Monza, situated near Milan in the north of Italy, is one of the jewels in the F1 calendar. Not only is it the spiritual home of Formula 1’s most legendary team, Ferrari, it’s the track with the highest average speed across the course of a single lap.
A low downforce circuit on a rainy day is a recipe for disaster – unless you have the right setup.
Due to the wet conditions, you’ll need to run more downforce than you usually would in Monza. However, the straights still dominate the circuit, so you can’t just pile on the wing angle.
The best aerodynamics setup is 2-6 for the wings. This will give you enough stability under traction, as well as plenty of turn in when you need it to prevent you from understeering off the road through the Parabolica.
Rear end stability remains of utmost importance at a wet Italian Grand Prix, as getting your traction zones nailed is critical for your lap times.
Therefore, an on-throttle differential setting of 50% will give you the best results. For your off-throttle setting, I recommend 60% to help you to rotate the car despite the low levels of downforce.
On most wet circuits, I would recommend running your camber as close to 0 as possible.
However, this is not the case for Monza. Mid corner stability isn’t too much of an issue around here, and so -2.70 and -1.20 are low enough levels of camber to keep you on the road.
For your toe, 0.05 and 0.20 really help you through the longer corners, especially the Parabolica.
A fairly soft suspension setup is helpful in the wet as it generally helps the car’s stability.
Furthermore, you’ll want to ride some of the kerbs in Monza and a stiff suspension would prevent you from doing so. Therefore, 2-4 is my suspension setup recommendation.
The anti-roll bars will do a fair amount of work through the corners here, so running them on the stiffer end of things is important. I’ve found that 6-8 works really nicely here.
Your ride height won’t need to be so high here as at some other wet circuits. In fact, keeping it as low as possible helps to mitigate drag, which is very helpful in Monza.
6-8 should give you enough clearance for a stable car without lowering your top speeds too much.
For the brakes, it’s all about personal preference. I love running 100% brake pressure with 50% brake bias, as I feel that this gives me the highest potential stopping power.
If you aren’t comfortable with this setup, lowering the brake pressure is the way to go.
Low tyre pressures and wet conditions go hand in hand.
For your fronts, 22.2psi works nicely as it keeps a degree of responsiveness at the front end of the car without it becoming twitchy. For the rears, 19.5psi gives the smoothest traction.
Monza is a fairly easy circuit to drive in the dry. In the wet, this all changes. With this setup, though, you’ll find it’s not that much more difficult after all.