Ten braking moments that thrill the orange tide of Formula 1


 The use of Brembo brake systems at the Zandvoort Circuit and braking solutions for road cars

​​​​​After its big success with the public last year when it was the European GP with the second largest number of spectators attending over the weekend, the Dutch GP does it again at the Circuit Zandvoort which according to Brembo technicians is 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. One of its distinctive features is turns 3 and 14 banked at around 19 degrees, more than double the corners at Indianapolis. This has a significant effect on the single-seater set-up which also affects the brakes. ​

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Disc size and hole size change​​


This year, the increase in wheel diameter from 13 inches (33 cm) to 18 inches (46 cm) provides more space in the wheel corner for the carbon discs, so their diameter increases from 278 mm (10.95 in.) to 328 mm (12.9 in.) for the front and from 266 mm (10.47 in.) to 280 mm (11.02 in.) for the rear. 

The thickness of the discs is now identical for both axles, 32 mm (1.26 in.), compared to last year when the rear discs did not exceed 28 mm (1.10 in.). However, the architecture of the discs has also changed because the new technical regulations impose a minimum diameter of 3 mm (0.12 in.) for the ventilation holes, whereas in the past Brembo pushed the envelope as far as 2.5 mm (0.10 in.). ​



No to thermal shocks for road cars too​​​​​​​

Although they don't reach the 1,200°C of Formula 1 cars, road car braking systems can also overheat. To avoid this, Brembo has been researching disc ventilation and the shape of the ventilation chamber in particular for over a quarter of a century. By using thermo-fluid dynamic calculations, the best traditional fins and pillar ventilation can be selected for each disc type. 

The latter are ideal when there is not a constant air flow within the disc and are arranged on three circumferences along the braking band with geometry designed to ensure the best performance for fluid dynamics. In these conditions, the pillars increase resistance to thermal cracking by up to 30 percent, ensuring longer disc life. 

Find tailor-made brakes for your car.​






​​142 kg (313 lb) load on the brake pedal​​ ​​​​

The Formula 1 drivers do not use their brakes on only 4 of the 14 corners on the Dutch circuit: 3 of these are in the run of corners 4-5-6 which have a radius that does not require the use of brakes plus the last corner which does not need brakes because it is uphill. On one lap, the drivers use their brakes for a total of 11 seconds, 16 percent of the entire GP race. 

The extremely smooth flowing of the track is confirmed by the presence of only 2 turns where braking lasts for more than 2 seconds: turns 9 and 11 with drivers being subjected to 4.7 g deceleration on the latter while they apply 142 kg (313 lb) of pressure to the brake pedal. From the starting line to the checkered flag, each driver exerts a total load of over 73 metric tons on the brake pedal, almost double the Belgian GP. ​


Less than 184 km/h (170 mph) in just under 2 seconds ​ ​​​ ​

Of the 10 braking sections at the Dutch GP, 2 are classified as highly demanding on the brakes, 6 are of medium difficulty and the remaining 2 are light. 

The most difficult one for the braking system is on the first turn because the cars come off a 1.1 km (0.69 mile) straight with no braking on the last turn. The single-seaters hit the brakes at 317 km/h (197 mph) and drop to 133 km/h (82.6 mph) in just 111 meters (364 feet). To achieve this, the drivers brake for 1.99 seconds and sustain 4.8g of deceleration. ​



And what about the video games?​​​


Taking Corner 1 on the Circuit Zandvoort in the Formula 1 video game is not as difficult as it might seem: after moving the car onto the left-hand side of the track, start braking as soon as you pass the 100 m sign. At the same time, move down into 3rd gear and just before the bend, move onto the inside so that you just touch the curb without going up onto it. Since it is a hairpin, do not open the throttle immediately or you may get caught in a spin. You must also make sure you unleash all the power as you come out of the corner.​