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f1 2011 Practice setup strategy by Darren Phillips

Discussion in 'F1 2011 - The Game' started by dazzadp, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. My Practice/Set-up Strategy
    This strategy is based on a long race weekend.

    WARNING: You must not have TCS or ABS assist on during set-up, this will mask problems in your setup. You can switch them back on after but by the end of the routine I would hope you wouldn’t need to.

    Stage 1 – ENGINE CHANGE - Firstly I would decide if I need to change my engine (this action would use up P1 so think wisely).

    Stage 2INSTALATION - Setup the car using prime tyres with fuel set to lean/6 laps, leaving all other settings on the default. Head out and do an installation lap which will also scrub the tyre and come back to pits.

    Stage 3TRACK PRACTICE & R&D Setup the car using the same set of prime tyres with fuel set to Lean/50% laps, again leaving all other settings on the default. Head out and do 10 laps to familiarise yourself with the track and complete any R&D tasks. During the familiarisation laps, do not use the DRS except in the designated DRS zone and aim to get at least 3 consecutive laps within 0.2 seconds of each other. This will tell you that you are starting to gain a steady pace ready for set-up testing.

    Stage 4AERODYNAMICS (TEMP) - Setup the car using the same set of prime tyres with fuel set to Rich/6 laps. Move the wing settings down to 1-1. Head out for a speed test and do 1 or 2 laps to find out if you are hitting the rev limiter way before the end of the longest straight.

    HOT TIP: Pause game after the braking to watch the replay from inside the cock pit to see a slow motion view of the rev limiter ans top speed.

    Come into the garage and if the answer to is yes, then move 7th gear to the right a few notches and re-test your new setting by doing another 1 or 2 lap stint. I found I could find an extra 5mph in the Virgin. The car should be very difficult to handle due to its low down force setting but do not be concerned because we are not interested in times just yet, just drive carefully around corners as to not wreck the car.

    HOT TIP: At the end of the longest straight, you should be hitting the rev limiter just before the breaking point to get max top speed.
    Once you have 7th gear set, evenly space the other gears for now, we’ll look at them later. You now have your base setup to work from.

    Save as VIRGIN DRY 1

    Stage 5 – BRAKING – Set up the car for prime tyres with fuel set to Std/50% laps. Decide which size brake pads to use (if you have the option) and what pressure to apply.

    HOT TIP: You can refer to track guides for information on brake wear per track. Just google-it!

    Head out for 1 lap and at the braking zone for the slowest corner are your front tyres locking up? If Yes then move the bias towards the rear two notches and re-test until neither front or rear tyres lock up. If No then move the bias toward the front and re-test to see how far you can go without locking up front tyres. The idea is to have as much bias toward the front as possible without locking up the front tyres.

    Save as VIRGIN DRY 2

    HOT TIP: Use the instant replay to view the car from outside to make it easier to assess.

    Stage 6 – HOT LAPS – Now to get your P1 lap time down with the others. Set up the car for Fresh option tyres with fuel set to Lean/6 laps. Head out and do 2 laps to scrub the tyres. Towards the end of the 2nd lap, switch the fuel mixture to rich and do 2 hot laps with DRS & KERS (if available). Your time should be a lot closer to the pack now but we can still get that lower. Pit in.

    Stage 7 – RIDE HEIGHT & SPRINGS – Set up the car reverting back to Prime tyres with fuel set to Standard/50% laps. Set the Ride Height to 1F-2R and set the Springs to 1F-1R as well. Head out for 1-2 laps and assess the grip between the front and rear, Pit in and stiffen the front springs until you have a balance of grip between the front & rear. If the track is bumpy or you will be riding curbs then you will need to increase the ride height keeping the rear one notch higher than the front. The best way to check this is to again use the replay and outer view to check the undercarriage over curbs and rarely you might see sparks out the rear from bumpy track surfaces. Now you have your base suspension setup eg: Ride Height 3-4 / Springs 2-1. You can now stiffen your springs by keeping the them at the same ratio, but only enough so you still have adequate grip. By increasing the stiffness of the springs you will find that you might be able to lower your ride height a notch or two giving you more down force.
    Continue to do 1-2 lap stints until happy with the settings.

    Save as VIRGIN DRY 3

    Stage 8 – HOT LAPS – Now to hopefully see your lap times improve once again. Set the car up on Option tyres with the fuel set to Lean/6 laps. Head out and as your coming to the end of your out lap, switch the fuel mix to Rich and produce 2 hot laps with DRS & KERS. Switch the fuel mix down to Lean for your in lap and pit in. Hopefully your lap times have improved slightly but there is still room for improvement.

    Stage 9 – ANTI-ROLL BARS – Set up the car reverting back to prime tyres with fuel set to standard/50% laps. Set the front ARB to 11 and head out for 1-2 laps and assess the cars turn-in stability. Then soften the front ARB as far as possible without losing turn-in stability. Keep doing 1-2 lap stints until happy. Remember a high Front ARB setting will increase tyre wear so soften as much as possible.
    Then set Rear ARB to 11 and head out for 1-2 laps and assess the cars cornering response. Then soften the rear ARB until to get a good turn-in response. Keep doing 1-2 lap stints until happy. Remember softening the rear ARB will increase tyre wear and lose traction, so don’t soften more than you need to.

    Save as VIRGIN DRY 4

    Stage 10 – CAMBER – If you feel your cars cornering stability is good then you have no need to change these settings, but if you feel you could gain from some added stability then a slight increase in camber could help. Setup the car for Prime tyres with fuel set to Standard/50% laps. Add one notch of negative front camber first and head out for 1-2 laps. If you find you could use a little more stability then increase the front by 1 and the rear by 1 and do a re-test. Continue this process until happy. Remember adding negative camber will reduce straight line acceleration and increase tyre wear so only adjust if needed.

    Save as VIRGIN DRY 5

    Stage 11 – Toe – Set upforPrime tyres with fuel set to Standard/50% laps. Head out for 1-2 laps and test the cars straight line stability. If the car feels like it will wander to the left or right whilst trying to drive in a straight line then add a notch of Front Toe-in but this will reduce corner response. Try to add front & rear Toe-in at the ratio of 2:1 in favour of front because the Rear Toe-in will slightly reduce top speed. If the car is nice and stable then maybe try adding a notch of Front Toe-out to increase your cornering response or just leave well alone. Leave Rear Toe-out well alone.

    Save as VIRGIN DRY 6

    Stage 12 – HOT LAPS – Now to hopefully see your lap times improve once again. Set the car up on Option tyres with the fuel set to Lean/6 laps. Head out and as your coming to the end of your out lap, switch the fuel mix to Rich and produce 2 hot laps with DRS & KERS. Switch the fuel mix down to Lean for your in lap and pit in. Hopefully your lap times have improved again.
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  2. Stage 13 – AERODYNAMICS – Set up for Prime tyres with fuel set to Standard/50% laps. Head out and do tester laps to find what Wing Ratio best suits your driving style (understeer or oversteer) or the track demands. Try 1-2 / 1-3 / 2-1 / 3-1 and stick with that ratio. Now for example lets say you stuck with 3-1, now we want to test other down force settings to see if we can improve our lap times (what we lose in straight line speed – we gain in cornering speed). Try doing 2 laps at the ratio of 5-3, 7-5, 9-7 and 11-9 and if you get a better lap time at say 7-5, try 6-4 and 8-6. Whichever ratio gives you the fastest lap time, that’s the one to stick with.

    Save as VIRGIN DRY 7

    Stage 14 – GEARING – Setup for Prime tyres with fuel set to Standard/50% laps and head out for 1-2 laps to assess all gearing levels. Set 1st or 2nd for the slowest corner and re-set 7th for the top speed and evenly space 3rd through 6th. If on any other corner you are hitting the rev limiter, try adjusting that gear so that you are hitting the rev limiter when accelerating out of the corner.

    Save as VIRGIN DRY 8

    Stage 15 – FULL FUEL TEST– Setup for Prime tyres with fuel set to Standard/100% laps and head out for 4-5 laps to assess what the car feels like under race start conditions. Make any necessary fine tuning tweaks to your setup if needed.

    HOT TIP: Remember that increasing one area could mean decreasing another to gain a better car and ultimately lap time.

    Save as VIRGIN DRY RACE 2011

    Stage 16 – CREATING A WET SETUP – Make the following adjustments:
    Increase Wings by 2 notches / Soften Springs by 2 notches / Soften ARB’s by 2 notches / Add Brake Bias to the Rear by 3 notches / Brake Pressue to Low / Brake Size to Small / Reduce 7th Gear by 2 notches / Reduce Camber by 1 notch / Increase Ride Height to 5 for Inters & 7 for Wets.
    **Thanks to David O’Reilly for the above advice**

    Save as VIRGIN WET RACE 2011

    Stage 17 – TYRE DEGREDATION TEST – Setup the car for Fresh Option tyres with fuel set to Standard/100% laps. Head out and see how many laps you can get out of the Option tyre before lap times and grip start to become effected. This will give you an Option tyre life figure to plan your pit-stop strategy from.

    HOT TIP: Don’t forget for qualifying set the fuel mix to Rich, put in minimal laps of fuel and stick on option tyres. There are other settings you could take advantage of, but for realism I use “Parc Ferme” rules.


    Now onto Qualifying!!!!!! Pole here we come!!!!!

    Disclaimer: This is my setup, I’m not saying it’s right but this is the way I do it. Hope it helps!
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  3. I found by listening to some interviews on the BBC that sometimes a team will go into qualifying with a car that hasnt done any tyre tests or full fuel load testing due to adverse weather conditions or hickups in the pactice's. So if you find that you have run out of time, then you are just playing it as realistic as possible.

    I look forward to your comments. Good or Bad!
  4. I enjoyed reading this a lot dazz! I will definitely give it a go over the weekend if I get myself a chance, from reading it I feel I maybe did it in the wrong order as I always changed my wings first and didn't do anything to my gears until right at the end, although you appear to edit the top speed. Can't wait to see what luck I have with it as I never knew about the ride height and that the sparks when driving could slow me down/be an issue, it's also nice to see the tyre life explained in it too. Would you test prime tyres as well if you have enough time? Or do you base it on your option tyre life?
  5. Peter Hooper

    Peter Hooper

    Really good read dazz and some excellent advice. I will certainly be having a re-look at my setup methods based on this.

    With this, David O'Reilly's guide and Toby Davis's tips we really are very well catered for right now. It's brilliant to see the effort people put in from their own time to help others in their attempts to master this game.

    Great job :)
  6. Fantastic guide, great work!
    Just one question: At Step 4 you use DRS to setup 7th gear, right?
  7. Conflicinbanno, With my tyre strategy i usually only finish the race on Primes so i never really use them to there max. But if you were using Primes in there at full life, then yes you can test them if you have the time.
  8. Yes.
  9. Thanks man for the great effort , I can't wait till I come back home and give it a try , I will keep u posted with results
  10. About the seventh gear, I would weight a couple of things before setting it in the advised way.

    - Are you a weak qualifier but a consistent racer? Then you will probably use your drs a lot, you can set 7th taking drs into account.

    - In the opposite situation (or if you don't expect to overtake too much), I would set 7th without DRS to enjoy better acceleration (it may also pack a bit the rest of gears so you get more acceleration in the whole range).

    - In some tracks with multiple long straights, it may pay off to have a shorter 7th so you almost hit the limit in a couple of places and you bounce on it for a few meters in the longer straight than to almost hit the limit only on the main straight but stay under-revved in the other fast areas. IRL you can see for example many on board videos of red bull where they bounce on the limiter for an awful amount of time (and they are very often down in the top speed chart), however their laps times are fantastic.
  11. hi Dazz,
    nice guide man , i have managed to do my own setup in spain race and manage to qualify in 5th position
    but i have a question regarding the ARB setup step
    when you make the front anti roll bar 11 do you keep the rear at default (6) or do you make the rear at 1 till you finish testing the front ?
  12. Thanks for your guide. It enabled me to shave 2.5 seconds off my previous lap times at Hungary using my own set-up (something which I've never previously attempted). I have 2 questions though. Do you switch tyre wear off when testing? As I found that the number of laps I was doing in an attempt to fine tune the settings wore out the first set of Primes and the second set had a puncture rendering them unusable.

    Secondly I don't understand why Stage 4; setting the top speed. is necessary when we are altering both the aerodynamics and gearing towards the end. Isn't this a duplication of effort?
  13. Great guide. I'll have to use it when I have time to go through it fully.
  14. Thanks for this (very thorough) guide!

    Since it takes a very long time to go through these steps for each track would it be a sound recommendation to do the full setup on a track like Catalunya or Spa first. Then at each track throughout the season do the following:

    Step 1: Load Catalunya setup and learn the track for 10-20 laps with prime tyres and 50% fuel.

    Step 2: Set wing to 1/1, fuel to 5 laps and engine to mix1. Set 7th gear properly.

    Step 3: Set fuel to 50% and engine to mix 2. Assess the need to balance understeer/oversteer (fix with springs). Then adjust turn in if needed (fix with ARB, will also cure understeer/oversteer). Shouldn't need to fiddle too much since the setup should be comfortable from your Catalunya setup.

    Step 4: Add wing to improve the cars overall grip based on personal preference. Having setup the mechanical grip with wing 1/1 you will not have too much understeer/oversteer issues left, but make sure to get rid of them with the wing settings.

    Step 5: Adjust 7th gear now that you've added wing.

    So this way you can spend the time to get a custom setup and do things properly the first time, and not have to go through all the setups at every track. You can also do a brand new setup for Monaco and use it at Valencia (with less wing) and Singapore.
  15. No
  16. Why
  17. David O'Reilly

    David O'Reilly
    A bad quali means I can go forwards in the race.

    Well done dazzadp on such a big effort to give ppl a starting point and a very thorough process for setup work.
    I am taking the invitation for comment literally and with your permission will make some suggestions too! Hope thats ok?

    From my own testing and setup work I would comment that I tend to follow a process that uses some of the OP (BTW thankyou for the credit on the Wet setup) but also several of glights.

    First point: The essential difference is that instead of using as a default setup the engineers quick setup I use a "base setup" of my own that I too find at Catalunya. It has a lovely mix of steady state corners that help you balance the car to you liking and transfers well to other tracks. This protocol will save you a lot of time! I guess we can liken this to the real F1 teams arriving at day 1 at Jerez with no data at all versus arriving at Mebourne with some data and a base setup. They wont zero all settings and start from scratch (ie 1/1 settings). They will start from what they know works and adjust from there in either direction.

    I would also compliment glight for his very succint and understandable precis on springs and ARBs and their impact. Could never have said it better.

    As I have improved with the game and my ability to deal with oversteer that base setup has changed a little. But by way of example I will enter a setup session with something I like, possibly slighty adjusted for already known conditions such as Monaco soft rear springs for traction out of slow corners, and high wings.
    My chosen ratio of diference between front to rear wing as you have suggested remains constant. (used to be rear 2 clicks more now one click more btw)
    Bear in mind wing will impact understeer oversteer balance in Med to high speed corners. The other stuff in slow to Med corners.
    So My ARBs, Springs, Ride Height, Camber, Toe in will come "out of the box" how I like them. (will tweak later)

    Like you suggest I will do enough laps to be consistent within .2 sec
    If you have never seen the track such as Germany this year use TT and a ghost but just for intitial famil its no good for setups, grip too high and grip is everything.

    Second Point: Bit like your stage 15 but I think it deserves to be the first stage. My choice is to find an optimum race setup so i will do 90% testing on an average race fuel load say 75% of race distance. IMO tweaks that work well on high fuel will work fine on low fuel but not always the opposite. So little point doing a low fuel setup and then modding for high fuel. Its actually easier to find improvements on high fuel (more obvious). Then mod 7th gear for low fuel and options KERS DRS mix 3.
    Humans use of KERS will vary and in testing we want to reduce variables to I use Mix 2 and no KERS in testing. DRS is not presernt in most race laps so I setup without it too! Later I will do one low fuel, MIX 3, options KERS DRS run to set 7th gear (after aero is set).
    The reason this is important is that your DRS use will make a high wing setup seem faster that it will be in 90% of your race laps (done without DRS).

    If you are testing in a no assists and all sims on environment you also need to restart the session with every setup change as the track will rubber in and get faster. (another variable we want to remove).

    I would say that setting gearing to a wing setting of 1/1 is an unneccessary step.(stage 4) It will need to be done again.
    Stage 4 some R&D targets are very hard and will not be achieved on the engineers setup IMO.
    For this reason you will need to do some setup in GP mode vs Career and arrive in career with a good setup.
    Stage 7; In F1 you set the car to run high and soft or low and stiff. Starting point of ride height 1/1 and springs 1/1 is low and soft.
    Stage 9 ARBs. IMO the ratio between ARBs is a key issue. Front ARB helping turn in and rear ARB helping mid corner and exit.
    So the recommended process of setting one than the other in isolation may be an issue.
    If you like understeer have a little more rear ARB oversteer more front ARB.
    Stage 10 camber. Front camber does not impact straight line accelleration or top speed. Rear camber will. Front camber will mainly impact turn in.

    Cheers keep up the good work. Hope you get that Virgin to WCC
  18. Thanks for the compliments David, I wouldn't have that knowledge if it weren't for guys like you and Darren that are able to share it with others.

    Thanks for putting in the time and effort so that we all can learn to be a better racer.
  19. This has been discussed in another thread but needs to be clarified, the description for the rear anti roll bar would suggest that 11 is the softest setting, as you would expect high traction with a softer rear?
  20. David O'Reilly

    David O'Reilly
    A bad quali means I can go forwards in the race.

    Well I have assumed the higher number is the stiffer ARB.
    My testing seems to support this as I get better turn in with higher front ARB.

    My testing indicates softer rear springs (to a point) give more rear grip. Also that the spring variance from front to rear inpacts under/ oversteer.
    I have not tested ARBs for tyre wear.
    I have tested springs taking med settings and then 11/11 and done 5 laps then checking tyre wear. The wear (in practice mode)was identical. (86%on primes). Maybe its scripted in practice? Dont know.
    Something however is impacting tyre wear in races though as some drivers are getting much more wear with their setups.