The Japanese figure of eight track that is unique in F1 and its braking


 Formula 1 returns to Japan where last year only 28 of the 53 laps were completed due to a long stop caused by bad weather and exceeding the 3-hour limit.

Formula 1 returns to Japan where last year only 28 of the 53 laps were completed due to a long stop caused by bad weather and exceeding the 3-hour limit. The Suzuka International Racing Course is classified as one of the least demanding circuits on brakes: on a scale of 1 to 5, it is rated 1 on the difficulty index, equaled only by Silverstone.

This does not mean that this requires less effort from the driver; far from it, to complete a really good lap at Suzuka, you have to pay attention to all the details due to the track’s ups and downs and the figure of 8 layout which makes it the only track in the world championship with an underpass (between turns 9 and 10) and an overpass. ​

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Brembo in Japan ​​


At Suzuka the single-seaters with Brembo parts have won 23 Formula 1 GPs, 7 with Scuderia Ferrari and 6 with Michael Schumacher. In his 19 appearances on this track, the German secured 8 pole positions and 9 podiums and was in the lead for 309 laps, always accompanied by Brembo brakes.

Less than two years ago, Brembo opened a new office in Tokyo, close to the Tokyo Tower in the Minato district. In this way, Brembo confirms its presence as a solution provider for the local car and motorcycle manufacturers who have been leaders at global level for decades.



Braking from 1 to 6

As with all “driven” tracks, the Suzuka International Racing Course has long, fast turns which require minimum braking: the drivers use their brakes on 12 turns but on 3 of these, they are used to slow down by a maximum of 15 km/h (9.32 mph) and on another 3, the difference between the initial speed and the speed at the end of braking does not reach 70 km/h (43.5 mph). Consequently, on these 6 turns, the brakes are used for less than 8 tenths of a second.

Even if the brakes are used on all of the first 6 turns after the start, the load on the brake pedal is low and does not even reach 70 kg (154 lb) peak. It is no surprise that the total load exerted on the brake pedal by drivers from start to finish is 52 metric tons (57.3 t). Overall, on one lap, the brakes are used for just over 12.5 seconds which amounts to 14% of the duration of the race.  

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208 km/h (129 mph) less in 105 meters (115 yards) ​​​​

Of the 12 braking points at the Suzuka International Racing Course, only 2 are considered demanding on the brakes, 3 are of medium difficulty and the remaining 7 are light.

The most challenging by far is Turn 16 where the cars go from 304 km/h to 96 km/h (189 mph to 60 mph) in just 105 meters (115 yards).

During the 2.29 seconds when the brakes are in use, the drivers apply a 144 kg (317 lb) load on the pedal and are subject to a peak deceleration of 4.8 G.


And what about the video games?​ ​

If you complete turn 130R perfectly, you will come onto turn 16 at very high speed. To slow down correctly in the Formula 1 video game, keep your eye on the walls, which are easier to spot than the signs with the distance from the turn.

When the tricolor stripe becomes “Pirelli” on the wall on the right, it is a sign of the 150 meters (164 yards) from the corner entry. Before the advertising bridge, there is a tire that indicates 100 meters (109 yards) and it is here that you have to start braking.

Make sure you do not turn too early: only turn when you reach two plastic posts or you will end up in a service lane.