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Bars or suspension for traction?

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So, I studied a lot of setups guides and I figured out where to intervene for understeer, oversteer and so on.

I also learned that a setup with harder fronts can help with traction and flooring the gas without being afraid of spinning: harder suspensions and bars on the front and softer rear can help you with it, but at the cost of potential understeer.

Now, rotation is very important and most of the setups, also for race and not time trial, do use a harder rear, in example suspensions 1-3 and bars 3-9.

So, if I do want to address my traction problem I know I have to be harder on the front and softer on the rear, but I want to intervene only on one between suspensions and bars, otherwise I will be too understeery.

My thought is that I should intervene on the anti-roll bars, in example instead of a common 3-8 or 4-9 having a 7-6, because a softer front suspension is vital to attack the kerbs and also being able to start flooring the throttle mid-corner can help me with having already a good traction when the car becomes straight.


(Numbers are only to give an idea, obviouslt every track is different).

What do you think? Stiffer front on the suspensions or bars to have better traction and car more planted?

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You raise interesting questions and I won't be able to answer them definitively.

I love to play around with setups and use telemetry data for the purpose. What I can say from experience is that it is always a compromise across the whole setup. If I run a low downforce setup for a given track (especially in races), I tend to go much softer on the roll bars and suspension. The initial turn-in will be sluggish, but going with lower roll bars helps with mid-corner understeer in this scenario. If the initial turn-in is too slow, then I try adding some front toe angle. If the car is still too understeery in mid-corner, I might try and put in some more negative camber. Not much though, a single click often suffices.

If I use a higher downforce setup, especially one that has a lot more rear wing angle than front, then I tend to have a much stiffer rear, both in terms of suspension and roll bars. This kind of setup rarely needs any toe or camber in my opinion.

As you said, a soft front suspension seems to be very important factor in this game if you want to exploit the track limits fully and attack the kerbs. I'd like to use a much stiffer front but the clock simply doesn't like it.

One thing to consider about roll bars is that they also affect how the car handles over bumps and kerbs, so it's not just the suspension stiffness at play. The roll bars affect how bumps are transferred to the other wheels. If you have stiff roll bars, the bumps will be more violent for the wheel(s) that go over the bump, while softer settings transfer the energy across the wheels better and offer more stability.

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Thank You, Janbonator! Yesterday I tested this in Bahrain, for which I had already lots of data gathered for my league training and preparation. Last week I tried a setup with suspensions 1-3 and bars 5-8 or 6-8, I always have them close to each other because I am afraid of oversteer and losing the rear end of the car, but always stiffer on the rear, and I almost convinced myself that I would have played with traction control on medium on Sunday, because stability and reliability about not spinning were worth the trade with potential 1-2 tenths per lap where I would be tense all the time and make room for mistakes.

Yesterday I tried it by not changing the suspensions or maybe having a 2-2, it's harder having stiffer front suspensions as you said, bars at 6-5 so still soft but softer at the rear and I found I could floor the throttle early enough, and I was also able to countersteer the times I was beginning to spin, I was able to feel the loss of traction and correct it. I think that maybe not having the same rotation can lose me 2-3 tenths per lap but we run 50% races therefore the less tyre wear experienced can be good on a track that eats your tyres such as Bahrain! If I will be using the soft compound I can keep up the performance for 2 or 3 laps more compared to my previous setup with a stiffer rear.

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