Setups 101: A Beginner's guide to transmission - how to make the best gearing

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After your suspension and tyres, your eyes should turn to your gearing, or your transmission setup.

This is relatively easy to work out, but can have a huge effect on the car's on-track feel.

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So, let's discuss how you too can make the perfect gearing selections for your car and track!

How to select your gearing

The first way to select which gearing you should use is to consider the track that you will be racing at.

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iracing gearing
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IRACING: Gearing in iRacing especially can be rather daunting!

The gearing directly affects the way the car responds to your throttle input. If you have a shorter gearing, you'll accelerate faster. As such, a short gearing is best suited to city circuits and circuits with short straights.

For circuits with longer straights, you'll want to run a longer gearing. This will hinder your acceleration slightly but will allow you a higher top speed which is better suited for those long straights.

Where do I change this?

Unfortunately, adjusting the setup of your transmission or gearing is slightly different across games.

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F1 2020 Transmission
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F1 2020: Settings vary between games!

For example, in F1 2020 you can only adjust the differential, which doesn't affect gearing, and instead affects how the power is distributed to the wheels.

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There are games in which you can adjust each gear individually, or the gear set as a whole.

For whichever one is true in your case, the same rules apply. A longer ratio is best suited to a track with long straights and a higher average speed.

For the shorter tracks with a lower average speed, a shorter gear ratio is required to maximise pace.

Our best advice

If this is your first time changing gearing, go back out on to track safely. That may sound pretty obvious, but for those who aren't used to driving with a shorter ratio, the initial acceleration can be surprising.

PC3 Monaco
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MONACO: This is a good example of a track that requires short gearing!

Similarly, the shorter (and to an extent, longer) ratios will affect the feel of the car in and out of the corners.

So make sure to pay attention and get used to the car again when you leave that pitlane!