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F1 2020 setup guide overview – Australia
The Australian GP circuit at Melbourne requires a rather unique setup. It features very high speed corners, in particular the almost flat out chicane at turns 11 and 12. Combined with these high speed corners are some very slow speed corners which require a good front end.
Due to the high speed sections you can’t run a high downforce setup as you will simply lose too much time on a single lap. Instead you should look to run a reasonably low downforce front end and a higher downforce rear. This will give the car some good balance around the faster parts of the track, without suffering too much excess drag.
Tyre wear isn’t too bad at Australia so our Melbourne setup can be reasonably aggressive on the suspension geometry. You can setup you suspension geometry to almost mimic a time trial setup, but just ever so slightly dialed backed.
The suspension itself should be reasonably well balanced. It needs to be stiff enough to handle the quick direction changes through turns 11 and 12, and the last few corners. You also need to allow the car to be soft enough to ride the kerbs through out the first sector. If you car is either too soft or too hard you will suffer from instability throughout the lap.
You can set your brake pressure quite high. This is due to some of the heavy braking zones such as turns 3, 9 and 15. Most braking at Albert Park is done in a straight line allowing us to run the pressure quite high without the worry of locking a wheel. To also combat this, you should run a brake bias which is a little more rearward than normal. This will help you not lock the front wheels and keep the cars balance through corners such as turn 4.
Finally, tyre pressures can be kept fairly balanced for the best trade off of traction and tyre wear.
Overtaking around Melbourne with this setup
You will want to maximise your qualifying performance as Melbourne is a street circuit, and in true street circuit fashion, there aren’t too many places around this track that you can overtake. Melbourne isn’t quite as bad as tracks such as Monaco or Singapore, but there are really only a couple of places you can overtake. And making an overtake stick at these places requires brilliant traction off of the previous corner.
Your best spots for settings up an overtake around Melbourne are turns 3, 9 and 13. These are the heaviest braking zones directly after the longest straights, with a couple of these being DRS zones too.
Turn 3 is early in the lap, and require you to get a good exit out of the first and second corners. Try not to take too much kerb out of turn 2 and keep the car as straight as you can. If you run slightly over the kerb this will limit the amount of traction you can apply. There is a reasonable DRS zone along this straight before turn 3 which is a very heavy braking zone. You should look to attack either side, but if you attack to the left (the racing line) you will have the inside for the next corner, so try this if you can.
Turn 9 is possibly the hardest of these three overtaking spots to pull a move. It’s tricky because you don’t have an overly long straight leading up to it. You need to absolutely nail your exit out of turn 8 to ensure you can pull off a move around turn 9. You will want to dive for the inside so you can straighten your exit on to the long straight which follows. If you are slow out of this corner, you could be vulnerable into turn 11 so try and get a clean exit after the move is done.
Turn 13 is a slow – mid speed corner at the end of the long back straight/kink. The AI drivers are often slow coming out of the fast turn 12, so this is a favourite spot for overtaking during a career race at Melbourne. Just ensure the car is straight before applying full throttle out of turn 12, because there is a dip on the exit which can throw your car off track if not straight.
If you are looking for Melbourne setups for F1 2019, view all of our 2019 setups here.