Formula 1 Canadian GP: quite possibly the toughest race for the Brembo brakes

6/5/2018

The most challenging test bench for the Brembo braking systems on single-seaters explained braking point by braking point

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From June 8 to 10, Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve will host the 7th race of the 2018 World Formula 1 Championship. Named for the legendary Ferrari driver, this circuit celebrate in the 2017 the 50th anniversary of its first Formula 1 Canadian GP.

The first ten editions were held however at Mosport Park (8) and Mont-Tremblant (2). The track is located on the Isle of Notre Dame, an artificial island built in 1965 on the Saint Lawrence River as the Montreal underground was being constructed.


 




Characterized by alternating straightaways, chicanes and hairpin turns, this track is without a doubt the toughest test bench for the braking systems on the single-seaters, which usually show up here with a low aerodynamic load.

The braking points, all hard and very close together, cause soaring operating temperatures of the discs and pads, which don't have enough time to cool down on the straight stretches.

Grip increases as rubber is laid on the track, and, as we expect the single-seaters to experience in 2018, this will lead the braking torque to be higher compared to the 2017 season.

To deal with the changes adopted this season, Brembo has increased the thickness of the carbon discs from 28 mm to 32 mm, and has added holes to cool them, taking the total from 1,200 to 1,400.

Another problem for the braking systems is the tailwind on the two main straightaways: when it pushes from behind, the straight line speed is increased, putting the brakes to an even more rigorous test.

According to Brembo technicians, who classified the 20 tracks in the World Championship, Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve falls into the category of highly demanding circuits for the brakes.

 

 

The demand on the brakes during the GP

As demonstrated by the Monaco GP, the number of braking points is not indicative of how hard the brakes have to work. At Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, the drivers turn to their brakes only seven times per lap, compared to nine times in Melbourne, ten in Sochi and twelve in Monaco.

In Canada, the brakes are used for 11.8 seconds every lap, which is equivalent to 17% of the overall duration of the race. The time spent braking may not be exceptional, but six points on the track are because their peak deceleration reaches at least 4.6 G and the load applied to the pedal surpasses 310 pounds.

These figures contribute to the average peak deceleration hitting 4.4 G. The energy dissipated in braking by each race car during the entire GP is 124.5 kWh, the same amount as the hourly energy consumption of 42 families in Quebec. From the starting line to the checkered flag, the Brembo technicians forecast that each driver will exert a total force on the pedal of approximately 66 tons, which is the same as the total weight of 118 Canadian moose.

 

 

The most demanding braking sections

Of the seven braking sections on Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, a good five are considered very demanding on the brakes, one is of medium difficulty and one is light.
The most critical is the brake at turn 8, the single-seaters arrive going 184.5 mph and brake for 1.66 seconds to reduce their speed to 85.7 mph. They manage to do this in 318 ft yards, which is about 118 ft longer than the length of an ice hockey rink.

The drivers are required to apply a remarkable amount of force: 328.4 pound are applied to the brake pedal and the deceleration measures 4.9 G. Braking on the last turn is also very difficult, the chicane that precedes the famous "Wall of Champions" where control going into the turn is essential to avoid launching the car over the kerb, because the speeds drop from 194.4 mph to 95 mph in just 321.5 ft and 1.59 seconds.

The load on the pedal measures 319.9 pound and the deceleration reaches 4.8 G, a figure that surpasses what the first astronauts will experience when they land on Mars. In terms of braking distance, turn 10 is beyond comparison. Drivers often use this corner for overtaking: the single-seaters have 413 ft to go from 177 mph to 43.4 mph in just 2.44 seconds.

 

 

Brembo performance

Single-seaters with Brembo brakes have won 20 of the 40 Canadian GP races they have participated in, including the last five. The first driver to win three GP races in a row with Brembo calipers was Michael Schumacher with Ferrari, from 2002 to 2004.

This is a result that Lewis Hamilton have repeated, having been victorious at the last three editions. Ferrari on the other hand hasn't won in Montreal since 2004.


 

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

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