Brembo Unveils Use of its Braking Systems at the 2018 Formula 1 Spanish GP


An in-depth look at the braking systems on the Formula 1 single-seaters at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya

From May 11 to 13, the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya will host the 5th race of the 2018 World Formula 1 Championship. Located in Montmeló, the circuit was inaugurated on September 10, 1991 and 19 days later it hosted its first Formula 1 Grand Prix.

Just recently, in February and March, the Catalunya track was stage to eight days of testing during which the single-seaters drove for a total of more than 34,000 km.            
It was the perfect bench test for the state-of-the-art Brembo braking systems.

The strong winds, which forced Fernando Alonso off track during testing in 2015, combined with the 1,074 meters main straightaway and other smaller straights allow for efficient thermal dissipation between one braking section and another.

According to Brembo technicians, who classified the 20 tracks in the World Championship, the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya falls into the category of circuits presenting medium difficulty for the brakes.



The demand on the brakes during the GP

Although the lap time is 13 seconds less than the track in Sochi, the difference in the use of the brakes comes to merely half a second: the cars brake for 13 seconds every lap of the Russian GP, while at the Spanish GP they brake for 12,5 seconds. The overall time spent braking on this circuit totals 16%, the same percentage recorded at the Bahrain GP.

The average peak deceleration is 4.5 G; last year it was 4.2 G, which proves that the current single-seaters have a greater amount of brake torque. Hand-in-hand with the increased brake torque this season, we can expect to see more dissipated energy in braking: during the entire GP, each single-seater is expected to dissipate 178 kWh, which is equivalent to the hourly consumption of three dance clubs in Ibiza.

From the starting line to the checkered flag, the Brembo technicians forecast that each driver will face about 530 braking sections, exerting a total force on the pedal of approximately 69 tons.

In other words, each driver will apply a load of more than 700 kg every minute, which is little less than the weight of a single-seater, pilot included.


The most demanding braking sections

Of the eight braking sections at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, two are classified as demanding on the brakes, four are of medium difficulty and two are light. Different from all the other tracks, there is not even one corner in which the brakes are used for less than a second.

The most demanding braking section is at turn 10: the single-seaters go from 308 km\h to 86 km\h by braking for 2.32 seconds while traveling 58 meter, which is less than the width of the Camp Nou playing field. To do so, the drivers are required to apply a load of 148 kg on the brake pedal and undergo 5.2 G in deceleration, the same amount NASA astronauts experienced in the 1970s when returning to Earth at a 3-degree angle.
Lower amount of deceleration is registered at the 1st corner. The single-seaters arrive at the corner going 317 km\h and brake for just 1.51 seconds while traveling about 43 meter. Another critical braking section is at turn 4 because in just 37 meter, the single-seaters have to go from 291 km\h to just over 153 km\h.



Brembo performance

More than half of the Spanish GP races (20 of 38) were won by single-seaters equipped with Brembo brakes. Ten of these went to Ferrari, which has been victorious eight times since 1996 on the Barcelona track.                        

In the 2016 however, first place went to Max Verstappen with Red Bull, making him the first 18-year-old to ever win a GP.


Brembo S.p.A. | P.IVA 00222620163

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