The 2017 Formula 1 Australian GP according to Brembo

3/23/2017

An in-depth look at the braking systems on the Formula 1 single-seaters at the Melbourne circuit

Orphaned from Bernie Ecclestone, the person the award instituted by Brembo in 2011 is named for, Formula 1 starts up again for the seventh consecutive year with the Australian GP. The Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne will host the first race of the 2017 World Championship season from March 24 to 26. Positioned inside its namesake park, the track wraps itself around Albert Park Lake.

Since the circuit is usually open to resident traffic, it is very slippery at the beginning of the weekend. As the sessions are run and rubber gets laid down on the asphalt, the braking performance gets progressively better. In 2016, the single-seaters improved their lap times by six seconds from the first practice sessions on Friday to the Q3 on Saturday.

The rise in deceleration translates into greater stress on the braking systems. There is more wear on the pads and discs, which reach very high temperatures, even though the asphalt does not get as hot as the tracks in the Northern Hemisphere.


 
 

The larger-sized tires that were introduced this year guarantee greater control in the corners. As a result of this and because the cars will be taking the curves at faster speeds, braking distances will be shorter than in 2016.

The change in tires also translates into an increase in brake torque and to compensate for more wear, the discs being used in 2017 are thicker and have more ventilation holes. According to Brembo technicians, Albert Park falls into the category of very difficult tracks for the brakes.

On a scale of 1 to 10, it earned an 8 on the difficulty index, which is the same score given to other windy tracks like Monza, Baku, Sochi and Spielberg.


 

The demand on the brakes during the GP


The Australian track has nine braking sections and out of all of the World Championship circuits, it is among those that require the least amount of time spent braking per lap.

Last year, the average time per single qualifying lap was the highest of the first eight GP races that season.

The average deceleration remains high at just over 4G because there are a good seven curves that come in at over 4G.

From the starting line to the checkered flag, each driver turns to his brakes more than 510 times, applying a total load of more than 62,2 tons on the pedal, the same weight as 95 Formula 1 single-seaters, drivers included.

In other words, each driver applies a load of over 700 kg per minute.

Albert Park is one of the World Championship circuits where the single-seaters dissipate the most energy in braking: on average, each car arrives at 161 kWh, which is equivalent to the hourly energy consumption of more than 1,200 PlayStation 4 consoles

 

 

The most demanding braking sections

Of the nine braking sections at Albert Park, four are classified as demanding on the brakes, three are of medium difficulty and two are light.

Turn 3 is the most feared because the drivers take advantage of the DRS and manage to get up to about 312 km/h. They then brake for 110 meters, about 12 less than in 2016, because the single-seaters approach it faster and can set up the corner at higher speeds. To complete the operation, the drivers need 1.30 seconds in order to apply a load of 163kg . and undergo 4.8G in deceleration.

Another difficult corner is the first turn after the start, which also follows a zone where DRS is used: the deceleration here is 4.8G too, but braking is limited to 94 meters and 0.94 seconds.

Compared to last year, the braking distance is reduced by about 20 meters because the 2017 single-seaters enter the curve at 164 km/h mph rather than 143 km/h like in 2016.



 

Brembo performance

In Australia, Brembo has won precisely half of the contested races: 16 out of 32. The driver with Brembo brakes who has won the most in Melbourne is Michael Schumacher with four victories.

He is followed by Gerhard Berger, Ayrton Senna and Nico Rosberg, who have each won two times. The last time the trophy went to Ferrari was in 2007, the year that Kimi Raikkonen crossed the finish line first.


 

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

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