It didn't take long for Codemasters to announce their plans for F1 2021 content going forward. Beginning with Update 1.10, three new circuits are coming to the official Formula 1 game, starting with Portimao. The Portuguese GP has made a comeback in F1 thanks to the need to have over 20 races in a season.
Portimao has been a popular addition to the roster and for the first time ever, we're able to race the circuit in the F1 game. Rain here isn't uncommon, as the 2020 race had a damp start, but what if the heavens open in F1 2021? Don't worry, we've got you covered as always with our wet setup for Portugal!
Just like in Spain, you'll need the rear of the car to be planted to the floor or you'll be spinning out faster than you can say Nikita Mazepin. You'll also need a good level of front bite too, as the car loves to understeer around the long corners in Portimao.
We found 6-11 for the wing angles to be ideal for Portugal, as you get good cornering speeds while also still being quick in a straight line.
For wet weather conditions, your car will need a transmission that's more on the open side than in the dry. A more open diff will reduce overall grip, but it will allow for a more gradual application of power to the rear wheels. This is vital when it's raining because catching the car before it spins is a very difficult task.
Therefore, we've opted for 75% on-throttle diff with 55% off-throttle. 55% off-throttle will also allow for good turn-in when you're off the loud pedal through long low-speed corners like Turns 3 and 8.
Tyre wear is rarely an issue in the wet as the Pirelli wet compounds are extremely durable. A one or no-stop race is achievable on the full wets, so you can set your camber and toe angles very low in order to aid overall mechanical grip from your rubber.
The camber is best at around -2.50 for the front and -1.70 for the rear. You still have to be a little careful of wearing your rears out in the wet, as grip and traction are at a premium.
For your toe angles, you need to be adventurous and we went all the way to the lowest values of 0.05 and 0.20 to have as much grip as possible. If you are struggling to have enough grip though, ensure that you increase these angles, as this is a very easy way to help tyre wear.
To be fast in racing, you need a stiff suspension, but that's no good if you're losing control over the kerbs. That's why your springs need to be on the softer side for when it rains in the Algarve. We opted for 2-4 suspension to allow for using the kerbs and also for the big elevation changes.
It's a similar story with the anti-roll bar, as you can't go to stiff or else you'll spin out. 2-5 gives good responsiveness but also allows for a predictable ride.
Finally, your ride height will need to be slightly higher than normal to allow for both the big changes in elevation and any standing water you may encounter. 4-8 will stop you aquaplaning while also allowing for good straight-line speed.
There are some big stopping events in Portugal, but you'll also want to avoid locking up. Your brake pressure can go high, up to 95% with the brake bias set to 56% towards the front.
As we mentioned before, tyre wear is very rarely an issue in the wet, so your pressures can be high. Thermal degradation isn't your problem when the heavens open and you'll actually need the high pressures to keep heat in the tyres.
We found that 23.8 psi on the fronts and 23.5 psi on the rear tyres keep them warm enough on the run between Turns 14 and 1 but also prevent overheating in the middle sector.