The German Grand Prix can see a lot of rain despite it being held in the middle of summer, and the nature of the Hockenheim circuit makes it almost impossible to compete in wet weather on a dry setup.
The tight hairpin, the laps best overtaking spot, becomes a tricky braking zone in the rain, while the tight stadium section is a minefield that can ensnare even the best drivers. This years race saw Charles Leclerc slide off and retire while Lewis Hamilton was only just able to save his car after two spins. Valtteri Bottas fell foul of a wet patch at turn 1 and had a nasty crash.
The best way to avoid ending up in the barriers here is to be prepared. The weather predictions are good in F1 2019, so if it says there will be heavy rain then be ready for it. It is worth sacrificing some performance in a dry qualifying if the race is going to be run entirely on the blue-walled wet tyres.
This is our setup for a wet race at the German Grand Prix.
The main struggle with this part of the setup is to balance turn-in and cornering stability with ultimate pace. In the wet there is only really one overtaking spot at the hairpin, so you need to have the top speed to attack and defend, but there are a lot of tricky corner entries when the rain comes so you need some extra front wing. We have gone with a 4-8 setting that keeps the front nice and responsive when you put it in to the stadium section, while the rear is stable when you try to fly through turn 1 and it keeps you planted on the double-apex final corner.
The transmission setting dictates how power is delivered through the rear wheels. We have unlocked the on-throttle differential to 54%. This makes accelerating on uneven surfaces and differing grip levels easier, but lessens ultimate traction. You can move it during the race though, especially useful if you go for a move at the hairpin and need a little more traction at a crucial time.
The off-throttle differential is set to 82%. This is more locked than a lot of our setups as it again helps with traction. The lack of prolonged corners here means tyres aren't dragging too much, and wear isn't really an issue here.
Because tyre wear isn't an issue we have gone with the most optimal camber and toe settings to maximise pace. Front camber is set to -2.50 while rear camber is at -1.00. This produces higher cornering speed at the cost of some extra wear.
Front toe is set to 0.05, as our front wing will provide enough turn-in. The rear toe is set to 0.20 as the rear wing has enough downforce to keep the rear planted and stable.
The suspension settings are crucial to the handling of the car. We have set the suspension to its softest possible setting of 1-1 which helps protect the tyres but also keep the car balanced over the kerbs that you will inevitably take to at some point.
The anti-roll bars are set to 5-8. This helps with change of direction in the final sector as well as the flick through the turns 8, 9, & 10.
Ride height is set to 6-9. This might feel high but it gives the rear wing room to work and creates the rake you need to be precise into the corners.
The brake pressure has been set to 85%. This keeps the car competitive into the hairpin while not penalising you too much for dabbing the brakes between corners.
The brake bias is set at 56%. This leaves the front end relatively responsive while also helping to get you stopped. You can move it forward in the race if you need a little extra.
Tyre pressure directly relates to wear. We are extracting performance with the camber settings so we should protect the rubber with the pressures. We have set them to the lowest pressure allowable at 21.0 psi & 19.5 psi, this helps control wear but also aids traction.
So that is our setup for a wet race at the German Grand Prix. It provides enough top end speed to compete with the stability and consistency to stay on the track.