F1 2020: How to drive without ABS – Setups, driving style, balance & more
Turning off ABS can be a scary prospect. These tips will help to make it a smoother experience.
Doing so should not be an ordeal, but rather a way to help players to maximise their potential as drivers.
It can seem daunting to take the plunge and run without all of the assists enabled, but with this guide you’ll feel confident enough to take that first step.
What is ABS?
ABS, or the Anti-lock Braking System, is a tool which prevents the tyres on a car from ‘locking up’ under heavy duress. When a tyre locks up it ceases to rotate, reducing its effectiveness severely for the duration of the lockup.
On top of this, locking up causes tyres to heat up and wear out, leaving them less useful for the remainder of their life.
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While ABS is therefore a very useful tool, getting your braking just right is a real skill. The satisfaction of getting your car slowed down perfectly is immense, and disabling ABS leads to a more realistic experience.
Managing your braking
If you’re running without ABS enabled, you’ll need to take a lot of care when applying the brakes.
The most important thing to do is to slowly ease off the brakes as you approach the corner, having started the braking zone with maximum brakes applied.
The reason that this is so important is that you will want to be off the brakes by the time you turn in to the corner. If you don’t, you will lock up.
Getting your braking spots is essential as well. Braking too late will mean that you can’t ease off the brakes before reaching the corner, forcing you to lock up.
If you’re using the dynamic racing line, this should come relatively easily. If you aren’t, learning where to brake and using the brake marker boards as a reference is the key to success.
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Think of it like this: your tyres can only handle so much. If you’re asking them to use 100% of their capacity for braking, you won’t be able to use them to turn. Don’t expect to be able to turn the car while you are hard on the brakes, as the tyres simply can’t handle it.
Finding your setup
Another way to help you to avoid locking your tyres is to adjust your brake setup. Even if you don’t usually change your setups, the brake settings are relatively simple.
If you’re finding yourself locking up a lot, you can try reducing your brake pressure setting. This will mean that pushing the brake pedal the same amount will result in less brake power being applied to the car.
Alternatively, you can try shifting your brake balance rearward. I personally always run at 50% brake bias. This helps to prevent locking up the front tyres, which is far easier to do than locking the rears.
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Ultimately, it’s important to find the settings that suit you, so play around with them.
If you prefer a setup which is heavier on the front brakes, run a higher brake balance. If you’re finding that you can handle 80% brake pressure no problem, try raising it.
With a combination of careful, precise driving and a suitable setup, you’ll find that turning off ABS is nowhere near as hard as you might have feared.