«The winner rejoices, the loser explains» says Julio Velasco, one of the most famous volleyball coaches in the world. But at Brembo, despite winning it all in the 2017 WRC, also ready to offer explanations.
Having Brembo brakes turned out to be a necessary (though not sufficient) condition for winning the past edition, both for the WRC and the WRC 2. Necessary because both 2017 winners, WRC and WRC 2 ( Sébastien Ogier with M-Sport World Rally and Pontus Tidemand with Skoda Motorsport), were equipped with Brembo braking systems.
Not sufficient because several other drivers who were also equipped with Brembo brakes had to settle for second level positions. For 2018 simply rejoicing would have been an option here at Brembo.
Instead, we decided to explain how the braking system works for the current WRC, both on dirt and asphalt, what conditions make braking critical, and which rallies in the coming season are the most challenging for the brakes.
Since technical regulations haven't changed compared to 2017, the technical features offered by Brembo haven't changed significantly either. Research, however, has allowed us to perfect some of the features used in the previous championship.
Regulations allow for the use of discs with a 370 mm diameter, but only for races on asphalt: up until 2016, the maximum diameter allowed was 355 mm.
Generally speaking the discs on each vehicle are changed at the end of the day, though a rally could safely be completed with a single set. However, the brakes wouldn't perform as well since the significant wear on these vehicles tends to reduce the slotting on the discs after just 150 km, which means the braking system is less effective and slower to respond and cool.
Increasing the power of the braking system however risks producing excessive heat. To compensate, the Manufacturers have made the front air intakes more efficient and crafted never-before-seen rear air intakes: Brembo told the individual teams how much air was needed to cool the disc and caliper.
The idea of a liquid cooling system was discarded after a careful analysis of the pros and cons: the option would have added extra weight to the calipers and additional components and, above all, could be unsafe if the pump were to break.
Besides, Brembo engineers are confident that having air intakes will keep temperatures in check. Brembo has designed an air intake system with two channels for each wheel: one leads to the center of the disc while the other is pointed directly at the brake caliper. For the rear, on one side, the channels can be bigger since they may be used to cool other vehicle components