Turkey's bipolarity in F.1: braking opposites


 A look at brake use in Istanbul and the market for Formula 1 and road car brake pads.


For the second year in a row, Turkey is hosting a Formula 1 World Championship race. According to Brembo technicians, Intercity Istanbul Park is a circuit that presents an average challenge for the brakes. On a scale of one to five, it earned a three on the difficulty index. 

The Istanbul circuit is very technical and has numerous changes of gradient, which obviously means a risk of overrunning when coming into a downhill turn or braking too hard on the uphill ones. Last year's race was staged in November, and the new asphalt, thanks to the rain that fell throughout the weekend, compromised grip, also when braking. Only in the second free practice session, on a dry track, did the drivers make the most of their braking. ​

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Half a pound of brake pads, please!​


In addition to aluminum-lithium calipers and carbon fiber discs, Brembo also supplies its teams with brake pads, also made from carbon fiber: It makes five different types for the front brakes and two for the rear ones. They vary according to the specifications of the material used, the internal ventilation and the geometry. 

The length of each pad ranges from 160 to 190 mm (6.3 to 7.4 in.) and the surface area from 50 to 90 cm2 (0.05 to 0.09 ft2) whereas the weight varies from 150 to 300 grams (0.3 to 0.66 lb). The pads have a friction coefficient of 0.5 and the operating temperature is the same as the discs – they both have very high thermal conductivity since they are in direct contact and made from similar materials.



An endless range of brake pads for street-legal cars​

Thanks to the experience it has gained in 46 years of Formula 1 and its partnership with car manufacturers, Brembo has developed a range of brake pads for street-legal cars which guarantee maximum safety when braking. Through constant research and extensive laboratory and road tests, it has produced over 100 different compounds. 

The aim is to offer the best solution for each type of vehicle and driving style, both in terms of performance and comfort and guarantee a low noise level. Brembo makes a total of 1,400 different products, which cover over 98% of the cars in circulation in Europe. ​

Find the right pads for your car in the Brembo catalog.​​​​​




Two opposite sides​

In a full lap, F1 drivers use the brakes eight times for a total of 14.6 seconds, equivalent to 17 per cent of the race duration, the same percentage as at Sochi and Zandvoort. Due to a lack of long straights, the first part of the Turkish track does not feature much braking. Up to turn six, none exceeds 1.9 seconds. 

Because the second part is less twisty, it features three braking sections of at least 4g which put drivers and systems to the test. However, only in one case does deceleration exceed 160 km/h (99 mph) and in just a couple of cases the braking distance is at least 100 meters (109 yards). ​


220 km/h (137 mph) less in 125 meters (137 yards)​

Out of the nine braking areas of the Turkish GP only one is considered highly demanding on the brakes, three are of medium difficulty and five are light. 

The hardest for the braking system is the one at turn 12 because the single-seaters brake after touching 313 km/h (194 mph) and have to get down to 92 km/h (57 mph) in the space of just 125 meters (137 yards). To achieve this, the drivers brake for 2.82 seconds and experience a 4.5g deceleration. ​