Mexican F1 2021 setup guide
Mexico is a relatively new track, and has only been on the Formula 1 calendar for a few years. It is however a track which is rather fun to drive, and one which promotes pretty good overtaking with three DRS zones.
The track is characterised with three distinct traits. There are three rather long straights which can all be used to pull an overtake move. Then there is the fast middle sector which is similar in nature and design to the Maggotts, Becketts complex at Silverstone. This section of track features extremely fast, left, right direction changes.
Finally there is the much slower stadium section which features an extremely slow sequence of corners.
How to create the best car setup for Mexico
The ultimate car setup for Mexico is one which provides good top end speed for the three long straights. As well as giving enough front end downforce to get the car turned in to the slower corners.
You can look to run slightly higher front downforce to aid front end grip. Then setup your rear downforce reasonably low. By having higher front aero, you’ll have a much pointier front end. This means your car will respond better as you turn into a corner, and wont have the tendency to understeer.
You will need to ensure you don’t setup your front aerodynamics too high however as the higher you go, the more drag you will be instilling in your car setup. The more drag you have, the slower you’ll be in a straight line, meaning it’ll be increasingly difficult to overtake down the long straights.
You don’t need too much rear downforce around Mexico, as other than the faster corners of the middle sector, there aren’t too many corners which rely on rear downforce.
Unfortunatly rear aerodynamics doesnt have as much of an effect on your top speed as the front does. Meaning you wont find as much top speed gain by lowering your rear downforce setup.
Mexico is very rear limited
Due to the majority of corners around Mexico being slower turns, which lead on to longer straights, you’ll need to ensure you can maximise your rear traction. Your overall lap time, will heavily rely on your ability to get the power down out of these slower corners without spinning your rear wheels.
More rear aerodynamics will help limit the amount of wheelspin you get, but this isn’t the most efficient method of increasing traction so isn’t recommended. Instead, look to lower your on-throttle differential setup.
Lowering your on-throttle diff will provide a more gradual loss of traction, giving you more room to accelerate before spinning your rear tyres. This also provides the added benefit of reducing the amount of tyre wear you face. As the more you spin your tyres, the more your tyres will wear during a race session. Lowering wheel spin = lower tyre wear.
Mexico suspension setup
Despite the heavy reliance on rear traction, Mexico in F1 2021 isn’t too harsh on tyres. If you can manage your wheel spin out of the slower corners you should be in a strong position in relation to tyre wear.
Because of this, you can setup your suspension and suspension geometry fairly aggressively. Look to maximise your camber and minimise toe. This will help with responsiveness throughout the lap, as well as straight line speed down the long straights.
There are a fair few kerbs around Mexico in F1 2021, and you will want to be positioning your car over these to minimise the corner angle, and maximise your mid-corner speed. To compensate for any disturbance that these kerbs will put through your car, you should soften your overall suspension setup.
This applies to both the suspension and anti-roll bars, however try to keep your anti-roll bar setup slightly stiffer than your main suspension setup. Stiffer anti-roll bars will help keep your car flat when making fast direction changes.
You can setup your ride height relatively low around Mexico, as this will help minimise drag down the long straights. Adding a little more ride height to the rear will help with responsiveness into slower corners.
Braking and tyre setup
You should take some time when creating your brake setup as there are a few heavy braking zones around Mexico. Opting for a high brake pressure will help slow your car down as quick as possible.
However the higher you setup your brake pressure, the more likely you will lock a front wheel when braking. You can offset this by setting up your brake bias to be very balanced. A more rearward brake bias than normal will help take some of the braking pressure and force away from the front wheels.
You can look to keep your tyre pressures reasonably balanced. If you are suffering from lack of traction at the rear of the car, you can reduce your rear tyre pressures slightly.
By keeping your tyre pressure setup balanced, you will help keep your car responsive. As the lower your setup your tyre pressures, the less responsive your car will be.