If you frequent the forums you might be aware that recently I had the privilege to take part in the Codemasters F1 2013 League Championship. This championship pitted some of the best drivers and leagues from around the world showcasing the global popularity and reach of F1 2013. A clear stand out was being able to watch and study how some of the quickest guys in F1 2013 go about their setups.
I am not the fastest driver and stand in aww of what some of these fast guys can do. They seem so hooked up, the car looks like it is on rails, responding to their every aggressive move on the steering. They make it look so easy. Then you investigate further and decide to try out their setups (which they happily share on their YouTube channel) and this makes you stand in even more aww of just how amazing they must be.
And they are, don’t get me wrong, but it’s this level of dedication that leads them to really did deep into every aspect to gain as much time as possible. You go ahead and load their setup expecting miracles, only to find that the car feels like rubbish – it doesn’t turn in; it’s loose as buggery; or just plain undrivable – sometimes this also includes in a straight line. At the very least it gained you some top end speed, but maybe that was all.
Watching these guys throw the car around like they do, it got me wondering if maybe I had overlooked some hidden combination of factors in my wheel settings. I have tried every setup under the sun. High wings; low wings; 1-1-11-11; high gears; low gears; you name it – I tried it. I had also tried all the combinations on the in-game profiler for my wheel, but they all felt wrong, or I had to constantly change them. Same goes for my G27 Logitech Profiler – although, I had settled on a basic combo which never changes, which I will go into more detail soon at the end of the article.
I found myself one night searching for a great setup and decided to plug in Alex Gillon’s’ setup for the circuit I was on in TT practicing (Spain) in prep for our race there. As I expected; it was undrivable. Fast in a straight-line; poorly geared; locking brakes (from a forward brake bias); loads of understeer and snap oversteer - a total mess. Not my kind of setup at all.
Then I got to think that maybe I was looking at it from the wrong perspective - that maybe there were other things in my current wheel setup that didn’t allow me to take full advantage of Alex’s hard work in honing what was obviously a decent setup for him. So I began tweaking things based on the premise that everything but the setup was wrong and stumbled upon a few interesting discoveries.
Firstly, the G27 Logitech Profiler:
The axis properties (Steering Wheel/Accelerator/Brake) seem a bit ambiguous, but with some inter web digging I was able to ascertain the following information about the sensitivity sliders - which it appears, operate in a non-linear fashion. These usually default to 50% sensitivity – which is effectively a straight line application throughout the range of movement of the Pedal or Wheel. On the other hand “Low” sensitivity means that the pedal or wheel, when starting from its zero point position eases into its operation quite gently in an asymmetrical arc upwards, until it passes the half-way point, where it sharply increases as you reach the full range. High, as you would imagine, yields the opposite arc; it very quickly applies a large percent of its range in a short movement at the beginning, and then eases the last little bit into full range very slowly.
After some experimentation, I determined that I should probably change my wheel settings track-to-track – setup-to-setup to suit the differences of car response for each track.
I decided that I liked the feel of running the Logitech profiler Steering Wheel Sensitivity (Axis Properties) at 100%, which makes for a very sensitive wheel around the centre. So I then balanced that out by running some in-game Steering Linearity – as high as 40%. This seemed to work well, but I noticed that with my setup, the slow speed turns felt a little slack and indirect (because of the added Steering Linearity). I had to turn the wheel too much. Returning back to the Logitech Profiler I decided to drop down my Steering Angle to 250 degrees from 300 degrees. This cured the issues I was having and I went 1 second faster. The car setup now made sense. It was a dream to drive. My mid corner speeds had gotten better than ever and it was like the transition of the setup from slow to fast speeds was more connected than it had felt. There was no awkward moment of a loose rear hanging out – the steering was in perfect sync with how I felt the car should move in relation to my inputs.
In fact, I investigated further to determine some kind of philosophical basis so that others can give it a go, and here’s how I tailor it to my setups.
Start with the following settings (below) as a starting point, try running any setup that you like, or that you know is fast. Assess the steering responsiveness in the slow and fast turns. Are you getting too much, not enough or just enough turn in and stability?
Steering is SLOPPY in SLOW turns, i.e. not responsive enough to your liking, you feel like you have to turn the wheel more than you have to – Adjust the Steering Angle to be smaller in the Logitech Profiler Specific Game Settings. Be sure to mirror these settings in the Global Settings, as I have found that it does weird things if I don’t do that, and find this to be more predictable.
Steering is TOO SENSITIVE in SLOW turns, i.e. you consistently drive over the apex or it feels like you have to restrain yourself from over rotating the car into the turn – Adjust the Steering Angle to be larger in the Logitech Profiler Specific Game Settings. (As before - Be sure to mirror these settings in the Global Settings, as I have found that it does weird things if I don’t do that, and find this to be more predictable.)
Steering is INDIRECT in FAST turns, i.e. not responsive enough or understeer – Decrease the Steering Linearity in-game to be smaller.
Steering is OVERLY SENSITIVE in FAST turns, i.e. you consistently drive over the apex or it feels like you have to restrain yourself from over rotating the car into the turn – Increase the Steering Linearity in-game to be larger.
After making the needed tweaks as above, you should find that the car feels both more stable – but also responsive enough when you need it to be, and this might take an hour or so to get used to if your wheel settings are nothing like mine.
It should be the perfect marriage between the Steering Axis Sensitivity – set at 100% (sensitive middle of the wheel response curve), with the slower/progressive curve of Steering Linearity, Wheel Angle and the influence of your Car Setup. These 4 things should add up to a more harmonious steering response. You should feel the connectedness of your Slow to Mid to Fast corners in the steering and hopefully be spending less time fighting the wheel and therefore getting the power down sooner.
It’s all about how it works with your setup. Don’t be afraid to tweak your setup and make adjustments back and forth between wheel and car setup until you find the perfect balance. If you struggle to find balance – try changing your setup completely or make larger adjustments with your wheel settings (Steering Linearity / Steering Angle).
Be sure to play around with these settings from track to track. My typical adjustments are between:
Steering Linearity – 30 to 40%
Steering Angle – 220 to 270 degrees
For example: In Spain -
Steering Wheel – 100%
Wheel Angle – 250 degrees
Steering Linearity (in game) – 40%
Alex Gillon Setup from his YT Channel.
Hope some of you in GP2 at least find some added speed with these settings! I imagine next years game will be similar too.
See you on track!
My settings, as a starting point: