End of vacation: in Belgium F1 returns to hard braking


 Use of Brembo brake calipers at Spa-Francorchamps and the best models for road cars

​​After a four-week break, the Formula 1 World Championship starts up again in Belgium for the first of three GPs held over 3 different weekends. According to Brembo technicians, the Spa-Francorchamps Circuit is a demanding circuit for brakes. On a scale of 1 to 5, it is rated 4 on the difficulty index. 

People rate it as the most complete track in Formula 1 because in just over 7 kilometers (4.35 miles) it has corners and straights of all shapes and lengths. One of its distinctive features is the three braking sections of at least 2.5 seconds, something not shared by any other track on the calendar. ​​

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A change of direction for calipers​ ​ ​ ​​​​ ​​


This year, as a result of the increase in wheel diameter from 13 to 18 inches on the new Formula 1 single-seaters, the diameter of the brake discs has also increased. The increased braking force required has also led to an increase in the size of the Brembo brake calipers made of aluminum alloy machined from billet and nickel-plated. 

The dimensions of the calipers have increased on average 10% both at the front and the rear. A change of direction compared with the last few seasons. This year all the teams use 6-piston calipers at the rear too: the 4-piston rear calipers used by those who preferred their lighter weight have disappeared. ​



Calipers with internal ducts for road cars too​​​ ​ ​​​​​​

Even for stock cars, the size of the calipers and their hydraulics – i.e. number of pistons – are linked to the characteristics of the vehicles they will be fitted on. 

Designed for those who want the maximum from their car, the Brembo calipers in the B-M family have similar technical characteristics to those of the racing calipers machined from billet. Machined from a single billet of cast aluminum, using a 4D technology casting process and with internal fluid channels, these calipers ensure outstanding rigidity and limited deformation. 

Have a look at all the advantages of the B-M4, B-M6 and B-M8 braking systems.​






​​​Two braking moments with a delta speed of 200 km/h (124 mph)​

Despite being the longest track in the World Championship, the brakes are used just seven times per lap, an average of once per kilometer even if on the first 7 corners, the Formula 1 drivers use them only twice. The brake system is used for just under 14 seconds on each lap amounting to 13 percent of the total duration of the race. 

On the first and last corner, the single-seaters drop their speed by over 200 km/h (124 mph) with the brakes being applied for over 2.5 seconds during which time they cover a distance of at least 120 meters (394 feet). However, the longest braking distance is on corner 8 and covers 131 meters (429 feet). Loads on the brake pedal are also high with peaks of 138 kg (304 lb) for the first two braking moments. And yet, from the starting line to the checkered flag, each driver exerts a load of below 38 metric tons on the brake pedal, one of the lowest figures in the championship. Use of the brakes is therefore reduced but when they are used, the strain on the brake system is very high.


Halving the speed in just 2 seconds​

Of the 7 braking sections at the Belgian GP, 5 are classified as very demanding on the brakes and the remaining 2 are of medium difficulty. 

The hardest for the braking system is Turn 5: the single-seaters come onto it at 327 km/h (203 mph) and drop to 150 km/h (93 mph) in the space of just 120 meters (394 feet). The Formula 1 drivers only need to brake for 1.98 seconds, but they have to apply a force of 138 kg on the brake pedal with a deceleration of 4.7 G. ​



E And what about the video games?​


To take corner 5 on the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps perfectly in the Formula 1 video game, make sure you don’t get distracted by the length of the Kemmel Straight. Positioned on the left-hand side of the track, start braking as soon as you reach the yellow/red outer curb which you should go over with the left-hand wheels. Move down into 4th or 5th gear and move the right-hand wheels onto the inner curb very briefly unless rapidly changing direction.​