Incredible stress on brakes in the Mexican GP


 No worries for the F1 cars in the City of Mexico with Brembo carbon discs or on the road with carbon-ceramic discs.


After a year off, the Mexican GP returns to the Formula 1 World Championship. According to Brembo technicians, the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez is classified as one of the most demanding tracks for brakes on a scale of 1 to 5, it is rated 5 on the difficulty index, the same as the Yas Marina Circuit. 


Unlike the other components, the record height above sea level of the track does not affect the braking system which is subjected to very high-top speeds: in three parts of the track, the single seaters go over 330 km/h (205 mph) before having to brake very hard. ​ ​

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Brembo carbon doesn't melt at 3,000°C (5,430°F)


Carbon discs were first used in Formula 1 in the 1980s, before spreading to other motorsport competitions. Indeed, no other element offers that special combination of light weight, high thermal conductivity, and absence of dilation, even at 1,000°C (1,832°F), that distinguishes Brembo's F1 discs. ​

The density of carbon is 1.7 grams (0.06 oz) per cubic centimeter, compared with 7.8 grams (0.28 oz) for steel and 7.3 grams (0.25 oz) for gray cast iron. Its coefficient of thermal expansion is one-fifteenth of steel and one-eleventh of cast iron. The melting point of carbon is higher than 3,000°C (5,430°F), compared with the 1,200°C (2,190°F) of cast iron and 1,800°C (3,270°F) of steel.​​ ​​



On the road, 3 meters (3.3 yards) make all the difference​

Carbon discs aren't suitable for road use, mainly because the braking system doesn't reach the minimum operating temperatures needed, but also due to their high consumption. Some of their benefits, however, can be found in the carbon-ceramic discs of which Brembo, via Brembo SGL Carbon Ceramic Brakes - a joint venture with SGL Group - is the main worldwide manufacturer.​

Carbon-ceramic discs allow a saving of 5-6 kg (11-13 lbs) in weight compared to traditional cast iron discs. What's more, their lifespan may even match that of the vehicle they're mounted on. It depends on how it's driven. But, above all, carbon-ceramic guarantees a reduction of about 3 meters (3.3 yards) in the braking distance from 100 km/h to 0 km/h (62 mph - 0 mph) compared with a traditional disc. ​ ​

Discover all the benefits of carbon-ceramic discs ​​​​​​​




The brakes are used for one fifth of the race​

Even if it is the third shortest track in the World Championship, the brakes are used 10 times on each lap of the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez: they are used for a total of 15.3 seconds per lap by each driver which amounts to 20% of the total duration of the race. This is the same percentage as the Brazilian Grand Prix and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.​ 

In four different parts of the track, the braking moments last for over 2 seconds even if they are all fairly different: deceleration ranges from 3.1 G to 5.6 G and the stopping distances from 76 meters (83.1 yards) to double that amount. The load applied by each driver on the brake pedal from start to finish exceeds 53.5 metric tons.​ ​


From 372 km/h (231 mph) to 110 km/h (68.3 mph) in 2.6 seconds​

Of the 10 braking sections at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, 3 are classified by Brembo technicians as demanding on the brakes, none are of medium difficulty and 7 are light. ​ 

The most demanding of all is the braking section on the first bend after the starting line when the single seaters go from 372 km/h (231 mph) to 110 km/h (68.3 mph) in just 153 meters (167 yards). To do this, drivers apply 181 kg (399 lb) of pressure to the brake pedal for 2.64 seconds and sustain a deceleration of 5.6 G. ​ ​ ​​​