F1 2020: How to Race in the Wet – Setups, driving style, fuel mix & more
Many drivers see the rain as a bad thing. Here’s how to see it as an opportunity instead.
Using a wet setup
The first thing to do at any Grand Prix is to get your setup nailed. A good setup can work wonders for your pace and consistency.
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In the wet, a good setup is ever more vital. Certain tweaks to your usual setups can transform them into full blown wet setups.
The most important aspect of any wet setup is the ride height. Raising your ride height makes a huge difference in keeping your car stable, and preventing it from sliding. Often, you’ll want to go all the way to the maximum ride height settings.
Your wing settings might need to change as well. In general, a high angle on the rear wing with a relatively low angle on the front gives you great stability in the traction zones.
Tyre pressures are another aspect of setup which tends to differ in the wet. Soggy conditions call for lower tyre pressures, especially on the rears. This will allow the rear tyres to provide you with smoother traction out of low speed corners.
Gently does it
In terms of driving style, a soft touch on the brakes and especially the throttle is of the utmost importance.
Try to build up your throttle application on the exit of corners in a steady manner. Going straight from zero to one hundred will cause the rear end to kick out, and you’ll be in the wall in no time.
Imagine there’s an egg under your throttle pedal or trigger that you don’t want to break, and slowly squeeze the pedal until the wheelspin disappears.
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Brakes are a similar story. If you jam on the brakes with maximum force, you’ll lock up and your car won’t slow down in time. Instead, brake a little earlier, and adjust the force with which you’re applying the brakes as you get closer to the corner.
Hot laps are nice but consistency is key. Don’t feel the need to push flat out lap after lap, as this will only make it more likely for you to make a fatal error. Try to consistently lap at around 90% of your maximum, and slowly build your confidence from there.
Running lower fuel
Taking a bit of extra fuel out of the car before a wet race is usually a good idea. A lighter car will be far nimbler in the wet, and you can save fuel by running lean fuel mix during the race.
Lean fuel mix is often faster in wet conditions. This is because an engine running on lean fuel will transmit less power to the rear tyres when accelerating, which prevents wheelspin.
If you can manage it, running lean on the exits of slower corners will give you a significant pace advantage. Not only that; your rear tyres will thank you for it too!
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True mastery of the wet won’t come without practice. It takes time to learn exactly how to maximise your car in slippery conditions, but following this guide will have you headed in the right direction. Soon enough, you’ll be relishing the rain!