How To Be Faster in F1 22 – Tips & Techniques Guide
With the imminent arrival of F1 22, now is a perfect opportunity to master some key driving techniques to become a faster driver in F1 22. This definitive guide will run you through our top tips to improve your lap times.
How do you be faster in F1 22?
Learning to drive fast in F1 22 takes a lot of time and practice. But there are some key tips you can learn to fast track your progress in F1 22. You should assess your driving in different categories. Isolate your braking performance, your corner speed, and your corner exit. Follow the tips and tricks in this guide on how to be faster in F1 22.
Become a Faster Driver in F1 22
F1 22 brings a few key changes to the way the cars behave when compared to F1 2021. Mastering these new changes and your overall driving technique will serve as the base for becoming a much faster driver in F1 22.
There are some key areas that you can look to improve while learning to drive faster in F1 22. In this guide, I’ll look at each way you can improve your speed in detail, and bring you our top tips for being faster in F1 22.
Master your braking technique
The first area I’m going to look at is braking. This is one of the key areas where you can find a lot of additional lap time once you master how to brake correctly. You’ll spend a lot of a lap driving at full throttle, but when you’re not accelerating, you’ll be braking. This is why it is one of the first areas you should look at to become faster in F1 22.
There are many points around any track where braking more efficiently can earn you extra lap time. A lot of sim racers and beginners to F1 22 will unknowingly be losing time under braking. This could be due to not braking hard enough, braking too early, slowing down too much or a number of other reasons.
When you approach any corner you should know the perfect braking point in your head. You need to learn every corner on every track, which sounds very daunting. But this can easily be done during a full race weekend. Utilise practice sessions to learn a track, and even ride on board with other drivers to see when and where they’re braking.
Brake in a straight line
One of the first key points to correctly braking and slowing your car down efficiently in F1 22 is to always brake in a straight line where you can. There will be some corners where this isn’t fully possible but as a rule of thumb. Where you can brake in a straight line, do it.
Any steering input you apply while you are braking is taking away from your maximum braking performance. The tyres fitted to your Formula 1 car can’t handle two loads at once. When asked to do too much at once, they will eventually lock up, which is your tyres telling you that you’ve asked too much from them.
Think of braking and steering as two percentages. Together they will always equal 100%. Braking in a straight line focuses 100% of your tyre performance on slowing your car down. The moment you start to turn your steering wheel you are reducing how much performance is focused on braking.
Even if you are still applying full brakes, as you turn, the percentage available from your tyres to slow your car reduces. Applying just a small amount of steering input can reduce that percentage by 10-20% or more.
If you are turning while braking and your tyres are only providing around 70-80% of their performance towards slowing you down. And the other 20-30% of performance is helping you turn your car, then your time to slow your car will increase. In turn, this increases your braking distance, meaning you’ll have to brake for longer. This is definitely not a good thing as you’ll be spending more time travelling at slower speeds.
Any steering input while braking takes away from optimal braking. Optimal braking performance always comes when you brake in a straight line. Try to focus 100% of your tyre’s performance on braking.
Trail braking at the right moments
As mentioned above, there are moments when you will need to start turning your car, before you have fully slowed the car. This is where a technique called trail braking comes into play.
To be able to trail brake correctly, we first need to look at what trail braking is, and why you should look to trail brake in F1 22.
Trail braking is the art of reducing your braking force as you approach a corner, while at the same time applying steering input. This is beneficial for a number of reasons.
- You can brake later into a corner if you combine both trail braking and turning inputs
- You maintain a faster corner entry speed as you’ll be approaching the apex faster
- Increased front downforce generated from your car’s weight being over the front wheels while braking. This can provide a better ability to turn your car into the apex.
The technique of trail braking is a simple one to understand, but a very tricky one to implement. You may think you’re trail braking as you reduce your braking force and increase your turning input. However, many sim racers don’t optimise this technique and end up leaving performance on the table.
You want to reduce your braking force too much and avoid coasting too much into a corner. Remember the percentage analogy from above. You should look to keep your performance close to 100% while trail braking.
This means, that as you reduce your braking force, you will want to replace that with turning input. Reducing your braking force too much or too early, and not applying enough turning input is a common mistake when learning to trail brake.
Don’t worry, perfecting trail braking is extremely difficult, and it’s a technique that all racing drivers strive to master at maximum efficiency. Practice will certainly help you learn to trail brake, and over time you’ll increasingly perform better when implementing this technique.
Trail braking technique
Below is a broken down method of how to trail brake correctly. You should look to achieve the actions below at the relevant point of the corner you’re looking to perfect in F1 22. In between these zones, try to keep both your braking and turning inputs smooth.
The percentages that I mention below aren’t always applicable on every corner. But applying the same technique below and adjusting your inputs will quickly help you master trail braking in F1 22.
Corner Entry – Braking
- Brake at full pressure
- Keep full pressure applied as much as possible without locking any wheels until you want to start turning
Corner Entry – Turning
- Start to lift off the brake pedal gradually
- Start to turn into the corner when brake pressure is lower than 50%
- Brake pressure should be between 35-50% as you start turning
- Decrease brake pressure to 15-25% midway toward the apex
- Keep gradually releasing the brake pressure to zero just before the apex
- The amount of brake pressure you need to keep applied varies from corner to corner
- The brakes should be fully released by the time you hit the apex, at which point you should look towards accelerating out of the corner
Learn more tips and tricks on how to become better at braking in F1 22 in our definitive guide to braking in F1 22.
When to trail brake in F1 22
With trail braking explained, it is worth noting that you certainly shouldn’t look to trail brake into every corner of every track in F1 22. It’s a braking technique that is required at most tracks, but not every corner.
If you can brake in a straight line for the majority of the braking zone, you should look to minimise how much you trail brake into that corner.
Don’t brake too late
Many beginners will think that the later you brake into a corner the better. And that is true to some degree. But every corner has its own point of no return. If you brake past this, then you will either miss the apex or have to slow your car down too much to make the corner.
Braking too late is a common mistake in F1 22, and it can compromise your overall lap time more than the time you potentially gain from braking late.
Most corners at most tracks are followed by a straight of some form. If you brake too late and either slow your car too much or miss the apex, your corner exit speed will be slower. And in turn, this will decrease your maximum speed along the straight that follows.
With most corners, the key to finding lap time is by maintaining the highest minimum speed you can through the corner. After all, the faster you are travelling at all points on the circuit, the quicker your lap time can be.
Often, braking slightly earlier and maintaining a higher mid-corner speed, and maximising your corner exit speed is a much faster route through a corner.
ABS on or off
ABS is a fantastic driver assist, and one which most beginner players to F1 22 will utilise to begin with. ABS will essentially stop your brakes from locking up under any circumstance. This will make it easier to brake without the worry that you might lock a wheel.
However, the way ABS traditionally works is to automatically reduce your braking pressure to avoid a lock-up. When ABS kicks in, it will almost always increase your overall braking distance, meaning you have to brake earlier which will lose you lap time.
Turning ABS and learning how to manage your brake pressure is one of the first things I would recommend to any F1 22 player. Learning how to manage your brake pressure through a corner is a much more rewarding method of braking.
ABS off will improve your braking ability. It will reduce your braking distance. And it is much more immersive and realistic. After all, real-world Formula 1 cars do not have ABS.
Perfect your steering inputs
Learning to steer your car consistently and precisely will help you be faster in F1 22. Avoiding erratic steering inputs allows your car to be more stable on both straights and corners. And smoother steering will decrease the likelihood that you will lose control of your car.
Every input you make when you’re behind the wheel in F1 22 should be as smooth as possible. This applies to accelerating, braking and steering.
If you apply sharp steering inputs, you will shift the weight balance of your car very quickly. This can result in your car becoming unstable. An unstable car won’t have as much grip as a well-balanced car, and it can even lead to you losing control and spinning.
Every time you turn your car, the weight of your car will shift and lean. This is why you often see cars leaning to one side when turning. If a car turns to the right, it makes the weight shift to the left, putting more pressure on your left tyres to perform.
The smoother your steering inputs, the smoother the weight transfer will be. Smooth weight transfer results in a very stable car which in turn allows you to drive it more confidently.
Learn to overtake correctly
Overtaking is a crucial part of racing in F1 22. You will be making multiple overtakes during a race (hopefully!) meaning perfecting your technique can help you pass a slower car quicker. And the quicker you overtake slower cars, the less time you’ll spend behind them lapping slowly.
There are multiple ways of overtaking a car in F1 22, but the most important thing is to maintain car stability, precision and keep it clean. The last thing you want when overtaking for the lead in F1 22 is to cause an accident and damage your car!
Pick a side
One of the easiest methods for overtaking in F1 22 is to have a better corner exit than the car ahead of you. Then pull alongside on a straight, and pass them into the next corner. If you have a speed advantage or the use of DRS this can be as easy as choosing a side and driving past the slower car ahead.
You will have to make up your mind about which side you are going to overtake the car in front before you approach them. You should learn to anticipate the movement of the car in front as they will look to defend. If you see them moving to the inside, then feel free to overtake around the outside.
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Ensure whichever side you choose has enough room for you to pass through, and the car ahead isn’t likely to move into you.
Master the dummy move
If the car in front is always defending the inside of a corner, and you can’t make it past around the outside. You may need to rethink your overtaking strategy. Trying to trick the car in front is a valid option.
If you can convince the car in front that you are about to overtake on one side, they might move early. This allows you to change your direction and overtake on the other side. The dummy move is especially useful if you have a preferred side to overtake on.
Try this by moving your car to the opposite side that you want to overtake on. Then, if the car in front moves across to block your path, you can quickly but safely change direction to move to the other side and overtake.
Think about the corners ahead
Planning your route through the corners ahead of you is crucial when it comes to overtaking. You should know what side of the track will be beneficial to be on through the corner ahead. You can use this to your advantage to defend yourself from the car re-overtaking you.
Typically the inside line is the best way to overtake. You can block the corner for the other car, and force them a little wide on the corner exit. This is a technique that Max Verstappen used a lot through 2021 in his battle with Lewis Hamilton.
However, if there is a quick corner ahead or a sequence of corners that change direction, you may be better off trying to overtake on the outside. The outside line can sometimes provide you better room to accelerate out of the corner faster than the other car.
And if the track switches and there is a corner going in the opposite direction straight away. You will be on the correct side of the track to stop the other car from overtaking you through the second corner.
DRS (drag reduction system) was introduced to aid overtaking in Formula 1 during a period when it was very hard to follow and overtake cars. DRS works by reducing the drag on your rear wing, allowing you to reach a faster top speed than a car without DRS.
DRS activates when you are within a DRS zone and less than 1 second from a car in front. Knowing where the DRS zones and the 1-second detection zones are is handy for planning overtakes. DRS will make overtaking significantly easier, so try to utilise it throughout a race when you can.
Defending from faster cars
Much like overtaking is a key skill to learn. Defending correctly can help you keep positions in a race where you are in front of faster cars. You can apply a lot of what you learnt from overtaking towards defending. Knowing the track layout and picking the best side is key to defending correctly.
Don’t always defend the inside
As I mentioned above in the overtaking section, the inside line is often the best line to perform an overtake. This means, that when defending from a faster car, your first instinct will be to move across and defend the inside line. This will stop the attacking car behind from being able to use it, giving you an advantage.
But as I mentioned, the inside line isn’t always the best line to overtake through. Keeping one the racing line can often allow you to get a better corner exit and re-overtake the attacking car.
If a car approaches a corner on the inside line, they’ll have to take a tighter angle through a corner. This will require them to slow down more and turn more. Neither of these things are ideal for ultimate speed and lap time.
So if you can stay on the outside/racing line, you can maintain a higher speed through the corner, and achieve a faster corner exit. This can allow you to then overtake the car in front directly after the corner while they are slower.
Practice in all weather
You can turn off rainy weather for quick races in F1 22. But in career mode and My Team mode, it won’t be too long before you come across a rainy race. Being prepared for rain will serve you well in these conditions.
It will rain
When wet weather does inevitably come, it’ll be good for you to feel comfortable driving in wet and changeable conditions. Over time, you will learn the sort of conditions that require intermediate tyres, and conditions that require full wet tyres.
When you first drive in wet weather conditions, you will immediately notice that grip is a lot less. You won’t be able to drive as fast or push as hard as you would in the dry.
You should try to stay on the racing line and avoid driving over wetter patches of the road as these will provide even less grip. Also, stay off of any kerbs as these will be even slipperier still.
Wet weather car setup
If you are facing a full wet race, you can adjust your car setup to handle the wet track better. Changes to your car setup include;
- Raise your ride height
- Increase your front and rear aerodynamics
- Lower your on-throttle differential
- Lower tyre pressures
The above changes will help you better navigate a wet track. But if rain strikes part way through a race you won’t be able to change your setup. In that scenario, you can adjust a few parts of your car from inside the cockpit.
If it starts to rain, you should almost immediately start to lower your on-throttle diff. This will help improve driveability out of corners by preventing your rear wheels from breaking traction and spinning as quickly.
If you haven’t pitted yet, you can also request a front wing angle change during your pitstop. Adding some front wing aero during your pitstop will help the front of your car grip the track during wet weather in F1 22.
Read our complete guide on racing faster in wet weather in F1 22.
Improve your car setup
While I’m talking about car setups and wet weather, one way to improve your lap times in F1 22 is to optimise your car setup. A better car setup can allow you to drive faster as well as manage certain areas of your car such as tyre wear and fuel consumption.
You can adjust a lot of different areas of your car’s setup, with each area affecting your car in a different way. If you need more downforce, you can increase your aerodynamics. Need more tyre life, soften your suspension, lower your on-throttle differential and lower tyre pressures.
There is a lot you can do with your car setup in F1 22, allowing you to create specific car setups for different scenarios. When adjusting your car setup, you should always have your end goal in mind. If you’re creating a time trial setup, you can be more aggressive than if you’re creating a race setup.
As you start to tinker with different parts of your car setup in F1 22, try to only change one thing at a time. If you change multiple things at once, you won’t know exactly which change affected your car in a certain way. Only adjusting one part of your car setup at a time allows you to feel the exact difference that one change has made.
There are a few changes you can make to your car setup while you’re racing. One of those is your brake bias. Your brake bias dictates how much braking force is sent to the front wheels compared to the rear wheels. This is often shown as 56% front brake bias. This means 56% of your braking force is sent to your front wheels.
You’ll often see real Formula 1 drivers changing their brake bias multiple times throughout a lap. This is because it can greatly affect your braking performance into a corner. And there is significant lap time to be found if you can optimise your braking into every corner around a lap.
If you move your brake bias forward (increasing the percentage) you have stronger braking force at the front of your car. This can help slow your car down faster if braking hard in a straight line. But it will increase the likelihood of you locking a wheel.
If you shift your brake bias rearward (closer to 50%) your front tyres are less likely to lock. This can help you approach faster, more sweeping corners better allowing you to trail brake into a corner more efficiently.
Your on-throttle differential is the second part of your car setup that you can change from behind the wheel. This affects the power delivery across your rear wheels. An on-throttle diff that is set closer to 100% means your rear wheels are spinning at the same speed. This can improve outright traction, but increases the chance you’re rear wheels will break traction.
If you lower it towards 50%, your rear wheels will spin more independently of each other. This can reduce your corner exit speed, but will make managing your throttle input easier. This works well when accelerating from very low speeds or in wet weather.
Where to find F1 22 car setups
Here at Sim Racing Setups, we specialise in F1 22 car setups. We create car setups for every track in F1 22 and create multiple car setups for different conditions. You can find all of our latest car setups for F1 22 and other racing sims over at our main car setups page, or on our Sim Racing Setups YouTube channel.
Consider a racing wheel
Our final recommendation for being faster in F1 22 is to consider a racing wheel. Racing with a controller is extremely fun and is a great way to experience F1 22 from the comfort of your sofa. However, controller inputs can be hard to get precise as you have a very small level of input precision.
There are gamers who are incredibly fast in F1 22 with a controller. But for many, including myself, racing with a controller is tricky.
Racing in F1 22 with a racing wheel allows for a much larger amount of precision. You have the full rotation of a steering wheel to control the exact amount of steering input you apply. This gives a much larger range of input allowing for more precision.
Racing with a wheel also increases your overall immersion and can be much more fun and enjoyable. You will need to ensure you have room to mount and store a racing wheel, but there are plenty of compact wheel stands available if you’re tight on space.
Hopefully, this guide to being faster in F1 22 gives you some key insight into areas where you can improve your lap time. Applying some or all of these tips can improve your lap times and your overall enjoyment of F1 22.
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