The Singapore street circuit is a labyrinth of corners that seems to never end. With 23 corners and two serious straights it's like Monaco and Baku have combined. Singapore requires a terrifically balanced car and favours a strong chassis and aero setup over power. So how can you get the best out of your car?
We have set the wings to 8-8 to provide more downforce and stability through all the turns, especially the final sector and the last corner that sweeps onto the pit straight. There are a lot of slow corners and moments where you have to accelerate or brake while turning, so the increased stability is a necessity.
The transmission setting defines how power is distributed between the rear wheels and into the tarmac. A locked differential forces the rear tyres to rotate at the same rate while an unlocked one will allow them to rotate more freely. Here we have locked the on throttle differential ever so slightly to help with traction, but with all the corners we need to take it easy on the tyres, and so the off throttle differential is more unlocked to allow for better turn in and tyre life.
This part of the setup describes how the tyres are aligned to the body of the car. Camber is their vertical alignment, and all F1 cars are set with negative camber which means the top of the tyre is closer to the body than the bottom is. This improves cornering grip, which is something we really want in Singapore. We have added a few clicks of camber, but too much and the tyres will wear extremely quickly.
Toe is the tyres horizontal alignment. Front tyres have toe out, meaning they are pointing away from each other and toward the corner. This aids turn in and is again something we want to add. Rear tyres have toe in, which helps counter the instability in straight lines caused by the front tyre alignment, so we have added some of that too. In time trial setups you'll find a lot of extreme geometry settings, but they wear the tyres far too much for a race. This is a nice compromise between tyre life and ultimate pace.
Singapore is not overly bumpy, but we do have to take to the kerbs a lot to maximise the racing line. We also don't have to change direction at speed too much, meaning softer suspension settings are helpful as they help tyre life. We have gone with a 4-4 setup that is just marginally stiffer than Monaco.
Like Monaco, our anti-roll bars are on the extreme end of stiffness, especially at the front. We need to be able to change direction in a hurry, especially in the final part of the lap, and by not allowing lateral weight transfer we can do that. This is the harshest part of the setup on the tyres, so if you are struggling with tyre life then start by softening the front anti-roll bars.
The ride height is set to 3-4 to create a rake which generates oversteer. This can make some of the more extreme kerbs tricky, but it helps down the straights which will be a nice bonus when it comes to race day as you can fend off faster cars more easily.
There are not too many huge braking points in Singapore. The only big one is turn 7 after the DRS zone of Raffles Boulevard. That is the main overtaking point so you want stopping power into it, but with such little run off space around the lap it is best not to put the pressure too high. We have gone with 86 percent, but beware of locking up into turn 13 after the Anderson Bridge, where the right hand kink makes braking tricky.
Brake bias is moved slightly rearward to 58 percent as this again creates a little oversteer to help us get the nose into the corners.
Front tyre pressure is increased to 23.4psi to improve responsiveness. This does increase temperatures and wear though, so again if you are struggling for tyre life on the fronts this is an easy place to get some of it back.
On the rears we have reduced pressure slightly to 21.1psi so that we increase the contact patch with the ground and get some more traction.
Finally, we move the weight distribution slightly rearward to 7. Again this is to help with traction and acceleration while it also creates a touch of oversteer to get us into the corners.
There is our setup for Singapore. A tough and demanding track that goes on and on. This setup provides a good balance between ultimate pace and tyre life for race day, allowing you to maximise stints and still push in a 50 percent race distance. See you on the time sheets!
Singapore Grand Prix Wet Lap Setup
Front Wing: 10
Rear Wing: 11
On Throttle: 65%
Off Throttle: 70%
Front Camber: -2.80
Rear Camber: -1.30
Front Toe: 0.08
Rear Toe: 0.29
Front Suspension: 4
Rear Suspension: 4
Front Anti-Roll Bar: 9
Rear Anti-Roll Bar: 7
Front Ride Height: 4
Rear Ride Height: 5
Brake Pressure: 85%
Front Brake Bias: 55%
Front Tyre Pressure: 23.4 psi
Rear Tyre Pressure: 21.1 psi