F1 Regs May Not be Root of Brake-Dust Issue

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CHATHAM, Mass. — A pair of drivers reported the spread of brake dust into the racer’s cockpit has not been an issue for them, thus contradicting fellow drivers who had put the blame on 2022 Formula 1 design regulations for the issue.

Max Verstappen, who drives for Red Bull, and George Russell, Mercedes-Benz, recently told the media they were not experiencing a problem with front-brake dust, contradicting the comments made by Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel (and posted in The BRAKE Report) following the Austrian Grand Prix.

“To be honest with you, that’s something I think they need to work on because where the design of the brake ducts [is] this year, the front axle is blowing all the brake dust into our faces and it’s not good. Obviously, carbon dust is not really something healthy to breathe in,” Vettel had said following the July 10th race.

But asked if the brake dust issue was hampering him, reigning F1 champion Max Verstappen replied: “No. Just depends how you design your drums, basically.

“Some have it designed in a way where it comes up more into your face, which I have not experienced.

“So again, I think you can just limit the design options, you know, it has to go more outward or whatever, which I think we have anyway.

“If I see brake dust, it always goes out left or right, so it’s ok.”

His opinion was echoed by Russell, “I’ve had no issue.

“I know a lot of people have, but again, like Max said, we’ve got different design philosophies, so I think it’s down to the FIA not to give teams a possibility to do something that has an effect on drivers’ health and safety.”

The issue is not new as F1 drivers began posting questions about brake-dust emissions many years ago.

In 2019 a Mercedes-Benz driver “revealed that he often sneezed black dust after races after breathing in brake dust through races.”

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The FIA, the governing body for Formula 1, has said it would look into the issue at an upcoming Sporting Advisory Committee, which is made up of team members.

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.