Belgium F1 2021 setup guide
Spa-Francorchamps is a classic Formula 1 circuit, and is a fan favourite. That carries over to the F1 2021, where Spa-Francorchamps is easily one of the best tracks to drive and race on.
The Belgium Grand Prix features the longest track layout on the calendar and one of the top 3 highest average speeds. It is an extremely fast and thrilling circuit to drive. And with this style of track comes a low downforce car setup.
Despite recommending a low downforce car setup for Belgium in F1 2021, you still need to be ready for the 20 plus corners around this mega circuit. Most of the corners are taken at high speed, and rely on having a stable rear end. If the rear of your car breaks traction around any of the fast sweeping corners, you can easily lose control.
There are a fair few straights, with two of them being some of the longest straights / kinks on the Formula 1 calendar. To start, you have the extremely long Kemmel Straight, which sits directly after Eau Rouge. Top speed is crucial here, as it is a major overtaking zone, which is DRS assisted.
By setting up your car with higher rear downforce than front, you should be quick and stable through the tricky Raidillon and Eau Rouge, which will give you a good run onto the Kemmel Straight. This sector of Spa is crucial to maximising your lap time, and your race performance.
There is also the kinks on the backside of the track, which are all flat out. Turn 18 in particular is a very fast left hand kink, which will heavily rely on your rear downforce.
Maximise your average speed via your car setup
Due to the extremely high speed nature of Spa-Francorchamps, you should setup your car to prioritise your top speed. And that mentality should carry over to your suspension and differential setup.
There aren’t many low speed, high traction zones around Spa, which allows you to setup your differential fairly high / locked. The higher your on-throttle differential, the higher your peak acceleration performance potential is.
If you are struggling through the slow Chicane or La Source, you can manually adjust your on-throttle differential down as you approach these turns. Then turn it back up as you travel down the long Kemmel Straight ready for the rest of the lap.
Setting up your suspension geometry to also work towards maximising your top speed is a good idea around Belgium. You can run low camber and toe, which will help maximise your average speed potential. Be careful not to lower both of these setup options too much however as you could negatively affect your tyre wear.
Soft is king around Spa
To truly maximise your lap time around Spa-Francorchamps, you will find your driving over the kerbs at most corners. This will help maximise your mid corner speed, as well as decreasing the corner angle.
There is also the fact that Spa is a very old track, with a fair amount of undulation. The surface is bumpy and the kerbs are reasonably high. All of these factors lead to having a soft suspension setup for Spa in F1 2021.
Ensuring your suspension is setup soft enough will aid with keeping your car stable throughout a full lap of Spa-Francorchamps.
You should however look to keep your anti-roll bars setup stiffer than your suspension. Stiffer anti-roll bars will allow your car to remain stiff and level as you throw your car into some of the fast corners around Spa.
With long straights comes heavy braking
Due to the high speed nature of Spa-Francorchamps, you’ll be braking from high speed into a lot of corners. To slow the car down quick enough, you should setup your car to have high brake pressure. The higher your brake pressure, the less you have to push the brake pedal to slow your car down.
You wont be slowing your car down to speeds that are overly low, so you shouldn’t worry too much about locking a wheel. If you do find yourself locking into the final chicane, you can adjust your brake bias on the fly as you approach that corner. A balanced brake bias will serve you well around the majority of the lap.