F1 2020: How to drive manual, short-shifting, braking & more!

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One of the biggest skills gaps in F1 2020 is the difference between manual and automatic gears.

Allowing far more control over the car, switching to manual gears is one of the final things we recommend for shaving those tenths off your lap time.

Whilst the action required to perform the shifts isn’t all that hard, the extra thought needed to select the correct gear, and when, can be a little tricky.

Table of Contents

Let’s jump into how you can start driving like a pro, as well as some tips and tricks to help you on your way!

How to drive manual

Firstly, to enable manual gears, you must navigate to the assists tab in the settings of the game.

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ASSISTS: Simply navigate to assists and select your desired Gearbox assist
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ASSISTS: Simply navigate to assists and select your desired Gearbox assist

We recommend first switching to ‘manual and suggested gear’.

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This will allow you to change the gears manually, whilst also being prompted as to which gear the car should be in.

TIP: Start out on a familiar track, this should allow you to focus on the gear changes!

READ MORE: F1 2020 - Formula 2 Guide - Handling, Setups & more!

As you become more comfortable, you should start to get a feel for what gears should be used, and where.

Short shifting

Short shifting in F1 2020 effectively means changing up a gear before the lights on the HUD have illuminated.

HUD: The HUD should not be lit when short-shifting
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HUD: The HUD should not be lit when short-shifting

For the shorter ratio, lower gears, not much of an affect can be seen when accelerating, and significant extra wear is removed from the gearbox.

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Another benefit to short-shifting is when in wet conditions, which ensures that as much grip is maintained as possible.

As aforementioned, short shifting is simply achieved by shifting up before the rev indicator on your HUD lights up.

Braking with manual gears

One other thing that you will have to master once again is braking when using manual gears.

BRAKING: You may have to rethink your braking zones!
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BRAKING: You may have to rethink your braking zones!

After a number of races using manual with suggested gears, you should have a feel for what gear to be in, and when.

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One thing we recommend when braking using manual gears is to ensure you are downshifting smoothly when entering a corner.

READ MORE: F1 Esports - Nicolas Longuet proving himself!

This helps to avoid unnecessary wear on the gearbox, saving you potential time in the pits.

It also allows you to remain smooth and with the desired power delivery around each turn.