As petrolheads, we marvel at the acceleration of modern F1 cars, which can reach top speeds of 220mph in the blink of an eye. Yet when you see the technology that goes into braking, you might be even more impressed.
F1 cars have stopping power of over 5G, which in simple terms, means your head weighs 5 times heavier in corners than it normally would. Brakes heat up to over 1,000 degrees celsius during large deceleration points such as those we’ll see during the Canadian Grand Prix. Montreal is one of the toughest circuits on a car’s complex brake technology.
Take the final chicane in Canada where cars will typically arrive at 340km/h and brake to just 135km/h in… wait for it… 1.64 seconds. That means 5.4G’s of deceleration going through your head and neck. For us mere mortals, our bodies simply couldn’t sustain this force for more than a few laps. This is why drivers must be in supreme shape to cope with strong G-forces.
In the below video, Mercedes F1 technical boss Paddy Lowe shows us the secrets of Lewis Hamilton’s 2015 championing winning car’s brakes. With carbon composite’s for brake ducts, Mercedes are able to generate downforce from them, meaning more speed going through corners.