PART 1 As I said in the european season 5 thread I will now cover what I consider to be basic advice on setting up the MMG F1 league car. I'm no expert so I'm writing this hoping that this will become a collaborative process which we can all pitch in to. Feel free to post anything that I don't cover and point out anything I might have got wrong, it will be much appreciated. Tires: With out doubt tires are the most important part of any race car because they are the only thing that actually interfaces with the track surface, a car without tires is like a plane without wings. Only a small part of the tire actually touches the track at any one time. This is called the contact patch and the bigger it is as well as a high amount of force pushing it against the track the more grip you have. Many things affect how big it is and how much force is pushing it against the tarmac at any one time such as the mass of the car, downforce, springs, anti-roll bars, dampers etc. but most importantly it's down to the tire itself, how it's aligned and what the tire pressure is. Tire pressures are one of the most important if not the most important setup parameter especially in an F1 car. The way you determine whether or not the tire pressures are set correctly is through the tire temperature readings. When you go into the setup menu you get three readings for each tire: inside center and outside. The one you want to pay the most attention to is the one in the center. Most tires work best if the center temperature is the average of the inside and outside temperatures so it would read: I 100*c/C 95*c/O 90*C. However these tires seem to work best if the center temp is about equal to that of the outer temp as demonstrated by motec: Wings: The wings on a race car act on very similar principles to the wings on an airplane. They are just turned upside down so that instead of generating lift they generate downforce.The downforce pushes the tires into the track increasing the grip of the tires as air speed increases. The side effect with wings is that they generate this downforce at the expense of added aerodynamic drag (or air resistance) which lowers the top speed you can achieve. Higher wing settings increase downforce and drag. You are faster in the corners but slower on the straights. Lower wing settings decrease downforce and drag. You are slower in the corners but faster on the straights. For tracks like Monza or Spa which have long straights lower settings lead to faster laptimes. For tracks like Monaco or Hungaroring which have short straights and lots of corners higher values lead to faster laptimes. There's been some talk about "the ratio" between the front wing settings and the rear wing settings in order to get the best balance. 1 setting in the front for every 4 in the rear has been somewhat accepted, so you would have settings like 5/20, 6/24, 7/28. For me I use settings like 5/28 6/29 7/31, as you can see there isn't such a linear relationship Gears: Your gearing is heavily influenced on what wing settings you use so wings and gears can usually be changed at the same time if you know what gear settings will be needed for which wing settings. you always want to set 7th gear so that you almost hit the 19000rpm mark at the end of the longest straightaway right before you brake for the incoming corner. You always want to set 1st gear for maximum acceleration out of the slowest corner on the track. You will usually arrive at a 1st gear setting where you are going around 175 kph at 19000 rpm. You usually want all the rest of the gears evenly spaced between 1st and 7th gears but if you find you're shifting in the middle of a corner than you may need to adjust this a little bit if it's slowing you down. Suspension: I'm going to explain suspension in sections: springs and ride-height, dampers, and alignment and anti-roll bars. Springs and ride-height: Most of the time I find myself setting the springs as soft as I possibly can. This means that the springs are just stiff enough to overcome the forces which make the bottom of the car want to scrape on the surface of the track. 99% of the time even the softest setting of 58N/mm (front and rear) keeps the car off the ground even with the lowest ride height settings of 1.5cm and 2.0cm and so this is usually how I setup the car. However I've known for quite some time that many drivers use 58N/mm springs in the front and 80N/mm springs or higher in the rear and I've experimented with this a little bit. Higher spring values usually decrease the level of grip on the tire to which they are attached. This can be used to balance the oversteer and understeer characteristics of the car. Higher values in the rear relative to the front usually result in some form of oversteer but sometimes it makes the car turn better especially at tracks with high speed corners like suzuka. Higher spring values in the rear also tend to allow higher negative camber in the rear. On F1 cars you have the two seperate springs for each wheel on each end of the car just like any other but there are also two additional springs one on each end. These are called the 3rd springs, you can think of them as a sort of opposite of anti roll bars because they don't act when the car is rolling but do when both wheels are being acted on with the same force, such as when aerodynamic forces are pushing down on the car or longitudinal G force when braking or accelerating in a straight line. The same setup tips for the regular springs can be applied to these and that is setting them as soft as possible. In fact I've found that you usually don't need the front 3rd spring altogether and can set it to zero. You don't want to set the rear one much under 40N/mm under normal conditions. dampers: These control how fast the suspension moves over bumps and weight transfer. When you try to move the plunger on a regular fluid damper up and down you'll notice that slow and steady force on the plunger eventually gets it to the end of it's travel but powerful, sharp impacts aren't likely to have the same effect as the damper seems to increase its resistance to the forces you are exerting on it. The damper settings on the car control how resistant the damper is. If the suspension moves faster because there is less resistance it feels softer and if it moves slower because there is more resistance it feels harder. Low settings mean less resistance and high settings mean more resistance. as I'm sure you've noticed there are sixteen settings for the dampers on the entire car, four for each wheel. you have fast bump and rebound and slow bump and rebound. On some of the bumpier tracks I often find that the setting range for fast bump limits you to a setting that is too high, the setting really needs to be lower than 1 in order for the setting to be optimized. That's not to say that I use the lowest setting all the time, it usually ranges from 1-8. This is quite a large range and experimentation is the only way I know of to find what's best for any particular track. I usually set fast rebound between 4-8, lower settings than that seem to make the car unstable or overreactive in the bumpy sections, grip will suddenly dissappear sometimes causing the car to oversteer or understeer wildly. My final peice of advice on setting fast dampers as a whole is that oftentimes the car will respond well to both fast bump and fast rebound being set to the same number such as: fast bump:5 fast rebound:5 or fast bump:7 fast rebound:7. The slow settings almost exclusively control how the car reacts to weight transfer when braking turning and accelerating. Lower settings make the car more reactive but too low and the car will be difficult to control. Cars that are setup for drifting usually have lower damper settings than those setup for racing so the driver can make the car slide using weight transfer techniques. High settings can make the car sluggish with low grip while transferring weight. If your front slow bump settings are too low the car will overreact to braking making the car twitch with oversteer under braking and turn-in, in an extreme case the car will spin out while turning in to a corner (make sure your brake balance isn't the problem before making the conclusion that your front slow bump settings are to blame). If it's set too high the car may understeer on turn-in and be sluggish to get into the corner, settings usually range from 4-7. If your front slow rebound setting is too low the car will oversteer on the exit of corners, especially slow ones (too much throttle or gears that are too short are usually to blame for this). If it's set too high the car will understeer on the exit of corners, settings usually range from 7-10. If your rear slow bump setting is too low the car will understeer on the exit of corners. If it's too high the car will oversteer on the exit of corners, settings usually range from 2-4. If your rear slow rebound setting is too high the car will oversteer turning in to the corner. If it's too low the car will oversteer on turn in, settings usually range from 4-6. As I said the slow settings almost exclusively control how the car transfers weight but I've found that they can affect how the car reacts to bumps also. The bumps in turn 1 of Istanbul are the best example where I had to lower my slow settings by 1-2 from what I would usually do to make the car somewhat smooth. In my opinion damper settings are the most dependent on the driver's preference than any other setting and you may find that very different damper settings than what I use suit your style. There are also the settings for the 3rd dampers. If you find that you can set one of the 3rd springs to 0N/mm than you won't technically need a 3rd damper as I understand it. Setting the 3rd dampers to 0N/mm/s on the end of the car where you have a 3rd spring set up will lead to undamped oscillations that can quickly upset the car. For example if you have your rear 3rd spring set to 50N/mm but your rear damper settings all set to 0N/mm/s you will get these oscillations. here's a more recent perspective I posted in another thread that I've found great success with so far my source, again I posted this in another thread alignment: There are three different alignment parameters you can setup. Camber, Toe and Caster. According to Car and Driver Magazine: Camber is the vertical angle of the wheels when looking at the car head-on. Adding negative camber-when the tops of the wheels are closer to the bottoms-keeps the tires' contact patches flatter when a car is in a corner, thus maximizing the tires' grip. Toe is the relationship between the leading and trailing edges of one axle's tires. An axle with "toe-in" has the tires' leading edges set closer inward than the trailing edges. the opposite is "toe-out." changing toe at the front or rear can help the car turn more easily. Caster is the relationship between the vertical axis of the wheel and the steering axis and, therefore, only applies to the steering axle. Camber settings are usually a trade-off of cornering performance and braking/acceleration performance. The more negative camber you have the faster the car is in the corners but you can't apply as much brake pressure before locking up. -4.0 to -5.0 in the front and -3.5 to -4.0 in the rear are the ranges I stick to. Toe is usually a trade-off of cornering performance, straight line speed and stability but I haven't noticed the negative effects much in this car so you can pretty much do whatever settings you want without much worry. One thing you need to know is that negative settings work in both the front and the rear. It's a bit strange that negative settings work in this car, with other cars you get massive grip loss but this car gets much better turn-in performance with high negative settings. Caster is a very nice setting to have because as you turn the steering wheel your caster angle increases the camber of the outside wheel for more cornering grip and decreases the camber of the inside wheel for more braking performance therefore you can reduce the front inside lockup you sometimes get while trail braking. You may have to balance your camber settings and caster settings because too much camber can decrease the size of your contact patch as the outside tire's outside edge gets lifted off the track. To a certain extent the decrease in the inside tire's camber angle can reduce cornering performance so it's possible to overdo your caster settings. The relationship between anti-roll bars, springs and alignment: Anti-roll bars generally increase the amount of weight transfer between the outside and inside tires. This decreases grip for the benefit of good direction change and "feel." Before I started driving this car anti-roll bars seemed to be my enemy, I would set them as low as possible or even eliminate the rear one if I could and to a great extent I still do but things are a little different with this car. F1 cars employ double wishbone suspension so that there is no change in camber when the suspension moves vertically over bumps or front-back weight transfer. However when the car rolls there is a decrease in the negative camber of the outside wheel and an increase in the camber of the inside wheel. An anti-roll bar decreases roll so you maintain more camber and increase your cornering speeds. This has the most dramatic affect when applied to the front end. The rear doesn't respond so well to such a setup because the roll bar's negative effects on weight transfer have more of an impact on driven wheels. Higher diff settings should be able to cancel out any negative effects of high roll bar settings in the rear to a certain extent. Spring settings higher than 80N/mm can allow more rear camber to be effective without any negative effects because roll is reduced by the springs with no lifting effect on the inside rear wheel. High spring settings can also be used to fight the lifting effect from a high roll bar setting Differential: The differential controls the difference in speed between the two rear wheel under certain conditions. A differential that doesn't allow the wheels to spin at different speeds wouldn't allow the car to corner without one of the wheels to slip. This video demonstrates an "open" differential where if you spin only one wheel the other moves the opposite way. If you keep one wheel from spinning you can still move the other because the whole thing will rotate as demonstrated in the middle of the video where the right wheel is rotating that the left isn't. A regular "open" differential that isn't a limited slip will spin the inside tire under acceleration and so you tend not to accelerate at the full potential of the tire's grip. A limited slip differential which an F1 car certainly has will lock the rear tires together to a certain extent as well as other things in order to maximize traction but you have to setup how it does this and it's all a balancing act. There are four differential settings, power, coast, preload and pump. The power setting controls how much the differential locks up when accelerating and is probably the most important for getting the car out of the corner, A 0% power setting will cause the differential to behave like an open differential and the inside tire to spin when exiting a corner which may cause either under or oversteer depending on the particular car, but which ever one it does cause 100% power setting will often cause the same general problem in my experience, but it will feel different and you'll have to experience both for yourself in order to distinguish if your setting is too low or too high. the coast setting controls how much locking there is under braking which increases braking stability, if you're experiencing lots of oversteer going into a corner and you've ruled out your brake balance as the problem, you may want to increase this setting as well as looking at your trail braking technique to see if your driving needs improvement. the pump setting counteracts differences in wheel speed between the two rear wheels, where the inside wheel always wants to spin faster than the outside in a corner the pump counteracts this and can even spin the outside wheel if it's set too high, if you're getting power understeer it's good to increase this setting. The preload controls how much torque it takes for the diff to allow a wheelspeed difference, a low preload setting can make the car either oversteery or easier to turn, but a high preload can make the car not want to turn at all. High speed corners is where I see this setting making the most difference. Low settings=faster turning or more oversteer, high settings=faster acceleration out of slow corners or less oversteer in high speed corners. If all settings were set to 0 the differential would effectively be an open differential. If all settings were set to 100% the differential would be locked all the time. simbin's mistake?: In the setup menu you're actually setting up the pump setting when you change the setting under "lock" right above the coast setting. This is only true for the mmg f1 and at least some if not all the original race07 cars but not the gtr evo cars where the lock setting sets the power setting. I always had thought that "lock" meant power because it's in the same place as the power setting is in relation to the others in the GTR2 menu. In order to setup the power setting (which I think is a more important setting) you have to open up the setup file in notepad and do it like you change the 7th gear. Ventilation: The engine ducts and brake ducts provide air to cool the engine and brakes respectively. You want to set these as low as you possibly can without overheating the engine or losing braking power because the cooling comes at the expense of lower top speeds on the straights. So that's all I can think of for right now. I'll end up making (probably extensive) updates to this thread as I'm sure I've missed something important. Questions and answers: Q: 1 - What is the ideal temperature of the tires? 2 - Differential: Power, Pump? I did not know about this issue as I have introduce in the sims with the Simbin simulator, so, power in the locking of the wheels and pump is the power? What are the tipical values of this parameters? A: 1 - I'm almost sure that the ideal tire temperature is 95*C 2 - I'm not quite confidant in my understanding of the difference between power and pump after reading this: http://f1elites.com/4d/?p=8 I've found that typical values for pump are 5% - 40% and power are 15% - 60% I hope that answers your question Q: I've got a question about the 3rd spring - I'm not sure what number I should set it to in the text file as I look at the relationship between the front and rear springs - ingame front are 58N/mm and rear are 80N/mm but when I look them up in the text file front springs are 0 and rears are 11. So my question is if I want a rear 3rd spring of 40N/mm or 50N/mm what value would I put in the text file? A: The 3rd spring settings start from 0 so if you set it to 0 than it will be 0N/mm. I think they still go by 2's just like the other springs so a setting of 1=2N/mm 2=4N/mm and so on. A setting of 20 in the text file will make 40N/mm, a setting of 25 will make 50N/mm. And I think you might be getting confused with the regular springs on all four corners where the minimum is 58N/mm. I'm talking about the 3RD SPRINGS which are below all the other suspension settings in the text file. They look like this: Front3rdPackerSetting=5 Front3rdSpringSetting=35 Front3rdSlowBumpSetting=6 Front3rdFastBumpSetting=2 Front3rdSlowReboundSetting=4 Front3rdFastReboundSetting=2 Rear3rdPackerSetting=10 Rear3rdSpringSetting=40 Rear3rdSlowBumpSetting=6 Rear3rdFastBumpSetting=2 Rear3rdSlowReboundSetting=6 Rear3rdFastReboundSetting=2 PART 2 I've learned a lot since first writing this tread and I haven't really updated it with the pace at which I've been learning. This is partly because I feel I would have to take out huge pieces of what I previously wrote and it might have become a little bit messy. So I've decided to sort of amend what I already have and that means that if there are any contradictions between part 1 and part 2 I now hold the view expressed in part 2 and not in part 1. That said part 2 should cover different things and emphasize different things than part 1. It will be more precise, analytical and maybe even controversial but that's a risk I'm willing to take. Tires: what I said in part 1 about this still largely applies but I didn't know one important detail at the time and so left it out completely. Tire pressures change two things: the temperature of the tire especially the center reading and the spring rate of the tire. Although this seems very intuitive that changing the tire pressure changes it's stiffness, what I said before doesn't help the reader to take this into consideration while they change their tire pressures. I think it's very important to consider this when developing a setup because it especially alters what you're anti-roll bar and spring settings will be, it even changes the ride height of the car. So you may ask what 1 kpa of tire pressure is equivalent to in spring rate? This is a .tyr file parameter so I can answer this easily. The file says: front: SpringBase=72460.0 // Base spring rate with no pressure SpringkPa=1200.00 // Spring rate per unit pressure rear: SpringBase=73757.0 SpringkPa=1200.0 This means that 1 kpa is equivalent to 1.2 N/mm of spring rate. So if I set my front tires to 110 kpa they start with a spring rate of ~72 N/mm with 132 N/mm coming from the air pressure inside the tire which makes and overall tire spring rate of 204 N/mm. From what I've read this is a realistic number for modern single seater race cars. (Now for something a bit off topic and only really relevant to those who might consider making future f1 mods) I've also read from a reputable source (racecar-engineering magazine V17N12) that F1 tires for the 2007 season were inflated to a little over 3.0 bar which equates to 300 kpa. This was revealed in the scandal where mclaren was spying on ferrari and found out that ferrari was experimenting with gas mixtures trying to find something that would make the tires perform better and last longer. Of course don't set your tires in the game to 300 kpa I'm just saying the tire pressures don't apply to what would happen in real life and vice versa for those who may be interested. Back on topic Aerodynamics: I used to think that when other setup guides talk about how the ride height affects the aerodynamics it only really applied to the old ground effect cars. This is not the case however as modern single seaters are heavily affected by ride height. Generally the lower your ride height the better, you get less drag and more downforce. Ride height can also affect the aerodynamic balance. The performance of the diffuser is what determines this as there is an optimum rake (or ride height slope between the front ride height and rear ride height) for optimum diffuser performance which gives the most rear downforce. At this point the red bull RB7 is being run with a lot of rake shown here: Also the lower you're front ride height is to the ground the better the front wing works because it generates a small ground effect. That's why flexibility of front wings in f1 is desirable. Unfortunately there is little we can do to really optimize the ride heights for aerodynamic performance and I'll get to that in the suspension section. Suspension: I guess I'll start with the limitations we run into when setting up the suspension first of all. Now I'm sure that most have noticed by now that 58 N/mm is pretty much the universal front spring rate that always works. The reason for this is that the bump stops engage much sooner than when the car bottoms out. Here you can see the ride height trace at the top with the damper (or suspension position) trace below it then the ride height trace's derivative followed by the damper trace derivative then verticle G force. The thing you want to focus on is the damper trace. You can see the dotted line which is slightly brighter than the others. That represents when the suspension position is 0. When it's 0 that means it has hit the bump stop and when it is below 0 it is riding on the bump stop which is made of rubber and has a much higher spring rate (that increases exponentially to my understanding) than normal torsion bars. You can also see that when the damper trace flat lines at 0 the ride height trace starts zigzagging erratically showing that the suspension has effectively seized and the car is riding on nothing but the severely under damped tires. This means that what you can do with the suspension is very limited because we are effectively forced to run very tall packers and so a higher front spring rate is all but useless as it doesn't help us at all with running a lower front ride height. I hope that makes things clear as to why we are stuck with 58 N/mm at the front. For the rear the bump stops don't engage as soon and so to counteract the sudden and sharp increase in roll stiffness from the bumpstops engaging at the front we have to run high rear spring rates 70-120 N/mm. This happens most at tracks with high speed corners and so you often see higher rear spring rates at tracks like silvertone and spa. This isn't the only reason for high rear spring rates however. The other purpose is diffuser performance through the maintenance of an acceptable rake angle. So even at tracks with many slow corners high rear spring rates may become desirable along with a ride height setting of 2.0-2.8 As you may already know I've begun using some really strange looking damper settings this season and this is because I learned to calculate the damping ratio of the car and have put more emphasis into using suspension histograms for setting up my dampers. First of all if you want to know what the damping ratio is all about I updated part 1 a while ago which explains all that so refer to the part 1 damper section. After my mathematical adventure I undertook over the winter I found out that it really worked to setup the car according to this at least under most circumstances (it didn't work very well at imola). One of the things it does is balance suspension histograms which you may know about and if you don't then I'll tell you that it's general knowledge that they are supposed to be symmetrical. Before: After: these pictures are a little out dated I think I've perfected it a little more since but you can clearly see that the rear suspension histograms (at the bottom) are asymmetrical being higher on the left (rebound) side reflecting the high rebound damping values that occur when you setup your dampers like: Fast Bump 2 Slow Bump 2 Fast Rebound 3 Slow Rebound 3 rather than how I now set them up which is like: Fast Bump 4 Slow Bump 9 Fast Rebound 1 Slow Rebound 1 PART 3 In part 2 I show a lot of screenshots of my motec project. Since I use it heavily to aid in setting up the car I figured I would post that to since I've designed it around this mod although it wouldn't take much to modify it to lower revving engines, lower speeds and lower amounts of G force. Link to download project: http://www.racedepartment.com/downloads/race-series-misc-6/mmg-motec-project-4921/ and now on with explaining what everything means The visual dash is a good place to watch what you're doing during a lap in a more detailed way than a regular replay. If you put in the time to combine this with a replay it will be quite a powerful tool for driver development. Where the visual dash is good for watching the lap in real time, the driver analysis shows everything over the entire lap. The things you may question are the G force Combined and Steering Angle (neutral), The G force Combined shows overall G force regardless of what direction it is pulling and Steering Angle (neutral) shows the ideal steering angle in real time regardless of optimum slip angles. The oversteer and understeer lights were just a prototype don't pay attention to them, one day I will incorporate tyre data into the project and that will hopefully determine when the car is oversteering or understeering with regard to optimum slip angle. This breaks the laptimes into each corner and straight and adds up all your fastest corner times and straight times to estimate the fastest possible lap. This clearly shows that I lost about .3 of a second in the last 2 corners on my fastest qualifying lap This reads out your maximum G force, speed and engine rpm for each corner and straight. This shows where on the track you were braking and how much This shows where on the track you were on the throttle and how much. This shows which gears you were in on which parts of the track. This shows how much time during the lap the suspension is spending moving at different speeds. Somewhat useful for setting dampers. This is a better picture of what all your suspension components are doing as they work together. If these all look the same you should have pretty good suspension, though I've explained that it is impossible to get them symmetrical with the MMG mod, we are limited in the rebound ranges. This is mostly useful for seeing if your suspension is bottoming out or hitting the bumpstops, not all that useful because with MMG there's little you can do about it. Same as the above just with the rear suspension, you can see that the rear bumpstops don't engage as much as the front. Mostly what you want to look at here is the Pitch (ride height difference) channel. When the red line is below the dotted line at 0 the car is squatting which is bad for diffuser performance. Shows your tyre temps over the course of the lap, if they look like this you're probably good. Shows tyre pressures changing over the course of a lap. Shows the track temp change over the course of a lap, if it does at all. Good at indicating when you're locking a wheel under braking. This indicated I was locking the front left wheel under braking for rascasse. Good for monitoring water and oil temps although MMG doesn't overheat under normal conditions. Histogram of engine rpm, not all that useful but interesting to look at where in the rpm range the engine is spending the most time. Good for showing you're true gear ratios This is really where my project diverts from others because I have all the aerodynamic data in an excel spreadsheet that ports that data into motec to be used as maths channels. Downforce is read as negative lift here. Shows the aerodynamic efficiency (-L/D) over the course of a lap, the large dips are due to decreased diffuser performance. I've read that the actual efficiency of an f1 car of the present period is 3.7/1 rather than 2.44/1 so MMG actually makes less downforce than an real f1 car but can corner faster. This is down how the tyres react to the increased load (load sensitivity). I've also found decent but not exact data for a typical single seater tyre and compared it to the MMG tyre model showing that it is very unrealistic in this.