F1 23: How To Be Faster Through Corners

In F1 23, one of the main areas you can improve your lap time is through the corners. In this guide, I'll look at our top tips on how to improve your speed through corners in F1 23 and find improve your pace.

F1 23 Car Setup Changes

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In F1 23, many sim racers are in constant pursuit of additional lap time. Improving your lap time by a second or a tenth of a second can make a difference when qualifying against the AI, or racing against others online.

While a second is a very short amount of time, finding that much lap time in a racing game or sim is an impressive feat. But one of the areas where you can potentially improve your lap time in F1 23 is the corners.

If you can improve your efficiency and speed through a corner, you will start to improve your lap time. In this guide, I’ll run through our techniques that we implement to improve our speed and lap time in F1 23 by becoming faster through corners.

The individual parts of a corner

One of the very first parts of becoming faster in any corner in F1 23, is to break down the corner into three distinct parts. Once you have divided the corner into individual parts in your head, you can start to focus on improving in any of the different parts.

The three parts of a corner that we like to use are;

  • The corner entry (braking zone)
  • Mid corner (apex)
  • Corner exit

By focusing on improving your speed through an individual part of a corner, it is much easier to process the small improvements you can make and learn lap after lap.

For example, I will often focus entirely on improving my braking efficiency on the corner entry each lap, while not focusing as much energy on the other two parts of the corner.

Once I feel I am consistently nailing the braking zone each lap, I’ll move on to integrating the next part of the corner, which would be the mid-corner phase. Then finally, after nailing both the corner entry and mid-corner, I’ll spend some time focusing on maximising my corner exit.

While breaking down a corner into different parts, it’s important to learn the correct racing line through each corner. This will often be the shortest possible route through the corner while maintaining the highest minimum corner speed.

Generally, the correct racing line will be to approach the corner with your car positioned on the opposite side of the track to the corner apex. Then, as you start to slow and approach the apex, you’ll cut across the track to touch the innermost part of the corner before drifting back out wide as you exit the corner.

F1 22 Braking tips

Corner entry (Braking zone)

The first part of every corner is the entry which almost always consists of some form of braking. While every corner is different and will require a different approach, many follow a very similar pattern.

Typically, you’ll want to be braking hard at 100% pressure as soon as you reach the braking point of the corner. Then, as you start to slow down you will start to release the brake pressure to avoid your wheels locking.

If you keep 100% brake pressure applied, you will eventually lock your wheels as the pressure will overwhelm how much force the brakes can handle. This happens much easier at slower speeds.

As you progress through the braking zone and are releasing the brake pressure and slowing, you’ll reach the point where you need to start turning in. This normally happens while you still have some brake pressure applied and is called trail braking. I’ll cover the trail braking technique in more detail a little bit later on in this guide.

Mid-corner (The apex)

As you start to turn toward the corner apex, you’ll firmly be in the mid-corner phase. During this part of the corner, you should be focusing on the apex to ensure you just clip it or get very close. Clipping the apex will ensure you have minimised the corner angle and will give you the best chance of carrying higher minimum corner speeds.

Minimum corner speed

The minimum corner speed is the lowest speed you will decelerate to through a corner. Increasing your minimum corner speed will increase your average speed through the corner and will in turn decrease the amount of time you spend in each corner.

Corner angle

The benefit of minimising the corner angle is that you won’t need to turn your steering wheel as far as you drive through the corner. This will allow you to carry more speed through the middle of the corner, and help you apply more throttle without overwhelming your tyres.

Corner exit

As soon as you have clipped the apex, you can now focus on the final part of a corner in F1 23, and that is the corner exit. During this phase of the corner, you should be looking to maximise your acceleration out of the corner to increase your speed into the next part of the track.

In most cases, you won’t be able to apply 100% throttle as soon as you are at or past the corner apex. This will often result in the rear wheels breaking traction and spinning up and can result in your car spinning or a big oversteer moment.

Instead, look to gradually apply the throttle as you start accelerating and shifting up through the gears. Once your car is straight and you can feel that you have good traction you can then apply full throttle pressure.

You will want to normally drift as far out out on the corner exit as possible. This will allow you to straighten your steering input faster which in turn will allow you to accelerate harder and earlier.


Trail braking

As mentioned above, during the approach to most corners in F1 23, you’ll be utilising trail braking to some degree. You are most probably doing it without even knowing it. But maximising your performance potential while trail braking on the corner entry can really improve your speed through a turn.

Trail braking is the name given to applying braking input at the same time as applying steering input. You are essentially trailing off the brake pedal as you reduce your brake pressure, while you simultaneously turn in towards the apex.


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Trail braking really makes sense when you visualise the grip that your tyres have. If you utilise close to 100% of your tyre’s grip potential at all points through a corner, you will have almost maximised your speed potential through that turn.

Think of your front tyres as having 100% potential grip that can be used in a few ways. When braking at 100% brake pressure in a straight line, all of the potential grip is being used to slow your car.

When you are turning through the apex without any brake pressure applied, you are then using close to 100% of the tyre’s grip to keep your car glued to the track while turning.

If you apply 100% brake pressure and try to turn into a corner without reducing the pressure, you will exceed the 100% potential grip that your front tyres have. This will cause your front tyres to become overwhelmed and they will normally always lock up causing you to understeer.

The trick with trail braking is to split the 100% of potential grip that your tyres can offer across both braking and turning.

As you start to reduce your brake pressure to around 80%, you can start to apply steering lock of around 20%. As you reduce the pressure further to 50%, you can then have 50% steering lock applied. As you can see, the goal is to keep your combined inputs as close to that 100% of the potential grip that your tyres can offer without exceeding it.

A very common mistake that is made, and I still make this mistake to this date, is to reduce the brake pressure and not fully utilise the grip potential to start turning (whilst trail braking) into a corner.

If you aren’t using close to 100% of your front tyres’ maximum grip potential, you are leaving performance on the table, and you aren’t going as fast as you possibly can through that corner.

Applying trail braking correctly

While on paper, the above technique of combining braking and steering to maximise your tyre’s potential sounds fairly easy. In practice, it is incredibly tricky to do. It is very easy to overwhelm the tyres by applying too much of one input.

To better visualise how trail braking can be applied at a corner, below is a breakdown of the actions you should be looking to replicate at each part of a corner.

Cornering guide F1 22

Corner entry (Braking phase)

  • Start braking at full pressure at the corner’s braking point
  • Keep full brake pressure applied for as long as possible until just before you want to start turning or just before the tyres start to lock

Corner entry (Turning phase)

  • Lift off the brake pedal gradually to apply less pressure
  • Start to turn into the corner while reducing the brake pressure
  • Don’t overwhelm the tyres by turning too early or too hard while still braking heavily
  • Keep reducing brake pressure while applying more steering input

Mid corner (apex)

  • Just before you hit the apex, you should have 0% brake pressure applied and be turning to the maximum angle for that corner
  • Focus on just clipping the apex kerb before looking towards the corner exit

Smooth steering input

Another technique that can really help to improve your overall cornering speed is to use the smoothest steering inputs possible. If you rotate the steering wheel aggressively or constantly alter your steering input, you run the risk of unsettling the car.

Sharp steering inputs will alter the car’s weight balance aggressively which can overwhelm the tyres. Fast weight shifting can cause instability and this can lead to the car being less stable and even breaking traction.

One single smooth motion of the steering wheel throughout the corner will keep the car as stable as possible, allowing for the tyres to focus on providing grip to increase your minimum corner speed. This will also really improve your tyre wear if you can consistently apply smooth steering inputs, which is always good throughout a race in F1 23.

This smooth technique does also apply to your throttle and brake inputs as well. Any aggressive inputs run the risk of unsettling your car.


Avoid braking too late

While you will certainly want to push the limits of the braking zone in F1 23, overstepping the mark and braking too late can often be much worse than braking a little earlier. As a sim racer, always remember the phrase, slow in, fast out.

If you brake too late, you simply won’t have enough time to slow the car down before you need to start turning into the corner. This can result in you having to slow the car more than you’d ideally like to make the corner apex. Or, if you do apply steering input in a last-ditch effort to make the corner, you’ll often lock your wheel and understeer wide.

Braking too late will often compromise your minimum corner speed and slow you down through the middle and exit of a corner. During practice sessions, pushing the limits of the braking point is a good idea. But once you have learnt the ideal braking point of a corner, try not to brake later than this during a race.

F1 22 Wheel lockup

Higher minimum corner speeds result in faster lap times

One of the main goals of improving your pace through any corner in F1 23, is to increase your minimum corner speed. This is the lowest speed that you will slow to while driving through a corner.

If you can increase your minimum corner speed, chances are, you’ll be faster through that corner than a car with a slower minimum corner speed. Of course, this isn’t always the case, as some corners do differ, but this is a general rule to aim for.

To increase your minimum corner speed in F1 23, there are a few things you can look to do;

  • Drive on the ideal racing line. This will reduce the corner angle through a corner.
  • Trail brake on the entry to a corner.
  • Don’t be afraid to increase your steering input angle to a more extreme angle.
  • Increasing your front wing angle and suspension geometry can improve your car’s responsiveness.

Optimise throttle input on corner exit

I’ve spoken a lot about focusing on the corner entry, braking points and trail braking. But the corner exit is another very important part of maximising your speed through a corner in F1 23.

In fact, if the corner leads onto a long straight, a good exit out of the turn can result in a good chance at an overtake, while a bad corner exit can leave you on the back foot.

Avoiding wheelspin

Wheelspin is one of the toughest parts of F1 23 to counteract. In both our race start guide and our guide to racing F1 23 without traction control, I talk about just how tricky it can be to manage wheelspin under acceleration.

If you are driving F1 23 without traction control and you apply 100% throttle input on the exit of a corner, chances are the rear of the car will step out due to wheelspin, and you may even spin.

The correct technique of accelerating out of a corner is to gradually apply the throttle as you drive through and out of a turn. If you are still turning through a corner, you most likely won’t be able to apply full throttle. Instead, 100% throttle pressure should only really be applied once you are pointing in a straight line.

Short shifting

If you are exiting a particularly slow corner, or you are racing in the wet, then short shifting can be your best friend. This is the term given to changing up a gear before the optimal rev range. If you accelerate right up to the rev limiter at slow speed, the RPM and torque can overwhelm your rear tyres.

Instead, shifting before the optimal rev range will dull the engine power a little. While this won’t send the most amount of power to the rear wheels, it will allow you to accelerate harder without inducing as much wheel spin.

You can still spin your wheels while in fourth or fifth gear in some scenarios, so short shifting allows you to move up through the gears quicker. This will get you to the point where you can apply 100% throttle input earlier.


How things change in the rain

If you are racing in F1 23’s My Team or a career mode, you will eventually encounter a wet race. When this happens, almost every part of driving the powerful Formula 1 cars on a wet track becomes infinitely harder.

All inputs have to be less aggressive and much more controlled than when racing in dry conditions.

F1 22 Wet weather gameplay

There are some things to remember when racing F1 23 in the rain which can help keep your car in control;

  • You’ll have to brake earlier into a corner due to reduced grip
  • You’ll have to use less brake pressure, as it will be much easier to lock a wheel
  • It’ll be much easier to spin your rear wheels due to reduced traction
  • Speeds throughout a corner will be much lower

Conclusion

The tips above should hopefully prove useful while racing in F1 23. Breaking down the different parts of a corner to maximise your performance through each part is a great way to learn and improve around each corner.


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Article written by Mjolnir

Mjolnir is one of the main setup creators and content writers for SimRacingSetups. He has had years of experience in sim racing, both competitively and casually. After a decade of sim racing experience, he co-founded SimRacingSetup.com to share his passion and knowledge of sim racing and Formula 1 with other sim racers.
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