F1 2021 is finally here! With it comes a whole new handling and physics model, as well as the reduced downforce of the 2021 cars over the 2020 cars.
As a result, new setups are required to get the best out of your car. While the options for tweaking your setup haven't changed, the results have.
Fortunately we have been hard at work finding a strong baseline for you to work with.
F1 2021 Bahrain Setup
This setup is designed for driveability and stability. It's a baseline to work with for your style. It's not going to top the Time Trial charts but it will keep you on the track in races and not burn out your tyres too quickly.
Bahrain is obviously focused on straight-line speed, but you can't rip all the wings off thanks to that tricky middle sector.
This setting defines your wing angles, and the downforce the car generates.
With just a handful of slow-speed corners you would think that you don't need too much wing here. You'd be wrong.
We've gone for a 6-9 setting here. This will keep the rear planted through the high-speed T3 and T11/12 which can cause some issues if you don't have enough rear wing. It also gives tremendous bite into the slow-speed corners.
While this seems high, it's a great place to start due to the lower overall downforce of these cars. As you get more confident with the car you can start to take the wings off one click at a time until you reach a balance.
This part of the settings defines how the rear wheels rotate in relation to each other.
Where last year you'd just automatically go with 50/50 settings, that isn't quite the move this year.
We've gone with a 70% on-throttle differential, which will help give you some drive out of the corners. This can be increased for qualifying, but just watch out on corner-exit as it will push you wide a bit more.
Off-throttle is 55%. This just helps keep the rear balanced.
This is one spot that hasn't changed much.
Full right on the front camber and full left on the rear camber is still the way to go.
A touch of front toe has been added back to the car over last year, again to help with turn-in. rear toe is still fully left.
Suspension geometry can be almost impossible to feel if you are on controller, and even on wheel it is tough to sense a difference in performance, however we have found that this arrangement looks like the best right now.
This is where the biggest changes are felt in F1 2021.
The suspension stiffness is set to 2-5, with the anti-roll bars set to 2-5 as well. This makes for a lively rear-end, hence the added wing angle in the aero section. Because we've added that rear downforce though, this suspension setting gives you terrific turning with the security of being able to get your foot down early.
Stiffen up the front values if this is too much to handle, but it's a pretty well-balanced setup.
Ride height is set to 2-6. This is a drastic change from last year, creating a massive rake on the car. This is necessary because the floor is now a crucial part of the car's aerodynamic performance. Setting the values low like in previous years will have the car bottoming out and stalling the aero, creating an undriveable mess. As a result having a big rake provides much more performance this year, hence the higher numbers.
Brake performance is all about avoiding lockups at the dreaded turn 10 around Bahrain.
Rear locking is a big problem if you go with the 100/50 setting from last year, and it will soon have you going into the barrier.
We've found that 92% brake pressure and 58% brake bias is a good balance, but if you aren't too confident on the brake pedal then taking a bit more pressure out is a good idea, just be aware that turn 10 is going to be a real problem spot for players this year.
Tyre pressures have also changed a bit from last year.
We've gone with 21.4psi on the front tyres, and a huge 22.3psi on the rears.
The rear pressure will give a slight boost to straight line speed, while this track is now front limited, meaning the rears will last despite higher pressures.
We are continually testing and updating our setups so be sure to bookmark this page and check back regularly!
For more articles like this, take a look at our F1 page.