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September 28, 2022

Mercedes AMG GT3 EVO Release Notes

Welcome to the Mercedes AMG GT3 EVO 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 CDA3 Mercedes setups. In addition, a complete list of the driver and engineer combinations for each track is present so customers can see which driver and engineer worked on that circuit when looking for setup trends.

Note, some tracks required more notes and instruction than others. This is determined by how the car behaved in the session or how much scope for change in the setup there was.

To view the notes and team list, see below:

Brands Hatch

  • Brands hatch has coasting entries, elevation changes and very tight exits where the car is prone to understeer. Along with this it also has various cambered sections and low traction corners. Hence the ideal baseline for our approach was to start with Suzuka. 
  • The setup has similarities to Suzuka but the main changes are in the ride height and rear spring stiffness of the car. The excessive fast damping from the baseline causes slow speed to be underdamped, so that has also been adjusted. 
  • The kerbs are relatively smooth to drive over with the Mercedes so the front can run a higher bumpstop range without the car bottoming out on the faster sections. This also helps in maintaining more load on the front tyres through the middle sector of the lap.

Misano 

  • To improve traction in turn 5 stick close to the left to prepare for turn 6.
  • Turn 11 cut all the kerb in the red section.
  • Reduce rear anti-roll bar to make the setup safer if you prefer.
  • Turn 15 can be flat out.

Nurburgring

  • Avoid left hand entry kerb into Schumacher Esses.
  • Inside T5, avoid kerb.
  • If car rotates too much on throttle, raise the TC, generates more understeer.
  • Bumpstop ranges and rates have been adjusted to suit kerb behaviour.
  • Final chicane, avoid the anti cut kerbs as the car behaves inconsistently over them and will make you slower.
  • Safer setup need to trail brake more to rotate.

Paul Ricard

  • The track doesn’t have many kerbs to unsettle the car and the bumpstop ranges have been optimised to keep it stable in T1/2 chicane.
  • More emphasis has been given on stability into the right hander at the end of the back straight. The fast setup is still agile here and some caution is needed to nail the entry. 
  • The qualy setup is a bit more aggressive and needs precision into the right hander but also has a lot of potential in the rest of the lap with its agility.
  • The safe setup however is a lot more stable and easy to throw into the right hander at the expense of some agility and rotation in slow speed sections. 
  • Lower rear wing iterations were tested and the gain on the straights was at max 0.15 seconds which is continually lost through braking zones and high speed sections due to instability and earlier braking. 
  • The loss downforce/drag tradeoff is not worth it for the Mercedes in most high speed situations, given the engine power as it is, is quite competitive.
  • Brake ducts are kept open despite only hitting around 450 on the front tyres, because the tyres themselves are overheating. Closing ducts for top line speed can have a negative impact.

Silverstone

  • The highspeed nature of many of the corners and the potential for the rear end to snap means the car needs a stable aero platform on corner entries. 
  • A major point of focus for this setup is pitch control. With little to no kerbs to unsettle the vehicle the front ride is run as low as possible, with quite a low rear end too since the aero for the Mercedes is more front biased in the latest update. 
  • The front bumpstop range is quite low for the Silversotne setups to prevent excessive pitch into corners such as Copse, Stowe and Abbey. The differential is also run reasonably high for the car. Adding more differential preload will enhance stability into high downforce corners, however it will cause mid corner oversteer out of slow corners with too much steering input.  

Spa Francorchamps 

  • This is another track where the downforce drag compromise isn’t optimal since the car needs to be run at a low ride height to begin with given the aero of the vehicle. 
  • An important aspect is the performance at Eau Rouge. The aggressive setup is built low enough with just enough bump stop to make it through the uphill sequence without bottoming out. However turning in too early will snap the rear slightly leading to oversteer induced understeer veering the car leftwards and onto the bump at Radillion. However this aggressiveness is beneficial through Les Combes and the Fagne curves which is why the setup has potential to be quick.
  • The setup runs quite aggressively on the bumpstops which makes it agile but also slippery if taken over the slow speed kerbs too much.
  • Paul Friere and Blanchimont kerbs can be mounted without though and helps in adding some more rotation with the current configuration. 
  • TC6 is used for the aggressive setup but if you have issues with the stability on kerbs, feel free to use higher settings. However, going beyond TC7 will start impacting laptime. For a more slippery setup, try dropping diff preload a few clicks to get more off throttle rotation along with TC3.
  • The safe setup is an alternative for the slippery kerbs and Eau Rouge and is arguably quicker in sector 1. However the car will tend to push the fronts outwards a bit more in the higher speed sections of the lap. 
  • It runs a higher diff with lower rear ARB to give more stability in the medium speed corners at the cost of exit speed.

Suzuka 

  • This is a track where slightly higher ARB is beneficial for the car since direction changes through sector 1 require a stiff suspension. However the long sweeping nature of some corners will cause oversaturation as well if the ARBs are too high. 
  • The rear ride height has been set quite low on this track due to some very tricky braking zones in the likes of the Degner curves, Spoon corner and T1 to name a few. This means that with the strong front aero of the car, this track certainly needs some lower rake.
  • Rear bumpstop range has been set low as usual to give the rotation on high speed despite the low rear ride height, along with stiffer bumpstop rate to allow for more progressive squat under throttle to get better traction.
  • The safer alternative runs more preload for off throttle stability through the tighter sections of the track and also runs a higher rear bumpstop range to give better traction out of harpins and off cambered corners. 

Zandvoort

  • Zandvoort has a slightly different approach to setup compared to some of the faster high downforce tracks. Running minimum rear bumpstop range here doesn’t work as well since Zandvoort has many low track exits.
  • The range is similar to that seen in tracks such as Paul Ricard and Zolder in terms of traction available out of technical sections. 
  • The ARBs are run slightly softer than before but not quite as low as some of the faster tracks. This is mainly due to 2 things. The track is very technical with many slow speed exit and direction changes making agility paramount. 
  • Secondly the chicanes and kerbs in Zandvoort are not nearly as intense as tracks such as Monza, Hungaroring and Imola meaning the suspension has more leeway in the ranges used. 
  • The track has a lot of camber which means very soft ARBs can cause the car to bottom out.
  • The differential, front bumpstop range and rear spring have been tuned to make off throttle from the hill at sector to be stable even on the fast setup. The agility and rotation of the rear however is more profound in the faster setup.

Zolder

  • With a similar suspension configuration to Imola, the car performs relatively well over kerbs. 
  • The bumpstop ranges are in an ideal working range for both aerodynamic balance and mechanical stability. Increasing the rear bumpstop range by few clicks will affect front aero significantly. 
  • To avoid too much on throttle understeer especially out of turns 3 and 4, a higher diff preload will help. 
  • The main areas of focus for Zolder are the 2 chicanes in sector 2 along with the high speed right handers of sector 1. 
  • The front of car tends to hop over the first chicane slightly, but the impact itself is quite soft which makes the landing easy to control. This is based on the damper configuration. 
  • The idea is to maintain agility throughout the technical sections of the track without sacrificing its performance solely for the sake of the chicane. 
  • For a safer alternative, a stiffer front wheel rate will help in maintaining better stability through the long right handers of sector 1. However a safer car would require more precision on turn-in as mid corner understeer is imminent. 
  • If the front spring change is too strong, going few clicks down (not more than 2 ideally) would give some more entry/mid corner stability. It will however have an impact on the chicane, so also try to go a few clicks up on the front bumpstop rate too to avoid maxing out the suspension too quickly.

Barcelona 

  • Safe setup is around 2 tenths slower, but it can be a bit faster increasing the rear height. The range between 75-81 is optimum, but the higher the more difficult to manage.
  • From the second lap it should be easier in turn 3, but it’s not full flat out, but it’s almost flat out.
  • Turn 10 it is better to delay the entry for a better exit of the turn.
  • Turn 8 it is possible to use all the kerb since the dampers are set up to absorb them properly.
  • As close as possible in the entry of the chicane to the left kerb to look for a good exit.

Donington Park 

  • Overall it is advisable to use TC8 everywhere besides the last two hairpins.
  • For ultimate lap time (roughly 2-3 tenths) you need to change the tc to 5 or 6 (depending how aggressive you want it to be) as  tc8 cuts to much.
  • T1: Use second gear + make sure to maximise the pit exit to open up the corner as much as possible.
  • T2/3 drive the tightest line possible to save lap time by travelling less distance at the same time.
  • T4: It´s important that you don’t run wide on the exit of the previous corner as you need to bring the car over to the left side in order to get a good entry for T4. The less weight transfer is still going on, while you are bringing the car over to the left,  the better. Try to clip the inside curb, especially the green part, which will help you to pull the car around the corner. Be careful to not run wide on the exit, as you´ll face pressure loss by going off-track.
  • T6: Stay tight to open up T7.
  • T7: Use all the space at the insight of the corner. The banking will help you to pass the corner and carry more speed than you actually think is possible.
  • T8: Use the left curb on entry to open up the corner. Try to cut as much as the car allows you at the apex. The earlier you can floor the car the better.
  • T9/10: Maximise all the track at T9 so you can open up the exit of the chicane as much as possible. The goal is to have as less steering angle as possible while driving over the insight sausage at T10.
  • T11/12 requires a V line. Try to brake into the corner instead of waiting to long before turning in
  • If you´re struggling with lift off oversteer in T4/7/8/9 you can try to reduce the rear rh, reduce the rear arb or increase the diff.
  • If you want even more curb compliance try to increase the overall rh. You want to keep the aero-variation at the same value.

Laguna Seca

  • RF is more tailored to ultimate pace. It is harder to drive because the car rotates more and the overall rh is lower. As a result it’s important to always drive the perfect line, especially in corners where you find bumps. If you like the balance but are unhappy with the ground clearance you can change the Aero to R:81 F: 47.
  • If RF is overall too aggressive for your driving you can pick RS setup, which has overall less rotation and better ground clearance to give you everything you need to feel safe and in control of the car.
  • Raw pace potential difference between RF and RS is 2-3 tenths.
  • T1-2: Don’t drop into first gear. You need to stay in second.
  • T3: Maximise the track on the left side and don’t wait too long before turning in otherwise you won’t make the corner.
  • T3/4/6: If you struggle with snap oversteer on corner entry you can reduce the rear rh to make the car more planted. Bear in mind this will compromise every other corner.
  • T5: Use the banking of the corner to go early on the power.
  • T7/8: Use your throttle modulation to help the car go over the track bumps.
  • T9: Make sure you use the camber of the road and don’t hesitate with the turn in. Especially with the RF setup you need to turn a bit earlier otherwise the bumps will push you wide. 
  • T10: Don´t brake too hard. Try to introduce the car smoothly into the corner.
  • T11: Make sure you finish the rotation early enough, as it´is important to floor the car as soon as you hit the apex. If you struggle with exit grip you can also use TC7 instead of TC6. It’s a bit slower but you will feel much more confident.
  • Give the tyre at least 2 laps until you start to push. As it´s a short track the tyre pressures won´t be already in the first lap in their window. You don’t want to risk a pressure loss that early in your stint.

Kyalami

  • T1: Use a bit of the entry curb to help the car rotate
  • T4 it is important to approach it from the widest angle as possible, smooth and not to harsh braking is required to get the car into the corner. If you have trouble with stability you can decrease the rear ride height or remove a bit of front bumpstop range.
  • T5 sunset: try to let the car roll into the corner with minimum braking input. It is important because otherwise the car could get into a four-wheel drift. Downshift just before the apex into 3rd to keep the car rotating:
    • If you have trouble with stability you can decrease the rear ride height. 
  • T7-8: for the chicane entry it’s important that you don’t release the brake too quickly as you rotate the car with the pitch. If you feel the car over rotate, press the brake slightly again. Try to hug the insight curb as much as possible to help the car rotate. It opens up the second part of the chicane nicely.
    • If you have trouble with stability you can decrease the rear ride height.
    • If you want a more stable direction change you can increase the front arb.
  • T9: Use the curb at the apex for additional rotation.
  • T11 cheetah: try not to use the start of the inside curb too much as it forces the car to bottom out after the apex.

Hungaroring

  • As with some of the other aero oriented tracks like Imola and Zolder, a lower rear ride height along with continual rear bumpstop actuation has been observed to work well. The current suspension configuration has been tweaked to absorb kerb impacts while maintaining a low rear ride height. Major changes from the previous setup version are bumpstop ranges and and softer roll configuration.
  • An alternative is to run higher ride heights with greater rear bumpstop range if you prefer more slow speed rotation, however the rear rebound damping will have to be run much higher in order to prevent braking instability.
  • The setup has been optimised to be stable over the uphill left hander of Turn 4 whilst still maintaining good rotation through the esses in sector 2. 
  • Tests were done with lower front ride height values to increase agility, however the car is quite pitch sensitive in this regard and tends to kick out mid corner. 
  • If you prefer to add a bit more response for the fast setup, try dropping the preload 1 click and increasing the front bump stop range 2 clicks, the car won’t bottom out with this current configuration.
  • The safer setup has a bit more diff preload along with more neutral negative toe. It won’t affect the esses too much but will give more stability throwing the car into the corners in sector 1 and 2. It’s recommended to use this if you want more entry to mid stability.
  • It has the potential to be quicker than the fast setup in sector 2 but will struggle to maintain as much agility through the second sector. 

Monza

  • More focus was given on pure mechanical stability through Ascari to be able to maintain higher speed through sector 3 thereby cutting laptime. 
  • The car is once again quite sensitive to ride height/bumpstop range as established in Zolder, and front ride height & suspension has been tuned to make the car stable over kerbs. 
  • The Mercedes is still very sensitive to pitch and suspension changes, especially on a track such as Monza which has contrasting requirements including extra rotation through the Lesmos and stability on the kerbs at Ascarii. Hence the antirollbars are run softer whilst the rear springs are stiff to maintain rotation. The front ride height is also run higher than usual for kerb stability. This means the car has a narrow working range for the setup.
  • We found that running higher bump damping on the rear adds extra stability through the middle apex in Ascari but also destabilises the rear slightly everywhere else. Adding more preload to this gives an optimal balance. 
  • The safe setup in extension runs higher preload with stiffer damping all around to amplify the above mentioned effect. It’s inadvisable to change the ride heights or bumpstops ranges too much on the current setups as they are in an optimal window for the kerbs and varying requirements for Monza.

Imola

  • Testing was done with lower wing angles as well, but the speed trade off is minimal with the car being too slippery. Also braking distances were significantly worse.
  • Dropping the ride height anymore will result in high speed understeer and chicane bump instability.
  • The car is set up to maximise rear bump stop usage to get the car to rotate in high speed, since lower rear ride height is required for the current aero model on the car.
  • If you find the car too slippery on throttle in slow speed because of the low rear bump stop range, increase the range and add 1 click differential preload to compensate for high speed mid corner US. Low rear bumpstop range works well with more aggressive driving styles, but adding range is a very safe alternative if you are having traction issues. Going beyond 10 clicks from the current rear bumpstop range however will cause severe understeer. Using a stiffer rear bumpstop will ensure the suspension doesn’t bottom out too quickly giving a more progressive feeling on throttle.
  • This is the approach made for making the faster setup more safe. It is inadvisable to go higher on the rear bumpstop range as it will induce more on-throttle understeer through sector 2.
  • To make the safe setup safer, try going 1 click down on the rear ARB. However this car has a small working range for optimal rotation and will understeer quite quickly with too many changes. 

Mount Panorama 

  • The bumpy nature of the track downhill requires a softer roll stiffness overall for the Mercedes. The car uses a high downforce configuration for downhill stability along with a low front ride height to prevent excessive understeer. 
  • This gives the car more response as well, however to prevent the vehicle from bottoming out on the mountain, bumpstop actuation is used. Due to the roll stiffness being low, the wheel rates themselves have been stiffened. This also works well since stiffer dampers are needed for this bumpy circuit, and stiffer wheel rates help prevent overdamping for the suspension. 
  • The lower rear bumpstop range on the rear helps in maintaining better rotation around the high speed uphill section and the lower rear ride height along with the stiffer rear rebound helps the car stay stable on downhill braking zones. 
  • Relatively low diff values are used to ensure that the car rotates sufficiently well through the tight off throttle hairpin sections, however this can also cause issues with stability downhill. For a safer setup consider increasing the diff preload, but also increasing the rear bumpstop range/decreasing rear bumsptop rate to get better traction.
  • The effective ride height of the car is quite low with a more neutral rake which has helped in gaining a few more kilometres per hour of top speed on the back straight. If you find the setup to have too much understeer everywhere else, it is worth trying slightly higher rear arb to regain rotation. 

Snetterton 

  • Kerbs can be deadly. Need to avoid them or else need to run higher front ride height. Could be a good solution if the fast setup handles well but you need more understeer and feel like you need more understeer to help you avoid inside kerbs (such as the right hander, T6, before back straight).
  • Raising the rear bumpstop range can help with traction and consistency over exit kerbs.
  • If the car is over rotating through the fast left hander (T8) under the bridge, a higher brake bias can help.

Oulton Park

  • First chicane, entry kerb, full yeet over it but make sure the steering is straight.
  • Late apex for last corner and steering as straight to help with traction due to off camber and crest in the road.
  • Fast setup, stay on throttle thru fast left hander (T4) to help with stability.
  • 2nd chicane left hander, take grass on the inside.
  • If struggling with traction, try higher TC (TC8 is probably the best for both safe and race setups).
  • Fast and quali setup, try higher brake bias if car is unstable on entry before looking into other options.
  • Car is sensitive to rear toe changes, can be used to fine tune the balance without upsetting the rest of the car balance.
  • T3 (cascades) brake after the bump on the right hand kink.
  • Avoid entry kerb at Knickerbrook (right hander before the uphill section end of S2).

Indianapolis

  • The setup is based off the Zolder setup due to similarities in terms of flat low traction zones and medium speed aerodynamic corners. The main difference is that Indianapolis has little to no kerbs which can unsettle the car albeit a few slippery exit kerbs. 
  • This means that a slightly stiffer car and with slightly stiffer dampers will work well without the car necessarily being underdamped. The track can also run higher anti-roll bars due to the lack of any big bumps and dips. 
  • The major focus for Indianapolis is in sector 1 and the beginning of sector 2. Substantial rotation mid corner along with good traction on exits is paramount. This is why the bumpstops have been adjusted for the car to squat enough on throttle and then have enough bump stiffness to progressively load the rear for corner exit.

COTA

  • The baseline for COTA is developed off of the Hungaroring setup since both tracks have quite similar requirements in terms of downforce. Suzuka has similar esses however since COTA doesn’t have any chicanes of massive kerbs to attack, the damper and bumpstop configuration is slightly different.
  • The fast setup has a lot of agility but still has just enough stability to carry enough speed into the first sector esses without kicking the rear out. The track needs relatively high differential preload as a result, since lower preload tends to snap the rear end out mid corner.
  • An interesting feature to note is the rear bumpstop rate which has been set relatively high compared to the baseline from Hungaroring. Due to the lack of chicanes and need for good traction out of tight corners a higher rear bumpstop rate is run. This provides a more progressive squat for the rake as you get on throttle.
  • The dampers on the rear have also been stiffened for the safe setup to provide better grip while attacking the cambered kerbs in sector 1.
  • In general the car likes to run a low front ride height, relatively low rear ride height and very low bumpstop range to help in stability under braking/off throttle sections while also providing sufficient rotation on throttle through the high speed sections.

Watkins Glen

  • T1: It is crucial to be early on the power and you need to maximise all the track on the exit. Make sure to know exactly where the track limit is.
  • Bus-stop: Try to not overshoot the entry. It is fundamental that you are already slightly on the power before you reach the first curb. Try to straight line the racing line as much as possible. Take all of the exit curb on the inside (where you leave the bus-stop) to benefit from the banking afterwards.
    • If you need more stability in that section you can decrease the front bumpstop range.
  • T5: Make sure to use the banking to be able to carry more speed through the corner. Use the inside curb the help the car rotate.
  • T6: Make sure to turn it in slightly earlier so you can benefit from the banking. Use the inside curb to help the car rotate.
  • T7: Try to brake a bit into the corner to benefit from the corner layout. If the car feels twitchy on corner entry you can soften the rear bump or decrease the rear ride height.
  • T8: Use the inside curb to help the car rotate and maximise the track at exit.
  • T9: Try to brake a bit into the corner as you have more grip on the inside. This will allow you to be earlier on the throttle.
  • T10: Try to only rotate the car by lifting. Confidence is key here. You are not forced to lift completely to get the car around the corner. Maximise the track on the exit.
  • T11: Don’t over-slow the car too much. The layout of the corner allows you to carry more speed into the corner than you think. If you struggle with a light year you can decrease the rear ride height.
  • RF & RS are close in pace. RF is more tricky to drive as it has overall a bit lower ride height to gain more time around the whole track, therefore you have a fine line in the bus stop. RS has higher ride height to help you be more consistent and allow more errors in the bus stop. 

Team List

Driver/Engineer CombinationTrack
Matteo Blotto/Miguel JimenezBarcelona
Luka Berk/Saiduth RameshHungaroring
Taariq Adam/Saiduth RameshImola
Gregor SchillKyalami
Gregor SchillLaguna Seca
Matteo Blotto/Miguel JimenezMisano
Taariq Adam/Saiduth RameshMonza
Taariq Adam/Saiduth RameshMount Panorama
Jakob Ostermann/Nick DeeleyNurburgring
Taariq Adam/Saiduth RameshPaul Ricard
Matteo Blotto/Saiduth RameshSpa Francorchamps
Taariq Adam/Saiduth RameshSuzuka
Luka Berk/Saiduth RameshZandvoort
Taariq Adam/Saiduth RameshZolder
Taariq Adam/Saiduth RameshBrands Hatch
Gregor SchillDonington
Jakob Ostermann/Nick DeeleyOulton Park
Jakob Ostermann/Nick DeeleySnetterton
Luka Berk/Saiduth RameshSilverstone
Gregor SchillWatkins Glen
Taariq Adam/Saiduth RameshIndianapolis
Dennis Schoniger/Saiduth RameshCOTA
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