The Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne is an interesting track and the first race in F1 2020. As such, it’s important to get a nice setup down straight away.
A fun blend of high and low speed corners, long straights and a couple of hefty kerbs means that any setup around here will be an exercise in the art of compromise.
Here is a setup that will help you get the best out of each part of the track!
Wing settings are the first ‘trade-off’ you will have to make in your setup.
As the majority of the corners are taken at high-speed, you will need a decent chunk of front wing. However, as there are 5 straights worthy of the name, you can’t simply pile on the downforce.
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Running 5-4 wings hits the sweet spot. Having a higher angle on the front wing gives the car the responsiveness it needs for you to really commit to the famous turns 11 and 12, and the overall downforce levels are low enough that you won’t find yourself lacking on the straights.
Outright traction is not a matter of utmost importance in Melbourne.
Therefore, there is no reason not to run the differential as unlocked as possible, as doing so will help the stability of the car while keeping your tyre wear in check.
The minimum setting, 50%, for both your on-throttle and off-throttle differential has no major drawbacks, while giving you the assurance that you can floor the loud pedal without ending up in the barrier.
Camber of the wheels, especially the fronts, is a matter of huge importance.
Maximising the negative camber at the front would give the best performance over one lap, but it would shred the front tyres at a circuit where the front-left is the limiting factor. Therefore, I recommend going for -3.10 for the fronts, while -1.40 will suffice for the rears.
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When it comes to toe, there’s no need to go overboard. Adjusting the front toe to 0.11 will help you to get the nose of the car into the corners nicely. For the rears 0.38 is the way to go, as the slight loss of traction is worth it for the bonus stability.
Albert Park is a fairly bumpy circuit, and it has its fair share of chunky kerbs.
To accommodate for this, it is important to run a soft suspension setup. 4-2 will allow you to ride the kerbs without issue, while also helping to keep tyre wear low.
The anti-roll bars are less critical. 5-5 is enough to prevent the car from lurching towards the outside of the longer corners, while facilitating earlier throttle application. This is especially beneficial in the final corner of the lap, turn 16.
Ride height, like suspension stiffness, needs to take the kerbs into account. 5-6 may seem quite high, but the car will glide around the circuit and the top speed losses due to drag are relatively minimal.
100% brake pressure seems to be the way to go on F1 2020.
As a result of this, it is important to slide the brake bias rearwards to around 53%. If you don’t, you’ll find the fronts locking into turns 3 and 9 lap after lap.
As I mentioned earlier, Albert Park is a front tyre limited circuit.
In particular, the abundance of fast right-handed turns will give your front left tyre a very hard time.
To compensate, I recommend lowering the front left tyre pressure to 22.2psi, while having the front right at 22.6psi. The rears suffer less around here, so upping the pressures slightly to 21.9psi won’t cause any problems.
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With this setup, you should find yourself full of confidence in your car around Albert Park.
The car will handle the various lumps and bumps like a champion, and you’ll be able to really attack the circuit without having to worry about your tyres too much.