Getting your braking right is one of the hardest parts of F1 2021. Here’s a guide to help you improve!
Photo credit: Codemasters / EA
As much as it feels like motorsports are all about speed and power, reducing your speed efficiently and effectively is perhaps the single most important skill when it comes to Formula 1 racing. The brakes on Formula 1 cars are always being pushed to their limits, and as such its easy for drivers to lock their brakes by braking just a fraction too late, or to play it too safe and sacrifice too much lap time by braking too early. This guide will help you to feel more comfortable on the brakes in F1 2021.
Configuring Your Braking Controls
One aspect of braking in F1 2021 that few people consider is the ability to customise your control configuration. This doesn’t mean changing which button, trigger or pedal you use to brake with, but rather how sensitive your chosen brake pedal is, as well as a couple of other similar factors.
The best way to find your ideal configuration is by trial and error. You can raise your brake sensitivity if you feel you don’t have enough control over exactly how much stopping power you’re exerting. Alternatively, you can adjust the linearity or the deadzone, to make sure that your brakes feel right for you. There is no right or wrong answer here, it’s all up to your personal feeling on the pedal.
Setting Up for Success
Somewhat similar to your brake configuration is your car’s braking setup. On the brakes tab of the setup menu, you can adjust both the brake pressure and the brake bias settings. The latter of these can also be adjusted on the fly via the multi-function display.
In general, it’s a good idea to run as high a brake pressure as you can. In theory, 100% brake pressure gives you the most potential stopping power, but if you find yourself frequently locking either the front or the rear brakes, it might be worth lowering this percentage until you find yourself more in control.
As for the brake bias, this can be used to offset locking issues if they are isolated to either the front or the rear brakes. If you’re always locking up the fronts, shifting your brake bias rearward will help you out a lot. The reverse is true if you find yourself too heavy on the rears. As a general rule of thumb, a brake bias of 56% works pretty well at most tracks in F1 2021. You can learn more about setting up your car with our setup guide.
Developing a Deft Touch
After you’re done nailing your configuration and setup, all that’s really left to do is to refine your driving style. Trail braking, i.e. starting with a high braking input and then trailing off as you approach the apex of the corner, is essential to maximising your performance. Really try to focus on how much you’re pushing down on the brake pedal or trigger. One thing you can do is to record your screen over the course of a stint, and then take a look at your braking inputs on the replay afterward.
When learning to trail brake effectively, don’t try to be the last of the late brakers right away. It’s better to brake a little too early than a little too late, and less frustrating when you get it wrong as well! After all, if you’re having a bad time, you’re far less likely to keep preserving and therefore improving.
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