Spanish GP, watch the number 10s


 Analysis of the use of Brembo brakes in Catalonia including the antidrag system, also available for street-legal cars


After the phantasmagoric first edition of the Miami GP, Formula 1 returns to Europe for the Spanish GP,​ which will be held at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the 32nd year running. According to Brembo engineers, it is one of those tracks 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 completely different city tracks of Monaco and Miami. 

At the end of February, the Catalan track hosted the winter tests which several drivers and teams took part in over the three days it was held. The track grip level is always very high for the GPs and the circuit layout and the 1,047 meter (0.6 mile) straight section allow efficient thermal exchange between one braking episode and the next. ​

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The Brembo antidrag system on the track​


Every element must be optimized on the Formula 1 cars to avoid behavior that reduces overall performance. Usually, the focus is on the wings and the bodyshell of the single-seaters, but other components also have a negative effect. 

One of these anomalies has been resolved by Brembo by introducing antidrag to the calipers which is a system that uses a torsional spring that reduces residual torque, i.e., the unwanted friction between the disc and the pad, even under extreme conditions. When the brake is not used, the lever keeps the two parts apart. ​



The antidrag system for street-legal cars​

In racing, the antidrag system prevents performance loss whereas on road cars, it has two advantages which are important for motorists: it increases the component’s service life and reduces emissions as well as limiting wear on the pads and discs by reducing the particles generated by residual friction. 

It does this using Enesys which is an acronym for Energy Saving System, a new generation of Brembo brake spring technology, developed to reduce the residual torque of the brakes. Thanks to these springs, the pads return to their original position in the caliper once the brake pedal is released. 

Find out more about this ingenious solution.​






Stress is high up to corner 10​

The drivers use their brakes on only half of the 16 turns on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya so the braking system is called into action for a total of under 13.5 seconds per lap (17% of the overall race time). With the exception of the Bahrain GP, of the 5 previous GPs in the season, no other has just a high percentage. 

All 5 of the hardest braking episodes in the Spanish GP are on the first 10 turns where maximum deceleration has an average value of 4.2G. The 3 braking episodes on the remaining turns are less treacherous as shown by the differences in speed of between 51 km/h and 70 km/h and the maximum deceleration which goes from 2.4G to 3.7G. ​​


2.5 seconds on turn 10​​​

Of the 8 braking sections at the Spanish GP, 3 are classified as highly demanding on the brakes, 3 are of medium difficulty and the remaining 2 are light. 

The most difficult is on turn 10 where the drivers come in at 316 km/h (196 mph) and apply the brakes for 2.5 seconds, during which the vehicles travel the 122 meters (133 yards) needed to bring the speed down to 117 km/h (73 mph). The load on the brake pedal is 144 kg (317 lb) with 4.7G deceleration.



And what about the video games?​


To brake correctly on the 10th turn in the Spanish GP in the Formula 1 video game, you need skill and concentration: you have to start braking near the 100 m sign and downshift to first gear. You can go onto the inner curb to help turn the single-seater. Make sure you don’t open the throttle too fast - it is also a good idea to move into 3rd gear to optimize traction.