F1 24: Brake Bias and Differential Explained: Making Changes Mid-Race

Making adjustments to your brake bias and differential mid-race can help you optimise your performance and manage your car as conditions change. Here is our in-depth explanation of these two functions.

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Once you start qualifying or a race, the majority of your car setup is locked and you won’t be able to make adjustments. However, the brake bias and on-throttle differential are two setup changes that you can make at any point while on track, even during a race.

Adjusting these settings and managing them each lap can improve braking and acceleration in certain corners. In this guide, I’ll explain how brake bias and differential work in F1 24. I’ll also look at why you should make adjustments during a race and when the perfect time to change them is.

Why would I change the brake bias and differential during a race?

The brake bias and on-throttle differential are two tools that you can use during a race. Certain corners can benefit from a specific brake bias or on-throttle differential setup, but those settings may not be ideal for others.

During a race, you can make as many changes to both of these settings as you like. During a full lap, a real-world Formula 1 driver will often change the brake bias and differential multiple times each lap.

As a quick example, a more front-focused brake bias is ideal for longer, heavier braking zones, but isn’t ideal for faster corners with shorter braking zones. Around a lap of Bahrain, turns 1 and 4 both benefit from a more forward brake bias. However, the following corners can benefit from a slightly more rearward brake bias.

Setting your brake bias to, say, 56 or 57% as you approach turn 1 is ideal. As you exit the turn, a brake bias of 54% could be more beneficial for the following turns. You could make this change via your MFD or your steering wheel and achieve better performance through the middle sector. Then you could change the brake bias back to 56 or 57% as you approach turn 1 again.

This is just one example of a simple brake bias change. However, you can add as many changes as required each lap.

Brake bias explained

So, exactly what is brake bias, and why should you worry about it? The brake bias dictates how much braking force is sent to your front and rear brakes. Typically, you’ll want a front-focused brake bias to send more braking power to the front of the car.

As you brake, your car’s weight balance moves to the front, putting more force through your front tyres. This results in the front wheels having more grip at that moment, giving them more potential to slow your car compared to the rear.

In past F1 games, a brake bias of 50% was usable due to strange handling models. In F1 24, ideally, you’ll need a much more realistic brake bias of 54-57%.

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Why do you need a different brake bias setup for different corners?

If you have set your brake bias to 56%, which is ideal for a certain track, why would you then need to change it during a lap? Not every corner around any lap is the same, and each corner requires a different car setup to be fast through it.

Creating your overall car setup results in a compromise through some corners to be quick through others. Setting your brake bias for a specific track can be the same. However, you can change your brake bias at any time during a lap, so you have the ability to alter it to get the best brake bias setup for each corner.

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Corners with different braking zones will make a different brake bias setup optimal.

Frontward brake biasMore rearward brake bias
Best for corners with straight braking zones and slow corners with heavy braking zonesBest for corners that involve steering whilst braking and faster corners with shorter braking zones
Increases the chance of front wheel lockupIncreases the chance of rear wheel lockup
More understeerChance of oversteer while braking

Which brake bias is fastest?

As a general rule of thumb, you have the potential to be faster with a more rearward brake bias setup. This is due to the increased amount of understeer present in more forward brake bias up to and over 57%.

Moving your brake bias closer to 50% will reduce the understeer, allowing you to rotate your car better into corners and potentially be faster. However, the closer to 50% you set your brake bias, the more unstable your car can become under braking.

Managing this balance between instability and performance is key to optimal braking.

Differential explained

Moving onto the differential, much like brake bias, this can be used to optimise your performance. However, the focus is on your acceleration and limiting wheel spin.

Your on-throttle differential, in particular, is the only differential setting you can change during a race. This controls how freely your rear tyres spin in relation to each other.

Lower differential settings (closer to 10%), result in a more open differential. Moving closer to 100% will lock your differential. At 100%, both rear tyres will be forced to spin at the same speed. This is ideal for power delivery out of fast corners. However, this will greatly increase your risk of wheel spin for slower corners.

Just think that as you turn through a corner, your outside tyre will be travelling a longer distance than the inside. This means that ideally, your inside tyre should be rotating at a slower speed as it’s travelling a shorter distance. If you lock both tyres to spin at the same speed, either the inside tyre will rotate too fast or the outside tyre will rotate too slowly.

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When to lower your on-throttle differential

Lowering our on-throttle differential setup allows both rear wheels to spin at different speeds. When accelerating from slow speeds, or whilst turning the car this will let each rear wheel rotate at a different speed. This will increase traction and limit our chances of either rear wheel spinning.

Generally, you will want to lower your on-throttle differential on the approach to a slow corner such as turns 3 or 4 at the Red Bull Ring. These corners have tricky acceleration zones where traction can be hard to find.

When to increase your on-throttle differential

By doing the opposite and increasing your on-throttle differential, we’re locking the rear tyres together much more. This does have its benefits. Through fast corners, it will give you the biggest push and the best power delivery. It’s much harder to break traction through faster corners, meaning we can set the on-throttle diff setup higher.

Using Red Bull Ring again, the corners from turn 6 to turn 10 all benefit from a much more locked differential. These are fast corners where we want to optimise our speed as much as we can.

In this scenario, I’d recommend lowering the on-throttle differential on the approach to turn 3 and increasing it on the approach to turn 6.

How to make adjustments during a race

While on track, you can adjust your brake bias and on-throttle differential via your MFD. This involves opening your MFD and scrolling up or down to the setting you wish to change before actually changing it.

We can make this process much easier though. If you are racing with a controller, I highly recommend mapping the increase and decrease functions for both the on-throttle diff and brake bias to your right analogue stick.

This lets you quickly tap the analogue stick in any direction to make very quick adjustments, and you won’t need to open the MFD or navigate up or down.

The same applies to racing with a wheel. You can map the adjustments to a rotary encoder, thumb encoder or a specific button. This again gives you quick access to the adjustments.

Find optimised F1 24 car setups

If you don’t fancy adjusting your brake bias or differential multiple times a lap, you can use an optimised car setup and forget about it. Our F1 24 car setups are optimised for race scenarios, giving you the best overall brake bias and differential setup.

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Article written by Rich

Co-Founder of SimRacingSetups.com

Rich is the co-founder, and one of the main F1 setup creators and content writers for SimRacingSetups. With over a decade of experience as a graphic designer, marketing director, competitive sim racer and avid motorsport fan, Rich founded SimRacingSetup.com to share his passion and knowledge of sim racing and Formula 1 with other sim racers.

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