F1 car setup

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Post Thu Apr 17, 2008 2:25 pm

Hi, I'm trying to understand a bit about F1car setup. I've got the EA F12002 game which has all the setup options I could ever want, but how generally is an F! car setup?

To go into more detail, take the spring rate, in the game it goes from 100 - 250 k/mm in increments of 5 both front and rear. I understand that the front should be stiffer than the rear so that under braking the rear gives up it's load slower and helps with traction on the exit, but how big should the difference be?

Then downforce, do you have less at the front than the rear? The range is 0 - 50 front and rear

And rollbars?

The mid point for the springs is 175 k/mm
The mid point for the front bar is 200 k/mm (100-300) increments of 10
The mid point for the rear bar is 90 k/mm (50-130) increments of 10

Tires? in the game they go from 90 - 195 kPA, I guess psi is the common units though. Something I read said that in psi around 23-24 for the front and 19-20 at the rear.

in kPA tha reads about 156/130 but the stock setups in the game are always around 135 front and 130 rear.

(To convert from to multiply by
pound per square pascal (Pa) 6,894.757)

I aprecciate that driver preference and circuit considerations play their part and there's plenty of other setup options but it seems these are the fundamentals so I would like to get a handle on these first.

Any help aprecciated, thanks.
Joined: 1 Apr 2008

Post Thu Apr 17, 2008 2:39 pm

We are not really talking about F1 car setup here, but game setup.

There are plenty of places around where you could get some really good and specific advice - such as Race Sim Central - http://forum.rscnet.org/

They have an EA Games sub-section - http://forum.rscnet.org/forumdisplay.php?f=536

I honestly don't think there are absolutes in the setup game. Does F12002 have a telemetry bit? Use that to see how your car is behaving and make decisions based on that.

Some things you can do by feel and common sense. E.g. do the fronts lock up on braking? Questions - educate the driver? Too much front brake bias? Is it hitting the bump stops and needs more ride height (or maybe needs a stiffer spring)? etc. etc.

I suggest that you DON'T follow the usual guidelines - e.g. for more oversteer stiffen the rear etc.

It depends where and why a car is doing something. What is the car doing on corner entry - mid corner and corner exit? Are these corners traction limited or dominated by aero? Is there one part of the track where you might tune the car for and give away a little somewhere else (i.e. a part of the track where you can make up a lot of time)?

Pay a lot of attention to the differential settings.

For tyre pressures, the usual advice is adjust them to get a fairly even temp spread inside to outside (the pressure setting usually affects the centre reading most) - BUT the camber is important too (I don't know for sure with this game) you will probably (should) find that the car is quicker with slightly higher inside temps than outside.

An imprecise answer - but I wanted to point out that (as you hinted ;)) you should focus on the car at any particular track rather than looking at very general answers.
Joined: 6 Jun 2005

Post Thu Apr 17, 2008 4:19 pm

Every kind of F1 racing simulator has different physics engine, and are still far from reality.

I think that trying to relate a F1 car setup with a game setup is useless. Physics engines always has got flaws, where with an "unrealistic for a F1" car setup you can make your game car go faster.

The most evident example is in the old Microprose GP2, where front wing had little incidence in drag, thus very fast setups could be made with rear wings=0 and ultra-soft rear suspension + high front wings and ultra-stiff suspension.

Another example is GP4, where at Indy I use very little wing (final speed of 340kph) because I discovered that aero doesn´t help much in internal slow corners and a good mechanical setup makes the car turn decently, the result: 2 secs a lap faster than the computer controlled cars in ace level!

So, for the game, I suggest you to do what RH1300S said, check game telemetry, change parameters, give a couple of laps and see how it worked out. That for every track and condition (qualy/race) paying no attention to what a real F1cars setup is.

However, I would like (just for curiosity) to know more about F1 car setups. :D
"You need great passion, because everything you do with great pleasure, you do well." -Juan Manuel Fangio

"I have no idols. I admire work, dedication and competence." -Ayrton Senna
Joined: 10 Jul 2007
Location: Argentina

Post Fri Apr 18, 2008 12:24 pm

Ok guys thanks, and thanks for the links RH1300S.
Joined: 1 Apr 2008

Post Fri Apr 18, 2008 5:11 pm

kensaundm31 wrote:Ok guys thanks, and thanks for the links RH1300S.

You should read this. It helps a lot! It can be used for F1-2002 and F1C and maybe somewhat to rFactor.

f1world.kiev.ua/F1Challenge Driving Guide
Joined: 5 Apr 2007
Location: Kyiv, Ukraine

Post Sat Apr 19, 2008 12:42 pm

Thanks modbaran I'll have a read.

What does this mean.?
http://img177.imageshack.us/my.php?imag ... clelj6.jpg
Joined: 1 Apr 2008

Post Sat Apr 19, 2008 6:43 pm

I have had the same game and have now F1 Challenge which is mainly the same.

As for setup, there you can spend a lot of time on it.
But first of all you must be able to handle the game and car.

If you can this start playing arount with the parameters.
And this is taking the time.
You must have a idear of what you are doing and you should concentrate on the parameters who have a clear influence on the car.
I never reallised a positive effect by the tire pressure so if your temperatures are normal you can ignore it.
First of all find a good wing setup for the track. I always had more front wing
than rear for better turn in handling as the cars usually understeer a bit.
Set the chamber at front higher for better turning (arount 2.7).
If you have this reduce the ride high of the car.
You must check this by the telemetry.
I played around until I had the front in every circumstances a bit lower than the
rear for better underflow aero and diffuser effect.
This also makes the rear springs softer, or as soft as possible to prevent
suddenly apearing oversteer at corner exit.
Front springs harder as rear ones.
But this also depends on track so you must check the changes.
This can take several hours.
Rollbars- soft at rear and hard at front.
Where the effect of the front rollbars is very little.
I once got the idear that the front antirollbars should be harder than the front springs so that the springs can't negate the effect of the rollbars.
But I am not quite sure on them.
It also goes hand in hand with the damper setup but this is to detailed for now.

Feel free to ask further questions, so we can diskus this more detailed.
Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Location: Germany

Post Sat Apr 19, 2008 9:43 pm

Hi kensaundm31,

Try the excel spreadsheet at the website below, it should help you,

Project Four
Joined: 24 Jan 2008

Post Tue Apr 22, 2008 2:27 pm

thanks for info mep.

I've found also that how you drive (where you brake, how you brake where you turn in) all that can affect understeer/oversteer conditions.

I don't use any driver aids but the engine map in f12002 is brutal in slow corners.
But I've found I can live with 225 front springs and 215 rear at Spa but I will soften the rear at some point.

Project Four, wow that looks great! I'm downloading the Office 2007 trial as I write.
Joined: 1 Apr 2008

Post Tue Apr 22, 2008 5:46 pm

SPA is a very unnormal track.
I run a setup there which is totally different than on the other tracks.
The reason lies in the stille of the corners, who are mainly very fast.

You must play there a bit with the wings because you can gain some
time there during the very long full throthle phases.
Importand is here that you still can drive some corners without
lifting the throthle.
Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Location: Germany

Post Tue Apr 22, 2008 6:05 pm

mep wrote:SPA is a very unnormal track.
I run a setup there which is totally different than on the other tracks.
The reason lies in the stille of the corners, who are mainly very fast.

These are tracks where I use "odd" setups to go fast:
SPA and Suzuka: very hard suspension and middle-low wings
Monza-Hockenheim: medium suspension and very low wings
Monaco-Hungaroring: very soft suspension and very high wings
Montreal-Indy: very soft suspension and middle-low wings

In all other tracks, the setup is very similar with little adjustmentes in wings, gears, brake balance and diff setting.
Diferences between rear and front are always set in order to achieve little understeering in corner entrance and little oversteer in the exits.
"You need great passion, because everything you do with great pleasure, you do well." -Juan Manuel Fangio

"I have no idols. I admire work, dedication and competence." -Ayrton Senna
Joined: 10 Jul 2007
Location: Argentina

Post Thu Apr 24, 2008 2:08 pm

Belatti, I can understand why you would need a soft springs for the very slow section at Indy.

At Spa though Even though I have hard springs I have the front ride height about 2.8 and the rear about 4.0, but should they be lower and closer together?

Here's a link to a screenshot of a friction circle for the spa track, I have absolutely no idea what it means, could someone explain please.
Joined: 1 Apr 2008

Post Thu Apr 24, 2008 2:44 pm

Well, just by examining the friction circle I can discern your driving habits. You like to hammer the brakes in a straight line, and then turn in.

I suggest you examine trail braking, and try to learn this skill.
Racing should be decided on the track, not the court room.
Joined: 20 Jan 2005

Post Thu Apr 24, 2008 4:38 pm

Dave is 100% right.

If your friction circle is similar to a "circle" or elipse (mind that braking accel will always be bigger than foward acceleration) you will be faster and tires will last longer.


If the higher quarters has the shape of the red line I draw, that means you brake first and once slow, you begin turning. Like Dave said, "you smash brakes in straight line and then begin turn in".
This movement lacks of "continuity" if you allow me the word. Tires suffer in one direction and suddenly in another direction at 90°. In all materials, that causes fatigue.

If the tyre can handle a certain amount of Gs (for a determinate speed, lets say 2G laterally and 2G longitudinally) the ideal friction circle has a 2G long radius. You must try to drive as close to that circle as you can.

That means you have to brake while turning! Brake Pedal pressure and steering wheel angle should go inverselly proportional.


Here, Blue driver is faster and smoother than Red driver.

Regarding your setup question at Spa:
Ride height is always determined by car´s floor wear. Try to use the minimun and analise how it is after some laps. If its consuming fast, increase ride height. Soft suspension will increase squat and so floor wear, you´ll need a higher car. The rear is higher than the front because usually you use a softer rear (to help traction).

Also mind that trail braking with a keyboard is harder than with a wheel, cause the lack of analogical input.
"You need great passion, because everything you do with great pleasure, you do well." -Juan Manuel Fangio

"I have no idols. I admire work, dedication and competence." -Ayrton Senna
Joined: 10 Jul 2007
Location: Argentina

Post Thu Apr 24, 2008 8:29 pm

This is quite interresting because until now I didn't know what I should see
in this graph.
Here is my graph.

I thought these graphs would only differ on different tracks,
but now I would say this one looks a bit different than yours.
I wonder what you can say about my driving stile.
I must say that I am driving with keyboard, so it's hard to drive like you say.
And I don't thing that these technic is possibel on every track.
I think you have little succes on tracks like SPA, Monza or Monaco.
Where at Malaysia Barain and the other new tracks this will have a bigger influence.
Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Location: Germany


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