The Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort has finally made its return to the F1 calendar. While the 2020 race was unfortunately cancelled, fans can still fly around the circuit in Codemasters’ F1 2020.
The track itself feels like a rollercoaster, with all its undulations. When you get it just right, you feel like a superhero. Here’s a setup to help you do just that.
Even though Zandvoort doesn’t have much in the way of actual straights, it does have plenty of high-speed sections. Because of this, the optimal wing settings are lower than you might expect.
For me, 4-6 wings give amazing stability without making the car too draggy. The higher rear wing angle helps to keep the rear of the car planted, while there is still enough on the front to get you turned in.
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However, if you’re playing My Team or Career Mode and your car isn’t on the level of a Mercedes just yet, then you may want to consider raising these wing levels slightly.
As ever, running a 50% on-throttle differential setting is key to your car’s stability, and loses you little in the way of outright speed.
For the off-throttle, 75% is what I’ve gone with. Lower values would give you more rotation in the longer corners, of which Zandvoort has several, but it makes the car much harder to handle.
Front camber is a matter of compromise here. Taking the minimum camber angle would help with turn in, but it would hinder you towards the end of longer corners.
Therefore, staying with -3.00 front camber strikes a nice balance between the two. Rear camber is less significant, but once again sticking with the default -1.50 gives the best results.
Toe is another matter. Going all the way to the minimum on both front and rear toe helps you in those ever-critical long corners, so I suggest 0.05 and 0.20.
Zandvoort is not a smooth track, and there are many kerbs which you will find yourself riding throughout the lap.
To help with these issues, I recommend running a very soft suspension setup. I’ve personally gone for 1-2. The soft front suspension will also help you with your front tyre wear.
For the same reason, it’s better to also run a soft front anti-roll bar. I’ve gone for 3, as any lower would compromise your turn in too much. For the rear anti-roll bar, 9 provides a nice counter balance to the soft front bar.
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As I mentioned, the circuit is bumpy with many a vicious kerb. As such, running 3-5 on the ride height is about the minimum you can get away with.
If you find yourself struggling with stability, you may want to raise your ride height a little.
100% brake pressure gives you the best stopping power, which is invaluable if you can handle it. Such a high pressure does make front locking an issue, unless you adjust your brake balance rearward.
For this reason, I would go all the way to 50% brake bias. Not only does this help with front locking into heavy braking zones like turn 3, it also helps you to rotate the car around the slower corners nicely.
I’ve investigated a few different options for tyre pressures, but none of them work as well as the default for me around Zandvoort.
You may want to lower your front left pressure a little if you’re struggling with wear, but otherwise I suggest simply using 23.0psi for the fronts, and 21.5psi for the rears.
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Zandvoort is one of the most satisfying circuits on the calendar when you get it right, and little setup tricks like running 50% brake bias will go a surprisingly long way in helping you to perfect the circuit.