One of two additions to the original F1 2020 calendar, the Hanoi Street Circuit in Vietnam poses a rather unique challenge.
It’s a difficult circuit to learn, and setup can make a big difference around here.
As the track is so new, the perfect setups are yet to be found. The search for them is made harder by the fact that tyre wear is a very real problem in Hanoi. Nonetheless, this setup will help you find some speed and stability in Vietnam.
Wing settings at Hanoi are more a matter of personal preference than anything. That being said, you’ll want low enough downforce for the long flat out sections, while still having enough grip to manage the third sector.
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I’ve found that 4-7 wings do the trick for me. Running a higher rear wing than rear wing gives you the ability to floor the throttle earlier on corner exits.
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What’s more, this setting is low enough to compete on the straights without the car understeering into one of Vietnam’s many walls.
The performance loss from tyre drop-off is enormous at Hanoi. Therefore, it’s important to do what you can to limit wear.
In order to do this, I recommend running 50% for on-throttle differential. This also helps with stability on the exits of the slower corners, which are especially tricky at this track.
Off-throttle is a more complex issue. I've gone with 60%, as this will give you plenty of rotation without rendering the car unstable.
Front camber is a major problem point in Vietnam. Balancing between a setup which is easy on the tyres and one which allows you to sustain the necessary speeds in the final sector is tough.
Going with -2.90 for the fronts and -1.40 for the rears is the best way to achieve this balance.
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For toe, I’ve gone for a setup which will help you in the longer corners such as turn 2. A front toe of 0.05 with 0.20 on the rears also limits tyre wear.
A responsive car is a happy car in Vietnam. As such, stiff springs are a very appealing prospect.
However, overly stiff springs lead to more tyre wear. Not only that, they cause issues when navigating the various high kerbs that the circuit confronts you with.
Nevertheless, a relatively stiff 5-8 for the front and rear suspension should do the trick. If you're finding the car difficult to handle over the kerbs, try softening your suspension a little.
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The anti-roll bars present a similar conundrum. Stiffer anti-roll bars will allow you to really throw you car around in the final sector, but the tyres won’t thank you for it.
With that in mind, I suggest using 6-9 for the front and rear respectively. The benefit provided by these settings through the final section of the lap outweighs the problem of increased tyre wear.
Ride height is a far simpler matter. 3-5 will give you the clearance you need, without totally compromising your aerodynamic efficiency.
As Vietnam has some of the most difficult braking zones on the calendar, I'm deviating from my usual brake setup here. I recommend 95% brake pressure along with 50% brake bias.
You should find that you still have plenty of stopping power, but you won't have to worry so much about lockups.
Like with suspension, choosing which way to go on Tyres is very difficult. The extra responsiveness a high-pressure tyre brings would be very valuable.
Unfortunately, it’s never that simple. Higher pressures lead to higher temperatures, which can make the car almost undrivable.
I’ve found that 22.6psi on the fronts is low enough to keep them in the temperature window. 20.3psi for the rears works well as it helps with stability during acceleration as well as with temperatures.
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Vietnam is a very tough circuit where responsiveness, traction stability, and tyre wear are all huge factors. With this setup, I hope you will find the balance between these three things that you will need to succeed.