Brake discs with 1,500 ventilation holes, lighter calipers, greater braking torque
DETROIT, (March 20, 2018) – Brembo reconfirms its commitment to the Formula 1 World Championship which starts with the Australian Grand Prix, scheduled this year to run March 22-25.
Thanks to the experience accumulated over 42 Formula 1 seasons, during which the single-seaters with Brembo brakes won 24 Drivers World Championships and 27 Manufacturers World Championships, Brembo has produced braking systems bespoke for each team.
Greater braking torque
The introduction of a softer tire compound compared to the one used last season, named Hypersoft, will result in a improved grip for the cars, as a consequence a slight increase in braking torque is expected.
A minimal change compared to last season, when the increase in tire width and the growth of the single-seaters performance determined a significant improvement in braking torque compared to 2016.
The increase in the braking torque, even if contained, determines an increase in the temperatures throughout the braking system. To overcome this issue, Brembo has improved the ventilation of the brake discs. Now each disc features almost 1,500 ventilation holes in the most extreme versions, 100 more than those on the discs used in 2017.
The majority of the cars will use front discs with 32 mm thickness and rear discs with 28 mm. Depending on the temperatures expected during a Grand Prix and the specific race strategy, each driver can choose between three different options of Brembo discs, approximately 900 holes, 1,200 or 1,500 holes.
More extreme research for weight savings
The other great innovation of 2018 is the introduction of Halo, which has increased the weight of single-seater by about 15 lbs. (7 kg), far beyond the variation of the minimum weight established by the regulation from 1,604.9 lbs. to 1,615.9 lbs. ( 728 kg to 733 kg). This has led the teams to identify new areas on which to apply the “weight loss”.
has also worked in this direction on the braking system through the maximum miniaturization of the elements composing the Brake-by-Wire (BBW) system and the lightening of the aluminium-lithium calipers. At the same time Brembo has continued to increase the stiffness to ensure greater reactivity of BBW.
In addition to the traditional 6-piston calipers, the maximum established by the regulation, Brembo will supply some teams with 4-piston calipers to be used at the rear to meet the requirements of the teams for additional weight savings. For this axis the braking torque is reduced, thanks to the presence of energy recovery – the result is a less cumbersome and lighter caliper.
Customization, telemetry and maintenance
Each team, according to the specific needs of the car, defines, together with Brembo technicians, the optimal ratio between weight and stiffness that the brake calipers must have. The sophisticated design methods available to Brembo engineers will make it possible to design, for each team, a brake caliper model that will optimize the desired weight-stiffness. In this situation some teams will prefer lighter, but also less stiff calipers, while others will opt for more conservative solutions characterized by greater stiffness, but also greater weight. A delicate balance allowing Brembo to develop a bespoke braking system for each team.
Choosing a type of caliper, each team usually keeps it for the entire season, thus using it both for the most demanding circuits and for those less heavy on the braking system, and for both drivers. On circuits featuring a lot of braking, the temperature of calipers reaches 392°F (200°C).
Using the sensors, the teams can monitor the temperature of the discs and calipers in real time to keep track of disc and pad wear. Evaluating this data, technicians are able to signal to the driver any indications so they can modify the brake balance of the car from the cockpit. This communication occurs when anomalies are found.
On average each team orders from 10 to 15 sets of Brembo calipers. The useful life of a Formula 1 caliper is not recommended to exceed 6,200 miles (10,000 km), during which periodic rebuilds are scheduled and carried out directly by Brembo inside of its production department. In regard to friction material, during the season Brembo supplies each team 140 to 240 discs and up to 480 brake pads.