Netherlands F1 2021 setup guide
Even though the Dutch Grand Prix has been on the calendar for two years now, 2021 will be the first time we see Formula 1 cars racing around the circuit. Zandvoort returns in F1 2021, and is as tricky as ever to drive.
Zandvoort is a track which features a huge amount of elevation change, and is often referred to as a rollercoaster track. It is also a massively fast circuit which rewards a great car setup.
Speed vs aerodynamics
Zandvoort may be a very high speed circuit, but it’s a track which doesn’t feature many actual straights. Instead, the high speed segments often feature turns or elevation changes, both of which require your car setup to be incredibly stable.
To setup your aero to be stable, yet fast, you should look to lower your front wing aero, while keeping the rear wing close to default. This will give you a stable rear end through the faster sectors, while the lower front wing angle will allow you to reach higher top speeds.
There are a few slower corners at Zandvoort, where traction is key. Because of this running a low on-throttle differential will help reduce wheel spin. You wont be able to carry quite as much mid-corner speed, but the addition to traction and stability is worth the sacrifice here.
As mentioned, Zandvoort features quite a few elevation changes, it’s safe to say it isn’t the flattest or smoothest track in the F1 2021 game. This tricky track surface will require a softer suspension setup, just to ensure your car remains stable throughout the lap.
You should follow this trend with your anti-roll bars, by keeping them on the softer side. You can increase / stiffen your rear anti-roll bars while keeping your fronts fairly soft. Stiffer anti-roll bars will help keep your car responsive.
In terms of the suspension geometry, you should keep your camber setup reasonably balanced. Removing camber would be beneficial through slower corners, while not being as good through the longer more sweeping corners.
Because of the fast sweeping nature of the Zandvoort track, you should run a low toe setup. This will help minimise drag and improve your speed and stability through the longer sweeping corners.
To help with the bumpy nature of Zandvoort, you should lower your ride height, but not as much as at other tracks. Keep the front ride height lower than the rear, but both should be just below default. Too low and you will find your car can become a little unstable over some of the bumps.
Braking and tyre pressure
Zandvoort features a few heavier braking zones, but more importantly requires incredibly stable brake bias. You’ll often be braking whilst turning, or coming over the crest of a hill, so focus more on your brake bias setup than brake pressure.
You can run brake pressure close to 100% without too much risk of locking, especially if you decrease your brake bias close to 50-50. The closer to 50-50 brake bias you run, the more stable your car will be under braking. You’ll also reduce the amount of understeer that you may encounter by lowering your brake bias.
Tyre pressure setup around Zanvoort isn’t too tricky. If you find yourself struggling with tyre wear you can lower it slightly. Lowering your tyre pressures will help lower your tyre temperatures, which can help through some of the sweeping corners.
However, if you aren’t finding tyre wear too much of an issue, you can absolutely keep your tyre pressures relatively balanced.