The retirement of WRC race cars and their replacement with the new WRC Plus cars affects the braking systems as well. Compared to the previous models, the engines on these new cars pack about 80 more horsepower, delivering a total of approximately 380 hp.
Keeping pace with the increase in power, the width of the vehicles has also gone up. They now benefit from enormous rear wings, wider front bumpers and even a rear diffuser. There's no need to mention that these features translate into faster speeds in cornering.
Obviously, the increase in power and grip leads to greater stress on the braking systems. To meet the Manufacturers halfway, the regulations now allow the use of 370 mm discs, but only for the races on asphalt. Up until 2016 the maximum diameter permitted was 355 mm.
However, this increase in the power of the braking systems presents the risk of excessive overheating. To prevent this problem, the Manufacturers have made the front air intake ducts more efficient and developed unprecedented rear air intake ducts. Brembo was on hand to provide each team with information on the precise quantity of air needed to cool the disc and caliper. The hypothesis of a liquid cooling system was discarded after all the pros and cons were carefully analysed.
Experts found that this solution would put more weight on the caliper and accessory components, beyond which it could result unsafe should the master cylinder break. Furthermore, Brembo engineers are convinced that the temperatures can be kept under control with the air intake ducts.