Hard first braking point at the Mexican GP


 A week after Austin, Formula 1 moves 1,200 km (746 miles) south for the 3rd GP in Mexico City, and the 23rd on the track named after the Rodriguez brothers.

A week after Austin, Formula 1 moves 1,200 km (746 miles) south for the 3rd GP in Mexico City, and the 23rd on the track named after the Rodriguez brothers. According to Brembo engineers, it’s one of the most demanding circuits for the brakes. On a difficulty index scale of 1 to 5, it rated 4 - higher than the U.S. world championship circuits but the same as the Canadian track in Montreal.

Unlike the other components, the braking system itself isn’t affected by the track’s record altitude, but it is put to the test by the top speeds. The low air density is part of the reason for the reduced cooling of the discs, pads and calipers as well as the radiators and engines.

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Brembo in Mexico ​​


In the mid-2010s, Brembo invested 131 million euros to set up a new cast iron foundry and aluminum caliper production plant in Escobedo (just outside Monterrey), with a workforce reaching 1,800. Covering nearly 25,000 square meters (29,900 square yards), the foundry has a melting capacity of 14,000 metric tons (approx. 15432 t).

The plant launched production in October 2016 and is able to make up to 2 million calipers a year. Moreover, this is an area where the scarcity of water is a well-known fact, but Brembo is highly attentive to sustainability, to the point of adopting a wastewater treatment process enabling the re-use of purified (filtered) water from the cleaning of machines and the use of compressors.



Six out of seven at the start

Despite being the third shortest track in the World Championship, the brakes are used 9 times on the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez. That means a total of 16 and a half seconds per lap for every driver, amounting to 21% of the total race duration, even though 6 of those braking sections are on the first 7 bends, with bends 8 to 17 then calling for the use of the brakes just 3 times.

Bends 6 and 7 are the only consecutive ones where the driver needs to apply a load of more than 100 kg (220 lb) on the brake pedal. On the other hand, three bends involve a deceleration of at least 4 G, although the maximum peak is 4.1 G, as in the Qatar GP. From the starting line to the checkered flag, each driver exerts an overall load of 67 metric tons (74 t) on the brake pedal.  

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A drop of 230 km/h (143 mph) in 2.7 seconds  ​​​​

Of the 9 braking sections at the Mexican GP, 3 are classified as very demanding on the brakes, 2 are of medium difficulty, and the other 4 are light.

The most difficult one is the first after the starting line, because the single-seaters have reached 343 km/h (213 mph) on the long straight and need to brake to 113 km/h (70 mph) in 2.68 seconds while covering a distance of 147 meters (161 yards).

For the drivers, the effort is enormous: 4.1 G and a load of 128 kg (282 lb) on the brake pedal.


And in video games?  ​​​​

To face the first bend of the Mexican GP without problems in the Formula 1 video game, just pay attention to the details on the left-hand side of the track.

After passing underneath the advertising banners, you’ll see a purple ad on the pit wall and then the curb just after that.

Bring the left-hand wheels up onto the curb then, after passing the 150-meter (164-yard) sign, start braking and drop to third gear while aiming for the inside of the bend.