Monaco braking

More about qualifying in a ‘moment’. In the meantime good old Brembo has provided me with a little braking wisdom for the circuit. Now pay attention…

This is a historic city circuit that winds through the streets of the Principality and this can create many problems for the single-seater brakes. In fact, the winding track with poor grip often means the drivers need to control the car often using the brakes, with negative reflexes on the caliper and brake fluid temperature.

In the past this event has often been a theatre of problems connected to overheating and vapour lock of the braking system (a phenomenon in which the brake fluid reaches the boiling point inside the caliper), leading to a lengthening of the pedal in braking which has many times caused drivers to retire, if not crash.

In our day and age the progress made in cooling the brakes has held these problems at bay, although particular attention still needs to be given to managing temperatures during the race weekend. The braking sections are not particularly sudden, but the time spent on the brakes here is among the highest of the season at 26 per cent.

Oh, and by the way. Watch out for turn 10. It’s thought to be the most demanding for the braking systems.

Sakhir – watch out for turn 1

Just been looking through brake manufacturer Brembo’s analysis of the Bahrain circuit. All the teams now produce quite nice infographics for the GPs which I find really useful.

Definitely one of the most demanding circuits for brakes. The races on the Sakhir track, surrounded by the desert, are characterised by high temperatures that increase mechanical grip, and make it difficult to dissipate the heat generated during braking.

This aspect – combined with the presence of numerous high energy braking sections which are quite close together – makes Sakhir a hard bench test for all the braking system components which are continuously stressed by the high energy forces and the hellishly hot temperatures.

If the drivers want to finish the race, the high wear of the friction material is the biggest danger that must be avoided.

Since 2004, Bahrain has staged 10 Formula One Grands Prix. In the 2010 season the race took place on an extended layout: instead of the usual 5.412 km GP circuit, the 6.299 km configuration was used. The first man to win a race at the Bahrain International Circuit was Michael Schumacher in the 2004 season.

According to Brembo technicians who classified the 21 World Championship tracks on a scale of one to 10, the Bahrain track earned a score of nine on the difficulty index, identical to recently built tracks like Singapore and Baku, which has yet to be used.

Of the eight braking zones half are classified as difficult on the brakes, while the other four are of medium difficulty. The four most challenging braking sections – those with a deceleration greater than 4.4 g – are confronted by vehicles travelling at 300 km/h or just slightly less.

The one feared the most is the Schumacher curve (turn 1) because the drivers arrive at speed that reach 330 km/h and they have to face a 5.2 g deceleration: the braking force required is greater than 2,200 Kw, but more importantly is the brake time (1.76 seconds) which is one of the highest in the entire World Championship.

The four braking sections that have a medium level of difficulty on the brakes are all positioned in the central part of the track and are broken up only by curve 11, where a load of 143 kilos is applied to the pedal.

Sir Frank Williams awarded

Riccardo Cesarini (left) and Sir Frank Williams.

Riccardo Cesarini (left) and Sir Frank Williams with the award.


Brembo Performance Group Director, Riccardo Cesarini has presented the Team Principal of Williams Martini Racing with a special award for services to F1. The award is modelled on an F1 car’s braking system.

The Williams name has been synonymous with top-level motorsport since the 1960s, with the foundation in 1966 of Frank Williams Racing Cars and later in 1977, along with Engineer Patrick Head, establishing Williams Grand Prix Engineering.

Williams Martini Racing achieved 16 FIA Formula One World Championships, nine Constructors’ Championships and seven Drivers’ Championships, scoring 114 victories.

Brembo’s award – which you probably haven’t heard about – was initiated in 2011 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Italian company. On that occasion Alberto Bombassei, Brembo Chairman, gave Bernie Ecclestone a braking system personalised with the colour of the Italian flag.

In 2012 the award was given to Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, Ferrari Spa Chairman, and 2013 Niki Lauda, non-executive Chairman of the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team.

Nice one Frank.


Riccardo Cesarini Frank Williams_2 Riccardo Cesarini Frank Williams_3

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