Monaco F1 2021 setup guide
As we have seen from this year’s Monaco Grand Prix, this is a circuit which is incredibly hard to overtake on. Due to this, you should look to maximise your qualifying setup. This will ensure you qualify as high up the grid as possible, giving you the best chance at a good result during the race.
Due to the tight nature of Monaco, your car setup will be one of the highest downforce setups you run throughout the season. You shouldn’t look to prioritise top speed at all during your car setup, as there are no real straights which give you the ability to test your top speed potential.
Instead, try to create the quickest one lap car, and blitz the competition in qualifying! If you do qualify towards the front of the grid, you can control the pace throughout the race, without much worry of being overtaken, as it’s just so hard to do around Monaco.
The highest downforce of the season
As mentioned, you should prioritise your aerodynamic setup when creating a Monaco car setup. Running very close to maximum 11-11 aero is the way to go.
If you feel you wont have the pace to qualify towards the front of the grid, you can remove a little downforce, to give you a slightly better chance of being able to overtake during the race.
Monaco is a track characterised by slow corners, which means you’ll spend a lot of time accelerating from very low speeds. This will play havok with your rear tyre wear if you don’t create a car setup that gives you maximum traction.
To do this, look to setup your on-throttle differential to be very low. The lower you go, the harder it will be to break traction when accelerating from low speed. This will ultimately allow you to accelerate harder without as much risk of wheel spin.
You can adjust your on-throttle differential during sessions, meaning you can bump it up to maximise your speed through a single qualifying lap without worrying about tyre wear. Then when it comes to race time, lower it back down to help reduce wheel spin, and manage your tyres better.
Monaco suspension setup
As you’ll spend a lot of time in corners, and less time going in a straight line, you should look to increase your camber and toe. Increasing both of these setup options will lead to a car which is more responsive turning into corners.
It’ll also allow you to carry more speed through each corner. This is crucial as a higher mid-corner speed will lead to a much quicker lap time at Monaco.
Due to Monaco being a street circuit, you should prepare your car for a fair few bumps. In fact, some of the track surface is so uneven, that you’ll be forced to swerve to avoid some bumps such as the large crest on the run down to turn 5.
To allow your car to be as least affected by the bumps as possible, setup your suspension to be very soft. The softer you go, the less unstable your car will be when riding over bumps and some of the larger kerbs around this street track.
You can follow this trend with your anti-roll bars, but much like many of our car setups, we’d recommend running slightly stiffer anti-roll bars compared to your suspension.
Slightly stiffer anti-roll bars will help with your car’s responsiveness into corners, and will help towards maintaining a higher mid-corner speed during each corner.
Ride height should be lowered, like most of our car setups, but not to the same extent as at other tracks. Instead, lower your ride height only slightly. Too low and you will start to scrape over some bumps and kerbs. This can lead to slower lap times and even instability.
Braking and tyre setup
You will spend a lot of time on the brake pedal at Monaco, so you should take care when setting up your brakes. Run your brake pressure slightly higher than default, but not at 100%. A slightly higher brake pressure setup will allow you to slow the car down quicker.
Keeping your brake bias reasonably balanced at around 54% front bias will help keep your braking force reasonably balanced. You don’t want to nudge your brake bias too far forward as you will start to induce some understeer into corners. If there is one thing you don’t want around Monaco, it’s understeer!
Lowering tyre pressures, both front and rear is a must around Monaco. This approach will help minimise both tyre wear and reduce loss of traction under acceleration.