Brake bias is a tricky topic for some, but a simple one for others. Join us as we discuss the details surrounding brake bias.
As always, you can find the video's full script below in case you would like to read about certain details.
Brake Bias - Guide (full script)
Why should you care about brake bias. Through the course of a lap, time is mostly gained and lost in braking and cornering. When you're ready to push your driving skills to the next level, braking should be one of the first places to look when trying to improve your driving style and overall lap time performance.
If you notice that you're locking your front tyres or losing control of the rear through the braking phase, then you may want to consider changing your brake bias as one of the ways to improve cornering performance.
There are many factors that influence your braking performance into and through the corner like brake pressure, suspension, geometry, and of course, when you brake into a corner. But today, we'll discuss how you can improve your braking by using the track Titan platform.
But before we get into it, let's quickly define what brake bias is and why you should definitely consider it when you're on track. So in short, brake bias is how the total braking force is distributed between the front and rear tyres.
A common rule of thumb is that bias towards the rear aids rear rotation with less braking force, whereas bias towards the front aids braking force but will make the car more understeery when approaching the apex.
I'm sure we've all seen F1 drivers switch the dials on their steering wheel to the brake bias that suits them. And drivers don't settle for one brake bias setting throughout the whole lap. That's because there are some corners that require a different brake bias setting so the driver can maximise the cornering potential of the car.
For corners where there's heavy braking in a straight line, they will think more about pushing the brake bias towards the front. And for more gentle, progressive braking phases, they will consider bias towards the rear.
How a driver chooses which setting that is, is dependent on the drivers driving style as some drivers will prefer a more loose rear end and others will prefer the more stable rear end as they enter the corner.
So let's give this a test out on track. We'll hop in the Praga R1 at Zandvoort on Assetto Corsa, where we can analyse our best lap with 60% brake bias towards the front against a lap with 65% brake bias. And then we can find out how a small change of bias towards the front will affect our lap time.
So we just set our two best laps with 60% brake bias and 65% brake bias and now we're going to see how they both compare on the Track Titan platform. Our best lap on the top right was set with 65% brake bias and it is being compared to our best lap on 60% brake bias which is on the top left.
We can see that the lap time difference is over four-tenths which is quite a considerable lap time difference. Just from glancing at this overview, you could already see how the lap with 60% brake bias is quicker throughout every corner apart from Turn 1. Although the margins are small, each 100th of a second does add up over the course of a lap.
So let's start the heavy braking zone of Turn 1, where our lap with 65% brake bias is two-tenths faster than the lap with 60% brake bias. So approaching into Turn 1, reaching the top speed at this track. This is where bias towards the front becomes very effective. And as we can see on the Track Titan platform, with 65% brake bias towards the front, it gave me enough braking force to brake a little bit later and get the car slowed down a lot quicker than using 60% brake bias.
Another corner where I felt that the differences in brake bias were a lot more noticeable was into Turn 11 and Turn 12. As we can see, our lap with 65% brake bias falls short by almost two-tenths of a second to our lap with 60% brake bias.
Coming into Turn 11, what you're really doing is setting the car up for Turn 12. These two corners are so intertwined that 11 and 12 should almost be treated as one corner and trailbraking was an essential factor in order to carry the speed through 11 to maximise Turn 12.
We won't dive into the details of trailbraking in this video - but for now, just know that trailbraking with 60% brake bias really helped me rotate the car more efficiently, which allowed me to position the car better through the right of Turn 11, before coasting into the left of Turn 12. When using 65% brake bias I struggled quite a lot to rotate the car through the braking phase of Turn 11, which further hampered my speed coming out of Turn 12.
So from what we just demonstrated, moving your brake bias towards the front helps with heavy straight-line braking, whilst moving it towards the rear will help with trailbraking into corners and that will help rotate the car better. Although we did demonstrate this with a race car that has decent downforce levels, this fundamental principle can be applied to any car.
So we encourage you to try playing around with your brake bias and make sure to check out TrackTitan.io to help get in-depth analysis of how you can improve your lap time.