Brakes overheating: Melbourne meets the teams – Formula 1

Formula 1 lands at Albert Park, for the third round of a season in which overheating of the brakes is one of the central issues. The 2022 single-seaters, about 50 kg heavier than the previous generation of cars, need to dissipate much more braking energy in the form of heat, resulting in an increase in system temperatures. Add to this the difficulties deriving from the major constraints on the cooling system. In fact, the brake baskets are hermetically sealed, while the external fairing of the rims hinders the evacuation of hot air, which is vented only on the inner side of the wheel. It should not be overlooked that an increased minimum diameter has been defined for the ventilation holes of the discs, reducing the surface exposed to the flow that can be used for cooling, while the cooling holes on the pads have been completely prohibited.

Brake temperatures are therefore once again problematic, especially on the front axle. Several teams have begun to devise tricks to improve cooling, for example by applying fins on the tongs to increase the surface exposed to the air. In addition, between the first two races Red Bull, McLaren and Alfa Romeo introduced larger front air intakes in an attempt to keep temperatures under control.
The characteristics of Melbourne should meet precisely the teams that suffer most from overheating of the plant. The Australian track was in fact classified by Brembo technicians with a severity of 3 out of 5. The brakes are used only in 7 points, but in 3 braking the speed drop is less than 55 km / h. The use of the system for 12% of the time, corresponding to about 9 seconds per lap, is among the lowest in the World Championship, also thanks to the recent changes to the track that have speeded up some corners and removed what was the 9-10 chicane . The high average speeds on the lap, on the other hand, expected to be around 250 km / h, on the same level of tracks as Spa, Silverstone and Gedda, will increase the air supply to the brakes, favoring their cooling. Overheating at Albert Park should therefore be less critical than that experienced in Bahrain and Jeddah, to the advantage of Red Bull, McLaren and Alfa Romeo who have struggled most with high temperatures.

Also according to the simulations provided by Brembo, the detachment that precedes turn 3 is confirmed as the most demanding of the track. The cars will decelerate from 300 to about 100 km / h in a space close to 120 meters, experiencing a peak deceleration of 4.4 g. It is also interesting to observe the braking data at turn 6, in which the widening of the carriageway will allow the drivers to bring much more speed into entry. In fact, the single-seaters will decelerate by just 50 km / h, with the drivers going to act on the pedal for just 0.56 seconds. Similarly, the new long straight in the second sector will drive the single-seaters at higher speeds in approach of the chicane 9-10 (formerly 11-12) than in the past. Once again the drivers will have to modulate braking in just 0.54 seconds to decelerate exactly the 50 km / h necessary to steer the car, a challenge that requires a high level of precision and sensitivity.


FP | Carlo Platella


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