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Stepping on the brakes

By BMW Sauber F1 Team
September 4 2006

Braking is an art form in Formula One racing since accelerating requires much less skill than the braking process. On the high speed circuit in Monza, abrupt deceleration is at the centre of all focus.

The 5.793 kilometre long course in Monza is the fastest track on the Formula One calendar. On the "Autodromo di Monza", the brakes are pushed to the limit more than on any other circuit. Following the start-finish straight, drivers are forced to brake from 365 km/h to 80 km/h, a process which requires less than 3,3 seconds and subjects the drivers to forces reaching 5 g.

"The drivers brake very strongly ahead of the chicanes, which places enormous strain on the material," Willy Rampf, Technical Director of the BMW Sauber F1 Team explains. For this reason, the only 28 millimetre thick brake discs are made from carbon. The light carbon fibre composite material has been used in Formula One racing since 1982 and is manufactured to withstand temperatures reaching up to 1000 degrees Celsius.

Each braking process requires maximum concentration of the drivers. Round for round, it is essential to find each corner's exact braking point, and the physical strain on the drivers is considerable: In Monza, they repeatedly generate braking forces of 90 kilograms only with their foot.

*Source:BMW Sauber F1 Team

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