We've gone through my insights to setup-building, and how you can go about making your own setup. While time-consuming it is incredibly rewarding, and the best way to guarantee a car that suits you.
But what if you've only got time to borrow a setup and tweak it a bit? What if an update to the game brings new handling? Here's how you can fix oversteer or understeer in your F1 2021 setups!
If you have a snappy car that is constantly oversteering, there can be multiple causes. Identifying them is key for reducing oversteer. The first group of causes can be called aerodynamic oversteer.
If you have too much front wing angle it can cause the front to be overpowering on the aero balance, meaning too much steering input can result in the rear getting away from you.
Another issue can be too little rear wing, meaning the rear end will not have enough support to sustain the load in various corners. This makes for a very loose rear end which will want to swap the car around on you.
You can correct this by playing with the wing angles in your setup. Take a click of front wing off and try it out. If the issue persists then put the front wing back up and add some rear wing.
If that doesn't solve the problem then it's time to move onto the mechanical parts of the setup.
Oversteer can also be caused by your suspension settings. Tweaking these can help bring the car back in line for you.
If the car is too stiff, i.e. the suspension and roll-bars are set too high, the car will be more reactive and more aggressive in how it responds to loads and the track during a corner.
This can cause the car to be snappy initially before overloading the rear grip, resulting in losing the rear. It can also cause scrubbing, not allowing the car to bite as it requires a higher amount of grip possible, which can make the rear unpredictable and too hard to handle. These can also cause the car to ‘over-rotate’ meaning the car is turning too much at the rear to the point where you haven’t got enough grip to utilise the rotation.
You can correct this by softening the rear suspension to reduce the rotation, and the rear anti-roll bar to make it less snappy.
If the ride height is too low the car can ‘bottom out’ as the rear of the car is too low to the ground and can ground out under compression during corners. The diffuser being too close to the ground can stall as well over kerbing or elevations, causing a sudden loss in rear downforce. If you feel the oversteer happening over bumps and kerbs, raise the rear ride height!
Rake balance is also key here. A car that is too ‘on the nose’, low at the front, can cause the front to pull the car around more aggressively than desired meaning you will lose control sooner than you would want, conversely, too high a front and too little rear can cause initial lack of response on the front before the rear gets overloaded and snaps.
Differential & tyres
Set your off-throttle differential too low and the differential will feel like pulling a handbrake mid-corner the moment you jump off the throttle, making it very hard to control the car consistency or at all.
If the on-throttle diff is too low it will cause inside wheel slip (where the inside wheel starts spinning faster than the outside) making it very hard to apply the power.
Too much tyre pressure on the front tyres causes the front to have too much grip if the car balance isn’t right. that means the meaning the rear will be easier to lose. If you have too little tyre pressure at the rear there can be a fundamental lack of rear grip.
When it comes to suspension geometry too much toe causes the car to turn and react too much if used excessively. While if you have too much or to little camber you won’t be able to reach the peak grip the tyre needs when you lean on it, making the car not optimal under heavy load, causes handling issues.
What about understeer?
For understeer, it is largely the opposite logic to tuning out oversteer.
Too much front wing causes oversteer, so too little front wing causes understeer. Too much off-throttle differential causes major understeer and too much stability. If your rear suspension is too soft it can cause an under-rotating rear end.
And so on and so on. The logic applies in reverse basically!
A few extra pointers
Creating a setup isn’t something you should expect to be instant. Setups can be one of the hardest elements to get right and you may not find a solution that is both quick and drivable.
It happens to us all, sometimes you make a setup and it is perfect for you immediately and you don’t have to change a thing, sometimes you have to change a lot of things and you never arrive to the perfect solution.
It is easy to overthink and overcomplicate the process. But keep it simple, think of the fundamentals, what type of track you are on? What are the conditions? What types of corners are there and what do they require whether it be traction, response, rotation, front end, rear end, stability and predictability? Once you have the answers to these questions, then it narrows down what you must look for. The more experience you gain, the easier this process can become.
At the end of the day, setups take time, process and experimenting. Everyone must start somewhere with setup creation, even if it means using the Time Trial setup as a base and going from there instead of starting entirely from scratch. Once you take the first step, you can only get better from there!