F1 24: The Difference Between Time Trial & Race Setups

Using a time trial car setup in a race in F1 24 can result in a hard to control car. Here is a complete comparison between a good time trial and race car setup along with recommended changes.

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F1 24 Time trial vs race setup comparison

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We’ve created a large number of car setups for F1 24, with most of them being race-orientated setups. One of the most common questions I get asked is whether our setups can be used in time trial or just for races. And the answer is almost always, race only.

This is because there is a huge difference in time trial and race setups in this year’s Formula 1 game, F1 24. You may have heard about the slightly wonky handling that was present in the launch version of F1 24.

This handling was very arcade-like and allowed the cars to rotate unrealistically. A big patch has been released since launch, which addressed some of the handling issues; however, it hasn’t fully corrected things.

The very nature of the time trial game mode in F1 24 is to put in the fastest lap times possible, and this can mean leaning into aspects of the handling to extract more performance. This is the case, even if those aspects don’t make the cars handle well or realistically.

How do time trial and race car setups differ?

Currently, the time trial car setup meta is to create a car that almost drifts into the corners due to over rotation. This is made possible by using the off throttle differential, engine braking and brake bias to create this Tokyo drift style effect. It may not look natural or be realistic to drive in this way, but its effective at putting in fast lap times.

Using this setup approach does allow the fastest drivers to extract insane performance from the cars. However, trying to use this approach in a race or career mode can make things a bit rough. This is due to two things.

F1 24 time trial vs race setup comparison head to head

Tyre wear

The first downside of using this approach in a race mode is that it will destroy your tyres. Sliding into corners by overrotating the car, thanks to the engine braking, will cause a lot of heat to pass through your rear tyres, in particular.

This will overheat the rear tyres and cause them to wear much faster than a smoother, more natural driving style would. Tyre wear can already be a big issue in F1 24, with some tracks, such as Spain, making it almost impossible to keep temperatures down. Throw in a time trial driving style, and you’ll be at a big disadvantage during a race.

Player skill

The other factor to consider is player skill, or lack of it. Esports drivers and those putting in the fastest time trial times have incredible car control. They can utilise the corner-entry oversteer to their advantage to save lap time, and they have the skill to manage oversteer on the exit.

This is a driving style that I don’t have the skill to tap into despite running the AI at 110%. EA Sports have done a very good job over the past few years to make the Formula 1 games accessible by a wide range of players of different skill levels. This has lead to a bigger uptake of the F1 games by casual gamers.

This inevitably means that 99% of F1 24 players, including myself, will struggle trying to drive in the same way that the top Esports drivers utilise. The combination of lift off oversteer and the snap oversteer on acceleration that is present in many time trial car setups simply isn’t fun to drive, and can be very hard to master.

The difference in car setups

Now that I’ve touched on the characteristics that differentiated time trial and race car setups, I want to look at specifics. I’ll compare both a time trial and a race setup using our recommended Silverstone car setup as an example.

Aerodynamic setup comparison

Starting with the aerodynamic differences, you’ll see that the time trial setup has a much bigger gap between front and rear wing aero. This promotes much more rotation allowing the car to rotate better into corners.

For our race-optimised car setup, this gap has been reduced from 15 down to 9. This gives us more stability at the rear of the car, ensuring we don’t suffer from as much oversteer or lightness at during fast corners.

Silverstone is an odd track in that there isn’t too much difference in overall downforce levels. At other tracks, you’ll find that the time trial setup will have much higher levels of downforce than a race setup would. Typically, I’ll reduce the aero at both the front and rear to allow for a greater top speed during a race.

AerodynamicsRace setupTime trial setup
Front wing aero3335
Rear wing aero2420

Transmission setup comparison

Moving on to the transmission, there is a bigger difference between the two setups. The time trial setup utilises a lower off-throttle differential and higher engine braking compared to our race car setup.

This, like the aerodynamic setup, promotes rotation during the corner entry phase. The combination of low rear downforce and high engine braking results in the drifting effect that can be seen in time trial hot laps.

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    Watering this down for a race setup will result in much more stability under braking and a more realistic approach to the corner turn-in phase.

    TransmissionRace setupTime trial setup
    On throttle differential6060
    Off throttle differential4035
    Engine braking70100

    Suspension geometry setup comparison

    In previous F1 games, the suspension geometry was much different between time trial and race car setups. In F1 24, things are much closer. It is almost always faster to run as much camber as possible (all the way left).

    This approach will provide more mechanical grip, resulting in faster minimum corner speeds. Higher camber levels will wear our tyres faster during a race, but the performance gain often outweighs the excess tyre wear. If you were to start moving the camber further right, you would lose more performance in comparison to the amount of tyre life you gain.

    The toe setup is one area where a race and time trial setup does differ, mainly with the rear toe-in. Time trial setups thrive when there is good rotation. However, during a race, consistency is much more important.

    Adding some rear toe-in will make the car’s rear much more stable. This can be beneficial during a race to prevent the rear from sliding as much and can prevent some cases of snap oversteer. The amount you’ll want to add varies from track to track, with some requiring very little while others, like Silverstone, benefit from more toe-in.

    GeometryRace setupTime trial setup
    Front camber-3.5-3.5
    Rear camber-2.2-2.2
    Front toe00
    Rear toe0.170

    Suspension setup comparison

    The suspension setup is very important in F1 24 and can really change how your car behaves on track. Stiffer suspension and anti-roll bars are great for time trial as they promote responsiveness and can remove understeer.

    However, this route, especially stiff anti-roll bars of 21-21, common for a time trial setup, can result in instability during the middle and end of a corner. Running anti-roll bars of 21-21 during a race scenario can lead to snap oversteer, especially through longer corners, which can overwhelm the anti-roll bars.

    For a race car setup, I recommend softening the suspension slightly and the anti-roll bars quite a lot. Moving the ARB setup 2-10 clicks to the left will help make your car much more stable. It is also important to soften the rear anti-roll bars, as these are much more responsible for the snap oversteer that I mentioned.

    We will need to raise the ride height because we have softened the suspension for our race setup. Softer suspension allows for more compression, which can mean extremely low ride heights, resulting in the bottom of the car making contact with the track. Raising the ride height slightly gives more room for the suspension to compress.

    SuspensionRace setupTime trial setup
    Front suspension3841
    Rear suspension56
    Front ARB1821
    Rear ARB1316
    Front ride height2625
    Rear ride height5850

    Brake setup comparison

    The brake setup is a part of your car setup that may not need much change between race and time trial setups. In F1 24 after the handling patch, you should be running 100% brake pressure in every session. You can then set the brake bias to a place that you feel comfortable with.

    I have adjusted the brake bias in this Silverstone setup from 54 to 55%. This was to add a little more stability under braking during a race and to avoid any rear locking. This is a change targetted more around safety as rear locking during a race can result in a big spin.

    BrakesRace setupTime trial setup
    Brake pressure100100
    Brake bias5554

    Tyre pressure setup comparison

    Tyre pressures will often need to be adjusted when converting a time trial setup to a race setup. Most time trial setups use maximum tyre pressures, which provides less drag and good responsiveness without much of a performance penalty.

    When it comes to a race car setup, tyre pressures are a great tool for controlling temperatures. Tyre temperatures are disabled in time trials, so this is not a problem in this game mode.

    Our Silverstone setup doesn’t feature much change in pressures as the tyres do run hot at this track. However, some tracks such as Monaco will require much lower pressures to help increase tyre temperature and bring them into the optimal temperature window.

    Tyre PressuresRace setupTime trial setup
    Front right28.529.5
    Front left29.529.5
    Rear right26.526.5
    Rear left26.526.5

    How to set up a car for time trial

    Creating the fastest time trial car setup for F1 24 isn’t an easy process as some tracks require intricate changes. If you ever download a time trial car setup from the fastest sim racers on the leaderboard, you will sometimes find some strange setup choices. These changes all lean into the car setup meta of F1 24 and lead to very specific performance results.

    Despite this, there is a generally accepted trend for most time trial car setups. This route includes raising the aerodynamics higher than you would for a race, running stiffer suspension setups and minimal geometry.

    A good starting point for any time trial car setup is the following;

    • Raise the aerodynamic setup higher than normal ensuring there is a large gap between front and rear wings, normally 10-20 points.
    • Utilise a higher on-throttle differential setup to promote maximum traction and better rotation on the corner exit.
    • Set the engine braking at or close to 100% and the off-throttle differential low to promote maximum rotation.
    • Use a left, left, left, left suspension geometry setup at almost every track.
    • Opt for a stiff front suspension and soft rear, normally around 41-5 or a close variation.
    • Maximise the anti-roll bar stiffness up to 21-21. Some tracks require a slightly lower rear ARB setup.
    • Lower the ride height as much as possible. Some tracks can benefit from an incredibly low ride height below 20-55.
    • Set the brake pressure to 100% and brake bias as far rearward as you can before the car becomes too unstable.
    • Maximise the tyre pressures at almost every track.

    What changes to make to turn a time trial setup into a race setup

    If your starting point for any race setup is to download a time trial car setup, then you should change a few key things.

    As mentioned above, a time trial setup typically, but not always, prioritises extreme combinations of off-throttle differential, engine braking, and brake bias. This makes the car rotate and almost drift into corners. Your key areas to adjust are this, combined with a reduction in aerodynamics and anti-roll bar stiffness.

    Below is a quick guide on what to change to turn an F1 24 time trial setup into a race setup.

    Setup areaWhat to change
    Aerodynamics– Lower the aerodynamics both front and rear
    – Reduce the gap between front and rear wings
    Transmission– Lower the on throttle differential
    – Increase off throttle differential
    – Lower engine braking to between 50-80%
    Geometry– Generally keep the same
    – You can increase rear toe for additional stability
    Suspension– Soften the front suspension and stiffen the rear
    – Soften the anti-roll bars away from 21-21
    – Increase ride height if drastically softening suspension
    Brakes– Adjust brake bias to remove any rear locking
    Tyres– Adjust pressures away from maximum if tyres are too cold

    Watch our complete video comparison of time trial vs race car setups in F1 24. This is a video version of the written guide above.

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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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