F1 2021 Game: How to race without ABS

Formula 1 drivers don’t get the luxury of anti-lock brakes, here’s how you can match them in-game.

179290097 168489101828607 1228396287122330352 n by George Howson
F1 2021 Abs mclaren tn

F1 2021 is the first game produced from the new Codemasters-EA partnership, but a lot of the fundamentals of the title have remained the same. One of these is braking, as you can choose multiple settings options to match your skill level.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie to the franchise, we’ll show you how to be competitive with no braking assists in F1 2021!

What is ABS?

ABS is short for the Anti-lock Braking System that is common in all modern road cars. The electronic aid prevents wheels from under-rotating (or locking-up) under braking. This system is banned in Formula 1 though, so you can lock-up your wheels if you get your braking wrong.

F1 2021 bahrain lockup Mercedes
SMOKIN’: Locking up may look cool, but it’ll slow you down and ruin your tyres

Lock-ups are usually caused by braking too heavily for too long or steering while braking. You can tell if you’ve locked a wheel if you can see it not rotating and if a squealing noise is audible.

How to turn ABS off

Changing your braking settings couldn’t be easier in F1 2021. From the home menu, select “Game options” then “Settings”. From there, you need to go to “Assists” and navigate down to Anti-Lock Brakes. If you want ABS off, then you’ll need to turn this to off.

F1 2021 settings menu
THIS IS HOW WE DO IT: This is the menu you need to find to change your braking settings

It should also be noted that there is the option to change your braking assist too. The braking assist is basically a self-braking system that the computer applies.

I.e., If you have this turned all the way up, you won’t have to manually brake, the game will do it for you. We recommend you turn this off, as it slows you down and removes a lot of challenge from the game.

If you’re in My Team, Braking Point or another game mode, you can turn off ABS before a racing weekend starts by pressing options (Menu in Xbox) in the loading screen.

How to drive without ABS

Driving without such an important assist isn’t easy, but it’s doable with practice. If you’re used to driving with ABS active, the best way to get used to racing without it is to put the hours in on time trial. Choose a circuit with heavy braking zones that are spaced out such as Monza or Spa.

F1 2021 start
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT: Like a lot of things in racing, you just need to get out there and practice

Time trial is perfect for honing your skills as a driver because it’s the only mode where tyre wear and tyre temperature are constantly optimal. In other words, this will allow you to fully focus on your braking.

To avoid lock-ups, you need to brake consistently into corners and that begins with the braking point you choose. If you’re having trouble finding the correct braking point, you can turn on the racing line assist.

You have to brake hard at first, but then slowly release the brake pedal as you go further into the braking zone. This is all down to grip, as without enough grip, you will lock-up.

There is more downforce and therefore grip on the car when it’s travelling faster, as the aerodynamics pull the car to the road. However, when you brake, you slow down, and the car has less grip. This is why you normally see lock-ups occur when the cars are at their slowest in a corner, even if there was no lock-up at first.

If you’re still struggling though, you can turn down the brake pressure in your setup. The higher the brake pressure, the easier it is to lock-up, but beware that your overall stopping power will decrease.

Something else you can do is change the brake bias and this is something you can do out on track. If your fronts are consistently locking up into Turn 1, for example, move the brake bias down and therefore towards the rear to try and counteract this.

You must also consider the weather conditions and the state of the tyres before braking too. Lock-ups are more common in wet conditions, as cars are slower and there is less downforce on the cars. It’s also easier to lock a wheel up when the tyres are worn too, as there is less mechanical grip available.

George Howson

Currently playing F1 2021, Gran Turismo Sport and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

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