Formula 1 moves east with daunting braking too


 Guide to the Brembo brake pads for the Azerbaijan GP and for sporty road use

​​​​From Monaco to Azerbaijan, one street circuit to another, but the characteristics of the two tracks and the traditions are different. This is the fifth edition of the Azerbaijan GP but the sixth race in Baku because the European GP was held there in 2016. 

The Azerbaijan track is classified as one of the most demanding tracks for brakes: on a scale of 1 to 5, it is rated 4 on the difficulty index, the same as the Montreal track which will be the racing venue in a week's time. The layout includes four 90° corners at the start which are highly demanding on the brakes, followed by other turns and, consequently, use of the brakes. ​

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Brake pads​ ​​


In addition to aluminum alloy calipers and carbon fiber discs, Brembo supplies the teams with brake pads, also made of carbon fiber: every team uses up to 600 per season. At least 2 different types of material and the same number of geometries are used with a total of 4 possible combinations for both the front and rear brakes. Each team uses a specially designed pad which perfectly matches the geometry of the Brembo caliper used. 

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 roughly 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. ​



Sport pads for road vehicles​​ ​​​​​​

Thanks to the experience it has gained in 47 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. These include the Sport/HP2000 pads designed and tested for a predominantly sporty road use. 

This is a product that is designed for drivers with sports ambitions and those who want the maximum from their cars. The Sport/HP2000 pads offer outstanding performance even without warming up and at low speeds thanks to a special material that ensures constant friction at all temperature ranges. 

 Find out more about these Brembo pads.​




Sixty tons of force​ ​​​​

Since the track is 6 km (3.7 miles) long with 10 braking sections, the brakes are used for 20.5 seconds per lap: this may sound a lot but is only 20% of the entire race compared with 21% of the Monaco GP and 22% of the Singapore GP. From the starting line to the checkered flag, each driver exerts a total load of 60 metric tons on the brake pedal. 

In 8 of the 10 braking sections, the load exceeds 1 quintal and in 3 points, it exceeds 130 kg (286 lb). There are also 3 corners where the braking distances hit three figures but none of these are between turn 4 and turn 14 since speeds are below 300 km/h (186 mph) in this part of the Azerbaijan track. ​ ​


235 km/h (146 mph) less with one braking section​​ ​

Of the 10 braking sections on the Baku City Circuit, 4 are classified as very demanding on the brakes, 5 are of medium difficulty and only 1 is light. 

The most challenging one for the braking system is the first corner: the single-seaters come into it at 344 km/h (213.7 mph) and then slow down to 109 km/h (67.7 mph) in 2.5 seconds. To do this, drivers apply a load of 136 kg (299.8 lb) to the brake pedal and undergo a deceleration of 4.4 G as they cover a distance of 137 meters (149.8 yards). ​



And what about the video games?​


To do the first braking section after the starting line perfectly in the Formula 1 videogame, it is important not to panic because there is a very long straight section that leads up to it. It is a good idea to keep as far to the right as possible with three quarters of the single-seater over the white line surrounding the track. As soon as you see the 100m sign, brake and move down into 3rd gear. Then move towards the inside curb without touching it and widen the trajectory with the right wheels on the outside curb.​​