F1 | Brembo: High speed and energy dissipated in braking for Formula 1 cars at the Mexican GP


After the recent race in the United States, the Formula 1 cars will remain on the continent for the 19th competition in the 2018 World Championship being held October 26-28 at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.
The track is named for the Rodriguez brothers, Ricardo and Pedro, both Formula 1 drivers who lost their lives prematurely in track accidents.
Brembo has three production plants in Mexico: Puebla, Apodaca and Escobedo.
Inaugurated 24 months ago, the plant in Escobedo extends across more than 35.000 square meters feet and can produce 2 million aluminum calipers every year. Although the circuit is located 2.229 meters above sea level, the altitude doesn’t cause any problems for the braking system.
What does put the system to the test are the velocity spikes: Last year Vettel’s Ferrari cars reached 362 km/h.
Besides speed, the temperature of the tarmac can have a big influence on the temperature of the discs and calipers. During last year’s qualifying, these got up to 44°C.
Also, the increase in grip on the tarmac during the race weekend typically leads to a rise in the amount of braking torque discharged to the ground.
According to Brembo technicians, who have ranked the 21 World Champion circuits, the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez is very demanding on the brakes.

  • Brake use during the GP:
    The brakes are used on nine of the 17 corners on the track, and in the first section, brake use is especially intense due to being able to use the DRS on two different straightaways.
    On average over the course of one lap, each single-seater applies the brakes for 16 seconds, which is 22% of the overall duration of the race.
    The winding central and final sections of the track contribute to lowering the average peak deceleration per lap, which doesn’t exceed 3,4 G and is the second lowest value in the World Championship, after the 3,3 G at Suzuka. Even in Monaco the average peak deceleration per lap reaches 3,6 G.
    The energy dissipated in braking throughout the GP by one single-seater however, is among the highest for the entire season: 217 kWh, two times that of the British GP.
    The load applied to the brake pedal by each driver from the starting line to the checkered flag is average for the World Championship: 56 tons, just about that of the Italian GP, another race where the single-seaters reach impressive speeds.
  • The most challenging braking sections:
    Of the nine braking sections on the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, 2 are classified by the Brembo technicians as challenging, 3 are of medium difficulty and 4 are light.
    The most demanding over all is on the first corner after the finish because the single-seaters go from 345 km/h to 111 km/h in barely 140 meters. To perform like this, the drivers apply a load of 102 kg on the brake pedal for a total of 2,84 seconds during which they experience a deceleration of 4,2 G.
    On turn 4, which also follows a straight where the drivers can use the DRS, they need 3,03 seconds to get outside the racing line. The cars arrive going 331 km/h and slow down to 98 km/h by applying a load of 101 kg on the brake pedal. But only 2,01 seconds and 105 meters are needed to go uphill on turn 12 and reduce the speed from 311 km/h to 141 km/h. The 4,1 G in deceleration proves that the braking here shouldn’t be underrated, just like the 101 kg load on the brake pedal.
    On the stretch between turns 5 and 10 though, the drivers use their brakes only three times and never for more than 53 meters. But none of these three braking sections require a drop in speed measuring more than 80 km/h.
  • Brembo performance:
    Single-seaters with Brembo brakes have won six of the last ten Mexican GP races they have participated in.
    Only Mercedes has managed to win two races in a row. Last year Ferrari took the pole position and the fastest lap, but the Grand Prix winner was Max Verstappen on his Red Bull.

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