The Sochi Autodrom first hosted a Grand Prix in 2014, the same year the Winter Olympics were held at the Black Sea resort city. The circuit has remained unchanged during the past five years, incorporating a mix of high speed corners and street circuit-like tight 90-degree bends.
The race is seen as being relatively pedestrian by Formula 1’s high standards, but when you add rain into the mix, the action is ramped up. The billiard table-smooth track surface is transformed into an ice rink, as grip is at an absolute premium.
Like always, setup is key. You can be as quick as the esports competitors, but if your car isn‘t tuned correctly you won’t be fast. Rain is not common here in career mode, but online races love to throw rain at you in weird situations so you have to be prepared. Here’s our guide to the best setup in wet conditions in F1 2019!
READ MORE: All F1 2019 setup guides
In the dry, you normally opt for a low front wing angle and a relatively high rear wing angle around Sochi, but that all changes in the wet. You need a higher front wing angle with the wet and intermediate tyres, mainly due to the slower and tighter corners, which are impossible to round on a low downforce setup.
I usually go for around 7 on the front and 8 on the rear in heavy rain conditions. You can get away with less, but the car is unstable, which is fine for time trial, but during a race, this will ruin your tyres.
READ MORE: F1 2019: Russian GP Track Guide
Transmission dictates how much grip you have when on and off the throttle, which is very important in the wet. You have to go middle of the park for on-throttle differential, as you need outright grip but it also is essential for the rear end not to snap on you out of slow speed corners.
For the off-throttle transmission, it has to be fully locked or close to fully locked, you should be able to keep the car under control when lifting off of the loud peddle.
READ MORE: F1 2019: Russian GP Setup Guide
Camber and toe angles need to be very low for Russia, for a number of reasons. First of all, tyre wear isn’t an issue here, you can run the entire race on a set of hards or full wets and secondly, you have to maximise the grip available to you, and low angles help with this hugely.
If your driving style is more aggressive than most, then increase these angles, if you’re struggling with tyre wear, this will probably be the cause.
READ MORE: F1 2019: Russian GP Overtaking Guide
You won’t be using the kerbs too much around here, especially in the wet, but when you do, you have to be able to control the car when you do make a mistake and run wide. I went for 4 on the front and 3 on the rear, on the soft side, but these can be made softer if you’re struggling.
The anti-roll bar has to be firm, as there aren’t any high-speed direction changes here, the track is made up of slow corners and the odd long one. The rear anti-roll bar has to be mid-range, though, as the rear end is hard to control in the wet.
The ride height stays the same as in the dry, as although you need to be higher off the ground to prevent aquaplaning, the wet tyres naturally raise the car to compensate for this, 3 on the front and 4 on the rear.
READ MORE: F1 2019: How to Drive in the Wet
Brake pressure is high around Sochi, as there are some big stops, but it can’t be too high, thanks to tricky corners like Turn 14. In the dry, 90% is the order of the day, but in the wet, the highest you can get away with is 87%, and that is honestly pushing it.
The brake bias should be set around 53% towards the front, but this can be increased, as a lock-up on the rear axle usually sends the car spinning.
READ MORE: F1 2019: Singapore GP Wet Setup
Tyre pressures are generally set to higher psi’s than in the dry, due to the lower track temperatures and non-slick tyres. Overheating isn’t an issue in Sochi, nor is tyre wear, so values of 23.4psi on the front and 21.1psi on the rears are the minimum you’ll need to keep tyre temps in the optimum range.
Of course, like with the suspension geometry, if you’re struggling to keep the tyres good for long enough, change these settings.
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