The 2019 Formula 1 Belgian GP according to Brembo


 An in-depth look at the braking systems on the Formula 1 single-seaters at Spa-Francorchamps


After the long summer break, Formula 1 is starting back up and as per tradition, the engines will fire up at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, home of the Belgium GP, from August 30 to September 1 in the 13th race of the 2019 World Championship.​


Nestled in the Ardenne hills, it is unanimously considered the most complete track in the World Championship for its combination of fast turns, blind corners, elevation changes and infinite straightaways.

This is the 52nd time Formula 1 has returned to the track, but the circuit has changed dramatically over the course of the years: since 2007 is has measured 7,004 meters (4.352 miles), making this the longest track in the World Championship.

It stands out for having 19 turns, yet it only has four braking sections characterized by extreme outputs of energy. The cooling off of the braking systems is guaranteed by the presence of big, fast corners like Eau Rouge and Blanchimont, where the brakes aren't touched at all.

The unknown variable is the weather: In 2017 the air temperature reached 24°C (75.2°F) but in 2014 it didn't go over 16°C (60.8°F).

​According to Brembo technicians, who have classified the 21 tracks in the World Championship, the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps is one of the most demanding on the brakes. On a scale of 1 to 5, it earned a 4 on the difficulty index.



The demand on the brakes during the GP

Even though it is a really long track, the brakes are used barely seven times per lap, just like in Spielberg except that track is 2.7 km (1.68 miles) shorter. Additionally, one of the seven braking sections on the Belgian circuit last less than one second. Which explains why the brakes are used for just over 13 seconds per lap, (13% of the race).

The mean deceleration per lap is 4.2 G. The average is lowered by the braking in sectors 2 and 3, with the exception of the chicane at the top that was once called the Bus Stop (turn 18).

Obviously then, the energy each car dissipates in braking during the entire GP race is lower than at other tracks: The total of 158 kWh here is just a little more than half of the energy dissipated on Singapore.

​From the starting line to the checkered flag, each driver will exert a total load of 35.5 tons (78,264 lbs) on the brake pedal. Although lower than other GP races, it is still a sizable force that is equivalent to 430 kg (948 lbs) for every minute racing.


The most demanding braking sections

Of the 7 braking sections at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, 3 are classified as demanding on the brakes, 2 are of medium difficulty and the other two are light.

The toughest on the braking system is at turn 18: The single-seaters arrive going 321 km/h (199 mph) and decelerate to 91 km/h (57 mph) in just 128 meters (420 feet). The Formula 1 drivers only need to brake for 2.71 seconds, but they have to apply a force of 202 kg (445 lb) on the brake pedal and they experience a deceleration of 5.8 G.

​Another noteworthy braking section is at turn 1 because in just 116 meters (381 feet), the single-seaters have to decelerate by more than 200 km/h (124 mph) to go from 303 km/h (188 mph) to 85 km/h (53 mph). The force on the drivers is higher: They apply a load of 171 kg (377 lbs) on the brake pedal and experience 5.3 G in deceleration.


Brembo performance

Single-seaters with Brembo brakes have won 25 of the 42 GP races in Belgium that they took part in. With 11 victories Ferrari is the most-winning team with Brembo; four of these were won by Michael Schumacher, who also won twice with Benetton.​