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Russia is a track which I find extremely fun to drive. It requires a slightly unorthodox car setup to master. In this setup guide I'll run you through our ultimate Russian race setup for F1 2021.
Russia is a very fun track. On paper, it doesn’t look like it should be fun with a high amount of 90 degree corners. But when you’re taking these corners at reasonable speed, it can be extremely rewarding if you hook up the perfect lap.
It’s a track where you can really push the track limits, both on corner entry and exit, as the track is very wide. As long as you don’t hit the large orange sausage kerbs, as these will really throw you off line.
Along with these 90 degree corners, there are a few long straights which may lead you down a low downforce setup route. But don’t be fooled, to put in a truly fast lap around Russia, you need a very strong front end, meaning higher downforce.
Let’s jump in to the setup and see what our Russian F1 2021 setup looks like.
As I just mentioned, you do need a rather high amount of front downforce around Russia. You want a car which turns into corners well, otherwise you’ll find yourself compromising on mid-corner apex speed, losing you a whole bunch of lap time. The key to a fast lap time at Sochi, is maintaining a high minimum speed through each corner.
By setting our front wing to 9, and rear wing to just 7 gives us a car which lives on it’s nose. It will turn in exactly where you point it, meaning you can hit the perfect racing line through each corner.
As long as you get your car turned in to most corners, you shouldn’t worry too much about the rear of your car stepping away from you or oversteering. So running a lower rear wing saves a little drag and shouldn’t compromise your driving.
I’ve kept the on-throttle differential setup reasonably balanced at 77. Not only is this Valterri Bottas’ race number, a driver who generally performs very well at Russia, which must be a good omen… right? It will also help push your car through the corners, again prioritising a high minimum apex speed.
I haven’t gone much higher on the on-throttle diff, as there are a few corners especially in the final sector, which are a little trickier to find traction.
Then for the off-throttle diff, go for just 57 to once again prioritise the front end of your car, and boost rotation.
Our suspension geometry is almost identical to the setup I ran at Monza, just with a slight boost to front camber. This setup is generally a great approach at many tracks, especially the higher speed ones like Sochi.
Go for -2.6 front camber, -1.9 rear camber, and 0.06 and 0.2 on the toe
Again, like Monza I have gone for a very soft suspension setup. I’ve gone for a suspension of 2 and 2, with anti-roll bars of 2 and 3.
You will be hitting most kerbs around Sochi if you’re looking for the fastest lap time. So ensuring the car is soft enough to handle every single kerb is priority.
Unlike Monza, I have also run a soft rear end to increase stability. There aren’t anywhere near as many slow corners as Monza, meaning we don’t need the extra rotation from our suspension and anti-roll bar setup, allowing us to focus on stability over kerbs.
Finally, run a ride height of 3 and 6. This is a little higher than some tracks just to account for the kerbs and odd bump.
I’ve setup the brakes with 97% brake pressure which is just right. You wont be locking any wheels with this amount of pressure but you will get great stopping power.
Then go for 57% on the brake pressure. As you will be braking in a straight line for most corners, you can run a more front focused brake bias for extra braking performance, without the worry about stability.
I’ve increased all tyre pressures for this car setup. Go for 23.8 for both fronts and 22.7 for both rears. You wont need to worry about tyre wear too much with this setup, but will reap the performance rewards from the slightly higher tyre pressures.
And that rounds out our F1 2021 Russian car setup. This will give you a car which performs very well into every corner, allowing you to maintain a high minimum apex speed, and put in very competitive lap times.
Russia is extremely fun to drive and race around due to the faster corners, wide track and long straights. And this setup will give you a great platform to enjoy this circuit.
Let me know how you get on with this setup in the comments below.
View all of our most recent F1 2021 setups, by visiting our F1 2021 car setups page.
See you on track guys.