F1 2019 comes witha variety of options with regards to the level of difficulty you want to race at.
There are the classics like AI difficulty, racing line and gearbox settings, as well as options more bespoke to Formula 1, such as the ERS modes and parc ferme rules.
Today we’ll be looking at traction control (TC) and how to keep the car pointing in a straight line when you have it turned all the way down.
Traction control is something you’ll find in a lot of modern road cars, but not something you’ll see in an F1 car. The system has been banned since 2008, to make the cars harder for drivers to control and more exciting for fans to watch, but it was allowed from 2001 before this.
TC works by electronically limiting the power output of the engine so that the rear wheels (the ones where all the power goes) don’t spin. Wheel spin occurs when there’s more torque (turning power) rotating the tyres than what the tarmac they’re on can handle. In full-qualifying spec, Formula 1 cars produce more than 1000 bhp, so wheel spin is a very common occurrence.
There are three modes available to you for traction control; full, medium and off. While the latter two modes are for more experienced players, there isn’t much punishment in terms of lap time for turning the TC all the way up, but you’ll notice it will take longer to accelerate out of slow corners. However, if you want a bigger challenge or to further immerse yourself in the game, turning down the traction control is a good way to go about it.
If you have the traction control turned down to medium or completely off, you should already know that the car will do doughnuts if you immediately nail the throttle out of a slow corner.
What you have to do is squeeze the throttle like there’s an egg underneath the pedal and you don’t want to break it.
Just like your road car, F1 cars produce more torque in the lower gears than higher ones. If you have manual gears enabled, you can leave the car in a higher gear through slow corners to ease the power back on. While this will cause you to lose a little time, it is will stop you from spinning out and reduce your rear tyre wear.
When it comes to high-speed corners, having no traction control doesn’t make too much of a difference, due to the higher gear you’ll be in when nailing the throttle again. However, when it rains, you can still get wheel spin in as high of a gear as sixth, so beware.
The only way to perfect this is to practice, there’s no substitute to putting the laps in on track. You have to get a feel for how hard you can push the car. it varies from team to team, circuit to circuit and lap by lap.
If you race in the Classic or Formula 2 cars, the levels of traction are generally less, especially with those cars from the 70’s and 80’s, so take your time to adjust to the way they drive.
READ MORE: F1 2019 Review
While your driving style is important, the setup you choose to run with is also crucial to being fast and controlling your traction. A lot of the setup options on the car directly affect the levels, while other indirectly do so. If you’re struggling to control the wheel spin, here’s what changes you can make to improve your corner exits:
A more locked transmission, especially for on-throttle, gives you an increase in outright traction, although it makes it a harsher ride to control. Lower camber and toe angles on the rear tyres also help, as you get more of the surface of the tyres on the road, although this does increase tyre wear.
Softer springs for the suspension arguably helps stabilise the car, although it does make the car take longer to be settled.
Other tuning you can do is increasing the rear downforce levels, which helps stablise the rear axle. Going through corners like Spain’s Turn 11 feels so much easier with higher rear wing angles. Another thing you can do is lower the pressure of the rear tyres, as this makes it harder for them to overheat and very hot tyres are difficult to control.
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