The 2020 Formula 1 Spanish GP according to Brembo


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


According to Brembo technicians, the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit falls into the category of those tracks with average difficulty for the brakes. On a scale of 1 to 5, it earned a 3 on the difficulty index, exactly the same as for the Red Bull Ring and Hungaroring. 

In February, the Catalan track was stage to six days of testing during which the single-seaters made just under 8,000 laps. The weather conditions were decidedly different to what the drivers will find in mid-August though, when the temperature will be at least 10 degrees higher.

Six ventilation options for Formula 1​

Depending on the temperatures forecasted for the Grand Prix, and the specific race strategy, each driver can choose from six different Brembo front disc solutions. There's the medium cooling option with 800 holes, high cooling with 1,250 holes, and very high cooling with 1,480 holes; each of these then offers a sub-option with a process on the outer diameter - the so-called “groove”. 

In the case of very high cooling, the holes are arranged on 7 rows, with 6 rows for the intermediate option and 4 for the lowest level. The holes are 2.5 millimeters in diameter, and are made one at a time by a precision machine; it takes 12-14 hours to make all the holes on a single disc. The mechanical component tolerance is only four hundredths. ​ ​



Brake use during the Formula 1 Spanish grand prix

The drivers use their brakes on only half of the 16 bends of the Catalan track, so the braking system is called into action for a total of 14 and three quarter seconds per lap (19% of the overall race time). Of all the GP races scheduled for August 2020, this is the highest percentage. 

The average of the maximum decelerations per lap is also notable (4 g), but this figure would be even higher if it weren't for the braking sections on bends 12, 13 and 14. The average braking distance is 92 meters (302 feet), but in a couple of points it's less than 70 meters (230 feet). Another considerable value is the overall load that a driver exerts on the pedal - 52 and a half tons from the start line to the finish. ​


The most demanding braking section of the Barcelona Round​

Of the eight braking sections at the Spanish GP, two are classified as very demanding on the brakes, three are of medium difficulty and the other three are light. 

The most formidable is on bend 10, where the drivers come in at 328 km/h (204 mph) and apply their brakes for 3.04 seconds, during which the vehicle travels the 136 meters (446 feet) that are essential to bring the speed down to 79 km/h (49 mph). The load on the brake pedal is 201 kg (443 lbs), and the deceleration is 5.4 g. ​​