The Monaco Grand Prix is often called the crown jewel of Formula 1.
It draws stars and celebrities to it, sponsors love the lavish lifestyle that can be seen everywhere. But the tight corners and close barriers create a disappointing race for fans and a frustrating day for drivers.
Track position is all important at Monaco and the tyres are constantly on the verge of melting. The lack of overtaking places means you have to maximise performance in qualifying while also trying to protect tyres on Sunday.
These conflicting needs can lead to a lot of setup confusion, so how should you tweak your car for the always difficult race?
We have gone with almost the maximum wing angle in this setup. The 10-11 setting provides plenty of stability and bite on turn-in. While the 11-11 setting is tempting we need to try and pick up some speed down the pit straight and through the tunnel as these are the only 2 possible passing points.
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Tyre protection is the name of the game. With the number of corners here we don’t want the outside tyre to be dragging too much while the number of acceleration zones means we have to go with an extremely unlocked setup to stop those rears going off too quickly. Our 50% on-throttle and 65% off-throttle should do the job.
In qualifying you can lock the differential a bit more to improve traction, but during the race you are trying to win in the slowest time possible and must do a 1-stop strategy, so preserving the tyres is key.
This is a very tricky part of the setup at any race, but Monaco asks for a unique process.
The lack of long corners outside of Tabac means we don’t stress the tyres too much on one corner, but the number of them can really impact the temperatures and wear if we don’t take care of them within the setup.
Our camber angles of -3.30 & -1.80 increase the contact patch when cornering, helping dissipate heat more evenly. It does reduce straight line speed a little but there is no long straight to worry about.
Our toe is set to 0.12 & 0.38 to increase responsiveness on turn-in and stability when we put our foot down. Again this does hurt straight line speed but it lets us carry a bit more speed through the corners, especially through the final sector.
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F1 2019 favours soft suspension, which is very useful for us around Monaco. The bumps and elevation changes, along with the need to take a lot of kerbing, means the softest possible suspension of 1-1 is best here.
The anti-roll bars have been set to 5-4. This is a compromise between ultimate speed and tyre protection. Stiffer anti-roll bars would help us flick through the chicanes but they would overload the tyres and increase wear. This is a nice middle ground.
Ride height is set to 4-5. This creates a rake that helps keep the car pointy, and the higher height lets the areo bite a little more and makes riding the kerbs at the neuvelle chicane and swimming pool easier..
Stopping is vital at Monaco as the price of failing to stop is a broken front wing at the very least. We have gone with a 90% brake pressure to help with that. If you don’t use the ABS assist this will probably result in too many lockups so a value in the 80’s will be better.
Brake bias is set to 54% to keep the front responsive. This can be changed in-race and moving it forward will help reduce stopping distance at the cost of some understeer.
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For ultimate one-lap pace you want higher tyre pressures, but the lower ones of 22.6 psi & 20.7 psi help to spread heat out and protect the tyres from excessive wear.
So that’s our setup for Monaco. It provides solid enough one lap pace for qualifying and should let you extend stints and run a 1 stop race to maintain track position and give you the best chance of winning.
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