Italian F1 2021 setup guide
Monza is easily the lowest downforce circuit in F1 2021. It’s a circuit that requires maximum top speed and stable braking.
In 2020, the Italian Grand Prix produced a stunning race, with Pierre Gasly coming through to win his first ever Grand Prix. In F1 2021, the Italian track is one which promotes a lot of overtaking, and can make for some exciting racing.
Aerodynamic setup is crucial
Your aerodynamic setup around Monza in F1 2021 is absolutely crucial to get right. If you setup your car with slightly too much downforce, you will struggle through the whole race weekend to keep up with other cars.
This is because there are so many long straights around the Italian circuit. There are four long straights, if you include the Curva Grande which is a flat out curve that makes for a great overtaking spot. And both the first chicane and second chicane are extremely heavy braking zones.
In F1 2021, you should look to lower your aerodynamic setup to almost its lowest setting. Ensure you keep a little bit more rear downforce than front. This will help the rear of your car stay balanced and stable through the faster turns such as Ascari and the Parabolica.
The added rear aero will almost help a little towards rear traction, although the majority of traction will come from the on-throttle differential setup.
Monza requires great traction
Due to the heavy braking zones of the first two chicanes, these corners also bring heavy traction zones. On the exit of both the first and second chicane, you’ll be accelerating heavily from low speed.
You exit from the first chicane is especially important, as this leads on to the Curva Grande. Which is a great place to slipstream down to the second chicane, which is a good overtaking spot.
To help with traction out of these corners you could look to lower your on-throttle differential. This will help prevent wheelspin when accelerating from low speeds. Although low on-throttle differential will negatively affect your ultimate drive when accelerating out of faster corners.
If you opt for the opposite setup choice, higher on-throttle differential. You’ll find you have better drive out of the faster corners, but accelerating out of the first two chicanes will be trickier.
The best option is the third. Keep your on-throttle diff setup reasonably high. Then during each lap, on the long pit straight, lower your on-throttle diff manually via your MFD. This approach will allow you to have the best traction out of the slower corners, and the best drive out of the faster turns. It will however, require management throughout every lap.
Suspension geometry and tyre wear
Monza can be hard on tyres. The two heavy traction zones will hurt your rear tyre wear every lap. And the faster sweeping corners will punish your front tyres.
With that in mind we should look to create a more passive, tyre-friendly suspension geometry setup.
In terms of the suspension itself, Monza is a track which rewards a responsive car. The majority of the lap is taken at very high speeds, and while there are a few medium height kerbs, you will find more lap time by stiffening your suspension setup.
A stiffer suspension setup will allow the car to respond to inputs better, which is great for quick left right corners such as Ascari. You will have to manage how your car behaves over some kerbs, as the high speeds and uneven kerbs can affect your car’s balance in places.
You can soften the rear of the car a touch to help you ride kerbs a little better. But try to keep the front as stiff as you can for added responsiveness. Both anti-roll bars should be set almost the same as your suspension. Stiff anti-roll bars will help reduce any body roll as you throw the car about.
Ride height can be quite low. A low ride height setup will help you reduce drag, and improve top speed in F1 2021. Look to keep the rear ride height a touch higher than the front for a little added rotation into corners.
High brake pressure setup
As mentioned at the top of this guide, your brake setup is one of the most important aspects of your overall Italian car setup. There are a few heavy braking zones, and you’ll be braking from some of the highest speeds across the whole F1 2021 calendar.
Look to setup your brake pressure high, but not at maximum. If you max it out, you could start to suffer from locked wheels, especially into turn 1. Somewhere around 95% brake pressure should be the sweet spot.
Keep your brake bias reasonably neutral, with a slightly front-focused setup. You don’t want to move your brake bias too far forward, as although this will help with ultimate stopping distance, you will again run the risk of locking a wheel.
To try and combat some of the excess tyre wear that Monza brings, look to lower both front and rear tyre pressures. Lower rear tyre pressures in particular will help with rear traction out of the slower corners. And will help across the board with lower tyre wear during a race around Italy in F1 2021.