F1 2020: Trail Braking Guide - Setup, config, driving style & more

The ability to trail brake effectively is one of the core skills of an F1 driver, whether real or virtual.

Modulating your brake pedal usage can seem like an incredibly small detail which is difficult to pin down and realistically improve upon. However, there are steps that you can take to help you in this regard.

Learning to properly modulate the brake pedal will improve your lap times as well as your tyre wear, and as such it’s worth working out how to do it right.

Finding your brake setup

The single most important thing to do when trying to improve your performance on the brakes is to find the brake settings that suit you.

F1 2020 Brake pressure 100
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UNDER PRESSURE: This high brake pressure setup will work for some drivers

This means taking a look at the brake pressure and brake bias settings in the setup menu and experimenting with them. When you find the setup that works with your style and makes you feel at ease, trail braking will come more naturally to you.

READ MORE: F1 2020 - How to drive with manual gears

I always like to run very high brake pressure with a rearward brake bias. I feel that this suits my driving style which relies on late, hard braking.

The brake pressure gives me the most stopping power, while the rearward bias prevents me from locking up the front tyres every time I get a little over-aggressive.

F1 2020 Brake pressure 80
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A SOFTER TOUCH: Some drivers will prefer a lower brake pressure setup

For others, though, lower brake pressures mesh with their style far better. A lower brake pressure allows the driver to make adjustments mid-braking zone with greater ease.

Adapting your configuration

Another way to help you to get the most out of your brakes is to adjust your brake configuration in the game’s settings.

F1 2020 Brake config settings
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CONFIG: The brake settings can be found in the main controls menu

Here, you can adjust the saturation, linearity and deadzone of your brake pedal or trigger. Just like with the brake setup, it’s best to experiment here.

If you find that you prefer a greater deadzone, or more saturated brakes, then changing your config to match will help you massively.

Building a consistent base

While you’re trying to learn how to trail brake effectively, it’s best to brake earlier than you would usually do to start with. Not only does this give you more time in the braking zone to adjust your input, it ensures that you will be able to build up consistency.

F1 2020 Mercedes Lockup
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TOO HOT TO HANDLE: Failing to trail brake well will have you locking up consistently

Being able to consistently make every corner because you’re erring on the side of caution will help the speed with which you can improve your trail braking.

Furthermore, the frustration you may feel when braking too late for the umpteenth time could cause you to quit before you’ve got it properly worked out. Therefore, it’s best to brake a little on the early side to start with.

READ MORE: The best steering wheel for F1 2020

As you get more confident on the brakes, you should find yourself braking slightly later for each corner every lap until you find your limit.

Of course, being willing to persevere when things go wrong is possibly the most important thing of all. Keep working at it, and soon enough you’ll get there!

For more articles like this, take a look at our F1 and Motorsport page.