The 2020 Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix according to Brembo


 A guide to the Brembo braking systems in Formula 1 single-seaters, and their use on the Bahrain International Circuit


According to Brembo technicians, the Bahrain International Circuit is one of the most demanding for the brakes. On a difficulty index scale of 1 to 5, it earned a 4 - exactly the same as legendary tracks like Nürburgring, Monza and Spa-Francorchamps. 

Compared with the races of past years, held in March or April, the temperatures should be higher and therefore the degree of mechanical grip as well. In the central section of the track, there are numerous braking points of medium-high energy impact, and this means considerable wear on the friction materials. ​

The superiority of carbon​

Carbon discs began to be used in Formula 1 in the 1980s, and then spread into other motorsport competitions too. Indeed, no other element provides that combination of light weight, high thermal conductivity and absence of expansion, even at the 1,000 °C (1,832 °F) temperature that distinguishes Brembo F1 discs. 

The density of carbon is 1.8 grams (0.06 oz) per cubic centimeter, compared with 7.8 grams (0.28 oz) for steel and 7.2 grams (0.25 oz) for gray cast iron. Its thermal expansion coefficient is one twentieth of that of steel and one fifteenth that of cast iron. The melting point of carbon is higher than 3,000 °C (5,430 °F) compared with the 1,200 °C (2,190 °F) of cast iron and 1,800 °C (3,270 °F) of steel. ​



Brake use during the Formula 1 Bahrain GP​

On every lap, the F1 drivers use their brakes 8 times for a total of 15.8 seconds: this all comes down to 3 areas in particular, two of them coming one after the other on bends 8 and 10, where the brakes are used for more than 2.4 seconds. And there's a high average of maximum deceleration points too: 4.2 G (identical to Monza and Sochi). That value would be even higher without the 2.4 G of bend 6, where only 65 km/h (40.4 mph) are lost. 

From the starting line to the checkered flag, the drivers use their brakes over 450 times and exert an overall load of more than 48 tons on the brake pedal: in practice, that's over 510 kg (1,124 lb) per driver for every minute of the race. It's also true that on 7 of the 8 braking sections the speed loss is greater than 130 km/h (80 mph), and on 4 of them the braking distance is at least 105 meters (115 yards). ​​ ​


The most demanding braking section of the Sakhir Round​

Of the 8 braking sections at the Bahrain GP, 3 are classified as very demanding on the brakes, 4 are of medium difficulty, and the remaining one is light. 

The most challenging for the braking system is at the first bend, because today’s cars benefit from a 1.1 km (0.7 mile) straight: the single-seaters start braking at 337 km/h (209 mph) and then slow down to 83 km/h (52 mph) in just 122 meters (133 yards). To do this, the drivers brake for 2.44 seconds, applying a load of 172 kg (379 lb) on the brake pedal and undergoing a deceleration of 5.5 G. ​ ​ ​​​