Welcome to Hanoi! Here’s how to get the most out of your car around the brand new street circuit.
One of two additions to the original F1 2020 calendar, the Hanoi Street Circuit in Vietnam poses a rather unique challenge.
It’s a difficult circuit to learn, and setup can definitely make a big difference around here.
As the track is so new, the perfect setups are yet to be found. The search for them is made harder by the fact that tyre wear is a very real problem in Hanoi. Nonetheless, this setup will help you find some speed and stability in Vietnam.
Wing settings at Hanoi are more a matter of personal preference than anything. That being said, you’ll want low enough downforce for the long flat out sections, while still having enough aero grip to manage the final sector.
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I’ve found that 6-5 wings do the trick for me. Running a slightly higher front wing than rear wing gives you the bite you need on turn in. What’s more, this setting is low enough to compete on the straights without the car understeering into all of Vietnam’s many walls.
The performance loss from tyre drop-off is enormous at Hanoi. Therefore, it’s important to do what you can to limit wear.
In order to do this, I recommend running 50% for on-throttle differential. This also helps with stability on the exits of the slower corners, which are especially tricky at this track.
Off-throttle is a more complex issue. I’ve gone with 50% for the extra rotation it affords, but running such a low percentage does reduce stability somewhat – so beware!
Front camber is a major problem point in Vietnam. Balancing between a setup which is easy on the tyres and one which allows you to sustain the necessary speeds in the final sector is tough.
Going with -3.10 on the fronts is the best way to achieve this balance. Rear camber is less significant, and so you can lower it to -1.40 to help with tyre wear.
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For toe, I’ve gone a little more aggressive. A front toe of 0.13 gives you a sharper turn in with the nose, while 0.50 on the rears maximises stability under traction.
A responsive car is a happy car in Vietnam. As such, stiff springs are a very appealing prospect.
However, stiffer springs lead to more tyre wear. Not only that, they cause issues when navigating the various high kerbs that the circuit confronts you with.
Nevertheless, a relatively stiff 8-6 for the front and rear suspension should do the trick. If you feel you can do so without losing too much time, lowering these will help your longer runs.
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The anti-roll bars present a similar conundrum. Stiffer anti-roll bars will allow you to really throw you car around in the final sector, but the tyres won’t thank you for it.
With that in mind, I suggest using 8-5 for the front and rear respectively, as limiting your rear tyre wear in particular will pay dividends towards the end of a stint.
Ride height is a far simpler matter. 3-4 will give you the clearance you need, without totally compromising your aerodynamic efficiency.
As usual, I recommend 100% brake pressure for the extra stopping power it provides.
The brake bias is open to interpretation, but I find anything higher than 52% has me locking up the front tyres too often.
Like with suspension, choosing which way to go on Tyres is very difficult. The extra responsiveness a high-pressure tyre brings would be very valuable.
Unfortunately, it’s never that simple. Higher pressures lead to higher temperatures, which in turn gives you more wear.
I’ve found that 23.0 on the fronts maintains a decent balance, while 21.1 on the rears is a must for keeping their wear under control.
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Vietnam is a very tough circuit, and responsiveness, traction stability, and tyre wear are all huge factors. With this setup, I hope you will find the balance between these three things that you will need to succeed.