Formula 1 2016: the Mexican GP according to Brembo


 An in-depth look at Formula 1 brake use at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodriguez

The Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez will host the 19th race of the 2016 Formula 1 World Championship from 28 to 30 October.

Located in a park south-east of Mexico City, the track was designed in 1955 by engineer Oscar Fernández Gómez Daza. Formula 1 races began to be held here in 1963 and ten years later it was renamed for the Rodriguez brothers, Ricardo and Pedro, who were both World Championship drivers that died prematurely after two accidents on the track.

Hermann Tilke then renovated the track and in 2015 it returned on the World Championship circuit, spotlighting the incredible speeds the single-seaters manage to reach. Felipe Massa hit 364.3 km/h in the qualifying laps. As the grip increases on the asphalt during the weekend, the braking torque discharged to the ground will also go up. Special attention will need to be given to the temperature of the discs and calipers.

According to Brembo technicians, who classified the 21 World Championship tracks on a scale of 1 to 10, the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez is in the category of tracks that present a high level of difficulty for the brakes. The Mexican circuit earned a 9 on the difficulty index, which is lower only than the tracks at Montreal and Abu Dhabi.


Brake Use During the GP

The presence of many curves within close-range and along almost all of the sections of the track leads to the brakes being used 12 times per lap, which translates into an average speed per lap that in last year's race never went over 193 km/h. It's not surprising then that the brakes are used for 26% of the overall duration of the race, the highest value for the entire World Championship.

On the other hand, the extreme winding nature prevents the cars from having to face great deceleration and that explains why the average deceleration is 2.6 g, a figure that is lower even that the 2.7 g at Monaco. The energy dissipated in braking is 246 kWh, which is more than the sum of the figures registered at Montreal and Silverstone and is equivalent to the amount consumed every year by 4 LCD television sets switched on for one hour a day to watch the soap operas. From the starting line to the chequered flag, each driver applies a total load of 68 tonnes on the pedal, which is equivalent to the total weight of 17,000 crates of avocados.


Detailed representation of the 2016 Mexican circuit with curves detail Brembo  


The Most Challenging Stops

Of the 12 braking sections at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, none are classified as very challenging on the brakes by Brembo technicians, but 4 present a mid-level of difficulty and 8 are light.

The most challenging by far is at Curve 1, which is positioned at the end of the longest straight-away on the track that measures 1,200 metres. The cars arrive here going 366 km/h and brake for 3.29 seconds to reduce their speed to 103 km/h. In this brief moment of time the drivers undergo a deceleration of 4 g and the single-seaters travel just 72 metres, the same length as 1.5 times the diameter of the Gran Telescopio Milimétrico of Mexico City.

Curve 4 also puts the drivers to the test, requiring them to apply a load of 117 kg on the brake pedal. The cars lose almost 240 km/h, braking to go from 327 km/h to 89 km/h in a mere 65 metres. Conversely, the brakes are barely touched at Curves 3 and 8: at the first, the cars brake for just 2 metres (31 hundredths of a second) and at the second for 5 metres (40 hundredths of a second). The slowest curve overall is number 13, which is taken at 79 km/h after braking for 25 metres, the space needed to reduce the speed by almost 100 km/h in 1.61 seconds.




Brembo Victories

Single-seaters with Brembo brakes have won 4 of the 8 Mexican GP races they have competed in. Oddly, none of the teams and none of the drivers with Brembo brakes have managed to win more than once on this track.