The circuit Paul Richard has only been back on the Formula 1 calendar since 2018, but it is already a firm favourite among F1 gamers thanks to its fast flowing, forgiving circuit and the number of overtaking chances it provides.
All that changes in the wet though, when the quick switchbacks and flatout corners become a minefield to navigate on every lap.
The long mistral straight creates overtaking chances still, but the entrance and exit to it become much trickier. Meanwhile, the final sector that was tough to get right before becomes almost impossible to get through without a slide.
In the dry this race needs a low-drag setup that protects tyres but is ultimately all about straight line speed, in the wet we need something very different indeed.
With long corners and a few slow ones we need some extra wing angle compared to the dry setup. The 6-11 setting we have gone with provides plenty of rear stability, especially useful through the long bends when you want to get the power down.
It also has enough bite at the front to get your into the slower corners without holding you back too much down the straights.
While you should avoid kerbs in the wet, you will inevitably take to them around this track as they are far more forgiving and the nature of the track makes extending the boundaries far more likely than elsewhere.
Because of that, and the lack of grip wet weather creates, we have gone with a 50% on-throttle differential to make getting on the power more consistently.
The 60% off-throttle differential keeps the rear wheels nearer to each other in their rotation when you hit the brakes and coast through some of the corners, making it easier to get the power down but also reducing the amount of drag on the tyres when cornering.
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Thanks to the long straights to cool the tyres and the kind nature of our suspension settings we can extract a bit more performance from the rubber directly with the geometry settings.
We have set the cambers to -2.50 & -1.00. This maximises cornering pace while the toe setting of 0.05 & 0.20 keeps our top speed as high as possible. This will massively stress dry tyres though so if the race is likely to be a mix of wet & dry running then be prepared to compromise this part of the setup first.
Our suspension is set ultrasoft at 1-1 to help the car lean back onto the rears when we accelerate. It will also lunge forward on the brakes, but that is not much of a problem. With this setting we can ride the kerbs, especially useful when trying to overtake into the mistral chicane.
Anti-roll bars are set to 5-7. This keeps the rear in-line with the front a bit more and prevents the rear trying to swap ends quite so much.
Ride height is set to 7-11. This creates an enormous rake on the car that aids us in every corner. It can make us a little less competitive down the straights but not so much as to be a problem.
Brake pressure is set a little lower than you might expect, at 80%This is because the final sector is full of little squeezes on the brake pedal that a high pressure would make much trickier. A lockup in the wet is punished severely so we don’t want to go too far beyond this.
Brake bias is set to 54% to keep the front end responsive when we hit the brake pedal. This can be moved forward during the race to provide a little extra stopping power when you are lining up an overtake.
Tyre pressures directly relate to wear and temperatures. We have deflated the tyres a bit to help with traction and life span, but we have to keep some air in them so the car maintains responsiveness. We have gone with 22.2 psi on the front and 20.7 psi on the rear.
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So that’s our wet setup for Circuit Paul Ricard. This track doesn’t bite too much but the technical nature of the final sector is a real challenge in the wet and requires a setup you have confidence in. This one provides stability on the rear when exiting corners with enough turn-in to stay precise at speed.
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