The Azerbaijan street circuit hasn’t been on the calendar for very long but it has quickly become a fan favourite thanks to its high speeds, overtaking points, and close barriers leading to a lot of exciting racing and flying carbon fibre.
On F1 2019 the Baku streets are a collection of annoying shadows, 90-degree corners, and long, flatout, blasts. It makes balancing a setup trickier than you would think, as a pure top speed setup leaves you too unresponsive in the corners, especially the super-tight castle section.
So how should you set your car up for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix?
READ MORE: All F1 2019 setup guides
Straight line speed needs to be balanced with responsiveness and stability when cornering.
As a result the best wing angle setting is a 3-5 one. This keeps the front active enough to slow down and turn in, while the rear can handle you flooring it out of the corners.
With a lot of slow corners, the rear tyres take a pounding around Baku. As a result we have to compromise with our transmission settings more than almost anywhere else.
Our on-throttle differential is set to 55%. This isn’t optimal for one lap so you should push it up in qualifying but for the race it will help protect the rears and prolong their life so you still have traction late into a stint.
The off-throttle differential is 85%. This allows the rears to rotate a little more freely when braking and cornering, especially useful because of how many kerbs we ride here, but keeps them relatively close together to make hitting the loud pedal easier.
READ MORE: How to reduce tyre wear
With this circuit beings so rear-limited in terms of tyre wear we are free to extract some extra performance from the front tyres with our suspension geometry settings.
The camber has been set to -2.70 & -1.20 to provide speed through the corners without overheating one small patch too much. Toe has been completely taken away with a 0.05, 0.20 setting as this maximises straight line speed, albeit at the cost of some stability when exiting corners.
This is always a tricky part of the setup. We have to ride a lot of kerbs around the lap, which means soft suspension is better. We have gone with a 1-1 setting as this is usually the optimal one in F1 2019 and allows us to take the bumps a little smoother.
Anti-roll bars are set to 5-6. Having the rear stiffer than the front means it will step out less, countering some of the lack of stability we creates with our toe. This isn’t as stiff as it could be for one lap pace but any more and the tyres will start to be negatively affected on long runs.
Ride height is at 3-4. This limits some kerb-riding but it keeps the car low and fast down the straights, vital for overtaking and defending around Baku.
READ MORE: How to drive without traction control
With a number of big stopping areas around this lap you need high brake pressure. We have gone with an 85% setting to ensure we get stopped without locking up too much. Your brakes will be very cold coming into turn 1 so this is a frequent lock up spot.
The brake bias is set to 56% to help limit the heat exposure to the rears and also to help with stopping distance.
Tyre pressure directly relates to wear as it changes the contact patch and thus how heat is distributed across the tyre. We have set the front tyres to 23.4 psi to extract a bit more performance from them. This will keep the front more responsive. The rears are at 21.5 psi to provide some traction and look after the temperatures. If the rears are going off too quickly consider lowering the pressure.
READ MORE: Beginner’s tips & tricks
So that’s our setup for Azerbaijan. It is something of a compromised Monza setup and should be as close to your one for the Italian Grand Prix as you can bear. The slipstream and DRS are all-powerful around this circuit, but if you can’t get through the castle consistently you won’t be going too far in this race, so don’t go taking all the aerodynamic performance off in hopes of flying passed everyone on the back straight.
Want to share your opinion? Why not Write For Us?