How To Brake Better in F1 22 – Definitive Braking Guide
Improving your braking ability in F1 22 is one of the key areas where you can improve your overall performance. This guide will run through how to be better at braking in F1 22 in detail.
How to brake better in F1 22?
Your braking ability will affect your overall lap times as well as your ability to overtake and defend against other drivers. To brake better in F1 22, you should divide a braking zone into different parts. These parts are; the initial braking point, start trail braking and hitting the apex. I’ll talk about each of these sections of a braking zone in detail in this F1 22 braking tips guide.
Learn to brake more efficiently in F1 22
Your braking technique in F1 22 is a crucial area where you can improve your lap times. When you aren’t accelerating at full throttle along a straight, you’ll be cornering and braking. Most tracks will have a few heavy braking zones and anywhere from 10-25 corners, most of these involving some form of braking.
Sim racers who are trying to become faster in F1 22 should look at their braking technique as one of the first areas to find additional performance. Many racers don’t optimise their braking.
Some common braking mistakes in F1 22 are not braking as hard as they should be, braking too long and slowing too much, and not optimising trail braking on corner entry.
To perfect your braking in F1 22 you should look to master each of these areas. If needed you can separate your braking into multiple sectors to allow you to focus on one aspect at a time.
Key parts of a braking zone
If you regularly watch Formula 1, you will often see the below graphic. This shows the braking telemetry from two drivers showing how each of them approaches a corner. The height of the horizontal line dictates the car’s speed.
From this graph, you can see the exact point when a driver starts decelerating (braking). You can also see how fast they decelerate, where they start to ease off the brakes, and when they start accelerating out of the corner.
I’ve marked up the above image with a few additional lines. These include the point at which Charles Leclerc starts braking. This is dictated by the first vertical red line showing where Leclerc hits the brakes at 100% pressure.
The second vertical red line shows the point where Leclerc’s deceleration starts to slow. You can see this as the horizontal line starts to flatten out. This indicates that he isn’t decelerating at the same rate as he was at the start of the braking zone. This shows that Leclerc is lifting off the brake pedal and applying less force.
The third vertical line shows the apex point. This is shown by the horizontal speed line completely levelling out just before it starts to increase. This is the point where 0% braking force is being used.
Below are the three braking zones explained in more detail.
Braking zone part 1
The first part of every braking zone is the initial application of the brakes. This is often referred to as your braking point. You should learn the braking point of every corner when you are practising around a track. Bear in mind that throughout a race multiple elements can affect your braking point.
If you are following a car in their slipstream or have DRS active, you will need to brake earlier to hit the apex. If you are in clear air with a light car at the end of a race, your braking point can be later into a corner.
At the braking point of almost every corner, you will want to lift off of the throttle and apply 100% brake pressure. Some corners that require braking while turning or short braking zones may not require 100% brake pressure.
Braking zone part 2
The second part of any braking zone is the point at which you start to lift off the brake pedal and trail brake into the corner. This point is different at every corner but is generally at the same time that you start to apply any steering input.
At this point, you will want to feather off the brake pedal in line with how much steering input you are applying. The more steering you’re applying, the less braking force you should look to apply.
Essentially your tyres can only handle a certain amount of combined braking and turning force at once. If you exceed this limit you risk locking a wheel or understeering. This is why it’s important to feather off the brake pedal in line with your steering inputs.
Braking zone part 3
The third part of a braking zone is the point at which you no longer have any braking force applied. This is generally at or just before the apex of a corner. At this point, you should be focused entirely on the corner apex and your acceleration out of the turn.
Trail brake at the right moments
The braking method I have just described above includes trail braking. Trail braking is the practice of reducing your braking force while turning into a corner. With this technique, you’ll be braking and turning simultaneously.
This is a technique that you should look to master in F1 22 as it’ll come in use at almost every track. Not every corner requires trail braking, as some traditional corners will see you braking in a straight line before you lift off the brakes and apply your steering input.
It is at corners where these two things cross over where you should implement trail braking.
Trail braking is a very useful technique as it essentially combines two inputs, braking and turning, to maximise the tyre’s potential at any one time. If you aren’t driving at or close to 100% of the tyres ability you are leaving potential performance on the table.
Some key benefits of trail braking include;
- Your braking point starts later into the corner if you combine both trail braking and turning inputs
- You can have a faster corner entry speed as you’ll be approaching the apex at a faster speed
- Less likely to understeer on corner entry if you release brake pressure while turning
Trail braking technique explained
Now that I’ve covered why you should be trail braking in F1 22, I’ll explain in detail how to correctly implement trail braking. Below I will divide up each part of the corner, much like I showed above, and explain everything that should be happening behind the wheel of the car at each point.
The below method and braking pressure will vary from corner to corner, so you won’t be able to apply the exact brake pressure I mention above at every corner. But this explanation shows an example of how to implement a correct trail braking technique. You can then adjust the brake pressure and turning input for each corner.
Corner Entry – Braking
- Brake at full pressure at the corner’s braking point
- Maintain full pressure 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
- Your brakes should be fully released by the time you hit the apex
- Start to look at hitting the apex and focus on your acceleration out of the corner
When to trail brake in F1 22
Trail braking in F1 22 isn’t something you should be doing at every corner. Some corners such as the first corner at Bahrain won’t require much trail braking at all. In these corners, you can use a traditional braking technique. Simply brake at the ideal braking point. Liftoff the brakes just before the apex, and turn and accelerate out of the turn.
Trail braking is required at corners where you want to start applying steering input before you have finished braking.
Trail braking mistakes
There are a few easy mistakes to make when learning to trail brake. And these mistakes can limit your speed into a corner. Try to pay attention to these points when you’re driving to see if you’re guilty of any of them.
If you find yourself doing any of these during a corner, don’t panic. Just remember what exactly you did wrong, and the next time around you can try to correct the mistake.
Applying too much brake force and steering input together
As I mentioned above, your tyres in F1 22 can only give so much performance to a combination of braking and steering. If you exceed the performance limit of your tyres by applying too much steering and braking at the same time you will either lock a wheel as it becomes overloaded or understeer and miss your apex.
An easy way to notice if you’re guilty of this is to pay attention to see if any of your wheels are locking on the corner entry. If they are, chances are you exceeded the performance potential of that wheel.
Also, if you find yourself understeering past the apex, even when braking at the same braking point as other drivers, chances are your trail braking hasn’t been optimised.
Braking too late into the corner
Trail braking can enable you to shorten your braking zone but there is a limit to how much you can shorten any braking zone. If you brake too late into a corner, you run the risk of missing your apex no matter how perfectly you trail brake.
Unfortunately, trail braking isn’t a magic technique that unlocks an extremely short braking zone into any corner. If you are constantly missing the apex lap after lap despite trail braking pretty well, chances are you are simply braking too late.
Try to pay attention to when other drivers are braking, and keep your braking point close to theirs. This is obviously affected by the difficulty of AI or the skillset of your human opponent. As easier AI difficulties will see drivers braking too early.
Lifting off the brakes too early
Your goal when trail braking is to try and be as close to that magic 100% tyre performance mark. You want to get as much performance out of your tyres on corner entry. If you are lifting off the brakes and coasting into a corner you aren’t maximising your tyre’s potential.
This is often the mistake that most sim racers are guilty of when trying to perfect their trail braking technique in F1 22. It is incredibly easy to think you are trail braking to the full potential of your car when in fact you are leaving some performance on the table.
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The easiest way to know if this is the case is to look at your telemetry. If you are racing F1 22 on PC you can access your lap telemetry by using tools such as Simcade or Racing Sim Tools. Apps like these can export data directly from in-game to the app, allowing you to analyse your lap telemetry.
Compare this to other racers who are faster than you to see exactly how they brake and how much force they are applying at any point through a corner.
Brake Bias setup in F1 22
Your brake bias is a crucial part of your braking setup in F1 22. It will determine how much braking force is sent to the front brakes and how much goes to the rear brakes. This bias has a powerful effect on how your car behaves under braking.
A typical brake bias in F1 22 sits between 52% and 58% front bias but can exceed these values in extreme circumstances. The percentage relates to how much force is sent to your front brakes.
With a brake bias of 56%, that amount will be sent to your front brakes, while 44% of the braking power will be distributed to your rear brakes.
It is ideal to send more braking force to your front brakes in F1 22. This is because as you brake, your car will dip forward meaning more of your car’s weight balance is positioned over the front axle. With more weight over the front axle, you gain more stability under braking with your brake biased towards the front.
The ideal brake balance is one that utilises both front and rear tyres to their maximum potential. If you have a brake bias that is too forward-focused, you may be underutilising the rear tyres and over utilising the front tyres. This is obvious if you are often locking your front wheels.
Ideally, a perfect brake bias will lock the front and rear tyres at the same time. This means your car’s brakes are perfectly balanced, and you are using the full potential of all four tyres. If the front locks first, you are over utilising your front tyres, and if the rears lock first, you’re over utilising the rear tyres.
Front vs rear brake locking
When you lock a wheel under braking, you will feel a sudden loss of grip at that part of your car. If you lock a front wheel, you will start to slide and understeer into a corner. However, if you lock a rear wheel, your car can behave erratically and cause you to spin in some scenarios.
Because of this, it is much preferred that you lock a front wheel rather than a rear wheel. Your car remains much more stable under braking if you lock a front as opposed to a rear wheel.
If you are locking your rear wheels at any point during a lap, you should move your brake bias forward.
If you lock a front wheel under braking, you can move your brake bias slightly rearward, although not too far to start locking your rear axle. Alternatively, you can approach the braking zones slightly differently. Braking in a straight line and correctly trail braking will help avoid front lockups.
Adjusting brake bias mid-race in F1 22
Your brake bias is one area of your car’s setup that you can adjust from behind the wheel in F1 22. You can manually adjust your brake bias at any point during a race, qualifying or practice session via your in-game MFD.
You will often see real-world Formula 1 drivers adjusting their brake bias for every corner, especially on qualifying laps. This is to ensure they have the optimum braking performance at every corner.
As mentioned, brake bias has a strong effect on your braking performance. It can reduce your braking distance and stopping power if tuned correctly. This is why a driver will adjust it between corners.
For more traditional braking zones that are straight and/or heavy, you can use a more forward-focused brake bias.
For corners that require short applications of braking, or where you’re braking whilst turning, a more rearward brake bias is beneficial.
The best brake bias for F1 22
With all that said, the most optimum brake bias setup currently in F1 22, is 50%. There is very little performance loss or risk of locking your rear wheels with this setup, and is almost always the fastest approach currently.
The Correct Racing Line
When approaching a corner, ensuring you have the correct approach to attack the corner to its fullest is a key part of finding additional lap time. This is important in the braking zone, as the direction you approach a corner will dictate if you need to apply steering lock whilst braking and where your braking point is.
The ideal racing line into a corner will have you starting as far across one side of the track as possible. This is always the opposite side to where the apex is. Then you will turn into the apex (the innermost point of a corner), and finally, you’ll drift out to the opposite side of the track during the corner exit.
This approach will minimise your steering angle during the corner and will make the track as short as possible. This approach will allow you to maintain the highest minimum corner speed possible, which will minimise the time spent travelling through a corner.
During the braking phase, you will want to ensure you are braking in a straight line. This will maximise your braking performance into the corner as all of your tyre’s performance is focused on braking and not turning.
Braking in F1 22 Top Tips
As well as everything I’ve mentioned above, I thought It’d be really helpful to highlight some key tips to improve your braking in F1 22. These are some quick-fire tips that you can start to implement straight away in-game.
Don’t brake too late
Many racers will think that braking later will always help you improve your lap time. The theory is solid, brake later and you will spend more time travelling at higher speeds. However braking later can cause you to have to slow more to hit the apex, and you even risk missing the apex completely if you brake too late.
One of the most important parts of any corner is your corner exit speed. This will dictate how fast you are down the straight that follows and can determine whether you will be attacking the car in front or at risk of being overtaken from behind.
The later you brake, generally, the worse your corner exit speed will be. The phrase slow in, fast out rings very true here. You may reduce your braking point or be able to brake later into a turn, but this will almost always compromise your corner exit.
Brake in a straight line
Braking in a straight line when racing the cars in F1 22 is a very important technique to remember. The straighter you can keep your steering wheel, the more of your tyre’s performance is focused on slowing your car. If you apply any steering input, even just a little, that is taking away that little bit of braking performance.
There are some corners such as the tricky turn 10 at Bahrain where you simply cannot brake in a straight line. However, in these scenarios, you can try to straighten your braking zone as much as possible.
Braking in a straight line as much as possible will certainly help reduce your overall braking zone at almost every corner.
Turn ABS Off
ABS is a great driver aid that is designed to help newer players brake without worrying about lockups. This is fantastic while you are learning the techniques of racing in F1 22 as well as the ideal racing line for each circuit.
Once you feel comfortable with a track and the general techniques needed to survive a lap in F1 22, I would highly recommend turning ABS off.
ABS will slow you down by automatically reducing the braking pressure to avoid you from locking a wheel when you exceed your tyre’s maximum performance.
Learning to master the techniques above without ABS will make you a considerably better racing driver. It’ll open up more opportunities to maximise your car’s potential at every corner. And most importantly, racing without ABS will improve your driving ability.
Hopefully, these tips and tricks above will help you improve your braking in F1 22. If you dissect your braking into the segments I mentioned above and apply the methodology that I have outlined, you should be able to find some performance gain.
If you are interested in more detailed F1 22 guides, check out the detailed articles below on how to become faster in F1 22.
- How to be faster in F1 22 guide
- How to be better at cornering in F1 22 guide
- The best racing wheels for F1 22
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