How To Create The Best Setup in F1 22 – Step By Step Guide
A lot has changed in F1 22, and one big change is the way the car handles. This guide will run you through our exact setup procedure, and guide you on how to create the perfect F1 22 car setup.
How do I create a car setup in F1 22?
You can create a car setup in F1 22 from the setup menu when you are in the garage during a race weekend. Navigate your screen over to your car setup, and then choose any of the preset setups. Once you click into any of these setups, you can start to adjust your F1 22 car setup. Once you’re happy with your custom setup, save it so you can access it again at a later date.
2022 has been a big year for Formula 1. It has seen the introduction of brand new cars, with completely new regulations. This means there is a complete change to how car setups work in F1 22.
The cars in F1 22 are now heavier and have much fewer aerodynamic parts meaning they drive quite differently. You’ll notice a lot more understeer on corner entry and oversteer on corner exit. This is due to the front and rear wings being a lot less powerful in this year’s F1 game.
To coincide with this, Codemasters have tweaked the physics of this year’s F1 22 game to incorporate these car changes. These changes have affected car setups in a big way, and things that worked last year won’t necessarily work this year.
Read up on the exact changes that have been made to car setups in F1 22, by reading our guide “How F1 22 car setups are different from F1 2021“.
So, with all of that said, I wanted to run you through the exact process we take at SimRacingSetup.com when we create new car setups.
This process has been put together in a way which is most efficient and it won’t have you going back and re-tweaking certain setup options.
If you follow this process step by step, you should not only create a relatively good car setup. But you’ll also gain a nice in-depth knowledge of what setup options affect certain parts of your car’s handling.
The Golden Rule of F1 22 Car Setups
There is one golden rule that you should always abide by when creating a new car setup or updating a setup in F1 22. And that is to only change one thing at a time!
If you start making multiple setup adjustments at once, you won’t know which setup option affected your car when you do take to track. Instead, put in a few banker laps on a specific tyre compound. Then pit, make an adjustment to one setup option and then go back out on track to get a direct comparison.
With this strategy, you will know exactly what change has caused your car to handle differently. From there, you can make a judgement call on whether to keep the adjustment or roll back and try something else.
You should also keep in mind your overall setup goal. Are you creating a car setup that will be good in a race? Do you want a wet setup or even an ultimate one-lap hotlap setup? By constantly working towards one singular goal, you will have a more focused approach leading to a potentially better final setup for F1 22.
Step 1 – Initial Adjustments
Now I did just say above that you should never change more than one setup option at a time. However, when creating a brand new car setup, there are a few adjustments I always make before proceeding onwards.
These adjustments are to the brake setup and the on-throttle differential. One of the areas which are different in F1 22 over 2021, is the brake setup. You can no longer run too much of a 50-50 brake bias. If you do this, your smaller rear brakes will lock and you’ll find yourself spinning under heavy braking.
You should also look to run lower brake pressure than in F1 22, otherwise, you’ll find yourself locking a wheel too often.
But back to the initial adjustments. I always set my brake bias to around 56% front, and the brake pressure to around 90-92%. This will almost always give you a good feeling on the brake pedal. And you can always adjust these in the following steps if you fancy a little more or less pressure etc.
Then I always knock the on-throttle diff down to 65-70%. By lowering the on-throttle diff just a touch, you make your car ever so slightly easier to drive out of slower corners. Lower on-throttle diff will help you find traction out of slow corners and will limit excess wheel spin.
These small adjustments will give you a car which is ever so slightly easier and more comfortable to drive than the baseline setups. From here, you can start adjusting setup options one at a time.
Step 2 – Aerodynamic Setup
With any car setup in F1 22, the first big part of the setup that I look at after my initial adjustments is the aero. Aerodynamics has seen a big adjustment in F1 22 compared to previous F1 games.
In older games, the aerodynamics had already been pre-adjusted from track to track. That meant that having a front wing angle of 10 at Monza wasn’t the same as having a front wing of 10 at Monaco.
Instead, the aero setups had been pre-adjusted to give a good baseline at the track you were at. Therefore Monza aero levels were already much lower than Monaco aero levels in older games.
In F1 22, that approach has seen a big change. Now aero levels are equal at every track, meaning a front wing of 10 at one track is exactly the same as at any other.
To account for this, Codemasters have changed the setup options to now allow you to choose from 0-50 for both front and rear wings. This means that in F1 22 we have to re-think our aero setup. For some tracks that used to run low aero of around 2 or 3, they may now need to run an aero setup of 20 to 30.
While this does mean we can’t carry over car setups from F1 2021, it doesn’t really change our approach too much. We still require low levels of aero at high-speed tracks and much higher aero at slower tracks such as Monaco and Hungary.
The cars in F1 22 are quite different from those in previous games. They have much lower levels of downforce generated from the front and rear wings, and they have a tendency to both understeer and oversteer.
This means that in F1 22 it isn’t uncommon to run higher levels of aero than we normally would. It is also important to note that at a lot of tracks in F1 22, you will require higher levels of rear downforce compared to the front.
Recommended aero setup changes
I would typically start by making a couple of sweeping adjustments when changing my aero setup in F1 22. Start by lowering the front aero a few points lower than the rear. And then adjust both front and rear wing angles together either up or down.
Remember, faster tracks with fewer slow corners will typically require lower aero levels. Slower tracks will normally require a higher aero setup.
After making the initial aero adjustments, I would then go out on track for a few laps to see how the car behaves. I would normally stick to the same compound of tyre for all of my practice runs, and I’d typically go for the medium tyre. This tyre will see more action during a race weekend so is best to prioritise this during car setup.
Always try to put in 5-10 laps for each run. This will allow your tyres to get up to the correct temperature, and for you to get some consistent results and feedback.
Note down how your car is handling during these laps;
- If it is understeering too much, we can add some extra front wing angle.
- If it is oversteering too much we can reduce the front wing angle or add some extra rear wing.
What you should be aiming for is to set up your aerodynamics to as low as you can get away with before you start to lose too much lap time. The lower you set your aero, the faster you’ll be in a straight line. This will aid with overtaking during the race.
As you put in your lap times, keep an eye on the times. If you come into the pits and change your aero setup, see if you are lapping slower or faster with the new setup. This will give you a good indication if you are heading in the right direction.
A good aero balance should give you the best balance into and out of each corner. You should feel the car is near the edge of the downforce limit, but never over it. And you should have decent comparable straight-line speed to other cars.
While you are performing your final practice run during this step, keep one eye on your tyre temperatures. Note these down as these will be very important during our next step. You can do this my using your MFD. Switch through the MFD pages until you see the tyre temperature page.
Step 3 – Tyre Pressure Setup
After we have adjusted the aero and our initial changes, we should look at tyre pressures. While there are still parts of our setup that will affect the optimal tyre pressures that we should run. Creating a solid baseline at this stage in the car setup process will aid with all other setup changes.
Much like the aerodynamics, the tyres have seen a significant change in F1 22. They are now much heavier due to the increased wheel size in 2022. This makes them stiffer over bumps and affects how quickly they heat up.
If you noted down your tyre temperatures during the previous aerodynamic setup stage, we can start to make some tyre setup adjustments. The goal with tyre pressures is to run them as high as we can without inducing too much wear. And wear is heavily linked to overheating.
During any practice run, you should look to keep your tyre temperatures under 100°C (212°F)
You should try to have your tyre temperatures average between 90-100°C throughout a lap. Check your noted tyre temperatures from the previous test and adjust accordingly.
- If an individual tyre temperature went over 100°C – Reduce the tyre pressure
- If a tyre temperature didn’t get to at least 92°C at any point – Increase the tyre pressure
This is a good rule of thumb that allows you to adjust each tyre to find the ideal pressure setup. There are other reasons why we would increase or decrease tyre pressures. These include;
- A lack of traction when accelerating out of corners – This would lead me to decrease rear tyre pressures
- Car is too stiff over bumps and not solvable with the suspension setup – Reduce tyre pressures all round
- Car is too sluggish when turning – Increase front tyre pressures
After each adjustment, head back out on track and recheck your tyre temperatures across 5 or so laps. They should be better and within the optimal tyre temperature range of 90-100°C. Keep adjusting the pressures up or down in the setup menu until you consistently hit these temperatures for all four tyres.
The tyre pressures and suspension geometry are heavily linked. So we’ll revisit the tyre pressure setup after adjusting our suspension geometry setup. But this should give you a solid base to work from.
Step 4 – Suspension Geometry
By now, we should have a car setup that allows us to drive consistent laps with the car feeling balanced. The aerodynamic setup should be allowing us to carry good speed throughout the lap. And our tyre pressures should be optimised.
The next few steps will focus on the suspension and suspension geometry. These are possibly the trickiest parts of any car setup in F1 22. Adjustments here affect the car in a variety of ways. But we will be aiming for a good balanced combined with great responsiveness and minimal excess tyre temperatures.
The first port of call is the camber and the toe. Both of these can be tricky to understand initially but I’ll do my best to explain them.
The camber setup in F1 22 affects how far your tyres are leaning when looking from the front. More negative camber means the tops of the tyres lean further in towards each other. In F1 22, the further towards the left you set your camber (higher negative number), the more your tyre will be leaning.
Camber is useful for a few reasons. As you corner at high speed your car leans on the outside tyres. The more negative camber you have, the more of the tyre surface comes into contact with the track as you lean. This gives you more grip while cornering.
However, higher amounts of camber will mean you have less of your tyre in contact with the track when travelling straight. This will cause excessive and uneven tyre wear.
- Higher amounts of camber result in more tyre wear but more grip when cornering at high speed
- Setting up camber closer to the max setting (furthest right) will provide better tyre wear during a race
At most tracks in F1 22 you will typically want less camber (further right on the F1 22 setup slider). This will result in better tyre wear and create a more balanced setup.
If during your practice laps, your tyre temperatures remain under control, you can start to adjust your camber more towards the left. This will add more camber allowing you to carry some more speed through some corners.
One quick note on our F1 22 camber setup. If you are struggling for rear traction, increasing your camber will only make this worse. More camber (further left in F1 22) will reduce the contact patch with the track. This will reduce the amount of traction you will have when accelerating from low speeds.
F1 22 Toe Setup
Your toe setup affects the amount that your tyres are pointing in or out when looking from the top. More toe will increase how much the front of the tyres point out from your car. This can increase overall responsiveness but will dramatically increase tyre temperature.
If your tyres are pointing away from your car you will be introducing more drag to your car setup. This increases your tyre temperature and reduces your top speed.
- More toe equals more responsiveness
- It also increases drag which increases tyre temperature and tyre wear
I would always recommend reducing your toe setup close to its minimum value and then adjusting up from there. Additional toe will improve how willing your car is to turn giving you better responsiveness.
So if your car feels sluggish when you first turn the wheel, increasing toe can help reduce this effect. Remember to keep an eye on your tyre temperatures while making these setup changes.
If your tyres are getting too hot and regularly exceeding 100°C, you will need to reduce your camber, toe or tyre pressures. This is one of the most important balances to find in F1 22.
What we are aiming for with our suspension geometry setup
The goal here is to make your car as responsive and well-balanced as possible while keeping tyre temperatures down. The perfect suspension geometry setup will result in a car that is;
- Responsive on initial corner turn-in
- Can carry high speeds through a corner
- Doesn’t produce too much excess tyre temperature
Almost any change we make to the suspension geometry setup will affect our tyre temperatures. Once you have a camber and toe setup that you feel works well, run another 5 lap test to check on your tyre temperatures. Make any final tweaks required to optimise your pressures before moving on.
Step 5 – Suspension Setup
Your suspension setup is the final piece of our F1 22 car setup puzzle. Here we will address the overall balance of the car during cornering.
The suspension setup is responsible for how much the car leans during cornering. How stiff the car feels over bumps. And how low the car is to the ground which affects both handling and top speed.
The first part of the suspension setup I look at is always the anti-roll bars. These are responsible for just how much the car leans during cornering.
Stiff anti-roll bars will improve responsiveness and make the car feel light and agile. But this comes at the cost of overall stability. Increased anti-roll bar stiffness will make the rear of the car feel lively and can introduce oversteer to our setup.
A softer anti-roll bar setup in F1 22 will make the car feel more sluggish, but safer and easier to drive. Softer anti-roll bars will also improve your tyre wear.
As you can see already, anti-roll bars can be tricky to set up just right. The perfect balance will give you a car that is responsive, yet not too lively. As well as maintaining tyre life throughout a long race stint.
One of the quirks of car setups in F1 2021 was that the best anti-roll bar setups involved running extreme combinations. Often an extremely soft front ARB with an extremely stiff rear ARB produced the most driveable cars in F1 2021.
That has changed in F1 22, as the suspension handling model has been changed dramatically. 2022 Formula 1 cars run much lower to the ground. This results in them having much firmer suspensions.
Codemasters have reworked their entire suspension model to produce realistic results when changing the suspension and anti-roll bar setup in F1 22.
How to set up our anti-roll bars in F1 22
When approaching our anti-roll bar setup in F1 22, I would still recommend running the rear ARBs slightly stiffer than the front. Stay away from extreme approaches, but a slightly stiffer rear will give your car more rotation.
Then adjust both front and rear ARBs up or down according to the track you’re driving. Flatter and smoother tracks such as allow you to run stiffer ARBs. While bumpier tracks will mean you will need a softer setup.
I would suggest that you start to increase your front and rear ARBs together until your car starts to feel too twitchy. And then lower them a little from that point. Keep one eye on your tyre temperatures as well, as stiffer ARBs will increase tyre temps.
- Stiffer anti-roll bars increase responsiveness
- ARBs that are too stiff will make your car feel twitchy and hard to drive
- Softer ARB setups will improve tyre wear
Ride height setup
Your ride height setup should be the next part of your suspension that you look at. In F1 22, cars are much lower to the ground than in previous years. This has resulted in stiffer suspensions, but it also puts more emphasis on finding the right ride height.
Lower ride heights will improve your overall downforce generated as well as increasing your top speed. However, set up your ride height too low in F1 22 and you may start to bottom out.
Bottoming out is where the floor of your car hits the track surface. This is one of the consequences of porpoising that has been introduced into Formula 1 this year. Thankfully, the porpoising effect isn’t in F1 22, however, we can still bottom out.
If your car’s floor hits the track surface, this will cause a temporary loss of grip. If this happens mid-corner it can cause you to spin or lose control.
The ideal ride height is one that is as low to the ground as it can be without touching the track surface. Remember though, that as you ride over large kerbs and bumps your car’s floor will get closer to the ground. So if you set up your ride height too low, you could cause instability over kerbs.
I’d recommend lowering your ride height both at the front and rear to start with and then perform a practice run. If you notice that your car is hitting the track, increase your ride height.
- Lower ride heights will result in more downforce and higher top speeds.
- This will also increase the likelihood of you bottoming out causing instability
Front and rear suspension setup
Your suspension is the final part of our F1 22 car setup that we need to adjust. This will affect how stiff your car feels, and how your car reacts to elevation changes such as bumps and kerbs.
Most tracks in F1 22 will require a softer suspension. This will improve your rideability over kerbs, giving you a good balance as you attack corners. If your suspension is too stiff, your car will feel increasingly twitchy to drive.
Perform a test run with the suspension at their default values before making any adjustments. If the car feels twitchy at all, then you should look at lowering your car setup. If the balance feels good, you could look to increase stiffness a little.
Much like your anti-roll bar setup, if your suspension is too stiff, this can cause excessive tyre wear.
- Softer suspension increases the ability to ride kerbs
- Stiffer suspension increases responsiveness but can make your car unpredictable and twitchy
Step 6 – Final Adjustments
Once we have looked at all parts of our car setup, now we need to test the setup and make any final adjustments. Each part of the setup in F1 22 is heavily linked. This means that some of the changes you’ve made will have affected other parts of how your car behaves.
It may be necessary to revisit some of the steps above to account for these changes. For example, stiffening the suspension could mean we can run less camber or toe, which in turn could improve tyre wear.
Pay attention to your lap times during these final test runs as well as your tyre temperatures. If tyre temperatures have become an issue and are exceeding our 100°C maximum, you should tone down some of your setup changes.
If tyre temperatures are too hot adjust your setup in one of the following ways;
- Decrease tyre pressures
- Decrease on-throttle differential
- Soften your suspension
- Remove toe and/or camber
Each of the above will introduce some negative traits, however, it is important to find a balance in your car setup. Pick the option above that impacts your lap time and overall balance the least.
Keep performing 5 lap tests until you feel you’ve achieved a good balance, fast lap time and good tyre wear. This is the sweet spot for car setups in F1 22. Don’t be afraid to revisit any areas of this setup guide to reimplement or adjust your approach.
Test your setup against the AI
Once you’ve got a setup that you’re happy with, the next step is to take it out on track against AI opponents. See how fast your car is against the AI, and in which parts of the track you’re faster or slower.
As I mentioned right at the beginning of this setup guide. Try to prioritise a lower downforce setup. This will allow you to compete for overtakes during a race, and is generally the quickest way to set up your car.
F1 22 Developer deep dive
In this F1 22 deep dive video, senior game designer David Greco talks about the handling changes that have been made. He also discusses in some detail how these affect car setups in this year’s game.
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