Braking Strategy for Upcoming F1 and MotoGP Races

Sign up for our weekly email to stay on top of the latest news and insights!

CURNO, Italy – Brembo’s engineers have provided some background on braking strategy for this weekend’s Formula 1 race in Italy and MotoGP contest in Portugal. The following are excerpted from the company’s releases with this behind-the-racing-scenes information.

Portugal provides fewer braking challenges than other courses

According to the Brembo engineers who work in close contact with all the riders in the MotoGP World Championship, the Algarve International Circuit falls into the category of circuits which tend not to be all that challenging for brakes. On a scale of 1 to 5, it was rated 2, the second lowest in the 2021 championship, the same as Phillip Island.

Related posts:
MotoGP Brakes for 2021 is a Brembo Story
F1 2021 and Beyond for Brembo

Its continuous ascents and descents make it hard for drivers to calibrate the throttle-off moment as they determine their braking strategy and risk arriving too late when going downhill or braking too early when going uphill: the maximum slope on descents is 12 percent and on ascents 6 percent, while the cross slope is 8 percent in some places. In this context, the wheels play an extremely important role and Marchesini is the best in its field.

MotoGP bikes brake more than Superbikes

MotoGP riders use their brakes on 10 of the 15 turns on the Portuguese track, the same number as the World Superbike riders who will race here in October. The MotoGP brakes are used for 32 seconds on each lap compared with 31.5 seconds for the superbikes.

However, five of the braking episodes performed by the MotoGP bikes per lap involve drops in speed of less than 43 mph (70 km/h) and decelerations that do not exceed 1 G. On all the turns, the braking distances are less than 140 meters (459.3 feet) with two exceptions on each lap where they exceed 210 meters (688.9 feet) and require use of the brakes for 5 seconds. From the starting line to the checkered flag, the total force exerted on the brake lever is just over 8 quintals (1,764 lbs).

For the entire Brembo evaluation of braking at this weekend’s MotoGP race in Portugal, click HERE.

Less than 100 meters needed to brake at Imola F1 track

According to Brembo technicians, the Enzo and Dino Ferrari Racetrack falls into the category of those tracks with medium difficulty for brakes. On a scale of 1 to 5, it earned a 3 on the difficulty index, one point less than the Monza Track which hosts the other F1 race in Italy.

F1 returned to this track last November after a 14-year break. With 19 turns and a very short home straight (358 m/392 yds), the circuit is very technical and calls for some really demanding braking: that is why Enzo Ferrari – the track has been named after him and his son Dino – called it a “little Nürburgring”.

Once again this year, F1 drivers only need to use their brakes for just over 9.5 seconds per lap which amounts to 13 per cent of the overall duration of the race. In Monza, on the other hand, they are used for 10.75 seconds per lap, but the track covers almost 5.8 km whereas the Imola Circuit is just over 4.9 km (3.1 mi) long.

Even if there are 19 turns, brakes are used on only eight of them and never for 1.9 or more seconds. The braking distances are never longer than 95 meters (311.6 feet). However, the force on the brake pedal is high: from start to finish, each driver exerts a total force of almost 58.5 tons on average, over 10 tons more than the Bahrain GP.

Of the eight braking sections at the Made in Italy and Emilia-Romagna GP, four are classified as very demanding on the brakes, two are of medium difficulty and the other two are light.

Sign up for our weekly email to stay on top of the latest news and insights!

The most challenging one for the braking strategy and system is Rivazza, turn 17: the single-seaters reach it at 309 km/h and then slow down to 145 km/h (192 to 90 mph) in just 96 meters (105 yds). To do this, drivers brake for 1.62 seconds, applying a force of 137 kg (302 lb) on the brake pedal and undergoing a deceleration of 5.6 G.

For the entire Brembo evaluation of braking at this weekend’s Formula 1 race at Imola, click HERE.

Mike Geylin
Mike Geylin

Mike Geylin is the Editor-in-Chief at Hagman Media. Geylin has been in automotive communications for five decades working in all aspects of the industry from OEM to supplier to motorsports as well as reporting for both newspapers and magazines on the industry.