5.6 G of deceleration for Formula One in Austin


 With 9 braking points on each lap, the US GP is a testing ground for Brembo’s carbon-ceramic discs. For street-legal cars too.



After a year off, Formula One crosses the Atlantic Ocean once again for the 42nd US Grand Prix, the 9th on the Austin track. The single-seaters take 30 seconds less per lap than the motorcycles since they can do most of the bends at a higher speed, without even touching the brakes at times. 

According to Brembo technicians, the Circuit of the Americas is classified as a track with a medium level of difficulty for brakes. On a scale of 1 to 5, it is rated 3 on the difficulty index, the same as the rating for the MotoGPs even if the brakes are used differently, both on each corner and throughout the entire Grand Prix.​​

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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.




Three braking points and 20 seconds less than MotoGP​

The Formula 1 drivers use their brakes on only 9 of the 20 corners of the Circuit of the Americas, 3 less than the MotoGP riders. ​Thanks to the grip guaranteed by the extra tires, the cars do not need to brake on corners 3, 6 and 16. ​

On a full lap, the brakes are used for just over 17 seconds, 20 seconds less than the MotoGPs. The total load exerted by each driver on the brake pedal from the starting line to the checkered flag is not one of the highest in the World Championship: 51.1 tons because it only exceeds 1 quintal on 4 braking points per lap.​ ​


2.5 seconds to brake from 346 km/h (215 mph)​

Of the 9 braking sections in the US GP, 3 are classified as very demanding on the brakes, 1 is of medium difficulty, and the remaining 5 are light.   

​The most insidious corner is turn 12: the single-seaters come onto it at a speed of 332 km/h (206.2 mph) and the drivers apply 183 kg (403.4 lb) of pressure to the brake pedal for 2.38 seconds during which time they experience 5.6 G of deceleration to drop to 95 km/h (59 mph). All this in 120 meters (131.2 yards) - no mean feat!​ ​​​