Setups are key to success in F1 2020. You could have the fastest car on the grid, but if you opt for a setup that is wrong for the track, you’ll be slow. Just 0.1 seconds lost per lap is around six seconds in overall race time.
We’ve produced a lot of setups for F1 2020, but they’ve been aimed towards the fastest cars in the game. Setting up a car that isn’t the fastest on the grid is an entirely different challenge to driving one of the fastest.
When you begin your My Team save, your car will be one of the slowest in the performance index chart. This is a very handy guide for that and any slower car in F1 2020.
Each circuit is different, as is each slow team's performance, but here’s a general guide for what you should do to change your setups.
This can really go either way depending how you like to drive the car and where your car’s performance is lacking.
The wing angles which you opt for define how much downforce the car will have. The higher the wing angle, the more downforce, but you also get more drag as a result.
In general, your car won’t be able to compete with the top teams through the corners. It’s also very difficult to keep the front tyres in good condition if you’re suffering with understeer. Therefore, you should go for higher downforce than normal when racing a slow car.
If your engine is poor compared to your aerodynamics and chassis though, you should decrease your wing angles, especially at the high-speed circuits.
However, you can also go with lower downforce than normal to be difficult to pass and fast on the straights. This tactic can work around tracks like Monza, Spa and the Red Bull Ring but usually ends badly around most circuits.
Transmission sets how well your traction will be in F1 2020. Your traction won’t be as good in a slower car, but you won’t have to make much allowance for this.
A slightly more unlocked differential will help you, as it gives better overall traction. Be warned though, it will also make the rear end more unstable, so if you can’t handle that, opt for a more locked diff.
Suspension Geometry is probably the most important aspect to any setup in F1 2020. Your camber and toe values dictate the car’s overall grip and tyre wear. When you’re driving a slower car, this is really difficult to nail.
This is where free practice comes in handy, you’re best off running low camber and toe values for high grip levels and seeing how it affects tyre wear. Better performance will really help out in qualifying, even if it costs you some performance during the race.
If you do a race practice program during a practice session, you can see the level of tyre wear you’re experiencing in a run.
Most races in F1 2020 are 1-stops, so if the tyre wear you’ve got will force you into an extra stop, decrease the camber and toe values.
In general, though, you should run low camber and toe values, otherwise you might not be competitive.
The stiffness of your car’s springs doesn’t change depending which car you use, it’s the kerbing of the circuit which dictates this. Similarly, the ride height doesn’t need altering, it’s always between 3 and 5 for the front and rear.
The anti-roll bar though needs to be stiffer for slower cars, as this aids turn-in for high-speed corners. It does make the car more unstable though, so be wary of that.
Depending on what you chose to do with the downforce, your brakes could be setup in different ways. If your wing angles are set to higher than normal, your brake bias should be around the same as usual (between 80 and 90%).
However, if the wing angles are set lower, you need increase brake pressure, as your stopping power will decrease. This does have the adverse effect of making lockups more common, but it’s a risk you’ll have to take in that case.
The brake bias doesn’t really change with the performance of your car. It’ll still be between 52% and 56% towards the front depending on the circuit.
Your tyre pressures dictate the temperature of your rubber and also how fast they will wear down. You’ll need to compromise like with the suspension geometry, as performance and tyre life have to be weighed up.
Tyre pressures don’t change a huge amount depending on which car you’re in though. You may want to increase them slightly (especially on the front axle), but you don’t have to. Standard pressures should be good enough when you alter your aerodynamics and suspension correctly.
For more articles like this, take a look at our F1 page.