The 2020 Formula 1 Portuguese Grand Prix according to Brembo


 A guide to the Brembo braking systems on the Formula 1 single-seaters, and their use at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve


According to Brembo technicians, the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve is one of the tracks considered of average difficulty for the brakes. On a difficulty index scale of 1 to 5, it earned a 3 - the lowest of all the GP races held in the last two months. 

Unlike the WTCC, the F1 drivers have never raced on this circuit, but some of them were here with the GP2 Series. The frequent altitude differences around the track might create an issue, owing to the loss of grip that could have an effect on the braking system, albeit not a serious one. ​ ​

Three ventilation options for Formula 1​

Depending on the temperatures forecasted for the Grand Prix, and the specific race strategy, each driver can choose from three different Brembo disc solutions: taking the front system as the reference, there's the medium cooling option with 800 holes, high cooling with 1,250 holes, and very high cooling with 1,480 holes. 

The holes are arranged in 4 rows, have a diameter of 2.5 millimeters and are made one at a time by a precision machine; it takes 12 to 14 hours of continuous work to make the holes on a single disc. The mechanical component tolerance is only four hundredths. ​



Brake use during the Formula 1 Portuguese Grand Prix​

According to the simulations, the F1 drivers should use their brakes for just under 14 seconds per lap, which means 17% of the total race time. In Barcelona (a track of a similar length - just 2 meters or 6.6 feet longer), the brakes are in use for nearly one second more because there are 8 braking sections, compared with 7 on the Portuguese circuit. 

Despite having 15 bends, the brakes are used for more than 2 seconds on only 3 of them and, thanks to the high speeds reached by the current single-seaters on bends, there's only one where the braking action determines a speed reduction of at least 200 km/h (124 mph). The braking distances are all between 83 and 122 meters (272 and 400 feet), whereas the load on the brake pedal ranges from 83 kg (183 lbs) to a maximum of 135 kg (298 lbs). ​​ ​ ​


The most demanding braking section of the Portimao Round ​​​

Of the seven braking sections at the Portuguese GP, two are classified as very demanding on the brakes, four are of medium difficulty, and only one is light. 

The most challenging one for the braking system is the fifth bend: the single-seaters come in at 318 km/h (198 mph), then slow down to 84 km/h (52 mph) in just 122 meters (400 feet). To do this, the drivers brake for 2.72 seconds, applying a load of 135 kg (298 lbs) on the brake pedal and undergoing a deceleration of 5.1 G. ​ ​ ​ ​