Breaking on the limit of the first turns of the 2017 Formula 1 Austrian GP

7/4/2017

 The Red Bull Ring torments braking systems, but only in one section.

After the visit to the Caspian Sea, Formula 1 returns to the heart of Europe for the 9th event of the 2017 World Championship. The theater for the Austrian GP is the Red Bull Ring, inaugurated in May 2011 and situated near Spielberg, in Styria.


 

Although being more or less the same length as the Budapest and Montreal circuits (all 4,3 km give or take ten meters) the Austrian circuit is the only one in the World Championship where a lap takes less than 70 seconds: last year Lewis Hamilton took pole position with his Mercedes in only 1’07’’922.

This is thanks to the high speeds achieved but also to the small number of bends, only 3 of which require the use of brakes for more than one second.

The many undulations of the track complicate the drivers' choice of timing braking: from the highest to the lowest point there is in fact a 65 meter difference in level.

According to Brembo technicians, who have classified the 20 World Championship tracks on a scale from 1 to 10, the Red Bull Ring can be considered one of the most demanding tracks for brakes.

The Austrian track has been given a difficulty index of 8, equal to the one assigned to Monza, Melbourne and in the two circuits in the former USSR.

 

 
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The demand on the brakes during the GP

During each lap brakes are used 7 times, for less than nine and a half seconds in total, 4 tenths more than on the Monza track. From start to the checkered flag, braked are in action for a total of 11 minutes, equal to 15 per cent of the whole race.

Brakes are used even less in the second half of the track, from the Rauch curve onwards: if in fact in the first half drivers use the brakes for 6 and a half seconds, in the second part they use them for less than 3 seconds.

The maximum deceleration is also affected by this variation: from an average of 4,7 g in the first section to 3,9 g in the next. Consequently the average track deceleration is 4,2 g, the same as for Barcelona.

The energy dissipated during braking in the whole GP from each single-seater is quite limited: 166 kWh, equal to the energy needed to operate around 55 mechanical bulls.

During the whole race, a driver uses his brakes a little less than 500 times, exerting a total load of 68 tons on the brake pedal, that is over three times the weight of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart CDs sold worldwide in 2016.


 

The most demanding braking sections

Of the 7 Red Bull Ring braking points 3 are classified as hard on the brakes, 2 are of medium difficulty and 2 light. The most challenging for the braking system is the Remus bend (bend 3): the single-seaters approach at 307 km/h and in only 2,4 seconds they decrease to 76 km/h. To manage this, drivers must exert a pressure of 161 kg on the braking pedals, and decelerate by 4,7 g.

With the brake pressed the vehicles travel for 65 meters, almost two thirds the length of Salzburg Cathedral. Drivers are subjected to a 4,7 g deceleration also on the Castrol bends (turn 1) and Schlossgold bend (turn 4) thanks to the 317 km/h that they reach on the preceding straights.

For both however, the entrance speed on the bend is superior to the Remus bend: in the first one the single-seaters enter the bend at 137 km/h and in the fourth one at 106 km/h.
This last one requires the use of brakes for 2,32 seconds and pedal load of “only” 159 kg, whereas for the other one only 1,77 seconds are needed, but with a 164 kg load.


 

Brembo performance

Single-seaters with Brembo brakes have won all the last 5 Austrian GPs. This is one of the few tracks in the world where Sebastian Vettel has not yet triumphed.


 

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

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