Why You Should Turn Off Assists NOW in F1

Why You Should Turn Off Assists NOW in F1

Why You Should Turn Off Assists NOW in F1

Hey Top Driver!

The debate over driving assists is heating up among F1 drivers.

Some see them as helpful, while others think they're the downfall of SimCade.

On one side, the purists say:

"Those who rely on driving assists aren't really driving. They're just passengers in a car that's doing everything on its own. Where's the fun in driving a car that's practically on autopilot?"

On the other side, there are those who defend using assists:

"With assists on, I can focus on the race without fearing I'll go off-track at every turn. I might not be the fastest, but at least I can complete a clean lap!"

These two opposing views reflect the diversity of opinions in the virtual F1 world, where balancing the authenticity of the driving experience and accessibility for players of all levels is a hot topic.

But what's our take on assists?

To be fair, using assists can be helpful in the very early stages of learning F1.

If you're a newbie and have never driven a virtual F1 car, assists can prevent you from feeling frustrated and giving up before you even get started.

However, from our perspective, turning off assists is crucial for your growth in the virtual F1 world.

This isn't just a purist's stance: it's proven that using assists makes you slower, and we've demonstrated this multiple times with telemetry data at ADT.

Why You Should Turn Off Assists NOW in F1

Why are assists used?

Like any new skill, you start with baby steps: you learned to ride a bike with training wheels and to swim with floaties.

Similarly, learning to race in F1 23 is a challenge, especially if you're new and have limited practice time.

To not "drown" in the sea of virtual F1, you rely on driving assists, your floaties that let you navigate the circuit with ease.

Assists give you security, comfort, speed...

The convenience of ABS that prevents you from locking the wheels, the peace of mind from Traction Control that saves you from spinning out, or the automatic gearbox that takes care of shifting, freeing you from the need to change gears at every turn...

These are just some of the assists available on F1 23 to "simplify" your experience.

Do assists make you faster or just safer?

Initially, assists may seem like a shortcut to reaching top speeds in F1 23, but it's a temporary illusion.

You feel faster because without assists, every corner is a potential disaster!

It’s natural to be slower without assists if every turn is a struggle to maintain control.

Perhaps you've already tried turning them off but were immediately overwhelmed by despair and intimidation.

It’s like a child whose training wheels or floaties are removed.

Initially, they feel lost and scared, but once they gain confidence, they never want to go back.

The same goes for you, Top Driver, if you decide to ditch the assists!

It's normal to feel disoriented and incapable at first, and the temptation to reactivate them is strong.

Assists are an addiction from which you can and MUST break free!

Why Are Assists Slower?

Every assist on F1 23, from assisted braking to the ideal line, from automatic gearbox to ABS and Traction Control, actually slows down your driving.

Assists can be comforting, like an airbag ready to protect you in case of a mistake.

But have you been told that driving with assists is like racing with the handbrake on?

It's true. 

Assists might keep you on the road, but at what cost?

Your speed, your skill, your potential are all limited by tenths, if not seconds!

Now, let's discover the three main assists on F1 23.

ABS, Ideal Line, and Traction Control, what they do to the car, and some tips for removing them.

Why You Should Turn Off Assists NOW in F1


Let's bust a myth: you're not faster with ABS activated!

Those who argue otherwise simply haven't yet honed their braking technique without ABS, nor have they learned to utilize the full potential of the car during braking.

But what exactly is ABS?

ABS stands for Anti-Lock Braking System. 

This driving aid steps in to prevent tire lock-up.

However, it limits the car's steering ability into corners, leaving you grappling with understeer.

With ABS, you might think you're braking to the max, but in reality, you're deceiving yourself.

The car becomes sluggish, prone to understeer, and reluctant to dive into corners.

Thus, to truly speed up, it's crucial to disable ABS and learn to brake correctly!

Not surprisingly, all world records are held by drivers without assists, and in the F1 Esports, the pinnacle of virtual competition, assists are banned.

Now, we’ll explain how to remove ABS and brake properly without lock-ups!

How do I avoid lock-ups? 

You might wonder. 

Here's the answer.

Tire grip isn’t infinite.

Suppose a tire has 100 points of grip.

If you brake with maximum intensity while also steering sharply, the tires can't handle this extra demand for grip and will lock up.

So, you need to distribute these 100 points of grip between steering and braking, reducing their intensity progressively as you enter a corner.

To avoid lock-ups, remember this pattern:

  1. Initial braking phase: Wheels straight, brake at 100%.
  2. Second braking phase: Begin to turn into the corner while gradually releasing the brake pedal.

F1 cars, just before braking after a long straight, carry immense aerodynamic load, so you're unlikely to lock the wheels with the steering straight and during the initial braking phase.

As the car slows down, the aerodynamic load decreases.

So you'll need to gradually release the brake depending on the amount of steering angle you're applying.

You're not in a road car that requires a gentle, progressive start to braking, but in a single-seater going over 300 km/h.

Furthermore, you can't expect to brake correctly without excellent timing in downshifting.

This is because engine braking also comes into play during braking.

By downshifting, you allow the engine brake to assist, helping to slow down the car and manage corners better.

Here are some tips for optimal timing in downshifting:

From eighth to fifth gear, downshift as quickly as you can.

Then, take a bit more time for the lower gears.

Only by doing this can you fully utilize the potential of engine braking speed by speed and brake as effectively as possible.

Traction Control

Turning off Traction Control is one of the hardest challenges for newbies, who often find themselves spinning out at the exit of corners.

Traction Control prevents the rear wheels from spinning, allowing you to accelerate without fearing loss of control.

But this doesn't mean being faster out of corners.

Traction Control, in fact, limits engine power to maintain traction, significantly slowing you down.

It's like trying to ride a bike fast... with training wheels.

If you really want to improve your times, you need to start driving without assists!

This is because TRACTION plays a CRUCIAL role in your performance!

It's probably the most important driving technique because it affects your performance the most.

The difference between a good or bad corner exit is huge.

Poor tractioning, at best, will cost you many tenths in your lap time, you'll be overtaken on the straights, and you won't be able to pass.

At worst, you'll spin and crash: DNF and goodbye dreams of glory.

For this reason, it's vital to master the acceleration phase, knowing all the secrets to do it.

Here are some tips to learn how to traction perfectly without TCS.

Apply throttle based on the steering angle. Be gradual during realignment. This is because tire grip is limited.

Tires can't handle an excessive amount of required grip.

In the specific case of traction, if you accelerate abruptly while giving a lot of steering angle, you'll experience dangerous oversteer.

Let's say the maximum available grip is again 100: these points must be correctly distributed between steering angle and throttle.

You can't floor the throttle when realigning the wheel, especially in slower corners where the car generates less aerodynamic load.

Also, remember that in traction, there's a load transfer from the front to the rear.

Make sure it's gradual.

You need to modulate the throttle as you straighten the car and optimally distribute these 100 points, avoiding breaking traction.

Remember this pattern, especially in the slower corners:

A lot of steering angle, just past the apex –> little throttle A little steering angle, when the wheels are almost straight –> more throttle

Ideal Racing Line

Another tough assist to turn off is the Ideal Line, a 3D line that traces the paths to follow through all the turns of a circuit.

It shows you where to brake, where to start trail-braking, where to position the wheels, and where to start accelerating out of corners.

These lines are the so-called "safe" ones that make you feel more secure, resulting in you never fully exploiting the entire track, leaving precious tenths behind!

Driving by following that damn line on the ground is like driving on a single track, without the ability to develop your driving style, a way of driving that you feel comfortable with.

Moreover, the line is a distraction when you're battling with an opponent.

Maybe you move inside and lose the braking point, going long or short, leaving the road open for your rival, because without closely following that line, you feel lost.

To help you get out of this disorientation phase and drive without the Ideal Line, here's a quick and valuable tip.

Start observing the references you find around the circuit: curbs, distance markers, bridges, markings on the asphalt.

These are all clues that will help you draw the perfect line through each corner of any circuit.

Learn to exploit everything the track offers: every inch, any strip of asphalt, curb that can be used.

Focus your gaze on the elements the circuit offers, and you'll see that both alone and in battles, you'll gradually have no problems drawing the lines that make the difference.

urbs, the distance markers, bridges, marks on the asphalt.

They are all clues that will help you draw the perfect trajectory along every single curve of any circuit.

Learn to utilize everything the track offers you.

Every single inch, any strip of asphalt, curb that can be used.

Keep your gaze focused on the elements that a circuit can offer you...

...and you’ll see that you'll have no problems in drawing the lines that will let you to make the difference.

Why You Should Turn Off Assists NOW in F1

"Okay, all of this is great... But I can't turn off the assists on my own! Any advice?"

First of all, know that turning off every assist is a slow, delicate, and challenging process.

You have to practice, practice, and practice. Take all the time you need, train hard, and you'll gradually get used to driving FULL ELITE.

You'll need to sweep away the habits of driving with assists, replacing them with new, powerful habits of driving without assists.

A driving style that will bring you countless advantages.

Imagine the thrill, the adrenaline rush when you push your car to the limit and cross the finish line first.

Imagine the joy, the surge of pride and self-esteem when you achieve all your goals in F1 23.

Imagine watching yourself on track, getting a Podium or winning a Race.

Wouldn't it be great to do everything you want on your own, like creating setups, getting poles and wins, winning championships?

We can help you with all the tools and knowledge you need to remove every assist, and also to facilitate and shorten this process, making you a strong, fast, and confident driver.

We are ADT Esports Academy, the world's first virtual F1 academy.

With over 15 years of sim racing experience, we've helped over 2000 drivers revolutionize their driving style in F1, with some reaching F1 Esports.

Others have simply started having fun, improving their performance, and winning races/championships.

If you really want to improve in F1 23, you're in the right place!

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See you soon and when in the doubt, flat out!