Despite being absent from the 2021 Formula One calendar, the Shanghai International Circuit is one that remains a firm fan-favourite. The event has produced some exciting yet underrated races in recent years, with the epic fight back by Daniel Ricciardo in 2018 springing to mind.
It is quite a fiddly circuit to master, and one that takes a lot of time to get your head around. To help with this, read on to get the best setup for the F1 2021 Chinese Grand Prix.
To find out more about each F1 2021 setup component, check out the Complete F1 2021 Setups Guide.
Best F1 2021 China (Shanghai) Setup
|Component||F1 2021 China (Shanghai) Setup (Dry)||F1 2021 China (Shanghai) Setup (Wet)|
|Front Wing Aero||4||5|
|Rear Wing Aero||7||7|
|DT On Throttle||0.60||0.60|
|DT Off Throttle||0.70||0.70|
|Front Anti-Roll Bar||4||5|
|Rear Anti-Roll Bar||4||5|
|Front Ride Height||4||4|
|Rear Ride Height||4||4|
|Front Brake Bias||0.57||0.55|
|Front Right Tyre Pressure||22.6 psi||22.6 psi|
|Front Left Tyre Pressure||22.6 psi||22.6 psi|
|Rear Right Tyre Pressure||21.5 psi||21.5 psi|
|Rear Left Tyre Pressure||21.5 psi||21.5 psi|
China is a bit of a power-sensitive track, but with enough corners to ensure that you can’t run a skinny rear wing as you would in Monza, for example.
Something that you can afford to do is crank up the rear wing a little bit, whilst also taking some downforce away from the front to mitigate that extra rear drag and give yourself a boost in a straight line. It’s also worth cranking the front wing up a notch in the wet.
Traction is king at the Shanghai International Circuit, as is managing the tires. Importantly, though, it is the front tyres that take more of the punishment around this circuit.
Due to this, you can afford to run a much less open setup than we have previously discussed, possibly as low as 60 per cent to give good acceleration out of the corners – a setup that you shouldn’t need to adjust for wet conditions.
Your rear tyre wear should not be impacted too much, given that this is a front-limited circuit.
You don’t want to be adding too much negative camber to the car in China, or you will almost certainly eat up the tyres and be forced into an extra stop in the race, losing you valuable time and probably several places.
It is a compromise between performance in different types of corners, but a fairly neutral setup is the way to go for the Chinese Grand Prix.
You can certainly get away with smaller toe values, though, which will assist you in the longer corners that the track has – particularly the tricky long right-hander onto the lengthy back straight.
You’ll want your car setup to be as responsive at the front end and as stable at the rear end as possible in both the wet and the dry. Getting the toe right highlights just how tricky it is to get Shanghai’s circuit right.
We certainly recommend that you allow for plenty of ground clearance with your ride height around China, whilst also softening up the front suspension. Remember, a firmer front suspension setting can cause a pretty big increase.
The rear can have a firmer suspension setting as the rear tyres are not as critical at this track. Likewise, the anti-roll bars for both the front and rear can be softened up a touch. Again, this is all for the wet and the dry, to keep things calmer and cooler at the front, and to look after those tyres.
We aren’t going to say too much about the brake pressure here as you probably need the full stopping power for that huge back straight, regardless of the conditions.
It is a prime overtaking spot, so you need to ensure that you can brake late and fast, both to defend an attack and to put an opponent under enormous pressure. Mess with the brake bias accordingly to avoid both front and rear lockups.
Tyre pressures will be more vital than ever for your Chinese Grand Prix setup in F1 2021. While you’ll certainly want that straight-line speed, it is important to consider how increased tyre pressures will impact the front tyres due to the wear and forces of the track.
Bring them down a little bit in the wet and dry as you can offset the losses by increasing the rear tyre temperatures, which don’t go through the same forces at Shanghai as at other circuits.
So, that’s what you need to know for your Shanghai International Circuit car setup. The main thing to remember here is to look after those front tyres. Overcook those, and you are certainly going to be in for one of the toughest races on F1 2021.
Have you got a preferred Chinese Grand Prix setup? Let us know in the comments below!
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