Four braking points with nearly 4 G in deceleration on Circuit of the Americas in Austin

10/17/2017

At the United States GP, the brakes are applied for 18 seconds every lap.

Formula 1 is back in the United States for the 17th race of the 2017 World Championship from October 20 to 22 at Circuit of the Americas. Located in the hills overlooking the center of Austin, Texas, this track was designed by Hermann Tilke according to recommendations by Kevin Schwantz.


 

It was inaugurated in October 2012 and has since hosted five Formula 1 GP races and just as many MotoGP competitions.

Compared to the motorcycles, the single-seaters complete the race almost 30 seconds sooner because they travel a good part of the corners at a faster speed and sometimes don't need to brake.

The Texas track stands out for its impressive uphill straightaway that leads to the first left-hand turn: the drivers don't see the corner until the very last second, so there is great risk of getting the braking point wrong.

A similar problem could occur at turn 11, but the opposite could happen on other points of the track. The elevation gain between the lowest stretch of the track and the highest is 41 meters.

According to Brembo technicians, who have ranked the 20 World Champion circuits on a scale of 1 to 10, Circuit of the Americas presents a mid-level difficulty on the brakes.

The American track earned a 6 on the difficulty index, which is identical to what the circuit in Shanghai got.

 

 
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Brake use during the GP

The Formula 1 drivers use their brakes on only 10 of the 20 corners, which is three times less than the MotoGP riders.

The grip guaranteed by the four tires means the cars don't need to brake on turns 3, 4, 6 and 16. But precisely because they accelerate through turns 3 and 4, they have to apply the brakes minimally on turn 5, unlike the MotoGP bikes.

To complete one lap on the Austin track, the brakes on each Formula 1 car are applied for 18 seconds, compared to the 38 seconds the MotoGP bikes need.

On average during the United States GP, the Formula 1 cars apply their brakes for 17 minutes, which is 20% of the overall duration of the race.

The average peak deceleration per lap is 3,8 G, but there are five corners where this gets up to at least 4 G. The energy dissipated in braking throughout the GP by one single-seater however, is fairly contained: 140 kWh, which is almost half that of the Mexican GP.

Nor is the load applied to the brake pedal by each driver from the starting line to the checkered flag among the heaviest in the World Championship: 57 tons, which is less than half that of the Singapore GP.

In other words, each driver is required to apply a force of about 590 kg for every minute of driving.


 

The most challenging braking sections

Of the 10 braking sections on Circuit of the Americas, Brembo technicians have classified three as demanding on the brakes, six of medium difficulty and only one light.

The cars approach turn 12 after having traveled the long straightaway and taken advantage of the DRS system, so they have to drop more than 240 km/h in order to set the braking point up right. They go from 335 km/h to 89 km/h in just 2.81 seconds and 70 meters. To perform like this, the drivers are subject to 4,6 G in deceleration and apply a load of 124 kg on the brake pedal.

The speed lost in braking on the first corner is just below this, but since this stretch is uphill, it requires more time to complete the operation: 2,92 seconds are needed to go from 320 km/h to 82 km/h in 68 meters. The load on the brake pedal is 124 kg and the deceleration is 4,6 G.

A little shorter but just as significant is the braking on turn 11: 298 km/h to 82 km/h in 2,43 seconds and 62 meters with an average deceleration of 4,5 G. Braking on the last corner requires 45 meters. On the contrary, only 9 meters are needed for the small braking sections at turns 5 and 7.


 

Brembo performance
Single-seaters with Brembo brakes have won the last four United States GP races contested on Circuit of the Americas. More generally, Brembo brakes have been victorious at 21 GP races held in the United States, 12 of which were with Ferrari. But Lewis Hamilton with Mercedes has earned first place in the last three races.


 

Brembo S.p.A. | P.IVA 00222620163

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