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Much heavier F1 cars, will the brakes explode all over the place?


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#1 Slowinfastout

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 07:34

I was thinking, is there any worries about brakes failures with the cars being quite significantly heavier and still quite quick? I had a look at the technical regulations and the chapter on brakes and brake cooling systems (air ducts) is a copy/paste affair compared with 2009.

Is there an overlooked massive technical challenge underlying there? or nothing special? or crossing fingers?

BTW, the season opens in Bahrain, which apparently is a bitch on the brakes.. :yawnface:

Any thoughts?

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#2 ferruccio

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 07:53

I was thinking, is there any worries about brakes failures with the cars being quite significantly heavier and still quite quick? I had a look at the technical regulations and the chapter on brakes and brake cooling systems (air ducts) is a copy/paste affair compared with 2009.

Is there an overlooked massive technical challenge underlying there? or nothing special? or crossing fingers?

BTW, the season opens in Bahrain, which apparently is a bitch on the brakes.. :yawnface:

Any thoughts?


Can you provide a link to the chapter?


#3 Slowinfastout

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 07:59

Can you provide a link to the chapter?


Sure thing: http://www.fia.com/e...ampionship.aspx

Have a look at Article 11 in the PDFs...

or read it here:

ARTICLE 11 : BRAKE SYSTEM
11.1 Brake circuits and pressure distribution :

11.1.1 With the exception of a KERS, all cars must be equipped with only one brake system. This system must
comprise solely of two separate hydraulic circuits operated by one pedal, one circuit operating on the two
front wheels and the other on the two rear wheels. This system must be designed so that if a failure occurs
in one circuit the pedal will still operate the brakes in the other.

11.1.2 The brake system must be designed in order that the force exerted on the brake pads within each circuit
are the same at all times.

11.1.3 Any powered device which is capable of altering the configuration or affecting the performance of any part
of the brake system is forbidden.

11.1.4 Any change to, or modulation of, the brake system whilst the car is moving must be made by the driver's
direct physical input, may not be pre-set and must be under his complete control at all times.

11.2 Brake calipers :
11.2.1 All brake calipers must be made from aluminium materials with a modulus of elasticity no greater than
80Gpa.

11.2.2 No more than two attachments may be used to secure each brake caliper to the car.

11.2.3 No more than one caliper, with a maximum of six pistons, is permitted on each wheel.

11.2.4 The section of each caliper piston must be circular.

11.3 Brake discs and pads :
11.3.1 No more than one brake disc is permitted on each wheel.

11.3.2 All discs must have a maximum thickness of 28mm and a maximum outside diameter of 278mm.

11.3.3 No more than two brake pads are permitted on each wheel.

11.4 Air ducts :
Air ducts around the front and rear brakes will be considered part of the braking system and shall not
protrude beyond :
- a plane parallel to the ground situated at a distance of 160mm above the horizontal centre line of
the wheel ;
- a plane parallel to the ground situated at a distance of 160mm below the horizontal centre line of
the wheel ;
- a vertical plane parallel to the inner face of the wheel rim and displaced from it by 120mm toward
the centre line of the car.
Furthermore, when viewed from the side the ducts must not protrude forwards beyond a radius of 330mm
from the centre of the wheel or backwards beyond a radius of 180mm from the centre of the wheel.
All measurements will be made with the wheel held in a vertical position.

11.5 Brake pressure modulation :
11.5.1 No braking system may be designed to prevent wheels from locking when the driver applies pressure to
the brake pedal.

11.5.2 No braking system may be designed to increase the pressure in the brake calipers above that achievable
by the driver applying pressure to the pedal under static conditions.

11.6 Liquid cooling :
Liquid cooling of the brakes is forbidden.



#4 as65p

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 08:02

I was thinking, is there any worries about brakes failures with the cars being quite significantly heavier and still quite quick? I had a look at the technical regulations and the chapter on brakes and brake cooling systems (air ducts) is a copy/paste affair compared with 2009.

Is there an overlooked massive technical challenge underlying there? or nothing special? or crossing fingers?

BTW, the season opens in Bahrain, which apparently is a bitch on the brakes.. :yawnface:

Any thoughts?


I don't think it's a particular difficult challenge technically, more a question of adjusting to the right dimensions/materials. There are much heavier racing cars around decellerating from the same speeds as F1.

IF they get that wrong it would be rather embarassing.

#5 Slowinfastout

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 08:14

I don't think it's a particular difficult challenge technically, more a question of adjusting to the right dimensions/materials. There are much heavier racing cars around decellerating from the same speeds as F1.

IF they get that wrong it would be rather embarassing.


Yeah, but if we're comparing with LeMans protoypes or other fast heavier cars, I think they all have much bigger wheels/brakes, and compared to F1, I assume the rules are more open with the cooling aspect..

Simply, I was just thinking there has been a couple of failures in F1 lately and thought it could only get worse with heavier cars..


#6 Stoobs

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 08:26

IIRC the teams wanted to increase the thickness of the pads this year but had the request denied? I seems to remember it being a talking point on the bbc earlier in the year..

#7 Mark A

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 08:27

Just because the rules haven't changed doesn't mean the brakes haven't changed.

The brakes will be different this year.

#8 Hippo

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 08:31

If I'm not mistaken most brake disc failures were either due to faulty material/engineering or due to gambling on too thin discs. I assume they never really used discs with the full allowed thickness.

#9 Mansell4PM

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 08:35

I was thinking, is there any worries about brakes failures with the cars being quite significantly heavier and still quite quick? I had a look at the technical regulations and the chapter on brakes and brake cooling systems (air ducts) is a copy/paste affair compared with 2009.

Is there an overlooked massive technical challenge underlying there? or nothing special? or crossing fingers?

BTW, the season opens in Bahrain, which apparently is a bitch on the brakes.. :yawnface:

Any thoughts?


I doubt this will be much of a problem. Maybe the odd team will get their sums wrong early on in the season (new teams?), but by the end of the season I'd guess all the cars will get to the end of the races with brakes to spare.

However, if the regulations being how they are does cause an unforseen problem like this, it's just another factor for the drivers to manage during the race.

Another factor to benefit drivers perceived as having a 'smooth' style, such as Jenson?

Edited by Mansell4PM, 13 January 2010 - 08:35.


#10 ferruccio

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 08:43

Thanks for the link. I have to assume the rules allow for more than enough cooling. It doesn't specify how big the cooling ducts should be only specifies the reference planes that contain the ducting system. Presumably as well, the specified thickness and outside diameter figures is more than enough.

Remember that teams will try/have tried to make the discs and ducting as small as possible to minimize drag (small air ducts) and minimize unsprung weight (small discs). It is common to see teams blank out (cover with tape) the air ducts when there is 'too much' cooling or in other series during single lap style qualifying.

I believe it is this compromise that caused brake failure in the past. Not the regs


#11 undersquare

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 08:46

IIRC the teams wanted to increase the thickness of the pads this year but had the request denied? I seems to remember it being a talking point on the bbc earlier in the year..


Yes I remember a move to increase the discs from 28 to 32mm thickness, can't remember why it was turned down though.


#12 zarooch

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 08:54

IIRC Williams wasn't in favor of increasing the thickness, but correct me if I'm wrong.

#13 roadie

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 10:20

Well Toyota have gone now, and they were usually the ones with issues...

#14 cheapracer

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 10:22

Excuse me if I'm wrong but don't various planes at considerable higher weight (as in many tons!) use CF brakes?

#15 DOF_power

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 10:45

Excuse me if I'm wrong but don't various planes at considerable higher weight (as in many tons!) use CF brakes?




Yep, that's where F1 took the CC brakes.

#16 pingu666

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 15:14

well if they think the brakes wont last then could just lift off earlier and coast fora few seconds before braking... people can make the brakes last in nascar, where the rules basicaly mean u cant hammer the brakes all race long

#17 Alexis*27

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 15:57

28mm will be fine. If a team wants to gamble and save weight by going for 26 or 27mm though, then we might see failures.

#18 ferruccio

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 17:22

Excuse me if I'm wrong but don't various planes at considerable higher weight (as in many tons!) use CF brakes?


Yes, but when we look at large commercial airliners, they have a lot more that 4 wheels, and the specs, diameter, thickness, calipers etc are specced for safety and durability not some rule that deliberately restricts to see who can engineer them better to win a race.

Even then, when new planes are tested for certification, they run take-off abort tests from 'V1' fully laden, to a grinding halt and after a short moment the brakes usually catches fire, bursting and burning the tyres as well.


Edited by ferruccio, 13 January 2010 - 17:24.


#19 wingwalker

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 17:29

Naaah can't see that happening at all. At 'worse' they will adjust the brakes to make braking distances longer which would be actually good for us. But I don't think it's going to be an issue.

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#20 rolf123

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 17:54

I doubt we'll know until we go to Canada.


#21 DemonH720

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 18:32

In light of this, it's probably a good job Kimi Raikkonen isn't driving anymore, wasn't he fairly notorious for cooking brakes? (in the McLaren at least). I seem to remember when Zanardi was in the Williams he tried a different tack to everyone else on brakes, and it put him way down the field too? That leaves me thinking teams won't want to be taking too much of a gamble.

#22 schtix

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 19:06

Interestingly, the last time they raced without refueling they didn't have any rideheight restrictions to worry about, cars would run very low on full tanks; hence the famous showers of sparks.

Nowadays they have a plank under the car to worry about, another challenging dimention to car setup? Or has the plank been abolished and I missed that?

#23 highdownforce

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 19:16

Interestingly, the last time they raced without refueling they didn't have any rideheight restrictions to worry about, cars would run very low on full tanks; hence the famous showers of sparks.

Nowadays they have a plank under the car to worry about, another challenging dimention to car setup? Or has the plank been abolished and I missed that?

The plank is there, but this particular problem has been addressed.

#24 thiscocks

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 20:00

It's not like F1 teams have never dealt with full tank braking before. A total non-issue

#25 gillymuse

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 22:07

I think the only race which will be a problem for some teams will be the Singapore GP because there were a few brake failures and a lot of brake dust towards the end, but I think it won't be too much of a problem.

#26 ivanalesi

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 23:01

Oh, I just hope for brake wear issues, it means some drivers wouldn't be able to defend themselves as good as they would want and ultimately this leads to overtaking! And before jumping all over me about this outrageous statement, the teams know very well when it gets dangerous ;)
Hopefully there would be lots of tyre wear issues at the start of the races too, different drivers getting slow and fast all the time, this will make it exciting. I'm really looking forward to this season, much more than last season! I even dare to hope for an interesting race at Barcelona, just joking :p

#27 Buttoneer

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 23:11

IIRC Williams wasn't in favor of increasing the thickness, but correct me if I'm wrong.

That fact was blurted out by an unthinking Eddie Jordan on the BBC post race forum. So Williams exercised a veto...

#28 Demo.

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 16:42

That fact was blurted out by an unthinking Eddie Jordan on the BBC post race forum. So Williams exercised a veto...


How do you make the jump from Williams weren't in favour to they used a veto?
After all not being in favour is very different to voting against it.
An easy and far too oft made mistake made by some on this board of reading one thing and jumping to another completely different conclusion. :kiss:

#29 DCD

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 22:51

I doubt we'll know until we go to Canada.

That's the post about the brakes' issue.

Canada will be the real hard test for brakes. And I remember Alonso having a lot a trouble with them and wonderfully overtaken by Sato. :clap: