Fuelled for Success- Introduction to the Multi-Function Display
So, you’ve installed the game, loaded it up and just want to drive as fast as you can, right? Time to take down the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz and take your place at the top of the motorsport food chain, and, along the way, break records and make history. Easy.
Just drive the car fast and win. No problem. Until you are greeted with this screen in Australia, fresh from your virtual seat fitting.
Why can’t I catch anyone down the straights? Why does my F1 car not feel like it can turn? It’s all to do with your car setup, and this guide will help you understand the basics, what things mean and how to get that extra performance from your Career mode machine. The key words; compromise and balance.
F1® cars are so finely tuned and programmed that the smallest difference can affect the characteristics (and performance) of your car. The F1 2019 game is just the same, with changes to setup being the difference between the race win and scrapping for a point. Let’s start with your screen itself, and the little display on your bottom right: The Multi-Function Display (or MFD)
The multi-function display is there to give you ways to interact with your team, find out about the race session you are currently in and check on the car you are driving while on track. This is also where you can manage and master a range of in-car options to provide you with key advantages when attacking or defending from your rival.
‘Fuel Mix’ is simply the amount of fuel you have left to finish the race with. If the number is green, you have some extra fuel to burn. If the number is in red, you need to save some fuel somewhere or you won’t be finishing the race. To do this, you have 3 modes:
- “Lean”- Low fuel usage, Lower Engine Performance.
- “Standard”- Normal fuel usage and Performance. At most tracks, leave it in this mode if you don’t want to worry about this during the race.
- “Rich”- High Fuel Usage, Extra Engine Performance.
- “Max”- Highest fuel usage and overall performance. Only available in Qualifying.
Use ’Rich’ for key moments in your race like overtakes or to defend your position, and then try to balance is out with using ’Lean’ fuel mix during parts of your race when you are not fighting with others. Make sure you use ‘Rich’ mix carefully, as too much of the mode doesn’t just drain your fuel, but it can cause the engine to overheat, reducing power. Another way to improve your overtaking chances is the tactical use of the ERS (Energy Recovery System):
The ERS is charge from the battery of a modern Formula 1® car’s power unit and can be used to boost the power unit’s performance. In F1 2019, there are 6 modes:
- None- Quickly recharges battery, however you receive no extra power.
- Low- Uses a small amount of battery, but we also recharge.
- Medium- Standard Mode.
- High- Uses more Battery Charge to add extra power.
- Overtake- Used to attack and defend position but quickly drains battery.
- Hotlap- Used for extreme power and qualifying laps but quickly drains battery.
Much like the Fuel, you only have so much charge available (although it does regenerate in braking zones throughout the session you are in). However, you can only use the higher modes for short periods of time, so use it in key moments of your session to maximise performance. The best places to manage your battery power is in corners or in places that it is hard to overtake or be overtaken. Try to balance these settings out lap-by-lap and use all the fuel and ERS charge available by the end of the race.
Another tool to the F1 driver’s disposal is the use of DRS (or Drag Reduction System). This is designed to be an offensive weapon for the driver and can only be used if you are within 1 second of the car in front of you at the DRS detection line(s). (These are marked out on circuit before the weekend starts). If you manage to have been within a second, a DRS button on the right-hand side, with a countdown in metres, comes into view.
Once this is ready, activate your DRS with the assigned button for a large speed boost. This is done through a little flap on the rear wing opening, almost like a letter-box. This changes the aerodynamic profile of the car, making it more efficient through the air. A combination of ‘Hotlap’ ERS, ‘Rich’ fuel mix and DRS should give your rival a very hard time to defend you making the overtake and taking the position.
Next time around, we’ll be taking a look at aerodynamics and suspension. Make sure you check back next week for more!