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April 27, 2023

CDA4 Mercedes AMG GT3 2020 Release Notes

Welcome to the Mercedes AMG GT3 2020 release notes blog. In this page you will find the detailed notes compiled by the team after each session when creating the fast and safe variants of the new CDA4 Mercedes AMG GT3 2020 (EVO) setups. Please carry on reading below to see what our team found:

Brands Hatch

  • Laguna Seca Base used. 
  • Lower front splitter to reduce pitch sensitivity.
  • Springs adjusted to improve rate of pitch/squat for a more balanced performance whilst increasing traction at slower speeds.
  • Cambers lowered towards endurance ‘spec’ for better tyre life.
  • Minor damper changes to reduce edginess of the setup making balance changes more progressive whilst driving.
  • Safe setup uses a stiffer front roll bar along with minor alignment and damper changes to maximise traction and stability.
  • Qualifying setup uses more aggressive camber settings for grip vs longevity. Plus more wholesale changes to the philosophy to maximise the single lap performance.

Misano 

  • Misano has long winding corners through most of the track and the direction changes only really happen in much slower corners. Hence the springs have been increased in stiffness to maintain the pitch and the ARBs are run quite soft to improve mechanical grip. Generally ARBs are used as stability devices but work better at stiffer values on faster tracks, for the Mercedes due to its unique load distribution.
  • To complement these requirements for response through medium speed sections, the dampers are also very stiff. This also helps the car maintain better rotation through high speed corners. 
  • The fast damping is also run relatively stiff to bias more mechanical grip in the slow speed sections.

Nurburgring

  • We used a configuration with fairly rigid arbs, to increase the responsiveness of the car in changes of direction.
  • The rake is pronounced enough to counteract the car’s tendency to understeer.
  • You can try raising/lowering the tc by 1 click depending on your driving style.

Paul Ricard

  • Merc is very aero sensitive on Paul Ricard therefore the RF Setup goes for a mid wing approach and to get the car super stable the RS Setup uses a high wing approach.
  • To get the car more stable through the turn 10 you can either raise the wing to have a bigger impact (keep in mind that you will be slower on the straight) or raise the preload to get a smaller effect
  • The RF Setup has a good amount of rotation in slow speed corners, if that is too much for you, going down on the rear ARB will be the way to go.
  • To get the maximum lap time out of the track you can go down toTC 2 for the last corner
  • In order to get fast and safe through turn 10 you need to be as smooth as possible on brake and steering inputs. You can try and stabilise the car by staying a bit on throttle

Silverstone

  • Silverstone is also quite a flat track similar to Indianapolis. However it is a much higher speed circuit demanding more high speed direction changes compared to Indianapolis, and that’s why the ARBs are much stiffer around this track. 
  • Dampers on the rear have been set up to be on the stiffer side to prevent the ARBs from being underdamped. This ensures better stability if the car is driven off line with a different angle into high speed, relatively bumpy sections, such as Magots, Beckets and Stowe. 
  • It’s also been set up to give a good balance between the low traction zones in the final sector and the high speed and agility based sections of sector 1.

Spa Francorchamps 

  • Decrease tc by 1/2 click at bus stop and source to maximise lap time.
  • At the bus stop you can take the inside kerb to maximise your lap time.
  • We opted for a high load configuration, as by reducing the wings the car became very unstable in the turns, while the gain in the straights was minimal.

Suzuka 

  • The approach to the Suzuka setup is similar to the SIlverstone approach despite being very different tracks in terms of elevation and surface grip. The Hungaroring approach of softer ARBs was tested, but with the medium speed agility corners being uphill in the first sector, the front response was not nearly enough to maximise the pace. 
  • Hence a stiff roll configuration has been applied with relatively softer springs to help with mechanical balance. 
  • The damper configuration is also quite different compared to other tracks. The low speed dampers have been adjusted to maximise stability through high speed sections. A stiff fast damping configuration on the rear ensures good mechanical grip while accelerating out of slow speed corners. 

Zandvoort

  • Front tyres (particularly the front left) need to be looked after here so the cambers and ducts are set towards that philosophy.
  • ARB’s and rear bumpstops can be used to tune rotation and traction, particularly if you find the rear stepping out through S2 in the high speed entries.
  • Front bumpstops and wheelrates are used to offer support and pitch control at the front.

Zolder

  • The chicanes in S2 can make or break your lap and getting the car setup so you can confidently take the chicanes is key to getting a good lap time along with a smooth driving style on the direction changes. Basically, slow in and fast out is the faster approach, particularly S1.
  • Going too soft to get mechanical grip will result in horrible kerb behaviour therefore a compromise between good support and good grip is needed.
  • The safe set is designed to help with chicanes. Can tune rotation using arbs, ride height and toe to suit driving style.

Barcelona 

  • The car is extremely sensitive to pitch and ontrack camber variations so the Barcelona setups have quite a small working range. The preload is not as sensitive as the other components so if you need small adjustments for more entry rotation at the cost of exit rotation at high speed, consider dropping the preload by a few clicks. 
  • The rear spring has been set very soft to improve track with a low bumpstop range being used to improve the high speed rotation.
  • The same applies to the rear ARB with the value being a bit lower than that seen on other tracks. 
  • In addition to this the front low speed dampers have been softened quite significantly compared to some of the other tracks to maximise mechanical grip, with the rebound being run higher than the bump to maintain aero stability through longer corners.

Donington Park 

  • Stiffer arb combo to provide quick turn-in for the chicane and aero stability in the old hairpin.
  • The sensitivity to the inside kerb in the old hairpin is best controlled with the front bumpstop rate. However, the pitch itself in the corner entry will be bigger the softer the front springs are. 
  • Lower brake bias is used to improve braking in the hairpins. To provide stability when coming off the brakes in other corners, the rear rebound has been stiffened. 
  • Overall stiff dampers make cutting the bumpy chicane much smoother and they also ensure predictable car behaviour on inside kerbs. Slow front and rear bumps have been kept softer to keep enough low speed rotation and grip. 

Laguna Seca

  • Laguna is a great track for creating a setup where the car needs enough stability on corner entries and still have enough rear end rotation to navigate through the narrow high speed exits at the end of the lap. 
  • With multiple elevation and camber changes on track, a slightly less aggressive toe and camber combination has been used for the tyres.
  • A soft spring combination ensures that the car is compliant over the undulations on track and a stiffer ARB configuration helps in maintaining aero stability through the faster corners. 
  • The bumpstop ranges and rates are very sensitive on the car and it is advisable not to change them too much from the race fast and race safe setups used in the bundle. 
  • The entry stability is very sensitive to preload changes, but is not as impactful as the bumpstop range changes. This makes the preload a good value to adjust if you need slightly more entry rotation or exit rotation based on the situation. Going too low on the preload will destabilise the car very quickly through many of the high speed corners and must be used in small steps. 

Kyalami

  • Kyalami has multiple undulations on the track surface but not so many kerbs that can potentially destabilise the car. Hence the rear ARB can be run slightly higher than on Barcelona, but still needs to be kept on the softer side for mechanical grip. 
  • A softer ARB with the right damper configuration, for this car, generally works better on kerbs as opposed to a stiff ARB and soft spring combination. 
  • The springs are of average stiffness here and help in maintaining pitch control through the long downhill corners and also help in high speed rotation on throttle. 
  • To complement these changes the rear dampers are set up to be a bit soft in order to improve rear end compliance over camber variations on the track surface.

Hungaroring

  • Hungaroring is a high speed circuit which requires multiple changes in direction through the middle sector. However the priority in this setup has been to maximise mechanical grip without affecting the front end response. This means that with this approach the car would have an inherent characteristic to understeer.
  •  In order to deal with this issue on high speed sections, the preload has been increased, Even though a locked differential will cause on throttle understeer, with enough aggressiveness into the corner the car can start rotation the rear quite well late apex. This is why it’s important to have a specific line to maximise the potential of the faster setup variant. The onboard lap will give a good idea of how to increase pace with this setup. The qualifying setup uses the fast setup as a baseline and has a similar approach to driving. 

Monza

  • The front splitter is also at its highest on this track, and the rear wing is also used very high, as even lowering it the advantage in the straight is minimal.
  • In turn 4 the car can go up the inner kerb, this allows you to gain a lot of lap time, but make sure you hit the kerb with at least 20/30% throttle so the dampers work better.
  • In turn 1/2 decrease tc by 1 click to maximise lap time.
  • Even at Ascari you can go very aggressive on the kerbs both on entry and exit.

Imola

  • This setup was started using the Snetterton as a baseline. Soon we realised it suffered from understeer, so we decided to increase the rotation with higher anti roll bars. In general, higher anti roll bars gave more predictability, while an even higher rear ARB gave the rotation we needed.
  • We reduced the front wheel rate to the minimum value to drive gently over the herbs. Second chicane was the trickiest one and we improved the handling with a softer spring. 
  • For the safe setup we adjusted the camber, rear ARB and ride height to behave in a predictive way without losing a significant amount of time;

Mount Panorama

  • Very rigid arbs to increase stability in high-speed turns.
  • Lower the tc by 1 click in turn 5 to maximise the lap time.
  • In turn 10, take the apex and raise the throttle slightly/shift into fifth gear before the depression, or the car risks coming off the ground with the front left, making it very difficult to control.

Snetterton 

  • Car is sensitive to rear ride height changes.
  • Need a compromise between front support and front grip around this track. Need the support for fast corner entries but the mechanical grip for slow corners.
  • This results in using the wheelrates for support and then adjusting ARBs, bumpstops and toe to get the mechanical balance.

Oulton Park

  • Stiffer front spring provides great high-speed stability in the island bend, but to reduce the scrubbing of front tires during sharper entries, more negative front toe has been used.
  • Overall rotation is also easily adjustable with the front bumpstop range, especially in combination with a very stiff front rebound. 
  • Minimal rear bumpstop range allows easy rotation when there’s a lot of load on the rear wheel. Mainly in Island Bend and out of Cascades. 
  • Mercedes generally allows to cut a lot of the kerbs. However, stiff front arb was needed to keep the car settled and responsive to steering inputs after bigger cuts. 
  • RS setup needs to run more rake to keep enough rotation through Island Bend as it has a much safer mechanical base. 

Watkins Glen

  • Brands hatch Quali base used.
  • Slightly lower wing used to help with rotation at higher speed corners.
  • Dampers tuned to reduce oversteer when releasing the brake causing instability on corner entry.
  • Fast Dampers adjusted to optimise chicane performance.
  • Medium splitter used with increased rake to try to keep rotation whilst reducing pitch sensitivity, if you want a more ‘peaky’ car, slightly lower rake with max front splitter could be an option.
  • Safe setup focuses on reducing oversteer when coming off the brakes and other stability enhancements.
  • Qualifying setup uses much more aggressive settings to suspension, dampers and aero. Use with caution for races.

COTA

  • We maximised the performance of the car by running maximum wing and increasing the rake.
  • The strategy followed in general has been increasing roll stiffness to improve responsiveness and control the oversteer with more wing and stiffer spring in the front.
  • For the safe version, we reduced the differential and the rear anti roll bar, as well as 2mm less of rake
  • Unloading the fuel, the car seemed more understeery, so we fixed it by decreasing the front ARB and wheel rate.

Indianapolis

  • Indianapolis is a unique track due to its slippery tarmac and flat nature of the track surface. In order to help with the mechanical grip the springs are set up to be on the softer side with slightly more bumpstop range. 
  • The rates are however still kept relatively stiff to ensure that the car doesn’t completely bottom out on longer corners. 
  • The preload is also low to help with off throttle rotation and also for general compliance while getting on and off the cambered sections of the track, albeit having a much smaller effect than other components.
  • The car is very sensitive to changes around here to be careful while adjusting settings related to pitch and traction, i.e. the bumpstops and preload.

Valencia

  • Maximum wing and a lot of rake to maximise grip in turns, the rear height can be raised or lowered by a couple of clicks according to your preference, the car will still be good, depending on whether you want more rotation while sacrificing stability and traction or the opposite.
  • You can try using TC 3 to have a more aggressive car in traction
  • If you feel too much oversteer on turn entry when releasing the brakes/downshifting, raise the differential preload, but no more than 90/100 or the car will become overly understeery. 

Team List

Please note, sessions with no engineer shown were solo sessions: 

Driver/Engineer Combination
TrackDriverEngineer
BarcelonaDavid PertileSaiduth Ramesh
HungaroringLuka BerkSaiduth Ramesh
ImolaAmedeo DekeyserMiguel Jimenez
KyalamiChris HackSaiduth Ramesh
Laguna SecaHubert SzymanskiSaiduth Ramesh
MisanoLuka BerkSaiduth Ramesh
MonzaAmedeo Castorino
Mount PanoramaAmedeo Castorino
NurburgringAmedeo Castorino
Paul RicardJakob Ostermann
Spa FrancorchampsAmedeo Castorino
SuzukaAmedeo DekeyserSaiduth Ramesh
ZandvoortChris HackNick Deeley
ZolderHubert SzymanskiNick Deeley
Brands HatchChris HackRob Taplin
DoningtonHubert Szymanski
Oulton ParkHubert Szymanski
SnettertonHubert SzymanskiNick Deeley
SilverstoneAmedeo DekeyserSaiduth Ramesh
Watkins GlenLuka BerkRob Taplin
IndianapolisChris HackSaiduth Ramesh
COTAAiden WalsinghamMiguel Jimenez
ValenciaAmedeo Castorino

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