtake again.

Short straights and approaching corners

If you are in the braking zone of a corner, or just about to enter the braking zone, you shouldn’t be using the overtake button. If you are pressing the overtake button whilst braking, it is wasted energy.

Also if you are close to a corner, then using the overtake button wont be very effective. This is because the most efficient use of ERS is to get your car up to speed quickly, allowing you to stay at a high speed for a long period.

If you are using the extra ERS on short straights you wont be getting the most amount of speed gain for long enough to warrant the usage. You are also in the least amount of danger from cars behind during a very short straight. So using it in this scenario would be a little wasteful.

Entering the pitlane

We said above that a good use of the overtake button is on your in-lap. However when you get in to the pitlane, or in the pit entrance, you should stop using ERS. This is because you are about to brake heavily down to the pit limited speed.

This is a similar example to the above example of short straights. Your car wont be staying at high speed for long enough on the pit entrance to make the most of the added speed that ERS gives.

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Article written by Rich

Co-Founder of SimRacingSetups.com

Rich is the co-founder, and one of the main F1 setup creators and content writers for SimRacingSetups. With over a decade of experience as a graphic designer, marketing director, competitive sim racer and avid motorsport fan, Rich founded SimRacingSetup.com to share his passion and knowledge of sim racing and Formula 1 with other sim racers.

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