Master Your Race Starts in F1 22 – How To Get The Perfect Start
The formation lap and race starts have been reworked for F1 22 with race starts being much harder in this year's game. This guide runs through the best F1 22 race start tips for mastering your race start.
Can you manually control race starts in F1 22?
In F1 22, you get more control than ever over your race start. You can drive the entire formation lap and manually line yourself up on the start grid. From there you can manually control every part of your race start.
This guide will give you the best race start tips for F1 22, to help you get the perfect start. I’ll run through what is new for race starts in F1 22, as well as some key tips to help you get a better launch off the line. With these tips, you should be very competitive off the line and into the first corner in all your races.
What’s new with race starts in F1 22
Mastering your start in F1 22 without traction control is without a doubt one of the hardest things to do. In this year’s game, rear traction is so much harder to find than in previous games. And many players who are used to racing without traction control are resorting back to turning traction control on.
It isn’t helped by the fact that the AI seem to always nail their starts, often leaving you dropping down the pack. If you’re racing with traction control off, you’ll need a super-fine level of throttle control to avoid binning your car into the side barrier.
Race start changes
There have also been some changes implemented to the race start procedure in F1 22. In previous games, you were able to drive your formation lap, but the game then took over control when lining up on the grid. This broke immersion a little bit and often caused strange ghosting through other cars.
In F1 22, you can now manually control the full race start procedure. You will be able to drive your entire formation lap, and then you can position your car in your starting grid spot. This manual control introduces a new area where you can gain an advantage over your competitors.
I’ll talk about how to maximise your grid positioning below, as well as cover a range of other tips to help you get better race starts in F1 22.
Master your race starts in F1 22 video guide
Master the formation lap
The very first part of the race start procedure is the formation lap. This is your chance to prepare your car correctly for the first few laps. If you choose to manually drive the formation lap, you can use this valuable lap to give yourself a little advantage.
The formation lap is all about preparing your tyres. It is your chance to get heat into your tyres to give yourself the maximum levels of grip off the line. If you do manage to heat your tyres correctly, you will have a small advantage over other drivers who may not have got as much heat into their tyres.
How to heat tyres during the formation lap
One of the best ways to heat your tyres during the formation lap in F1 22 is to swerve from left and right. You will see it every race weekend on TV. Drivers will steer from left to right all the way around the formation lap.
This aggressive swerving helps generate heat in your tyres. The more violently you apply steering input, and the faster you’re going when you do it, the more heat you’ll generate.
Remember, you don’t want to stress your tyres too much and wear them out. Your goal is to get as much heat in them as possible without wearing them.
Another way to heat your tyres is to accelerate hard out of slow corners. This will generate some wheel spin through your rear tyres, which in turn will generate heat. I would advise only doing this a few times throughout the formation lap as it will generate tyre wear.
Remember to heat your brakes
Another area where you should apply some focus is on your brakes. You will also want to ensure your brakes are hot so you get good braking performance into the first corner. The last thing you want is to lock a brake or go off track on the first corner because your brakes were too cold.
To heat up your brakes on the formation lap in F1 22, you should brake heavily into a few corners. I would do this periodically throughout the formation lap and not into every corner.
Try to brake heavily into the last few corners of the formation lap. This will give you the hottest brakes as you line up on the grid.
My strategy for heating my tyres and brakes on the formation lap is;
- Open the temperature panel on your MFD to see how hot your tyres and brakes are getting.
- Swerve from left to right down all straights.
- Ensure you aren’t driving too fast when swerving to avoid losing control.
- Brake heavily into the last few corners to ensure your brakes are hot into the first corner.
- Complete a couple of burnouts just before you line up on the grid.
- Aim for your rear tyres to be around 100°C as you approach your grid spot.
If you don’t like manually driving the formation lap, you can turn on the broadcast features. These will present the formation lap in a more broadcast manner, much like we see on TV. You will be presented with on-screen graphics showing tyre strategies amongst other things.
Line up in your grid spot correctly
The next tip to getting the perfect start in F1 22 is a new feature for this year’s game. As mentioned above, we now have full control over where we position our car within our grid box.
As you approach your grid spot during the formation lap, a new HUD element will come on screen showing you the perfect position. This graphic shows you where to line your car up, and it changes colour as you edge towards the correct position.
You will want to aim for the marker to turn purple to indicate the perfect grid position. I would recommend approaching the marker slowly, and only fully apply the brakes when the marker flashes to purple.
What you can do, however, is point your car either to the left or right, you don’t need to be completely straight. Angling your car towards either left or right sides can give you a tactical way of cutting in front of a car beside you.
If for example, you are on the right-hand side of the grid, you can angle your car slightly towards the left of the track. This will allow you to start to pull in front of the car to your left, giving you an advantage into the first corner.
It isn’t always beneficial to angle your car one way or the other. Sometimes, pointing straight ahead is the best option, however, you can judge this when you’re sitting on the grid before the formation lap.
Look at the direction that the track bends, and decide which side of the track you’d like to ideally be on when you get to the first corner. All of these factors can decide which direction you should point your car.
Have the right RPM
When it comes to mastering the race start itself in F1 22, all of your attention should be on your RPM. Before the lights even go out, you should start to apply throttle to increase your revs and your RPM. This will ensure you’re ready as soon as the lights go out.
The ideal amount of revs for the race start shouldn’t be full throttle. Instead, you should only look to apply around 20-30% throttle as you are waiting for the lights to go out. If you have 100% throttle applied, you will almost always get too much wheelspin as you start to pull away.
This will cause your engine to rev more, won’t give you the optimal amount of traction and can often result in an embarrassing spin.
Instead, around 20-30% throttle will limit the amount of wheelspin you encounter. Your tyres will find traction much quicker, giving you a better initial launch.
You should be aiming for around 12,500 RPM while waiting for the lights to go out.
Get a smooth launch off the line
As the start lights start to go red, maintain the ideal RPM, and keep the same amount of throttle pressure applied initially when the lights go out. You don’t want to apply full throttle as the lights go out suddenly. This will result in too much wheelspin.
Maintain around 25% throttle pressure as you pull away from the line. Try to shift up to second gear relatively early, and at this point, you can start to apply more throttle pressure.
By the time you are in third gear, you should be applying 50-60% throttle pressure. Once you feel that the traction is under control, you can then apply full throttle and think about turning on your ERS overtake mode.
This method should give you a very good race start every time, which will give you a good advantage when approaching the first corner.
In the rain, this is a lot trickier, as you will have to manage your wheelspin even more carefully!
Race starts with medium traction control
If you are racing with medium traction control turned on, you can apply a lot more throttle sooner during the start procedure. Start by applying the same amount of throttle pressure to reach around 12,500 RPM.
Hold this until the lights go out, and then almost immediately shift up to second gear. Once you have shifted up, you can then apply more throttle. The traction should kick in much sooner with medium TC enabled. You should really be able to apply full throttle around third gear.
Perfecting the first corner
When you do get to the first corner, you should remember exactly where you want to start to brake. A very easy trap to fall into is focusing too much on the cars around you, and out braking yourself into turn 1.
It is so easy to miss your braking point into the first corner, as there is so much going on around you. This can cause you to potentially go off track, or lose time as you run wide. In worst-case scenarios, it could even cause you to hit the back of a car in front and cause damage to your car.
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Instead, try to memorise exactly where the braking point is for turn 1.
Positioning your car
As you approach the first corner, try to position your car in the ideal place on the track. This is normally on the inside of the corner.
If you are on the outside of the first corner, you will be vulnerable to cars on your inside forcing you wide, or even hitting you if they miss their braking point. Being on the inside of a corner gives you more control over your own destiny, and can help you avoid first-corner incidents.
Nail your braking point
Once your car is positioned well on the approach to turn 1, next focus on the exact point where you’ll start braking. You will need to have good positional awareness into turn 1, as cars around you may affect when you have to brake.
If you are on the first row of the grid, you’ll have nobody in front of you, so you can brake exactly where you want to.
However, if you are in the middle of the pack or towards the rear of the grid, you may have to brake earlier. As cars slow down into the first corner, they will concertina up, meaning you’ll have to slow down earlier.
This is a great opportunity to make a few places as cars start to slow earlier than normal. You can often find gaps to place your car, and make a few overtakes. However, you will need to be aware that you may need to slow down earlier than expected.
Don’t jump start
Our final tip is about jump-starts. You can release your clutch too early and jump the start in F1 22. And if you do, you’ll be hit with a penalty. It can be very easy to jump the start if you anticipate the lights going out a little too early.
The start lights in F1 22 can go out at different times. This means the time between the last light turning red, and the lights going out isn’t always the same. Sometimes they go out early, other times, they stay red for longer.
This is to avoid people trying to time the lights and release their clutch early to get a better start.
The key to not jump-starting in F1 22 is patience. You should never try to guess when the lights will go out. Instead, wait for them to go and then release your clutch as quickly as you can. It really is a reaction game rather than a guessing game.
When in doubt, remember that it is always better to be a little slow at the start by waiting for the lights to turn than it is to get a penalty for a jump start!
Consider a racing wheel
One way that race starts can be a little easier is with a racing wheel. While you can get perfectly good starts when racing with a controller, a racing wheel and pedals gives you slightly more control.
Physical pedals have much more travel than your controller’s trigger. This means that the sweet spot for revs is easier to find with a racing wheel.
If you are considering a racing wheel for F1 22, remember it will make your starts slightly easier to manage compared to a controller.
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