The Yas Marina Circuit has never hosted a wet race. Here’s a setup for when the day finally arrives in F1 2020.
The Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi is up there with Bahrain in the list of the least likely tracks to host a wet race. Nevertheless, it is still technically possible, especially in F1 2020.
Designing a wet setup for this race track requires a focus on drivability and traction. If you want to cope with the wet in the UAE then this is the setup you need to use.
As always in the wet, it’s a good idea to run higher levels of downforce than you would in the dry.
In Abu Dhabi, this means using a 4-9 wing setup. This will give you just enough front-end grip to find your way around the series of 90 degree corners in the final sector without causing you to struggle down the straights.
Also, the high rear wing angle helps to ensure that your car’s rear end will remain nice and planted under traction.
Three things are certain in life: death, taxes, and an on-throttle differential setting of 50%. This, like the high rear wing angle, gives you plenty of rear grip when putting the power down.
The off-throttle setting is more variable. I’ve found that 70% works nicely at the Yas Marina circuit, as it gives good rotation in the series of relatively low speed corners towards the end of the lap without the car becoming unstable.
Your camber settings are another way in which you can create a car which is stable and dependable in the rain.
I would suggest running –2.50 and -1.00 camber settings here. The performance gains that you would get from going for greater levels of camber aren’t worth the instability they create.
I usually find that the minimum toe settings work best at most tracks in both the wet and the dry. A wet Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is no different in this regard. My recommendation is therefore to run 0.05 and 0.20 toe settings.
Softer suspension settings suit the wet conditions, as they give you a less responsive and therefore more predictable car.
Going with 2-3 front and rear suspension settings gives you a car which will respond well enough to your inputs without becoming twitchy in the wet.
For the anti-roll bars, I’ve found that 6-9 is sufficient to prevent mid corner understeer from becoming too major of a factor.
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When it comes to the ride height, the rain always means that you should raise your car up high. The stability afforded by going all the way to 10-11 here is very beneficial indeed.
Whatever you feel comfortable with is the right brake setup for you. Everybody has a slightly different driving style and your brake settings should absolutely be tailored to your own.
For me, 100% brake pressure along with 50% brake bias allows me to have a car with great stopping power without putting too much stress on the front brakes and tyres.
Speaking of the tyres, tyre pressures are the next and final aspect of the setup. As per usual in the wet, lower pressures give you a car which is far easier to drive.
Therefore, 21.8psi for the fronts along with 19.5psi on the rears is my recommendation.
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If, by some miracle, you find your season ending in a wet race in Abu Dhabi, then this setup will ensure that you can end your season with a great result.