The Suzuka International Circuit in Japan is one of the tracks on the F1 calendar that is most likely to be affected by rain. Indeed, in 2019 the whole race weekend was almost called off in the face of a typhoon!
If the rain does start to fall at Suzuka for you, using this setup will improve your performance in the wet conditions significantly.
At Suzuka, front end grip is very important, especially in the first sector of the lap.
However, an overly ‘pointy’ car becomes very difficult to drive in the wet. Therefore, a balanced wing setup of 4-9 is the way to go in Japan.
For your on-throttle setting, 50% is optimal. This gives you great stability under traction which is essential in the rain.
Off-throttle is a slightly more complex matter. 70% is a nice compromise between a lower setting which would yield greater outright performance, and a higher setting which would ensure the car’s stability through the corners.
Another way to make sure that the car remains stable through the corners is to run low levels of camber.
The benefit to stability provided by running -2.50 and -1.00 camber settings far outweighs the performance cost through the medium and high-speed corners.
Running low toe settings helps in sustained cornering situations, of which there are plenty at Suzuka. Therefore, I recommend using 0.05 and 0.20.
Your suspension settings are the key to finding the right wet setup for your car.
For the suspension itself, a relatively soft 2-3 gives your car enough responsiveness in the corners without the car becoming twitchy and unpredictable.
Stiff anti-roll bars are very helpful in the wet, as the car tends to ‘roll’ more in these conditions. 8-10 gives me the best balance and helps to prevent the car from understeering mid corner.
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For your ride height, 10-11 is what I recommend. This gives your car plenty of clearance so that it can ride the wet surface and also the kerbs without any issues.
As ever, my recommendation is to run 100% brake pressure with 50% brake bias so as to prevent front locking.
If you find that you're struggling with the brakes using these settings, try lowering the brake pressure until you’re comfortable with it.
Running lower tyre pressures is beneficial in the wet.
Specifically, I’ve gone for 21.8psi for the fronts with 19.5psi for the rears as this gives me the best balance. Additionally, the lower tyre pressures on the rears helps to provide you with smoother traction.
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Suzuka is a real drivers circuit, perhaps even more so in the wet. With this setup, you’ll be able to compete with the best at one of the finest tracks in F1.