DETROIT – As the Formula 1 caravan shifts 1,200 km south from Austin to Mexico City, the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez prepares to host its 23rd Grand Prix event from October 27 to 29. The circuit, named in honor of the iconic Rodriguez brothers, poses notable challenges for braking, as reported by experts from Brembo, a leading brake system manufacturer.
Brembo engineers highlight that the Mexican circuit stands out as one of the most taxing for braking systems. On a scale measuring braking difficulty from 1 to 5, the track ranks a notable 4. This places it above several U.S. circuits but on par with Montreal’s Canadian GP track.
A unique feature of the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez is its high altitude, which, while not directly impacting the brake system, does affect cooling due to the reduced air density. This can potentially influence the performance of the discs, pads, calipers, radiators, and engines.
Brembo’s commitment to Mexico dates back to the mid-2010s when they invested 131 million euros in a state-of-the-art cast iron foundry and an aluminum caliper production facility in Escobedo, near Monterrey. Spanning roughly 25,000 square meters, the foundry boasts a melting capacity of 14,000 metric tons. Operational since October 2016, the plant can produce up to 2 million calipers annually. Brembo’s commitment to environmental sustainability is evident, with the facility employing a water treatment process to recycle water used for machine cleaning.
In terms of race specifics, despite the Mexican circuit’s relative brevity, brakes are engaged nine times per lap on the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez. This accounts for 21% of the total race duration. Interestingly, the majority of these braking points occur in the track’s initial sections.
A few key metrics underscore the track’s demand on brakes:
- Bends 6 and 7 are the sole successive points where drivers exert over 100 kg on the brake pedal.
- Three corners require deceleration of at least 4 G, peaking at 4.1 G, akin to the Qatar GP’s demands.
- Overall, from race start to finish, each driver places an astounding cumulative load of 67 metric tons on their brake systems.
In the race’s most challenging braking point, drivers decelerate from 343 km/h to 113 km/h in just 2.68 seconds, covering a distance of 147 meters.
For Formula 1 gaming enthusiasts, Brembo offers a tip: when approaching the first bend of the Mexican GP in the game, focus on the left side track details to navigate the corner seamlessly.
The Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez’s unique challenges, as elucidated by Brembo, underscore the circuit’s reputation as a true test for both drivers and their machines.