Suzuka is one of the best circuits to race around in not only F1 2021, but any racing game on the market. The high-speed track boasts many iconic corners such as Spoon, Degner, the Esses, and the mighty 130R. When it rains as well, these turns become even more challenging than in the dry.
Never fear though, we're here to help as always! We've put the hours in practice, so you don't have to. Here's our Japanese GP wet setup for F1 2021!
Suzuka may be a high-speed circuit, but there aren't many long straights. Therefore, it's a no-brainer to go for high downforce. We found that a wing angle of 8 on the front wing provided enough forward bite to turn in confidently through the slower speed corners.
We also went with 10 on the rear wing, as this keeps the rear of the car planted through the snake curves and the 130R.
You always need an open transmission setup for wet weather, but the grip you require to be quick in Japan means that it'll be a tad more locked than usual. We found that an on-throttle differential of 70% provided enough grip while also not spinning the rear wheels.
The off-throttle diff should be lower, at around 55%, as this will keep the car on the racing line when lifting off through corners like Degner 1.
The camber and toe values should be almost as low as possible thanks to the wet weather tyres' long life. You'll get more grip from smaller angles and the extra tyre wear shouldn't be an issue, you should be able to do a one-stop regardless.
The toe values are best at their lowest for the front and the rear. 0.05 on the front and 0.20 on the rear provide plenty of grip while not hurting the wet compound rubber. The camber values are a little different, but the front should be at its smallest value at -2.50. The rear needs to be more towards the centre, at -1.60, as the rear tyres can overheat if the angle is smaller.
The suspension setup will have to be very loose to avoid an embarrassing spin in Japan. You'll lose potential performance, so if you can handle a stiffer ride, feel free to change this. The suspension springs have to be very soft at 2 on the front and rear axles. This will allow you to ride over the kerbs without spinning if you run wide.
The anti-roll bar also needs to be very soft. 1 on the front and 3 on the rear is around as hard as we can comfortably go. This will limit how fast you can go through the esses, but it will be easier on the tyres and your nerves as you hang onto the car.
The ride height has to be fairly high too, partly because of the kerbs but mainly for the sharp climb up through the first and second sectors. 5 on the front and 7 on the rear allows for a smooth ride through even the harshest corners.
Braking zones are few and far between in Japan, but you'll need strong brakes for when you do throw out the anchors. The stops into the Hairpin, Spoon, and the chicane are harsh, so around 92% braking pressure is ideal. The bias should be around 56% towards the front, as this helps prevent front lockups.
In a real one-off, the tyre pressures in Japan need to be cranked all the way up to maximum for every tyre. This is because of the long gaps between braking zones, even in the wet. There are some areas where you scrub speed off, but don't actually touch the brake pedal.
This is combined with the durable wet tyres to mean that there's little penalty for the rubber heating up. Therefore, 25.0 psi on the front and 23.5 psi on the rears are best.
For more articles like this, take a look at our F1 page.