The track is fairly simple in the dry. This all changes when the rain starts to fall. Corners such as turn 2 and turn 5 are no longer flat out, and much more care needs to be taken in the braking zones.
One way to make things a little easier on yourself is to make sure that you have the right setup.
Higher levels of downforce are always required when a track is wet. However, the extent to which you need to pile on the wing angle in Melbourne is greater than at almost any other circuit.
I suggest running 8-11 wings. Of course, if you don’t think you’ll be starting near the front of the field, it would be better to run lower wings than this to maximise what little overtaking chances there are at a wet Australian Grand Prix.
Stability is very hard to come by when the rain falls at Albert Park. One of the most effective ways to set your car up to be stable is to use 50% on-throttle differential.
For your off-throttle however, a relatively low 65% gives really nice rotation in the slower corners of the circuit. Running a higher off-throttle setting would make the car more stable, but not by very much.
Once again, this part of the setup is designed to give you a car which is as easy to drive as it can be.
For your camber, running -2.50 and -1.00 is the best way to achieve this.
Similarly, a front toe of 0.05 with a rear toe of 0.50 helps to stabilise the car.
Running high amounts of rear toe isn’t what I would usually recommend, as the stability gains tend to be negligible. However, around here I found it to be rather more effective than elsewhere.
This suspension is designed to give you, you guessed it, yet more stability.
Running the minimum values for your suspension stiffness helps to ensure that the car behaves itself on the wet surface as well as over the kerbs. Therefore, I recommend going with 1-1 here.
For the anti-roll bars I would usually suggest a stiffer front setting than I have gone with here. However, the predictability of the car which is afforded by running 3-9 is too valuable to give up, even if you will pick up mid-corner understeer on occasion.
Ride height, as per usual in the wet, needs to be very high. 9-11 works well for me, as it prevents the car from becoming twitchy on the variable track surface.
Brakes, as at every circuit in every condition, are a matter of personal taste. I like to use 100% brake pressure and then to balance it out with 50% brake bias so that my front tyres don’t constantly lock.
However, you may well find that 100% brake pressure is a little difficult to handle. If this is the case for you, feel free to run a lower brake pressure setting. Comfort is key.
Over-inflated tyres will not help you in the wet. While they would make the car more responsive, with responsiveness comes twitchiness and unpredictability.
As such, I recommend running 21.4psi on the fronts along with 19.5psi on the rears. With these pressures you should find yourself better able to handle the car.
It is incredibly difficult to find a setup which keeps the car stable in a wet Albert Park. Because of this, I’ve really thrown everything and the kitchen sink towards the goal of a car which won’t spin you out.
However, the best way to deal with this issue is to drive within the limits of the car, so drive safe!