IT’S FORMULA 1’s THIRD RACE IN A ROW IN THE AMERICAS. AFTER THE USA AND MEXICO, NEXT UP IS BRAZIL WITH THE SÃO PAULO GP
Brembo engineers offer a guide to braking for this weekend’s Formula 1 Rolex Grande Premio de Sao Paulo, to run at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace, Nov. 3-5.
It’s Formula 1’s third race in a row in the Americas. After the USA and Mexico, next up is Brazil with the São Paulo GP. According to Brembo’s technicians, the South American circuit falls under the category of medium-level difficulty for brakes. On a scale of 1 to 5, it is rated 3 on the difficulty index.
The layout of the Autódromo José Carlos Pace is notable for its major changes in elevation and fairly short straight sections, as shown by the top speed of 330 km/h (205 mph). The cars have a high aerodynamic load to tackle the frequent changes in direction, but the brakes still play a key part when overtaking in the braking sections.
Fisichella was a true phenomenon at the 2003 Brazilian GP
Twenty years ago in Interlagos, Giancarlo Fisichella accomplished a legendary feat, starting out from eighth position on the grid, he won the GP 945 thousandths ahead of Kimi Raikkonen. After eight laps, the driver from Rome was second to last. On the 19th lap, he was actually last of the drivers still on the track. From there he began to get back into the race and took the lead before the race was stopped due to an accident.
It was the driver from Rome’s first win in Formula 1, whereas for Jordan it was the last in its history. The British team won four GPs with three different drivers, two different makes of engine, and two different makes of tires. The only element that all four wins had in common was the use of Brembo brake components, even if the calipers used in 2003 were undeniably more advanced than those used in 1998 when Jordan won its first GP.
On each lap on the Autódromo José Carlos Pace, the brakes are used seven times, for a total of around 12 seconds, which amounts to 17 percent of the entire race. The two most powerful and longest braking sections in terms of meters covered are on the first four turns after the start, but there are also braking sections of over two tenths and three tenths of a second on turns eight and ten.
The values for the brake pedal load vary a great deal, from 142 kg (313 lbs.) on Juncao (Turn 12) to 35 kg (77 lbs.) on Subida dos Boxes (Turn 14), a fast turn that is vital to building up speed up to the finish line. From start to finish, each driver exerts a total load of just under 50 tonnes on the brake pedal – much less than the Mexican GP, but more than the Las Vegas GP.
196 km/h (121.7 mph) less in 2.5 seconds
Of the seven braking sections on the Autódromo José Carlos Pace, three are classified by Brembo technicians as hard on the brakes, two are of medium difficulty, and the remaining two are light.
The most difficult of all is the first turn because the single-seaters come onto it at 328 km/h (203 mph) and the drivers brake for 2.53 seconds while covering a distance of 132 metres (144 yards).
To reach the 117 km/h (72.7 mph) needed to set up for the turn, the drivers have to apply a load of 136 kg (299.8 lbs.) on the brake pedal and are subjected to 4.5 G of deceleration.
And what about the video games?
Effortlessly tackling the downhill S-bend in the São Paulo GP in the Formula 1 video game is not at all easy.
After moving the single-seater onto the right-hand side of the track, press hard on the brakes just before the 50-meter sign and start to move onto the inside.
Only go up onto the curb on the last few meters when you are already in fourth gear. Do not rush to open up the throttle to avoid problems on the next series of turns.