Bahrain F1 2021 setup guide
The Bahrain Grand Prix is a track which Formula 1 fans should know very well. It was used twice in 2020 due to the altered calendar. And we have already visited the track in 2021, due to its position early in the calendar.
Bahrain is always an F1 track which is fun to drive and race on, and the real-world races in 2020 and 2021 provided some exciting races.
It’s a track which is very power sensitive, meaning cars with strong engines always perform well here. There are a few long straights around Bahrain which make it great for overtaking during the race. But you do need to prioritise a fairly low downforce setup for maximum success at Bahrain in F1 2021.
You should look to setup your car with lower front wing aerodynamics, and slightly higher on the rear. This will be the best aero setup for straight line speed. And the higher rear wing angle will help keep your car planted through the sweeping corners of sectors 2 and 3.
Bahrain is very rear limited
In F1 2021, Bahrain is a rear limited track. This means that your rear tyres will wear more than the fronts, and you will be limited by the amount of rear traction you can create via your car setup.
There are a few slow corners which lead on to longer straights where traction is crucial. In particular turns 1 and 10 are particularly tricky on the rear tyres.
You should look to maximise your rear traction via your car setup by lowering your on-throttle differential. The lower you setup your on-throttle diff, the less tyre spin you will encounter under hard acceleration. Perfect for minimising your tyre wear and tyre spin out of the slower corners.
You should pay particular attention when accelerating out of turns 1 and 10 as both of these lead on to long straights where you can overtake. Or be overtaken if you get a poor exit!
Attacking the kerbs is key for a fast lap
Around Bahrain, the kerbs themselves are reasonably shallow, allowing you to position your car right over them. By driving over the kerbs, you are effectively shortening the corner and minimising the amount that you need to slow down to get around each corner.
There are a few kerbs which are slightly bumpier, such as those around turns 1, 2 and 3. Because you should be looking to drive over the kerbs at most corners, you should opt for a softer suspension setup.
A softer car setup will allow your car to behave more consistently each time you drive over a kerb. The last thing you want is a car which is skittish or unpredictable over kerbs. And a soft setup can help with this.
There are a fair few faster corners with very quick direction changes. To account for these corners, you should keep your anti-roll bars stiffer than your suspension. A stiffer anti-roll bar will help with your car’s responsiveness under quick direction change.
In terms of the suspension geometry, Bahrain allows you to setup your camber quite aggressively. Tyre wear is relatively low at Bahrain in F1 2021, so you can setup your car more aggressively. More camber angle will help you maintain a higher speed mid corner.
Because of the longer straights you should look to lower your toe. If you keep your toe setup high you wont be able to hit the top speeds that you need due to excess drag. So try to keep your toe relatively low.
Much like your suspension geometry, you can opt for an aggressive ride height setup for Bahrain in F1 2021. The track is relatively smooth allowing you to lower your ride height a fair bit. You shouldn’t reduce your ride height fully, otherwise you face the risk of bottoming out over some of the kerbs.
Brake pressure is crucial at Bahrain
When many people think of driving around Bahrain in F1 2021, one corner comes to mind. The ever so tricky turns 9 and 10. These are the double kinked left hander which requires braking downhill while turning left. It’s without a doubt the hardest corner on the track, and does always cause drivers to lock up every year.
When creating your Bahrain car setup in F1 2021, you need to keep these turns in mind. Brake pressure setup too high will make this corner much harder than it needs to be. You should ideally look to lower your brake pressure to avoid locking up your wheels on the entry to turn 10.
You can also play with your brake bias during any race session. You can move your brake bias more rearward for the majority of the lap for a balanced brake setup. Then you can move it forward into heavier braking zones such as turn 1.