How F1 22 Car Setups Are Different From F1 2021

2022 has brought some brand new changes to how Formula 1 cars drive. Those changes have been reflected in F1 22. Here is how F1 22 cars drive compared to F1 2021, and how setups are different.

How does front wing affect downforce
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F1 22 car setups vs F1 2021

F1 22 is a new era for Formula 1, and the F1 game series. There are new cars, a new pecking order, new game modes, and vastly improved and different car setups and physics.

All of the changes that have been made in Formula 1 for the 2022 cars have been replicated in F1 22. These start at the major aerodynamic changes that affect the way the cars generate downforce. And they continue through the changed suspension, ride height and the larger 18-inch wheels.

Codemasters have looked at how the real-world Formula 1 cars behave on track, and they’ve replicated that. There is a much-improved suspension model in-game in F1 22. Aerodynamics and collision models have also been improved over last year’s game.

It’s fair to say, the cars in F1 22 handle pretty differently from F1 2021 and previous games. This will change our approach to creating car setups. We need to regulate the additional understeer, manage the extra weight, and compensate for the stiffer ride.

View the best racing wheels for F1 22


Aerodynamic car setup changes

To mimic how the real-world Formula 1 cars behave on track, Codemasters have re-worked the aerodynamics. The cars in F1 22 closely resemble their real-world counterparts by creating the majority of downforce from the underbody.

F1 22 Aerodynamic car setup

Changes to the aerodynamic car setup

In previous F1 games, there have typically been only 11 options for aerodynamic adjustments. Also at every track, the aerodynamic levels were already pre-adjusted by the developers. This meant that a setup using 6-6 front and rear wings at Monza was actually different to 6-6 wings at Hungaroring.

In F1 22 there are now 50 adjustment points to change your front and rear wing setup. And the aerodynamic levels are equal across every track. So in F1 22, an aero setup of 25-25 front and rear wings is the same across every track.

This gives players much more scope to adjust their downforce levels from track to track. You can now run higher or lower aero levels at certain tracks in F1 22.

Less aero means more understeer

The front and rear wings on the cars in F1 22 generate much less downforce. This can make your car have more understeer on corner entry or less responsive. Especially compared to the cars in F1 2021 which were extremely agile.

While the front of the car is more prone to understeer on corner entry than in F1 2021, the rear of the car is also easier to oversteer on corner exit.

The cars in F1 22 perform very well through high-speed corners, but in slower corners, they do feel a little sluggish. This is where our aero setup will be put to the test in F1 22. And we may have to make adjustments elsewhere in the car setup to compensate for the lack of slow corner downforce.

One of the ways we will be looking to maximise our aerodynamic car setup in F1 22 is to prioritise the rear wings. We need to ensure the rear of the car is stable and that our aerodynamic setup works from the front of the car right through to the rear.

Follow our ultimate setup guide to learn how to create the perfect car setup in F1 22


Transmission setup changes

One of the areas where F1 22 hasn’t changed too much from F1 2021, is in the transmission setup. You can still change the on-throttle and off-throttle differential independently. And they still behave in a very similar way to last year.

F1 22 Transmission car setup

Although the off-throttle differential may have a bigger part to play in F1 22 car setups. With the cars being more prone to understeer at low speeds, we may need to adjust the off-throttle differential to compensate for the lack of front-end downforce.

For slower tracks, setting up our off-throttle diff much lower may become the norm in F1 22.


Suspension changes

The suspensions on the 2022 Formula 1 cars are much stiffer than in previous years. They have been designed in this way to allow the cars to run lower to the ground. 2022 is all about maximising the downforce that is generated under the car. So running lower ride heights with a stiffer suspension is crucial to achieving this.

Suspension is stiffer

One area where Codemasters have improved the suspension physics is with the refinement over bumps. In F1 22 you will feel your car hitting the bump stops much earlier in the suspension travel. This will make on-track bumps more pronounced and the kerbs feel much stiffer.

To compensate for this in our F1 22 car setups, we’ll need to find ways to reduce the overall stiffness of the car. Or we can work to make the car more stable over bumps.

Ways of doing this are with softer suspension setups or by reducing the tyre pressures. This may not be the most efficient way of making the F1 22 cars feel softer over bumps. Instead, we may look to change the car setup to feel more balanced while remaining stiff over bumps.


Ride height changes

With a heavy focus on ground effect downforce in 2022, the cars have been lowered much closer to the ground. This is designed to create a high-pressure zone under the car to increase downforce.

This also means that in F1 22, the cars will also be closer to the ground. You will be more likely to feel the changes in track surface such as bumps and kerbs.

How different are car setups in F1 22

Bottoming out over bumps is an issue

With the car being much lower to the ground and the suspension being stiffer, your car is much more sensitive to hitting the track surface. We have all heard this happening in real-world F1 coverage. But it also appears in F1 22.

If your suspension is too soft, or your car is too close to the ground, you are likely to hit the ground with the underside of your car.

This is called bottoming out, and it temporarily reduces your grip levels. With the car in contact with the ground, less force is being sent through your tyres, meaning you have less mechanical grip.

This will be especially troublesome in wet conditions where bottoming out can result in loss of control. It also means you can actually beach yourself on high sausage kerbs in F1 22. If you position your car wrong, you can actually become stuck on kerbs and unable to continue!

More aero can make ride comfort worse

We will have to be careful in F1 22 to not negatively affect our ride comfort with our aero setup choices. As bottoming out is a real risk, the more downforce you generate, the harder your car will be pushed into the track surface.

If you run a high aerodynamic setup and a low ride height, you could find your car hitting the ground at lower speeds than if you run a higher ride height. There is a fine balancing act to find the perfect ride height and aerodynamic setup in F1 22!


Tyre setup changes

The wheels in 2022 have been increased from 13 inches to 18. And that change is immediately noticeable in F1 22. There have also been physics and handling changes in this year’s Formula 1 game. All of these updates and changes make for a more realistic tyre model.

F1 changes from 13 inch wheels to 18 inch wheels

Larger wheels mean stiffer tyres

The larger wheel sizes for 2022 result in there being less tyre sidewall this year. This means that the tyre sidewall has to be stiffer to maintain tyre integrity. Stiffer tyres will result in a harsher ride than in F1 2021, with less of the surface bumps being absorbed by your tyres.

Combine this with the stiffer suspension and lower ride heights, and we have the recipe for incredibly stiff cars in F1 22.

Kerbs will feel more pronounced

With the increase in the stiffness of the tyre sidewall, there will be a big change to how kerbs feel in F1 22. In previous games, you have been able to attack kerbs with relative ease. However, the impact from riding on a kerb in F1 22 will be much stronger.

This won’t necessarily make kerbs more dangerous to ride over in F1 22. However, kerbs will provide much more force feedback than in previous games.

More drag when turning

Codemasters have worked hard to replicate real-world drag that is generated from the tyres. In F1 22 the wheels create increased drag as turning lock is applied. With your wheels rotated, you are blocking the smooth airflow, and creating drag as you turn.

To counter this in F1 22 it is incredibly important to not over-turn into corners. Racers who make heavy inputs into corners may lose more speed from drag than those with smoother inputs.

Tyre wear behaves differently

With the updates to the wheel size, car weight and handling physics, tyres will wear differently in F1 22. This year we will feel our tyres being much more sensitive to how you’re driving, with grip levels coming earlier and falling off sharper.

The tyre model in F1 22 will more closely resemble real-world tyre graining. This will allow the tyre drop-off to feel much more pronounced as you wear the tyres down.

For example, if you apply too much steering lock, your tyres will drag across the track surface. This will create more tyre temperature and increased graining. This additional graining will negatively affect your tyre life across a race distance.

We will all have to manage our steering inputs as well as our braking inputs to ensure we don’t lock our wheels. The punishment for bad tyre management seems to be harsher in F1 22.

This will lead to tyre setups being slightly more conservative in F1 22 to accommodate more wear.


How different do the cars feel to drive in F1 22

With the cars being much different from those in F1 2021, it is normal to expect them to drive differently. In F1 22, cars feel much weightier and more realistic compared to previous games.

In previous years, there were so many aerodynamic features on the cars, that they felt extremely light to turn and felt like you could throw them about. In F1 22, the cars carry more weight, with less downforce being generated at lower speeds.

F1 22 Gameplay

This will give the cars an added feeling of inertia as you turn through a corner. You will feel the cars in F1 22 start to understeer as the corner progresses. And your steering inputs will need to be smoother to counteract this.

Downforce is generated at much higher speeds in F1 22. This results in cars that are agile at high speed with the ability to maintain very good mid-corner speeds. However, at lower speeds, they’ll be relying less on the underfloor downforce, and more on the front and rear wings.

Overall, driving Formula 1 cars in F1 22 feels more considered. You’ll feel the car more, and you’ll feel stronger track surface force feedback. This all makes for a much more intense driving experience.


How do we approach creating a car setup in F1 22

All of the changes above in how the physics and car handling models have been updated result in a remarkably different driving experience. This will also lead to a completely different approach to creating car setups in F1 22.

The aerodynamics have a much more important role in F1 22. You can play with your downforce levels much more this year.

Higher levels of aerodynamics will benefit your car’s behaviour through slower to mid-speed corners more. More aero results in faster corner entry and exit and slower speeds down the straights. The impact of the levels of downforce generated in F1 22 is stronger than in last year’s game.

This opens up higher downforce setup approaches more as there is potentially more lap time to be gained using this approach.

The big improvement to the tyre model in F1 22 will also impact players’ decisions on how to best set up their suspension geometry and tyre pressures. More conservative approaches may be favoured to mitigate the faster tyre degradation. Or players may look to go more aggressive and 3 stop during a race.


More emphasis on driving style

With the large updates to the aerodynamic setups along with the much stiffer suspension and completely reworked tyre model. There is a much larger emphasis on driving style and setup choice.

You can now set up your aero levels to be more extreme in F1 22 than in previous games. And the aerodynamics is much more prone to affect the suspension and your ride height.

F1 22 Cockpit camera VR

In F1 22 it will be extremely common for drivers with different driving styles to implement different cars setups effectively.

Some drivers may be able to manage the additional understeer and opt for a lower downforce setup for maximum straight-line speed. However, this could decrease tyre performance as the tyres grain easier during understeer and oversteer moments.

Or you could opt to find performance through the slower corners by running a higher aerodynamic setup. This would limit your ability to overtake on straights throughout the race, but would help you conserve your tyre life, and potentially lap faster due to extra downforce.

Read our guide on how to be faster through corners in F1 22

F1 22 will certainly result in a much wider range of car setups being implemented. This will make racing online fun as drivers employ different strategies and tactics during the race.


Can F1 2021 setups be used in F1 22?

Unfortunately, with the handling and physics models being so different in F1 22 compared to last year’s game, car setups won’t translate across well. The setup philosophy is extremely different.

Where in F1 2021, high rake, low suspension stiffness car setups were fantastic during races and career mode. This year, those styles of setups will cause both a lack of under-floor downforce being generated and the potential to bottom out more often.

Also, the aerodynamic setup options have considerably changed, so these can’t be carried across from F1 2021 at all. The tyres are also different enough to ensure that tyre pressures from previous years can’t really carry over.

Overall, F1 22 will require a different car setup approach. Some elements and general principles will still apply.

Monaco will still require high aerodynamic setups, and tracks will require a similar brake balance and differential setup. But key parts such as the suspension setup and tyre setup aren’t able to be carried over directly.

F1 22 Rain Gameplay


Will porpoising be in F1 22?

Porpoising has been confirmed to not be included in F1 22. Thankfully we won’t be required to manage porpoising when creating car setups in F1 22. And we won’t have to worry about cars bouncing down the long straights.


F1 22 Developer deep dive on car setups

Below is a lengthy deep dive into the car setups and handling in F1 22. This video covers how the car setups and handling is different in F1 22 compared to previous games. Codemasters senior game designer David Greco runs through all of these changes in detail.


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