It's the understatement of the year to say that Sochi isn't a Formula 1 fan favourite. The Russian Grand Prix has been hosted at the Black Sea resort ever since joining the calendar in 2014. For those that don't like the circuit, you'll be pleased to know that the Russian GP is moving to Igora Drive in 2023.
For now, though, we have Sochi to contend with. The Sochi Autodrom was chosen as the home of the Russian GP for its good weather, but rain isn't uncommon here. So, you'll need to be prepared in F1 2021 by adapting your dry weather setup for the rain. Here's the best wet setup that we found!
Despite the long start/finish and back straights, you need big wing angles in Russia. This is thanks to the tight and twisty street circuit section towards the end of the lap. 8-8 aerodynamics gives you a stable and fast ride through the slow corners, even when the track is soaked.
An open transmission setup is a happy setup when the rain begins to pour. A differential of 75% on-throttle and 50% off-throttle is best to keep the car steady through both traction zones and long corners like Turn 3.
Tyre wear is never a concern around the billiard table-smooth surface in Russia and that's even more the case in the wet. Therefore, your camber and toe values are best on the adventurous side. You'd still be best doing a 1-stop even with the wets for pace reasons, but you could attempt to pull that off.
The toe values are ideal all the way at their lowest angle, 0.05 on the front and 0.20 on the rear. As for the camber, -2.50 on the front and -1.70 on the rear allows great grip while not allowing for thermal degradation.
Although the kerbs aren't harsh in Russia, you will be using them a lot around a lap. We put our suspension spring settings all the way down at 1-3, as this means you can use the run-off without fear of unsettling the car. There aren't many high-speed direction changes in Sochi either, so your anti-roll bar can be turned down to 1-4.
Elevation changes aren't a thing here, but again, the amount of kerbing you'll be using dictates this setting. We found 4-7 to be ideal, as with those suspension settings, spinning out won't be a problem.
There are two big stops in Russia, those into Turns 2 and 13, so brake pressure will need to be high. Some zones are also while turning too, like T13 and T4, so lockups aren't uncommon. We opted for 95% brake pressure with 57% bias towards the fronts.
As tyre wear isn't a concern here, the pressures you can run are also on the high side. This is especially true for the rears, as you need to keep these warm between braking zones. 23.5 psi on the rear and 22.2 psi on the front is what we found to be best.
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