Saturday, Jul 02

Brembo Formula 1 Brake Facts for Bahrain

Saturday, Mar 19 511
Brembo engineers offer a guide to braking for this weekend's Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, March 18-20.
 
The Formula 1 World Championship starts back up in Bahrain with brand new single-seaters, new tires and even custom braking systems. 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 Monza and Spa-Francorchamps, albeit with very different characteristics than these. 
 
The Bahrain GP will be a test bench for all these new products, partly because of an asphalt that is usually extremely abrasive, with the sand clearing off lap after lap and where the wind often plays a determining role. Plus, the race will start after sundown, so it will be held in artificial lighting. However, this year the presence of lenticular wheel covers, also brand new, will keep us from enjoying the view of the incandescent carbon discs during braking at the end of the straights.
 
Disc size and hole size change​​
​​The increase in wheel diameter from 13 inches to 18 inches provides more space in the wheel corner for the carbon discs, so their diameter increases from 278 mm (10.95 in.) to 328 mm (12.9 in.) for the front and from 266 mm (10.47 in.) to 280 mm (11.02 in.) for the rear. 
 
The thickness of the discs is now identical for both axles, 32 mm (1.26 in.), compared to last year when the rear discs did not exceed 28 mm (1.10 in.). However, the architecture of the discs has also changed because the new technical regulations impose a minimum diameter of 3 mm (0.12 in.) for the ventilation holes, whereas in the past Brembo pushed the envelope as far as 2.5 mm (0.10 in.).
 
No to thermal shocks for road cars too​
Although they don't reach the 1,200°C of Formula 1 cars, road car braking systems can also overheat. To avoid this, Brembo has researched the shape of the ventilation chamber for over a quarter of a century. The use of thermo fluid dynamic calculations allowed the best choice between traditional fins and pillar ventilation for each disc type. 
 
The latter, ideal when there is not a constant air flow within the disc, are arranged on three circumferences along the braking band with geometry designed to ensure the best performance for fluid dynamics. In these conditions, the pillars increase resistance to thermal cracking by up to 30 percent, ensuring longer disc life.
 
 
Four hard braking sections ​​​
On each lap the F1 drivers use the brakes 8 times for a total of 16 and a half seconds, although a large part of this time is spent on the 4 hardest braking sections which require the braking system to work for just under 2.9 seconds on average. On the other hand, on 3 turns, the braking time is less than a second and a half and the braking distance is 90 meters (295.3 feet). 
 
The twisty nature of Bahrain International Circuit is best represented by the fact that there is only one point where speeds reach well above 300 km/h (185 mph). Nevertheless, there are 6 braking sections with maximum deceleration of almost 4g, with a peak of 4.6g on the first turn. ​
 
Just 131 meters (429 feet) to drop 248 km/h (154 mph)​​​​
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 difficult for the braking system at the first turn because the cars are coming off a 1.1 km (0.69 mile) straight. The single-seaters hit the brakes at 328 km/h (203.8 mph) and drop to 80 km/h (49.7 mph) in just 131 meters (429.8 feet). To achieve this, the drivers brake for 2.95 seconds and experience a 4.6g deceleration. 
 
And in video games?​
​​Tackling turn 1 on the Bahrain International Circuit in the Formula 1 videogame only takes a few things: you have to start braking with the wheels straight at the end of the section where you can use the DRS, using the 100 meter sign as your point of reference. You should reduce the pressure on the pedal progressively and then move to the right, but without touching the curb in order to avoid being unbalanced, which would make you lose power.​ ​
Adam Sinclair

Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway more than 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.  

Adam spent several years covering motorsports for Examiner.com., where he had the opportunity to see the racing world from behind the scenes as well as the grandstands. He invites everyone to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, and looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for all things racing with the readers of SpeedwayDigest.com.

Be sure to tune in for his sports talk program, Thursday Night Thunder, where he discusses the latest in motorsports news with drivers, crew members, and fans. The show takes place (almost) every Thursday at 8:00 pm EST on the Speedway Digest Radio Network. 

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