SETUP GUIDE - by Nicola Della Gioia
How to set up a car and live happy
by Nicola Della Gioia
Is it possible to make the perfect set up? Well I think not, but it's possible to find the best for each driver. To do this it's necessary to understand how a car works and especially how it reacts to a specific set.

It's very simple: higher value means more grip. My personal suggestion is to use the lower possible value for the back wing (=1) at almost all tracks (not at Monaco and Hungary), this means a lot of work to find a stable set up, but earning power will improve a lot of your car. For the front wing I suggest a value from 10 to 12, but this value depends on each track your are driving. The better way to check the best value is to set it to 10 and improve one point at time, when the car is going the "wrong direction" it's time to stop this phase.

We try to find a value for the wings (1x / 1) that will give to the car a little of oversteer. In this way we will use a trajectory closer than the ideal and this can help us to shot out all the power to the engine before that using the ideal trajectory (but of course we will drive the curve with a slower average speed in the first part).

The lower value of this will give grip at low speed (but also a little at high speed). Because we had chosen a very high front wing value it's necessary to start to balance the back of the car. So my personal suggest is to start with the following values: Front Anti-rollbars 12500; Rear Anti-rollbars 0. If we feel the car is too slow, then try to create a trajectory which can reduce the front Anti-rollbars value (not too much otherwise we start to have traction problems and a lot of "rear slide"). By the way I suggest to use always a 0 value for the back Anti-rollbars value.

Packers & Ride Height
This value will be set together. As the GP2 manual explain a low height will give the car more grip I think that when braking it's necessary to a sufficient low packers value. To be honest I really don't have any idea on what is the best set for this, I use in qualify the following value: Front Packers (mm) 31; Front Ride Height (mm) ~20; Rear Packers (mm) 54; Rear Ride Height (mm) ~38. The Ride Height depends on track and the session. During Qualifying the car needs to survive only 2 laps (1 is a slow, very slow launch lap). During the Race you need a more resistant car (so we will add +10/14 mm to the Ride Height). It's possible to improve the rear grip by lowering the ride height (but we need to check that the plates of the car can survive at these values), for the front wing we are already near the ride limit (this is necessary to compensate the high Front Anti-rollbars value)

Damper Fast Bump & Fast Rebound
This value will fix the reaction of the car when you hit a bump of the track, but also the reaction at rapid change of direction. For this last reason it's better to use the higher value (=8) at the front and the also rear part of the car. A low value can give a 'dancing' car during fast action. 

Slow Bump & Slow Rebound
This will set the reaction of the car on small bumps. It's very important to use only the track otherwise we will have a "stifled engine" and we will lose a lot of power. So it's better to use the lower possible value for this set (=0); in this way we should drive an agile car (of course if we touch the track we need a lot of attention to control all).

Front Spring Rate
More value means more grip but also less rapidity, so for the front, that is already very fast, we can choose the max value (=1600).

Rear Spring Rate
Same approach of the front Spring Rate but in this case we need less grip otherwise we risk to have an "heavy" car which will mean a difficult trajectory. So we can start from a value of 1000 and vary this around trying to find the best compromise.

This set depends a lot to the specific track. However the first gear will not be too low (for the throttle problem) and a general rule is to don't have too gap from the various gear (at most 6 points). Then for each track we start to fix the first gear (37/38) and find the best value for the sixth. The max efficiency comes from a sixth that in the faster point of the track is a little in the red zone, in fact we don't care about the engine failure so we can use also the "out-speed" of this without any problems. But during the acceleration phase it's better to change gear a little before the red zone in this way we improve the average speed (and lap time). For the other gears value we need to fix this trying to have in the harder curve the best value with the right speed.

If we move the balance of this at the back of the car we risk to lose this in the "brake phase"; otherwise if we exaggerate in the opposite way we will go straight (oversteer). A good solution is about 63.375% at the front. The brake phase is the most important point to improve the time lap. The principal objective is to delay this moment and to use the first part of the curve to decrease the speed of the car a little. It's very important to set-up the wheel for this: it's necessary to have a low sensibility zone that we will use to steer and brake at the same time (only available for Analog players). Then what I suggest is to spare some time to calibrate the wheel. It's necessary to have a "natural" reaction from the tyres and a sufficient low sensibility zone for the pedals that will help us to make no mistakes. For this phase it's better to use the non-standard calibration that seems a little more precise.

Written by Nicola Della Gioia ( )

Nicola Della Gioia 
- Former Italian Karting Champion
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