Here's How Lewis Hamilton brakes: Braking Style and Brembo Calipers

10/27/2017

To win in Formula 1, you have to drive fast and get the most out of your brakes

With 3 Drivers’ World Champion titles earned over the last 4 Formula 1 championships and a 4th barely missed with more Grand Prix wins than anyone (10) in 2016, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Driver Lewis Hamilton is the star performer in the era of hybrid power units.

From 2014 to 2016, the British driver won an impressive 31 Grands Prix with Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport. In 2017 success continued even after the implementation of the new rules; In fact, Lewis broke the record previously held by Michael Schumacher for the most pole positions in Formula 1 and he earned his fourth world title with 9 wins and 12 podiums with Mercedes – AMG Petronas Motorsport

In 2017 success continued even after the implementation of the new rules; In fact, Lewis broke the record previously held by Michael Schumacher for the most pole positions in Formula 1 and he earned his fourth world title with 9 wins and 12 podiums with Mercedes – AMG Petronas Motorsport


 
Brembo caliper on Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport EQPower+  

Braking Style


The secret to his speed in the single qualifying lap lies in his ability to exploit to the max the vehicle's grip according to the track conditions, squeezing out all of the potential in his Mercedes.
This often leads him to going beyond the grip of the tires on the front wheels with extremely aggressive braking, while maintaining command of the wheel lock like no other in the paddock.
A less expert driver would permanently damage the front tires, penalizing performance, but Lewis knows which limits cannot be surpassed. When he carries out the operation perfectly the advantage cannot be beaten, as seen when he simultaneously overtook both Raikkonen and Ericsson at the 2016 Chinese Grand Prix.

After the first stage of braking, the Brit doesn't completely release the brake right away. Instead he continues to use it as he increases the steering angle.
This technique, which was spread globally by fellow countryman Jim Clark, has been given the name Trail Braking. Hamilton learned it as a child when he drove go-karts, which is another reason why he favors oversteering, a common follow up to Trail Braking, rather than dealing with understeering.
Ever since his debut for Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Hamilton has proven that he is comfortable with the braking systems used by the team. As an Official Team Supplier to Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport providing the car’s brake calipers, Brembo has been a major part of Lewis’ driving style – allowing him to push the cars limits.

In Formula 1, even the braking systems have to be personalized so that they adapt better to the strengths of the specific single-seater. Brembo works in close contact with both the team and the driver from the design phase of the car to get the most performance from the tailor-made brake calipers.


 
Lewis Hamilton listen how Brembo Calipers works  

Brembo Braking Components

Brembo's cooperation in the design phase includes the development of aluminum alloy and, given its bulk, its integration with the corner of the single-seater through design optimization, as well as conducting a CFD study on cooling.
For the 2017 Championship, both Silver Arrow race cars for Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport are equipped with Brembo front and rear calipers. The Brembo brake calipers on both cars driven by Lewis and Valtteri Bottas are made with a special lithium-aluminum alloy that optimizes the stiffness to weight ratio.

In this way, the response of the caliper is in line with the pressure applied by Lewis and deformation is reduced to a minimum even when braking is very intense.
The Brembo calipers in Hamilton's car are 6-piston monoblocs of different diameters. They were designed to ensure consistent performance: in other words, the calipers respond in a consistent manner to the pressure of the driver throughout the entire GP race, eliminating the phenomenon of pedal elongation.

Since the single-seaters are subject to a number of evolutionary phases during the course of the season, the braking components can be changed over the months to perform better with the new developments in aerodynamics and mechanics.
To produce each lithium-aluminum brake caliper destined for the Silver Arrows, 14 consecutive hours of mechanical processing are required to reach the perfect balance between stiffness and weight.

The brake calipers are shipped to Brembo Racing for a complete revision after more than 1,500 miles of use. The entire caliper is disassembled by hand and all of the worn pieces are replaced with new components.
Then the caliper is reassembled and goes through quality control, after which it is sent back to the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport headquarters in Brackley, England.


 

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

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