Mick takes after his father, Michael. The Schumachers brake and win with Brembo! But there are few differences...


 Like father, like son: Brembo brakes are a common denominator in the Schumacher family victories.


At the end of 2006, when Michael Schumacher left Formula 1 with 91 GP victories, 68 pole positions, and 7 world champion titles, a full-slate achieved together with Brembo brakes, many wondered who would take up the inheritance. At the time, nobody could have imagined that the potential heir would be a member of the family. Most likely that is because his son Mick was barely seven years old and he didn't start racing karts until two years later.


Since then, he has constantly improved his performance, hitting a high this year as he earned the FIA Formula 3 European Championship title. This prestigious success came to fruition on 10 tracks, half of which were also used in 2018 by Formula 1 and are where his father competed. Continuing in the family tradition, Mick also won using Brembo brakes, although his had a very different price tag.




Michael used Brembo carbon discs but in Formula 3, the single-seaters are obligated to use cast iron discs. The main reason for this and other regulations is to contain costs, to the detriment of performance, including in braking.


Drivers who move up to Formula 2 are able to experiment with carbon discs so that they are better prepared for when they reach the highest level of racing. Although Michael Schumacher did not pass through Formula 2, he was able to try out carbon discs before driving in Formula 1 when he was hired by Mercedes.


The German manufacturer contracted him in 1990 to drive one of the C11 cars in the World Sports-Prototype Championship. With this beast boasting 730 hp, weighing 905 kg (1,995 lb), and equipped with a Brembo carbon braking system, Michael took first place in Mexico and went on to win two second place spots.



So, when Eddie Jordan had him debut in Formula 1 at Spa-Francorchamps in the summer of 1991, Michael already knew how to exploit the Brembo carbon brakes to the fullest.


From that point forward, his rise never faltered, as demonstrated by the multitude of records that he still holds. Among these are the six victories he earned on the track in the middle of the Ardenne forest, including his first ever win in Formula 1 in 1992 with Benetton, and of course with Brembo brakes.


That day 26 years ago, Michael beat Ayrton Senna to the finish line through a courageous strategy that had him return to the pits to mount slick tires just as the track was drying.

Even though the asphalt was still partially wet, Schumacher made no braking errors and he exhibited incredible perception for a driver competing in only his 18th Formula 1 GP race.                  


It was here at Spa-Francorchamps on July 28, 2018 that Mick staged a comeback, winning his first Formula 3 European Championship race.


He managed to do so despite starting the race in the sixth box on the grid because he took full advantage of the mixed conditions of the asphalt, just like his father.


In the final lap, he followed closely behind the two leaders and performed a perfect breakaway at La Source to pass his first rival at Raidillon and his second when braking at Les Combes, without showing any signs of difficulty.


It is obvious that the braking space and deceleration allowed by the material of the two discs and pads offer no comparison: Carbon guarantees a much higher friction coefficient and is distinguished for being much lighter.


Compared to cast iron, the friction with the pad is caused by the micro fusion of one component to the other, a process that doesn't produce any dust.



Brembo technicians who were at his side when he started with Benetton and during his years with Ferrari say Michael Schumacher was by far the most mentally alert driver ever. To reach his level of determination and maintain the same lap times over and over requires being highly perceptive as regards to the braking system, making it so that it adapts perfectly to your driving style.


Michael opted for a short and highly responsive brake pedal that never gave the sensation of letting up. He also insisted that the braking system work continuously, without showing signs of fading from when the red lights went out to the checkered flag. He wasn't a giant, but still he exerted a great deal of force on the brake pedal.




Another substantial difference between the brakes used by Michael and those used by Mick is the rate at which they wear.


As he approached the last practice lap in Formula 1, Michael would choose a new set of Brembo brakes because he was sure that with these he would gain additional friction so that he could cut through his rivals.


Limited by the regulations, Mick had to use the same set of discs for the entire weekend, which meant each one was used for three full races.


Despite that, since cast iron wears less than carbon, Mick used 18 mm discs this year, which is just over half the thickness of the 32 mm discs currently used in Formula 1.

Up until 2016, the difference was less pronounced because the F1 discs were 28 mm thick. But when the single-seaters started mounting wider tires, performance increased so Brembo had to make discs with larger diameters.


Disc ventilation on the two types of single-seaters is also very different from a technological standpoint.


In Formula 1, Brembo now produces discs that have up to 1,400 ventilation holes on the most extreme versions. These holes are laid out in four different rows, each measuring 2.5 mm in diameter. It takes 12 to 14 hours of extremely precise machining with a tolerance of 4 hundredths of a millimeter to put in all of the ventilation holes on a single disc.


In the days of Michael Schumacher, ventilation holes had not been studied so closely, as seen by the mere 100 ventilation holes on the discs in his last Ferrari. The discs on the current Formula 3 cars don't have any holes. Instead, they have the traditional fins, 24 or 48 depending on the use.


It is clear that having ventilation holes would be better for increased heat transfer, but the need to contain costs mandates this sacrifice. The different braking force demanded by the two categories is also seen in the brake calipers used. Brembo supplies the biggest Formula 1 teams with aluminum-lithium calipers in three different alloys, which correspond to the different weight characteristics and resistance to high temperatures.


The calipers have to integrate seamlessly with the cooling system in the corner of the car and with the aerodynamic solutions designed specifically for each team. The Formula 1 monobloc calipers machined from billet, which were introduced by Brembo in a worldwide preview in the 1980s with Scuderia Ferrari, have 6 pistons on each side in the front and 3 on each side in the rear. The calipers on the single-seater used by Mick Schumacher during the last two seasons are also monobloc but they are made of forged aluminum and have just 4 pistons each. Plus, the caliper Brembo supplies the Formula 3 cars is identical for all the teams and for all 30 seasonal races.

In Formula 1, each team uses a specific caliper that has been personalized for their design choices. When Michael Schumacher raced, there was an even stronger push for research given there were different calipers for each of the circuits.


But that led to significant organizational problems because if there was an emergency, it was impossible to replace one caliper with another designed for use on a different track. As if that wasn't enough, up until 2000, Michael's calipers were made of beryllium, a material that the FIA has since banned due to its exaggerated costs.


​So, our comparison between Michael Schumacher and his son Mick ends here, but we are sure that in the next few years it will be enriched with more compelling stories.

Keep Fighting Michael, Keep Pushing Mick.