AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT THE BRAKING SYSTEMS ON THE FORMULA 1 SINGLE-SEATERS AT SOCHI AUTODROM.
From September 28 to 30, the Sochi Autodrom will host the 16th race of the 2018 Formula 1 World Championship.
In 2010, the contract to host the Russian GP in Sochi was signed and four years later, the circuit was completed.
Built within the Olympic Park used for the Winter Olympic Games in 2014, the circuit stands out for the 650 meters curve at turn 3, the longest curve in all of the World Championship. Designed by architect Hermann Tilke, the track is one of the longest in the World Championship (5,848 meter) and makes use of 1.7 km of street normally open to traffic.
That is why the single-seater performance improves as the sessions progress, little by little as more rubber is laid down on the tarmac.
Increased mechanical grip will be a highlight this year compared to last since the GP has been moved from the end of April to the end of September According to Brembo technicians, who classified the 21 tracks in the World Championship, the Sochi Autodrom falls into the category of highly demanding circuits for the brakes.
The demand on the brakes during the GP
The time spent braking every lap is almost 15 seconds, which is equivalent to 16% of the overall race time and in line with a good part of the other races.
The 4.6 G peak average deceleration per lap is very high on the other hand, and is due to the 10 braking sections that each have a deceleration reaching at least 4 G.
The energy dissipated when braking is about 191 kWh, the same amount consumed daily by 10 Russian residents.
From the starting line to the checkered flag, each driver uses his brakes at least 530 times, exerting a total force on the pedal of approximately 75 tons.
In other words, each driver applies a load of almost 850 kg per minute.
The most demanding braking sections
Of the 10 braking points on the Sochi Autodrom track, five are classified as demanding on the brakes and the other five are of medium difficulty.
For all ten however, the load on the pedal is never below 130 kg.
The most difficult braking section is at turn 2: the single-seaters approach the turn going 314 km\h and brake for 1.76 seconds to enter the corner at about 137 km\h. They manage to do so in just 108 meter, or two third the length of a K-139 Belgorod submarine.
The drivers are required to apply a remarkable amount of force: a load of 151 kg on the brake pedal and 4.9 G in deceleration, which equates to the value usually experienced by Russian astronauts during their return to Earth.
Almost just as challenging on the Brembo brakes are turns 4 and 5, which are characterized by 4.8 G and 4.9 G in deceleration respectively. The single-seaters generate a peak braking force of over 1870 kW at both corners.
Of the four Russian GP races contested, single-seaters equipped with Brembo calipers took the pole position each time and finished the races in first and second place.
In 2016 and 2017, cars with Brembo calipers filled the entire podium. Ferrari has yet to win a race in Russia however.
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