For 2023, the F1 game has seen its tyre model improve drastically. But what does one have to do to maximise the grip? Here is a guide to the F1 23 tyre model.
When racing a car, the only parts of the vehicle in contact with the road are the four round lumps of rubber that fit to your wheels. As a result, tyres and how one manages them are crucial in motorsport, and by extension, sim racing.
With F1 23, EA Sports has introduced a more realistic and in-depth tyre model which requires more care than previous iterations of the game. This brings the title in line with the real-world competition in which tyre talk is the main focus of most weekends.
But how does one get the most out of these new tyres? To help guide you through the challenges of grip, this is all you need to know about the F1 23 tyre model.
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Back to Basics
Before getting into the nitty gritty of tyres in F1 23, it’s important to know the basics. In the case of Formula One, that means what tyres you can fit to your car and how you can adjust them. There are multiple types of tyre, or compounds, that provide different grip levels and wear rates.
At each track, three dry tyre compounds are available; soft, medium and hard. These are chosen from a selection of six overall compounds that exist in-game. These compounds sit on a spectrum from hard to soft; C0, C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, C6. However, given only three of these appear at each circuit, that isn’t entirely important.
A softer tyre will provide the best grip of the three compounds available. But a harder compound will have less wear in comparison. As such, it will last more laps without too much grip loss.
Tyre Temperature in F1 23
This wear along with the overall grip a tyre produces is highly dependent on its temperature. In fact, it’s important to keep a tyre within its operating range for peak grip levels. In general, this is around 100°C for the game’s display. But certain compounds will have higher or lower operating windows.
For example, the harder tyres such as C0 and C1 will need to run closer to 110-115°C whereas the softer C5 and C6 will be closer to 90-95°C. Run a tyre below its operating window and you will lack grip with the car feeling unagile and slow. To heat the tyres up in F1 23, it’s recommended to use the brakes. In fact, the new game sees its tyres much more affected by brake temperature than previous titles.
But don’t warm the tyres too much as this will cause blistering on the surface. Overheat the tyres and the surface will literally boil creating blisters as the rubber bubbles. This uneven surface will also cause a lack of grip. On average, blisters are said to reduce a tyre’s grip by 2%. This is certainly not negligible on longer stints.
Tyre Wear Explained
The added grip loss from blisters is particularly unwanted given tyres in F1 23 will lose their grip more gradually throughout a stint compared to F1 22. In fact, the previous game saw tyres retain their grip better during a stint without much wear before hitting a cliff. Now though, according to Alex Gillon, tyre wear sees pace drop off on every lap of a stint.
However, this new tyre model also means tyres can be used for longer. In fact, the F1 22 cliff is gone. In its place is a more gradual slope when it comes to grip and wear.
Guide to Tyre Life in F1 23
So how does one maximise tyre life and avoid making unnecessary pit stops in races? Well, the simple answer is to put less stress into the tyres. More importantly, the one thing to avoid is any kind of tyre scrub where the surface slides along the track. Be it lateral via side-to-side load or longitudinal from lock ups and wheel spin, you must avoid over-pushing the tyres.
For the rear axle, this is an easier task. The F1 23 force feedback is great at informing the driver of wheel spin and what the rear axle is doing. On corner exit, apply the throttle gradually in a smooth manner. This gives the tyre time to get used to the torque. It is also recommended to short-shift, or shift up gears early in the rev range. This means peak torque isn’t quite as intense and won’t send the tyres sliding.
For the front axle, lock ups are harder to detect. But peeling off the brake pressure as you approach a corner is important. Also, completely releasing the brake before turning in to tighter corners will help keep the left-right balance. If you do feel a lock-up, quickly release brake pressure. If this means going off, that’s alright.
When it comes to lateral sliding, the front axle is again the harder one to manage. Unlike other simulators, it’s harder to feel understeer and so one must learn the visual cues of a front end not turning where you want it to. In general, the only way of correcting understeer is carrying less speed into a corner. In faster turns, reducing throttle application ever so slightly helps reduce the load of a tyre. This will limit one’s tyre wear.
In general however, keeping one’s tyres in check is all about being smooth. Don’t aggressively hit the pedals or turn lock-to-lock on the wheel.
Setup Tips to Reduce Wear
Aside from driving, there are plenty of setup tricks one can do to reduce tyre wear. The F1 23 Suspension, Suspension Geometry and Tyre Pressure tabs are crucial to managing one’s temperatures and, by extension, wear.
For simple fixes, high tyre wear can be remedied by dropping tyre pressures. In fact, high pressures will result in a car that slides more across the track due to smaller contact patches. Marginally reduce the tyre pressures and you should get better tyre life at the expense of a more lethargic car.
The same idea goes for the Suspension. In fact, a softer suspension setup will often help reduce tyre wear at the expense of a car that feels less agile. This trick allows the tyre to stick to the ground better and prevents it sliding across the tarmac. However, it will have an impact on the car’s high-speed manoeuvrability as it will lurch side-to-side and front-to-back under load.
Finally, higher camber and toe settings will also have an effect on tyre life. The more a tyre points in a direction other than the direction it is rolling, the more it will scrub on the ground. This will heat the surface and cause additional wear. Although there is more initial grip to be found from toe and camber, one must often limit their use for longer races.
What F1 23 tyre advice would you give to guide your fellow sim racers? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!