F1 24 Race Strategy Guide: How To Manage Pit Stops, Fuel & Tyres

Deciding on the best race strategy for any race in F1 24 is a very important decision. A good strategy can help you gain positions or keep hold of the lead. Our F1 24 race strategy guide runs through tyres, fuel and strategies.

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F1 23 Race strategy screen

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When it gets to a race, you can’t always rely purely on speed to compete for a win in F1 24. Your race strategy plays a big part of your overall race and can, in some cases, have a big influence on where you finish.

You can pull out a brilliant race strategy to make up a lot of positions in a race, but choosing which race strategy is right and customising your race strategy can be a bit of a head-scratcher at times.

In this F1 24 guide, I’m going to look at what makes up a race strategy, how to choose the best strategy for any race and how to manage and adjust your strategy on the fly during a race.


Learning to read the race strategy screen in F1 24

Before any race in F1 24 you will be presented with the race strategy screen. This is where you choose your strategy for the upcoming race. You can choose one of the preset strategies that the game has decided on or you can customise your strategy.

Preset race strategies

You will always be shown two race strategies ahead of a race in F1 24. The default strategy is often the one resulting in the fastest overall race time, and then there is an alternate strategy. The alternate strategy presents a different choice of pit stops and tyres, giving you the option to drive a different style of race.

Differences between the default and alternate strategy

The default race strategy will normally always be the fastest option. When we talk about the fastest strategy, we’re referring to the overall race time which can be seen in each strategy box. This is the time it is estimated that it will take for you to complete the entire race.

F1 23 Race strategy screen

Generally, the strategy with the lowest estimated race time will be the best option, however, there are other elements to consider when making this choice.

The alternate strategy will often suggest more or less pit stops or different tyre choices for the race. This strategy will normally always be slower than the default option but it can help if you have qualified out of position or are expecting a weather change.

What parts of our race strategy can we change?

When looking at the race strategy screen, you’ll see various different numbers and graphs. Each of these elements represents something we can adjust.

There is the predicted weather conditions running across the top of the screen. Under each strategy option, you will see the number of pit stops along side the lap you plan on pitting on.

Next to these is the total race time that I just mentioned. Then you will see a visual graph showing the tyres along with the pit stops and the tyre degradation and estimated lap times. Finally, underneath this you will be able to adjust your fuel load.

The elements that we can adjust for our F1 24 race strategy are;

  • Your starting tyre
  • How many pit stops you’ll make
  • What lap or laps to pit on
  • What tyres you will use further into the race
  • Your starting fuel level
  • Your car setup

Choosing your tyres

One of the most important decisions that can dictate your whole race strategy is your tyre choice. You can choose your starting tyre and which tyres you wish to use for each other stint during the race.

The tyre graph visible for each strategy helps make this decision. This graph shows the decreasing tyre life along with the increasing lap times.

The downward-trending coloured block represents your overall tyre life, which reduces with each lap. Inside these coloured blocks are dotted lines, which increase. These represent the estimated lap times during the stint.

As you wear your tyres during a race, your lap times will increase. The rate of wear and lap time increase depends on several factors, such as the tyre compound, with softer tyres wearing faster. The style of the track, along with how hard you push your car, also affects tyre life and lap times.

Read our guide on how to make your tyres last longer in F1 24 for tips and tricks on improving your tyre wear.

If you performed the race strategy practice program during any of the practice sessions you can enable a personalised prediction. This will be more accurate than the generic prediction as it uses the data from your practice runs to better showcase how fast each tyre will wear out.

Which tyres are best in F1 24?

Each tyre in F1 24 has its own positives and negatives.

  • Soft tyre
    The soft tyre is normally always the fastest. You’ll use it during qualifying sessions and it can allow you to put in the fastest lap times during a race. However, it will wear faster than other tyres, making it a fairly temperamental tyre.
  • Medium tyre
    The medium tyre balances performance and durability. It isn’t as fast as the soft tyre but not as slow as the hard tyre. It will wear slower than a soft tyre and quicker than a hard tyre. This is generally a good race tyre as it allows for decent lap times whilst not wearing too fast. If you are pitting more than once, it is often recommended to use the medium tyre for two race stints.
  • Hard tyre
    The hard tyre is the most durable tyre, but it is also the slowest. At some tracks, it can last almost an entire race distance, allowing for a one-stop strategy. However, you often won’t be as fast as cars on a soft or medium tyre.
  • Intermediate tyre
    The intermediate tyre is used for wet conditions. It is ideal for light rain when the track becomes too wet to use any of the dry tyres. If the weather is too extreme, the intermediate may not provide enough grip.
  • Full wet tyre
    The extreme wet tyre is reserved only for the heaviest rain conditions. This is the best tyre for when the intermediate doesn’t provide enough grip due to heavy rain.
F1 24 tyre compounds

How to choose the best tyres for a race?

Choosing between each tyre in F1 24 comes down to a few factors. You will often want to pit just once or twice during a race, so choosing tyres that can last longer can be beneficial. Often, the soft tyres wear too fast to be a good race tyre and can result in too many pit stops, especially if you choose the soft tyres for multiple race stints.

Analysing the tyre life graph will help you choose your tyres. While editing your strategy, you can easily switch tyres in and out to see how it affects your overall race time. Experiment with switching in softer tyres to see if you can make them last before they wear too heavily.

The Formula 1 tyre rule: It is a rule during a race in F1 24 that you use at least two different tyre compounds during a dry race. This means that you always need to use two out of the three dry tyres during a race, and you cannot use just medium tyres for an entire race, for example.

How your starting position affects your race strategy

Your starting position is one element to consider when choosing your tyres for a race. Where you qualify can make a big difference to your strategy.

If you start a race in pole position, you may wish to manage the race from the front. Opting for a slower one-stop race strategy can allow you to manage the pace at the front of the race, and the low number of pit stops can lead to good race time.


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If you qualify further towards the back of the grid, there are a few options you could take. If you want to be aggressive, opting for soft tyres to start the race gives you the best chance of overtaking slower cars and making your way up the grid.

Alternatively, opting for slower tyres and fewer pit stops lets you play the patient game and run longer stints than other cars. This could let you take advantage of any safety cars, which could significantly reduce your race time and allow you to jump up the grid.

It is always worth considering the cars around you and where you qualified while considering your race strategy.


How many pit stops to make

Your choice of tyres for a race will dictate your pit stop strategy. Using softer tyres during a race can result in having to pit two or three times. Quite often, using harder, slower tyres and pitting less can be a better strategy than a more aggressive strategy.

F1 23 pit stop gameplay

During a pit stop, you often lose 20-25 seconds, which means to justify making additional pit stops, you need to be confident you can gain that time back by using the softer tyres. For shorter-distance races, a one-stop strategy is normally always best, with multiple pit-stop strategies becoming more common for longer race distances.

My recommendation would always be to pit as few times as possible during a race. The main reason I would choose to pit twice would be if the hard tyre results in lap times that are just not competitive or if the hard tyres won’t last long enough to enable a one-stop strategy.

Keeping an eye on the weather

If you start a race in dry conditions, your race strategy will always show a completely dry race strategy. It is important to look at the predicted weather at the top of the screen. It can often start raining partway into a race, which will affect your race strategy.

If it is predicted to start raining on lap 30, but your race strategy is recommending you pit on lap 20, you may wish to change it. In this scenario, opting for harder tyres that will last until lap 30 can result in you avoiding the first dry pit stop, and only pitting when the rain starts around lap 30.

This choice would save you over 20 seconds by not pitting before the wet weather starts. I would always recommend using the predicted weather to your advantage, as it can often put you in a good position during the race, as the AI doesn’t always consider predicted weather.


Choosing the right starting fuel level

While your tyre choices are one of the most important when it comes to choosing a race strategy, you do also have control over your starting fuel load. Lower fuel loads can lead to faster lap times as your car will be lighter. However, higher fuel loads will let you make use of faster engine modes during a race.

The best option of your fuel load depends heavily on your own preference as well as the style of strategy you are opting for. If you are looking to run a conservative race from the front of the grid and control the pace, a lower fuel load may be beneficial.

In this scenario, you may be able to use lower engine modes and control the pace at which the race is run. This will let you save fuel during a race, making use of the light starting fuel level.

If you plan to attack the cars in front or put in fast lap times using higher engine modes, you may want to increase your fuel level. This will let you push your car more during a race and be more aggressive while cars around you may be trying to save fuel.


What are undercuts and overcuts, and how can these help during a race?

One big decision to make with your race strategy comes during the race and that is choosing which lap to pit in comparison to cars around you. During a race, you will be informed when you enter your pit window.

A pit window is a range of 4 or 5 laps when pitting is advised. This allows you to adjust which lap you pit on during a race depending on what is happening around you.

It can often be beneficial to pit on a different lap to a car directly in front or behind you to gain an advantage on them. Doing this is called undercutting or overcutting.

Undercut pit strategy explained

An undercut is when you pit a few laps before the cars around you. The idea of this strategy is that you will switch to fresher tyres before your opponent, allowing you to put in some faster lap times while they are on older tyres.

When done correctly, it can allow you to gain time on the car you were racing and potentially jump ahead of them when they stop to pit. This aggressive strategy works well when you are pitting from harder to softer tyres.

It is essential to ensure that you will exit the pit lane in fresh air without a car ahead of you. The plan is to put in fast lap times when leaving the pits, so clean air is crucial to making this strategy work.

Overcut pit strategy explained

An overcut strategy is the opposite of an undercut. It is when you stay out on track a few laps after your opponent has pitted. This works in reverse and is ideal when you think you’ll be faster on your current tyres than your opponent on new tyres.

The reason for choosing an overcut strategy can be to have fresher tyres when you eventually pit, or if you are expecting to leave the pits into slower traffic. If your opponent gets caught up behind a slow car while you are putting in good lap times on your old tyres, you can potentially leapfrog them.


Making car setup changes before a race

If you participated in any practice or qualifying session, your car will be in Parc Ferme conditions. This restricts any car setup changes other than a few minor tweaks.

Before a race, you can adjust your front wing levels, your differential setup, your brake bias, and your tyre pressures. However, you cannot adjust the rest of your car’s setup.

A common approach is to reduce your front wing setup between qualifying and a race. Higher wing angles can result in faster lap times, which is ideal for qualifying. Lowering your aerodynamic setup before the race will make your car faster in a straight line, which can be beneficial for overtaking and defending.


Conclusion

When you choose and adjust your race strategy in F1 24, you have a wide range of options. Using our tips in this guide should hopefully give you an advantage when choosing the right strategy. There are some elements of your strategy that you can change during a race such as the exact lap you pit on. So it is always worth keeping tabs on your strategy as the race unfolds.


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Frequently asked questions

Why can’t I change my pit strategy before a race in F1 24?

If you are choosing a short race that doesn’t involve pit stops, you won’t be able to fully adjust your race strategy. Ensure you have chosen a race length that enables pit stops such as 20% or higher.

Is less or more fuel better in F1 24?

Starting with less fuel in F1 24 will lead to a lighter car capable of faster lap times. However, there will be periods during a race where you need to lower your engine mode to see fuel which can lead to slower lap times. Choosing your fuel load is a balancing act and dependant on how hard you wish to push during a race.

Is it better to pit once or twice in F1 24?

In F1 24, pitting less is often the best option. This route generally results in you maintaining track position ahead of other cars who have pitted more often, but it does require good tyre management to work during longer races.

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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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