In Singapore, F1 cars braking 15 times for a total of 22 seconds per lap could lead to excessive wear

9/12/2017

The Marina Bay street track is one of the toughest on the braking systems

Finishing the European tour with the Monza race, Formula 1 moves to Asia for the 14th competition in the 2017 World Championship, being held September 15 to 17 on the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore.

Stage for the first night-time GP held in Formula 1 in September 2008 and the 800th GP race overall, the track is carved out of Marina Bay streets that are usually open to busy traffic.


 

The track was designed by architect Hermann Tilke and was changed first in 2009 then in 2013 when the chicane at turn 10 was eliminated.
A third and final revision took place in 2015 when corrections were made to turns 11, 12 and 13.

Compared to the other street circuits, this one stands out for its length (5,539 yards against 3,649 yards in Monaco) and speeds (the average speed per lap is 110 mph, 7.5 mph more than Monaco), besides the inconsistencies on the tarmac due to manhole covers and painted lines that can cause a loss of grip.

The quick pace and lack of space to cool down (the longest straight measures just 910 yards), make this one of the most difficult circuits on the braking systems.

Wear of the friction material is only one of the channels that has to be constantly monitored via telemetry.

According to Brembo technicians, who classified the 20 tracks in the World Championship on a scale of 1 to 10, the Marina Bay Street Circuit falls into the category of tracks that are extremely demanding on the brakes.

The Singapore circuit earned a 10 on the difficulty index, the exact same score given to the Montreal, Mexico City and Abu Dhabi tracks.

 

 
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The demand on the brakes during the GP

The 23 corners on the track require drivers to use their brakes 15 times per lap, which is the record for the championship. Of all the other 19 tracks, only Monaco gets close with 12 braking sections per lap. Baku, Budapest and Abu Dhabi have eleven and the rest of the circuits have even fewer.

Another record is the time spent braking: More than 22 seconds per lap. The brakes are used for 23% of the overall duration of the race, the same percentage recorded in Monaco.

Just think, two weeks ago the Formula 1 cars raced in Monza using their brakes only six times per lap, which equals 12% of the overall race. The energy dissipated in braking is high too: 234 kWh, which is equivalent to the amount of electric energy consumed during the GP race by 138 inhabitants of Singapore.

The extreme windy nature of the track keeps the peak decelerations under 4.8 G, even going below 4 G at turn 7, resulting in an average peak deceleration per lap of 3.8 G.

From the starting line to the checkered flag, each driver exerts a total load of 120 metric tons on the brake pedal. In other words, the force is more than 1 metric ton for every minute of the race.

This physical exertion is significant especially when considering the high levels of humidity that distinguish this race (it ranged between 150° F and 160° F in 2016), along with the elevated air temperatures


 

The most demanding braking sections

Of the 15 braking sections at Marina Bay Street Circuit, three are classified by Brembo technicians as very demanding on the brakes, six are of medium difficulty and the remaining six are light.

The most challenging over all is Memorial Curve (turn 7, the name comes from the nearby park that commemorates the victims of World War II): the single-seaters go from 200 mph to 76 mph in 2.08 seconds, traveling barely 62 yards.

At this point, the drivers are subjected to a deceleration of 4.7 G and they apply a 348-pound load on the brake pedal. Major force is put on the drivers (4.9 G) and on the braking systems at Sheares Curve (turn 1, named in memory of Benjamin Sheares, former President of Singapore):

The cars drop from 188 mph to 82 mph in 53 yards and 1.93 seconds thanks to a load of 344 lbs on the brake pedal. Slightly less demanding is braking at turn 14 because the single-seaters arrive going less than 186 mph: They go from 175 mph to 60 mph in 60 yards with 4.7 G in deceleration and 350 lbs applied to the pedal.

A prime example of the braking force in the Brembo systems is the braking section at turn 9: Almost 43 mph of speed lost (from 128 mph to 85 mph) in a space of just 22 yards, enough to register 3.2 G in deceleration.


 

Brembo performance

Single-seaters with at least one Brembo brake component have won the last seven GP races in Singapore. In six of these races, the driver who won had also earned pole position.

Four of the victories went to Sebastian Vettel: Three in a row with Red Bull and in 2015 with Ferrari


 

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

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