F1 24: How To Get The Perfect Race Start

Getting the perfect race start involves a few things. You need to manage your throttle and prep your tyres on the formation lap. Here are our top tips on mastering race starts in F1 24.

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How to get the perfect start in F122

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The start of a race in F1 24 is one of the best opportunities to gain places easily. The perfect launch off the line can set you up for a couple of overtakes into the first corner. However, mastering race starts is incredibly tricky, especially without traction control.

In this guide, I’ll show you our tips on how to get the perfect race start in F1 24 every time. I’ll look at tips for launching off the line, as well as preparation tips that you can do during the formation lap.

Are race starts different in F1 24?

Race starts are pretty much unchanged in F1 24. You can choose to complete a formation lap which gives you the opportunity to prep your tyres for the perfect launch. You can also position your car strategically in your grid spot to cover off another driver, much like Max and Lewis often do at the start of a Grand Prix.

Prepare your tyres during the formation lap

I’m going to start from the top in this guide, and that means starting with the formation lap. You can enable or disable the formation lap, but utilising it to prepare your car for the start of the race can give you an advantage.

The formation lap is a lap at the start of the race where all drivers complete a single lap at a much slower speed. This lap gives each driver the opportunity to prepare their car and tyres for the start of the race. At the end of the formation lap, you line up in your grid box and wait for the start lights.

While a formation lap can feel like a fairly boring crawl around a lap, you can do a few essential preparations during this lap.

  • Prepare your tyres
    The first and most important thing to do is prepare your tyres. You can complete wheel spins to bring your rear tyres up to the perfect temperature to give you the most grip off the line.
  • Heat your brakes
    You will want to brake heavily in the last few corners to heat your brakes so they perform as expected into the first corner.
  • Adjust your car setup
    You can make last-minute changes to your on-throttle differential setup, lowering it for the best initial traction.
  • Set the correct engine and ERS modes
    Just before you line up on the grid, turning your engine and ERS modes to their highest settings is beneficial. This will give you the most power off the line.
  • Practice your race start
    The start of the formation lap gives you one opportunity to complete a practice start as you pull away from your grid spot.
  • Position your car in your grid box
    While you need to ensure you are correctly in your grid box, you can point your car left or right to cover off other drivers if you want to.

Heat your tyres during the formation lap

Preparing your tyres is the single biggest thing you can do on a formation lap to give yourself an advantage. You will want your tyres to be at the correct temperature window at the start of the race to give you the most grip.

The problem is that your tyres will cool down as you complete a slow formation lap. You can fix this by weaving along straights. This will put a lot of load through your front tyres and build the temperature.

You will always see drivers completing burnouts on the way to the grid during a formation lap. This isn’t just to look cool. These burnouts heat your rear tyres to get them ready for the start.

I would recommend completing a few burnouts as you round the final corner. This will ensure that your tyres are as hot as possible as you line up in your grid spot.

If you are towards the front of the grid, it may be beneficial to complete a few more burnouts and overheat your tyres. You will be sitting waiting for other cars to line up on the grid, which gives your tyres time to cool down. Overheating your tyres will mean as they cool they should reach the perfect temperature as the lights go out.

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The best strategy for heating your tyres and brakes on the formation lap is;

  • As you start the formation lap, open the MFD temperature window.
  • Weave aggressively along straights to heat your front tyres.
  • Perform a few heavy braking manoeuvres as you approach the end of the lap to heat your brakes.
  • Complete a few burnouts just before you line up in your grid spot to heat your rear tyres.
  • As you line up on the grid, aim for your rear tyres to be at least 100°C. If you are at the front of the grid, aim for hotter tyres, as they will have longer to cool.

Lining up in your grid spot

Lining up in your grid spot is a feature added in recent F1 games. This gives you more control over your positioning. Aim to get the perfect distance, indicated by the on-screen indicator turning purple. Stopping too early or too late will mean you might be slightly out of position for the start.

The best way to get the perfect position every time is to crawl slowly into your grid spot. Don’t accelerate too fast. Instead, hover over the brake pedal and as soon as the indicator turns purple, apply full brake pressure to come to a stop.

As you are sitting in your grid spot, complete a quick check to ensure your engine mode and ERS modes are both set to full attack. This will give you maximum power off the line.

Setting the correct RPM for the start

You won’t want to apply full throttle at the start of a race. If you are racing without traction control enabled, this will cause your rear wheels to lose traction, resulting in a slow getaway and possibly an embarrassing spin.

Instead, you will want to modulate your throttle input to achieve the perfect RPM. You will want to aim for around 12,000 RPM for the best getaway which is generally around 50% throttle input. You can keep an eye on your current RPM using the on-screen HUD or a display on your steering wheel if you have one.

Get the perfect launch off the line

When the lights do go out, it may be tempting to nail the throttle pedal. Do not do this as once again, you’ll probably end up lighting up the rear tyres and getting a poor start. Instead, keep the throttle input the same as you had while waiting for the lights.

Release the clutch paddle to actually start moving and stay calm as you pull away. You will need to change gear very quickly and you should certainly avoid running into the rev limiter. This will all happen in a split second, so be prepared to shift as soon as you pull away.

Short shifting can help keep wheel spin to a minimum. This is the technique of changing gear before all of your rev lights have lit up. Do this while shifting into second gear and then into third.

As you reach third gear, you should be applying slightly more throttle pressure. Gradually increase your throttle input as you get up to speed. When you are in fourth gear, you should have maximum throttle pressure applied.

Top tip: While waiting for the lights to go out, ensure you do not jump the start. This can be easily done if you anticipate the lights going out. However, this will result in a drive through penalty which can wreck your race. It is always better to be slightly slower away from the line than to jump the race start.

Perfecting the first corner

With the race start perfected, the next job is the first corner. This is a great place to make an overtake, however, things can go horribly wrong if you mess up your braking or position your car badly.

Positioning your car ahead of the first corner

The first decision will be where to position your car. You need to remain reactive as you approach the first corner as the other cars will move around, meaning a gap can open up for you.

Try to avoid areas which will be obvious pinch points. The last thing you want to happen is make contact with another car as this can lead to damage or a penalty. You generally have two good options on your position.

  • Inside of the first corner
    • A good opportunity to make easy overtakes.
    • Cars ahead of you will be travelling slower than usual which can cause you to brake heavily.
    • This can be a pinch point if a car turns into you or forces you to brake heavily.
  • Outside of the first corner
    • The outside of the first corner is more risky than the inside.
    • You can be forced wide or even off track if other cars run wide or bunch up.
    • However, you can potentially carry more speed around the outside giving you a good run out of the corner.

Consider a racing wheel

Race starts using a controller without traction control can be incredibly trickier. They are undoubtedly tougher than a race start with a racing wheel. This is because you have much more pedal travel with a physical set of pedals than you do in the triggers of a controller.

If you are considering buying a racing wheel for F1 24, know that race starts may be slightly easier with one.

View our recommended racing wheels for F1 24 for all budgets

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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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