F1 2020: US Grand Prix Wet Setup Guide – Career, my team, time trial

It doesn’t rain too often at COTA. When it does, you had best be ready for it – here’s how to stay in control.

by Jacob Hancox
f1 2020 usa wet setup

The Circuit of the Americas has played host to the US Grand Prix in F1 since 2012. In that time, there has been rainfall during a race weekend just once – in 2015.

COTA is an interesting track. It presents you with a wide variety of corner types. This means that it’s absolutely critical to ensure that you have just the right setup, even more so in the wet.

Aerodynamics

A medium downforce circuit in the dry, such as COTA, becomes a fairly high downforce circuit in the wet, as more aerodynamic grip is required to deal with the tricky conditions.

F1 2020 US wet wings

Specifically, I would run 4-9 wings around here. This will have you understeering a little through the first sector, but the stability the setup provides you with more than makes up for that.

Transmission

F1 2020 US wet transmission

An on-throttle differential setting of 50% is a must-have at any wet race. It gives you a far easier time during traction than you would usually have.

For the off-throttle setting, I’ve gone for 70%. This is low enough to help the car with rotation through the corners but not so low that the car becomes unstable in the turns themselves.

Suspension Geometry

Opting not to run much camber has a similar effect to running a fairly high off-throttle differential setting insofar as it brings stability mid-corner at the cost of performance.

F1 2020 US wet sus geo

Once again, I believe this is a trade-off well worth making. As such, I recommend using -2.50 and -1.00 camber settings.

For the toe of the wheels, the minimum settings of 0.05 and 0.20 work really nicely during sustained cornering situations at little cost.

Suspension

Of course, it’s beneficial to run a soft suspension setup in wet conditions, to ensure that the car remains predictable.

F1 2020 US wet suspension

However, you can’t go all the way to 1 for your front and rear suspension stiffness as you will find your car incredibly sluggish through the first sector. 2-3 is about as low as I would recommend going here.

For your anti-roll bars, I suggest 9-9. This helps to keep the car from washing wide halfway around a corner, which is a major issue in the wet if left unchecked.

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A high ride height is crucial in the wet. 9-11 gives you plenty of clearance over the slippery track below.

Brakes

F1 2020 US wet brakes

I always like to run 100% brake pressure along with 50% brake bias in F1 2020. I find that it gives me the best stopping power without causing me to lock up my front tyres too often.

However, everybody is different. If you prefer a softer brake pedal, then feel free to run a lower brake pressure than I have suggested. It’s all about personal preference for the brakes.

Tyres

Tyre pressures, however, are less open for negotiation. Lower tyre pressures help you to maintain a stable, predictable car in conditions which are anything but.

F1 2020 US wet tyres

Therefore, going with 22.2psi on the fronts along with 19.5psi for the rears is the way to go in Austin.

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With this setup, you should find that your car can handle any challenge a rain-soaked COTA can throw at it with ease.

Jacob Hancox

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