Brembo will again be the supplier of brake systems for the Formula 1 World Championship which will have its first round this weekend in Bahrain. Over 48 seasons, F1 racing cars using Brembo brakes have won 27 Drivers’ World Championships, 32 Constructors’ World Championships and 485 GP races.
Over the past 20 years, Brembo has revolutionized the concept of discs used in F1 cars. In the early 2000s, Brembo carbon discs had a thickness of 28 mm with a maximum of 72 holes in a single row and a diameter that exceeded of 10 mm.
Today, the diameter has increased from 278 mm to 328 mm for the front axle carbon disc and from 266 mm to 280 mm for the rear one, with a thickness of 32 mm and a number of holes between 1,000 and 1,100 at the front, while 900 holes at the rear in the most extreme setup in terms of cooling. This year, the FIA has banned drilled pads.
In terms of weight, the 2023 braking system is around 300/350 gms lighter compared to 2022 where it was heavier than 2021 to fit the new cars. However, the car’s minimum weight remains unchanged at 798 kgs (even for 2023). In order to achieve this result, Brembo Group engineers worked hard to optimize the design of the different components, calipers and carbon parts in primis, while taking the geometries to extremes.
Less weight is obviously a significant advantage as ballasts are placed on all cars in useful positions to enhance the car balance, directly impacting performance. Lighter brakes therefore mean having more margin to better balance the car.
Brembo engineers expect a 5% increase in braking torque for each racing cars, compared to the 2022 machines.
In 2023, Brembo’s extensive presence is evident. All 10 teams’ racing cars will use Brembo Group calipers – 9 supplied with Brembo calipers while a team will be supplied with calipers from AP Racing, the British company which is owned by Brembo.
The long involvement in the sport has seen the company develop new brake systems. These are customized for each team and typically consist of hydraulic (calipers, master cylinders and by-wire units) and friction components (carbon discs and pads). All 20 cars will have new nickel-plated and machined from billet 6-piston calipers, the maximum number allowed by the regulations.
By-wire units developed by Brembo and AP Racing to manage rear braking will be used by 5 teams. These units balance the braking forces between front and rear axles, instantly changing the dissipative braking contribution according to the regenerative one, and ensuring the right balance between front and rear axles.