Rain and the first corner are the main pitfalls for the Formula 1 single-seaters at the Brazilian GP.

11/8/2017

Only 6 braking points per lap at Autódromo Carlos Pace

​ Formula 1 lands in Brazil for the 19th race of the 2017 World Championship, taking place November 10-12 at Autódromo José Carlos Pace. Located in the Cidade Dutra district of São Paulo, the track is named for the Brazilian driver who won the 1975 Brazilian GP. The rest of the world however knows it as Autódromo de Interlagos.


 

Built in 1940, the circuit has been modified throughout the course of the years, most recently in 1990. The cars drive counterclockwise and the straights are fairly short: As a consequence, there is only one occasion when braking is used to drop the speed by more than 200 km/h.

The track is very drivable with frequent changes in direction, but it also has high-speed turns that don't require use of the brakes. This is the case especially on Curva do Sol (turn 3), Subida dos Boxes (turn 14) and Arquibancadas (turn 15).

The only serious obstacle to the correct operation of the carbon brakes is bad weather: Last year the race was held in the rain and the temperature of the tarmac didn't go over 21° C.

According to Brembo technicians, who have classified the 20 tracks in the World Championship on a scale of 1 to 10, Autódromo José Carlos Pace is one of the world's least demanding tracks on the brakes. The Brazilian racetrack earned a difficulty index of 4, on par with Silverstone and Suzuka.

 

 
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The demand on the brakes during the GP

Every lap, the brakes are used barely six times, a negative record for the World Championship matched only by the Monza circuit, but there are plenty of tough braking sections. Overall, during one lap at Interlagos, the brakes are used for 12,5 seconds which comes to 18% of the duration of the race.

Since there are very few braking points, the average peak deceleration per lap is 3,9 G, one of the highest among the last seven GP races of the year. Additionally, none of the six braking sections registers a peak deceleration that goes below 3 G.

Even the energy dissipated in braking by each single-seater during the entire GP is contained: 127 kWh, which is almost the same as Shanghai, although there are two more braking sections per lap, however modest they be.

From the starting line to the checkered flag, each driver exerts a total load of 44 tons on the brake pedal, which is almost identical to the Japanese GP and just under that of the Belgian GP.


 

The most demanding braking sections

Of the 6 braking points at Autódromo José Carlos Pace, only one is classified as highly demanding on the brakes by Brembo technicians, but four are of medium difficulty and the rest are light.

The most challenging by far is at the first corner because the single-seaters arrive after having accelerated non-stop for 17-18 seconds. They arrive at the braking section going 338 km/h and they brake for 2,82 seconds while traveling 67 meters. To reach 101 km/h and set up the curve, the drivers have to apply a 118 kg load on the brake pedal and undergo a deceleration of 4,5 G.

The same G-force is found at turn 4, but the braking section is shorter: 1,91 seconds and 49 meters are needed to bring the speed to 172 km/h, practically dropping the speed by half.

Turns 8 and 10 also require more than a couple of seconds of braking, although these are the slowest corners on the track with the drivers going 90 km/h and 81 km/h, respectively. But the Formula 1 cars arrive going less than 250 km/h so each section only requires 43-44 meters.


 

Brembo performance

Single-seaters with Brembo brakes have won 22 of the 42 GP races in Brazil that they took part in. Michael Schumacher has won the most races here with four victories. Ferrari leads the teams with 10 victories, but the last one dates back to 2008. Of the last four editions, the driver who began in pole position won every time.


 

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

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