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 2 – INSTALATION - 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 3 – TRACK 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 4 – AERODYNAMICS (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.