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Despite not holding the season opener in this years F1 season, Australia is thankfully still in F1 2020. And is just as fun as ever to drive.
This guide, will run you through the best race setup for the Australian grand prix in F1 2020. This setup is designed to be good on the tyres with good speed across long race distances.
This setup was designed for use in a 25, 50 or 100% race or league racing. It isn’t designed to be the fastest one lap setup in time trial.
We ran this exact setup in a 50% career mode race, and managed a 1 stop strategy, with tyre life to spare. This setup will give you great tyre management during a full grand prix weekend while being able to keep a competitive pace with 100% plus AI.
Albert Park is a tricky and fast circuit with a lot of high speed corners. This means you will need a stable rear end, which allows you to plant the throttle on corner exit.
For this reason we will run a higher downforce rear wing, and lower the aero on the front so we don’t comprimise our straight line speed too heavily. Set these to 5 and 7.
This is higher than in F1 2019, but we have found that the fastest setups in F1 2020 require ever so slightly more downforce in this years game.
We have left our differential settings slightly lower than average to preserve tyre life. There are quite a few heavy traction zones, where you will be accelerating hard on to reasonably long straight. So we ideally want to have a lower on-throttle differential setup.
As you’ll see in a minute, we have opted for an aggressive camber and toe setup, so are compromising our differential setup to account for this.
Go for 60% and 65% here.
Moving on to the suspension geometry, we have run a reasonably aggressive camber setup at -2.6 front and -1.1 rear. Tyre wear isn’t overly a massive problem around Melbourne so we can run reasonably aggressive.
We have the toe set to 0.06 at the front and 0.23 at the rear. Again, this is reasonably aggressive, but the car can handle it around Australia.
F1 2020 really rewards softer, more drive-able setups, and Australia is no different. Also, you will want to be attacking almost every apex kerb, and running out wide onto the outer kerbs to get the best racing line.
For this reason, we have gone soft on the suspension. We have gone for 3, 3 for the suspension, 6, 9 for the anti-roll bars, and 4, 4 for the ride height.
The soft suspension combined with the stiffer anti-roll bars make for a car which can attack the kerbs, yet remain stable under sharp direction changes.
And the ride height set to 4 both front and rear ensures that you aren’t scraping the ground, but have minimal drag.
The brake pressure is high at 95%. In F1 2020, brake pressures can be set higher across the board. There are a few heavy braking zones around Albert Park, so the high brake pressure is a must.
You should run your brake bias around 55-56% for a good combination of braking power and balance.
The tyre pressures are set a little lower than default. And we’re running offset tyre pressures on the front to account for more wear on our left front tyre.
Being able to offset your left and right tyre pressures in F1 2020, really opens up the setup options, and allows you to manage your tyre temeperatures and wear much better.
Set your pressures to 22.6 front left, 22.2 front right, and 20.3 on both rear tyres.
Turn 1 is a fast right hander, which you should take in 4th or 5th gear. Maximising your exit speed is crucial as there is a long run down to turn 3. If you lose traction here you will be hurting all the way down the DRS assisted straight.
Look out for the 100m board on your left and brake just before this. Try and take as much kerb as you can at the apex of turn 1. This will help you straighten the car towards turn 2. Be careful not to travel too far over the apex otherwise you will invalidate your lap or get a penalty.
Try to get on the power as early as possible. You probably wont be able to run 100% throttle immediately, as you can lose the rear of the car as you start turning left in to turn 2. Try short shifting to reduce wheel spin, and aim to run wide on to the green run off of turn 2 to straighten the track as much as possible.
Turn 3 is a tricky braking zone, and you can easily lock your front right tyre. You should be trail braking going through turn 3 to ensure you rotate the car correctly.
Before that however, look for the 100m board and use this as your braking marker. Hit the brakes 100% as you pass the 100m board, and start to ease off the brake pedal as you start to input steering angle.
You shouldn’t aim to ride the kerb, just kiss it with your front right tyre, whilst still trial braking. Start to gently apply throttle as you get half way around the corner, and aim towards the right hand side of the track as you’re accelerating.
Almost as soon as you finally hit 100% throttle, you’ll need to dab the brakes to start to turn in to turn 4. Try to take as much speed through turn 4 as you can, while not understeering out wide. There is a large sausage kerb on the right hand side which you will want to avoid.
Simply clip the apex and apply the throttle on your way through. Again, while you are applying the throttle, aim the car towards the left of the track to get your line into turn 5 ready.
Turn 5 is a flat out corner in most cases, but may require a slight lift during a race.
Turn 6 can be taken at surprisingly high speed, and you should only brake down to 4th gear before hitting the throttle. Look for the 100m board on the left hand side, and brake as you go past it, but before you reach the 50m board.
Get down to 4th gear and then aim for the kerb on the right hand side. You can start to smoothly accelerate as soon as you hit the apex kerb, and you should look to accelerate in a straight line, across the green run off area on your left hand side.
Turn 9 and 10 should be all about your exit speed. You can brake slightly early here if you want to ensure you get good traction on the exit, as you have a long straight following turn 10.
Brake just before the 50m board, and try not to lock your front right tyre. Don’t take too much kerb, just enough to get a good angle on the corner exit.
Ensure you don’t accelerate too hard on the exit, as it is easy to spin up your tyres. If you get bad traction you will be suffering all the way down the long curve and in to turn 11.
Turns 11 and 12 are the two fastest corners around Melbourne. If you take them right you can find a lot of lap time.
You’ll want to brake around the 5m board, and shift down two gears just before you turn in. Aim to hit the bollard on the inside of turn 11, and your car should understeer just past it. (Don’t actually hit it!)
Then start accelerating towards turn 12. You will almost certainly need to lift as you go through 12, but get on the throttle as much as you can. The kerbs are much softer this year, so you can ride right over the outside kerb of turn 12 to get the best run down the back straight.
Turn 13 is a tricky corner, which you can take at medium speed. You will want to brake just after the 100m board, shifting down to 4th gear. Coast a little towards the apex, using trial braking to rotate the car. Then start to accelerate as soon as you are past the apex.
The next corner of turn 14 is very fast. It requires a quick downshift on entry, then you can get straight back on the throttle. Use all of the run off on the outside to get the best run out and in to turn 15.
Turn 15 is slow, and you will want to shift down to 2nd gear. Try not to use too much kerb on the apex, as it will unsettle your car. Be really smooth on the exit towards turn 16. Too much throttle here and you will almost certainly light up your rear tyres.
Keep accelerating around turn 16, but not too much otherwise you will end up in the barrier! Just ensure you get good traction, and a good run on to the start finish straight.
And that is a complete track guide of the Australian Grand Prix circuit in F1 2020. Watch our hotlap video below, showcasing everything discussed above.