For Grand Prix 2 by MicroProse
|Themis Kafetzopoulosí Setup Guide.|
|A few words from the author|
|This is a setup guide/manual for the best F1
simulator, Grand Prix 2 by Microprose. After reading it you will have fully
comprehend the concept of general and basic setup elements and values,
as well as some of the more detailed and specialized features. Reader's
convenience was first priority when the guide was written, as the original
manual of GP2 was very complicated for people whose mother language is
different than English, but even for English people, as many elements are
described with too many technical terms.
I hope that this guide will really help GP2 fans, as the setup is a mystery to many people. In addition, setting your car up by yourself and not by finding ready setups made by others, gives a very nice feeling and makes you a lot more confident. But the biggest advantage is that you can set your car up according to your driving style and demands. How many times haven't you borrowed a setup which was crap? But, for the one who gave it to you, could be ideal. This guide is very analytical, so if you already know how to make a setup you can pass the first parts and go straight to advanced level, although a second opinion wouldn't be bad.
Something else you should know is that if you're determined to make really good setups, then you can't ignore performance analysis. Last thing is that I want to thank all grandprix2.com.listbot's members who have shown interest about this. I wouldn't have done it without you boosting me guys.
Themis "Opterios" Kafetzopoulos: firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Things to know for the setups|
|Car Setup Standard Menu|
|The car setup standard menu is the most important
part of a car's setup. If this part of the setup is correctly adjusted,
then the setup will most likely be good.
Good setup is characterized the one which will allow the driver to achieve pole position in Ace difficulty level.
|It's probably the most important element in a car's setup. The first
question you would ask someone for his setup is the rear wing value.
IMPORTANT: You should first adjust the rear wing, as it is the point
where it is recommended you should start setting up your car.
The rear wing produces downforce, which pushes the car down, so that
it can have better grip. The more the downforce the better the grip.
|The front wing is a lot easier to adjust. That is because, unlike with
reality, the front wing in GP2 does NOT produce aerodynamic drag.
So, the only factor taken in mind when adjusting it is the kind of car balance you prefer.
This is again up to you. If you need an understeering car, then lower the wing (-). If you want an oversteering car increase the wing's value.
Be aware: by putting the same value in front and rear wing doesn't always mean that the car will be neutral.
Its adjustment is always depended by the rear wing's value (this is explained more analytically below).
Since the front wing doesn't produce aerodynamic drag, it is recommended that you never lower its value under 6 or 7 points.
It doesn't matter either if you have 1 at the rear wing. You can always have the front above 6. Otherwise, the car will be very understeering.
Just to give you a clue, my personal settings for Monza are: rear wing 1, front wing 9.
Now, if the rear wing's value is above 9 or 10, then, and ONLY THEN, a good advice is to start with the front wing 1-3 points down,
again depending on the kind of balance you want (over/understeer, or neutral).
For example, if you have the rear wing at 18, then a good value for people who prefer an understeering car for the front wing is 16 or even 15.
|It's usually easy to adjust the brake balance. For fast tracks, where
you have to slow down from very high speeds, you should adjust the balance
the front. That way, the car will be braking more strongly, but will be a bit more understeering while braking, but this is of low importance, since I don't
believe there is anyone in GP2 who brakes and steers at the same time.
You should however keep the balance below 36-64 (rear-front), because the car will be blocking too easily the front wheels.
Do the contrary for slow, twisty tracks, but keep the balance above 45-55 (rear-front), because the braking will start being inefficient.
|The gear ratios are totally depended by the rear wing's value. That's
why you should first adjust the rear wing, as mentioned before.
For those who are totally unfamiliar to the gear ratios, here is the general idea. The longer the gear (+) the greater the top speed, but the slower the acceleration. The shorter the gear (-) the lower the top speed, but the better the acceleration. As you understand, the bigger the rear wing's value is, the shorter the gears must be and the opposite: the lower the rear wings value is, the longer the gears must be.
The only headache here is to find the correct value for the first and the sixth gear. When this is done, then you just equally adjust the rest gears between the first and sixth gear. The first gear should be about 29-31 for the very fast tracks (Monza, Hockenheim etc) and 27-28 for the slower tracks (Monaco, Hungary etc).
Try to be in those values for the first gear, as a lower value will cause a lot of wheelspin and a higher value will make the car slow to accelerate.
So, all we have to do now is to find the 6th gear's value. You should now do the following. Find the longest straight of the track you want to set up the car for, and make sure that a little before the braking point, the rev meter has reached its maximum value. If it doesn't, then you should lower the 6th gear. If it does a lot before the braking point, you should try a longer gear.
This is not much difficult to find. After two or three tests, you will have found the right value. Now, adjust the rest of the gears with equal difference between first and sixth gear. Actually, my personal opinion is that the second and third gear should be a bit shorter (-) than normal (by one point), so that the car can accelerate fast when it's moving at low speeds, but this is for medium speed tracks mostly. Anyway, don't try this until you have some experience with setting up your car..
|It's time to set your car up!|
|Now, you have all the basic knowledge that is required to set you car
up. Don't get disappointed if your first attempts aren't that good.
It will be probably because you haven't yet adjusted the advanced level. Normally, if you are a good driver, you'll make a satisfying setup for the beginning.
The setups you can make now are capable of giving you easily the pole position in Semi-Pro level, given that you normally drive at higher difficulty levels.
|Car Setup Advanced Menu|
|Advanced level is vital in order for the driver to be fast at higher
If you are determined to be the champion at Pro, or Ace, then you should pay attention to the advanced setup menu.
Firstly you must know that in F1, on the contrary with normal cars, the softer the suspension the better the grip.
In addition, a soft suspension wears (=makes useless) the tyres slower than a stiffer one.
On the other hand, a stiff suspension provides better handling and allows us to lower the car's height.
Here we come to the first element of an F1 car's suspension, the ride height.
|The ride height is simply the height of the car's floor from the ground.
Simple to understand. But what does it really effect?
As said before, the higher the rear wing the more the downforce, but the less the top speed.
Ride height is a very important element, which is not payed as much attention as it should.
By lowering the car, you get extra downforce without any aerodynamic drag (which causes lower top speed). This is very important.
You must always make sure you have the car as low as you can.
What you should pay attention at, is the difference between front and rear values.
The rear part of the car is always more high. A good difference between the values (depending on the track) is 15-25 points.
For example, you can have 15mm front and 40mm rear.
You must adjust the difference in values in such a way which won't cause oversteer, or understeer. You must experiment with this.
The lower the front or the higher the rear causes oversteer, and the higher the front and the lower the rear causes understeer.
|So, if a low car is so advantageable, why not lower it as much as possible?
If the car is too low, then its floor will be touching the ground (when driving, you will see a line at the damage indicator on the right of your cockpit which
shows when the car is touching the ground). This happens at top speeds, because as the car gains speed, it lowers.
In order to avoid this, you can fit the car with packers.
The packers are a set of bump stops which limit the downward movement of the car.
More simply, they reduce the travel value of the car's suspension.
This prevents the floor of touching the ground, but your suspension will be a bit less "efficient" on bumpy surfaces.
For this reason, most people are afraid of adding a lot of packers, but I believe that the benefit of the lowered car outweights the disadvantage of the low
travel of the suspension. I recommend you to use packers as much as required fearlessly!
Now, how will you know when the packers are enough?
When the car won't be touching the floor anymore (in qualifying you won't mind if the car is touching the floor at the end of some straights for a while.
On the contrary, this is the ideal occasion).
And how will you know that you haven't fitted more packers than necessary?
You will keep reducing packers until you see that the car is touching the ground only at very high speeds (if you're racing at a very hight percentage of
race distance, then you should make sure that the car doesn't touch the ground at all).
Using performance analysis will help you determine the appropriate amount of packers required.
|The springs are something we should take seriously in mind, when experimenting
with the ride height.
Packers are not the only thing which will allow us to lower the car.
Stiffening the springs will allow lower ride heights, plus the handling will be improved.
The disadvantage of stiff springs is the rapid tyre wear and the reduced grip. You should soften the springs at bumpy tracks.
A softer spring allows to pass over the kerbs and bumps of the track without wheelspin.
But, a soft spring will demande a higher ride height, which reduces the downforce.
Softer springs though, will improve the grip of the car a bit.
Some people stiffen the springs in order to remove packers, so that the car's suspension will have a bigger travel value.
Unless the track's surface is very smooth, I believe that this is very wrong.
The first priority by which springs are adjusted is the track's bumpiness and then the grip.
Besides, by stiffening the springs you do limit the travel value of the car, only now the car will suffer when passing over bumps.
For once again: don't be afraid to use packers, BUT be careful not to use more than enough.
|Now, here is the tricky part. You should know what a damper is from
your experience with normal cars.
Only that here, the dampers are adjusted by four ways.
Combine the list's elements below and you will get a picture of what each of the four adjustements does:
|The anti-roll bars are only effective when the car has zero roll angle
(=when the car is in the middle of a corner).
As you see, this means that the anti-roll bars are more effective in long lasting corners. Soften them to improve grip at long corners.
If the track has not that kind of corners (e.g. Monaco except for the long left corner before the casino) you should stiffen the bars to improve handling.
Generally you should have in mind that the stiffer the suspension is at the front, or the softer at the rear, the more understeering the car is.
So goes the other way round: the softer the suspension is at the front, or the stiffer at the rear, the more oversteering the car is.
|You are now ready to make a complete setup.
After a while, and a lot of experimenting, you will be able to make ideal setups for your driving style.
You will know when a setup is good for you, when it's driveable, and takes you in good places on the grid.
I want for once again to emphasize the importance of making your own
I believe that without setting up the suspension, there will always
be a lack of speed and driveability.
|Differences between qualifying and race setups|
|As said in the beginning of the guide, the instructions in the guide
are for qualifying setups.
Well, now we are going to see what changes we must make at a good qualifying setup to make it a good race setup.
If you followed the instructions about the ride height (lowering the
car as much as possible), then your car must be instantly touching the
One more thing that you could change for a race setup is the wing's
|Thank you for reading Themis Kafetzopoulos' Setup Guide.
There is no tutorial that can fully teach you how to make perfect setups, since there are hundreds of different driving styles and ways to play GP2.
I just hope I showed you some first steps, upon which you will develop as a master of setups.
Please, for any comments, good or bad, suggestions, ideas and questions,
|Copyright © 1999 Themis Kafetzopoulos.|