The two sides of Mexico for Formula 1 braking


 Brembo’s commitment to preventing thermal shock in Formula 1 and on road cars.


The second race in a row in North America and the seventh on the Mexico City circuit named after the Rodriguez brothers and renovated in 2015. According to Brembo technicians, the Mexican track is a very demanding circuit for brakes. 

On a scale of 1 to 5, it is rated 4 on the difficulty index, higher than the US world championship circuits but the same as the Canadian track in Montreal. Unlike the other components, the track’s record height above sea level does not affect the braking system itself but the very high top speeds are very taxing. The biggest difficulty lies with the low air density which has a negative effect on the cooling of the discs, pads and calipers as well as the radiators and engines. ​


​The development of holes on the Brembo F1 discs 

Twenty years ago, Brembo carbon fiber discs for F1 had a maximum of 72 ventilation holes: they were arranged in a single line and each one had a diameter of over 1 centimeter (3/8"). In 2006, as research advanced, the number of holes on each Formula 1 disc increased to 100. They were smaller than the previous ones, and were oval shaped. 

Thanks to computational fluid dynamic​s (CFD) and progress made in carbon fiber machining, in 2012 the number of holes increased to 600. In 2016, by pushing design to an extreme, the total number of holes increased to 1,100. The number of holes increased up until 2021 and reached a maximum of 1,480. However, 2022 regulations established a minimum diameter of 3 mm and therefore reduced the number to approximately 1050 holes per disc.



​No to thermal shocks for road cars too 

Although they don’t reach the 1,000 °C of Formula 1 single-seaters, road car braking systems can also overheat. To avoid this, Brembo has researched the shape of the ventilation chamber for over a quarter of a century. Thanks to this, pillar ventilation has replaced the traditional fins. 

The cross shape of the ventilation pillars, using PVT PLUS ventilation, combined with different geometries for each specific disc, guarantees the best fluid-dynamic performance: resistance to thermal cracking is improved by 40 per cent thanks to a larger heat exchange surface and a longer disc life. 

​Find tailor-made brakes for your car at​.







Six to three between the two halves 

Even if it is the third shortest track in the World Championship, the brakes are used 9 times on the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez: they are used for a total of 15.7 seconds per lap by each driver which amounts to 20% of the total duration of the race, even if the brakes are used only 3 times in the second half of the track. 

There are a total of 3 braking sections where the brakes are used for at least 2.1 seconds, even if the turns vary a great deal: on turn 4, for example, it takes 4.5 G of deceleration to reduce the speed by 225 km/h (140 mph) in 126 meters (413 feet). The load applied by each driver on the brake pedal from start to finish exceeds 72 metric tons. ​


A third of speed on the first corner 

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

The most difficult one is the first corner after the starting line, because the single-seaters take advantage of the long straight section and go at over 350 km/h (217 mph). Reducing their speed by two thirds to 113 km/h (70 mph) takes 2.61 seconds and they cover a distance of 142 meters (155 yards). The drivers have to use a considerable amount of force: 4.5 G and 138 kg (304 lb) of load on the brake pedal.



And what about the video games? 

To effortlessly tackle the first corner in the Mexican GP in the Formula 1 video game, don’t panic if acceleration seems endless. There’s a blue pickup with a bucket over the fencing on the left-hand side. As soon as you reach this vehicle, start braking, downshift 5 or more gears and when you reach the last lamppost with reflectors, move the car onto the inside going up onto the curb if necessary. ​