F1 2021 Beginner's Guide: How to Perfectly Manage your Fuel

F1 2021: How to Manage Your Fuel

F1 2021

Fuel management was drastically changed between F1 2020 and F1 2021. Here’s a beginners guide on how to perfectly manage your fuel in the new game.

Photo credit: Codemasters / EA

In the upcoming 2022 season, fuel is going to become a matter of greater importance in Formula 1 again. We will see F1 cars racing with E10, a mix of 90 percent fossil fuel and 10 percent ethanol, for the first time.

But fuel is also a very relevant factor in the current simulation of the sport, F1 2021. Knowing how to manage your mileage can be the deciding factor in winning a race. So, let us tell you everything you need to know about fuel management in F1 2021.

Goodbye party mode!

During the 2020 season, the so called ‘party mode’ became a big game changer in real-world F1. It allowed drivers to burn more fuel for a certain number of laps, for instance during qualifying. The FIA responded and banned the party mode for the coming seasons.

This rule change also found its way into the game. In previous iterations, players were able to use three different fuel mixes during their race and qualifying. Lean mode would save fuel at the cost of top speed. Rich mix, the equivalent of the ‘party mode’, would allow them to get the maximum out of their cars.



In F1 2021, drivers are only allowed to use one standard fuel mode in qualifying and the race. The only exceptions where you can use lean mode are on your out lap in qualifying or when the Safety Car is deployed. We do not recommend that you underfuel your car in anticipation of one or more safety car periods. The risk is just too high compared to the benefit.

However, being limited to one fuel mix does not mean that you no longer need to worry about fuel management.

Know how to use the right amount of fuel

Before both qualifying and the race you can choose the amount of fuel you are going to carry into the session. This decision is very important as more fuel means more weight to carry, resulting in slower lap times. But also, you must choose enough fuel to make it to the finish line.

If you run out of fuel before the end of the session, your car will go into fuel saving mode, making you as slow as a snail.

Every drop counts in qualifying

Let’s begin with setting up fuel for qualifying. You can change your fuel in the garage by entering the session info and going to “car setup”. As a default, F1 2021 recommends using 7 litres of fuel which is equivalent to 4.1 laps. If you plan to go for two timed laps, this amount of fuel should be a good choice.

change your fuel
The default setting of seven litres is enough to perform two hot laps. Photo credit: F1 2021 / OverTake.

However, if you’re aiming to go for a one-shot fast lap for pole position, you can set your fuel to the lowest amount possible, which is 5 litres. This is just enough for you to make it through the out lap and one timed lap.

The best fuel strategy for the race

Ahead of the race, you can tweak the amount of fuel in the race strategy menu. F1 2021 usually recommends starting with around 1.5 laps of fuel more than calculated. However, there is no need to carry that much extra weight.

Depending on whether you are an aggressive driver or one who prefers to save your resources, you can lower this value to between 0.5 and 1 lap more than calculated for 50 percent distance races. If you go for a shorter race, you can go a bit lower, and if you race the full distance, we recommend you take some more fuel with you.

Enter the race strategy menu to customize your stints and fuel load. Photo credit: Codemasters / EA

If you are playing the career mode or My Team, there is also the possibility to go even lower with your race fuel load. There are several upgrades to add to your powertrain which result in more efficient fuel consumption. Besides the minor fuel technology update, there are also several major updates to improve fuel efficiency. Those are the intercooler and the fuel flow generator. For maximised efficiency, you need to invest a lot of R&D points into the ultimate upgrade of the fuel injection system. With all of these upgrades it is even possible to underfuel your car while still making it to the end of the race with ease.

Fuel efficiency
Adding the right powertrain upgrades in career mode and My Team help to reduce fuel consumption. Photo credit: Codemasters / EA

Career mode and My Team also offer you the opportunity to complete the race strategy program in free practice. If you do so, you will unlock a personalized strategy for the race, making it easier to estimate the amount of fuel you need.

Save fuel with lift and coast or shortshifting

Sometimes, we can be a bit too optimistic and choose too little fuel for the race. If you notice you are running short on fuel, there are still possibilities to save your resources during the race.

One of them is the lift and coast technique: when you arrive at a corner, do not stay on the throttle until the braking point. Instead, lift your foot off the pedal a bit earlier and coast through the turn. However, using this technique does, of course, mean that you are going to lose some time.

Another, less effective way of saving fuel is shortshifting. By shifting earlier under acceleration, you keep the engine speed lower resulting in less fuel consumption, but also slightly slower acceleration. Shortshifting can provide other benefits as well, such as smoother traction on the exit if slow corners, so it’s a good habit to get into.

Now that you refueled your knowledge, it’s time to step on the gas. See you on track in F1 2021.

What is your best tip for saving fuel in F1 2021? Tell us your opinion by tweeting @overtake_gg or leave a comment down below!

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