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Wet-weather Driving Tips


TurkeySloth2107

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On top of F1 2020 being the first racing game I've picked up in years, all my previous experience was in NASCAR '99 for the PlayStation. Thus, I have zero experience driving in wet weather because that game didn't have wet-weather tyres. So, aside afrom the painfully obvious "go slower", what tips can you offer me about driving in wet weather? Just in case you're wondering, I'm doing time trials at, mostly, very easy or easy tracks to get my footing, so there's no option for intermediate conditions.

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First of all, welcome back to the racing community! I'd say your initial assessment is correct, although instead of saying "go slower", I'd say "go smoother" or "be patient". Smoothness and patience is key with throttle and steering inputs, and while we as humans tend to think that putting in more throttle sooner means we will go faster, that all goes out the window if we are driving in the rain.

There was a similar thread going around, so I hope you don't mind if I share a similar collection of suggestions with you. I am by no means an expert, but I do manage to race against 100-103 AI in the rain and keep fairly equal pace with my teammate. Here goes:

- In the car setup, increase your wings to something like 7-10 or 8-11, increase your ride height to 7-8 or higher, set your on throttle diff to 50 and off-throttle diff to 65 or higher. These setup changes will give you more grip and stability.
- Stay away from kerbs. Those things get super slippery in the wet and will snap you out with no warning.
- Aim to minimize wheel spin. In time trial, see how slowly you need to put in throttle out of each corner to avoid any wheel spin whatsoever. You might be surprised to see how much faster slower throttle application makes you. Don't slam the throttle under any circumstances. Usually in heavy rain, it takes me about 3 full seconds to go from 0 throttle to full throttle when coming out of a slow hairpin (such as Austria turn 3, for instance).
- Try your best to be as smooth as you can with the inputs. I mentioned that in the previous point about throttle, but the same thing goes for the steering - try to smooth out changes in direction as much as you can and avoid whipping the wheel as much as possible.
- If you use manual gears, short shift gears 2-5. A lot. In other words, when you are accelerating out of a corner, shift into the next gear before any of the shift lights on your wheel come on. Typically I do this as soon as I feel a loss in traction: I lift off the throttle slightly (only by 10% or so) and shift into the next gear.
- Lastly, try to brake earlier and entirely in a straight line. This game favors trail braking, but in the wet, try to get the bulk of your braking done before you start turning into the corner. It also needs to be said that for some corners, you won't be able to apply 100% of the brake even in a straight line (even if you can in the dry). The second to last turn in Australia comes to mind - in the rain, I tend to max out around 80% braking force there.

I hope these help. Great to have you in the community and I hope you enjoy the racing!

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1 hour ago, CarloLewis said:

Thanks @SavageXRDS, very good info. Regarding setup changes, do you make any changes to differential, brakes and tyre pressure?

Might want to re-read the post 😉

Tyre pressure wasn't mentioned, but I'd suggest going as low as possible without the tires dropping below optimum temperatures.

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4 hours ago, CarloLewis said:

Thanks @SavageXRDS, very good info. Regarding setup changes, do you make any changes to differential, brakes and tyre pressure?

Differentials:
On throttle diff I would recommend to be set to 50% for any event that has the possibility of rain. Off throttle can vary, but until you feel really confident while braking, I would recommend around 65% or higher. That limits how much difference in rotational speed the rear wheels can have when you are not putting any throttle in (i.e. when you are braking or turning in without throttle), which gives you a lot of stability.

Brakes:
My preference is always to keep the pressure the same as in the dry - in this game that is usually 100% - and to just be softer on the brake pedal, but I do know of people who lower their pressure by 10% from their dry setup to race more consistently in the rain. Brake bias in this game is somewhere around 50%-52% for most tracks in the dry and that tends to be OK for the wet. I would approach brake bias like this: do you ever feel your rear end sliding out under braking in the wet? If you do, move brake bias up by 2% and try again. That will give you greater stability. The downside is that you might start locking the front wheels much more frequently, which will slow you down.

Tyre pressure:
will agree with Janbonator. As a general rule, lower tyre pressure means that there is a greater area of the contact patch with the asphalt, and more surface area = more friction = more grip. But as Jan correctly stated, if you lower pressures too much, you might have a hard time getting the tyres warmed up. Thus, I would say keep the fronts a similar pressure as in the dry but lower the pressures of the rears to their minimum or 1 tick to the right of minimum. That will give you greater grip out of corners and shift the balance of the car towards greater stability.

The general rule of thumb for these particular aspects of a wet setup (diffs, brakes, and tyres) is that it is always a trade-off. One one hand you can have a more nimble and agile car that is more prone to slipping out or threatening to spin, and on the other hand you will have a slightly more "sluggish" car that is much more consistent and safe. You have to tweak these until the car is the more nimble it can be without causing you to be uncomfortable driving it. And, as always, consistency is very important in a race - after all, there is no point being 3 tenths a lap faster if it causes you to make a mistake every 5 laps that loses you 5 seconds every time.

Cheers!

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This might be down to overreliance on the coasting tactic, but one wet setup doesn't seem to work on every track. For example, today, I've lapped on both Australia and Silvetone's short course using very similar setups only to find that Australia's wet lap was ~5.5 seconds slower than my dry time and Silverstone's was ~22.5 seconds off the dry time (~+7 sec. to the old wet time).

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1 hour ago, TurkeySloth2107 said:

This might be down to overreliance on the coasting tactic, but one wet setup doesn't seem to work on every track. For example, today, I've lapped on both Australia and Silvetone's short course using very similar setups only to find that Australia's wet lap was ~5.5 seconds slower than my dry time and Silverstone's was ~22.5 seconds off the dry time (~+7 sec. to the old wet time).

Well. Different tracks require different setups in the dry so it's only logical that it would be the same in the wet. I don't know if there is any difference in surface between tracks in the game but if there is that's something to account for as well.

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Wet 01 setup
Aero: 8-10
Transmission: 60%-65%
Suspension: 3-2; 5-4; 8-9
Brakes: 90%-56%
Tyres: 22.2 psi-19.9 psi

That setup's netted me a 0:55.816 wet lap on Suzuka's short curcuit against a 0:56.184 dry lap there and a record wet lap of 1:08.477 on Silverstone's short course against my prior best of 1:11.153 there. Thus, I may set all my inital wet times with it and adjust from there.

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