With 2022 seeing sweeping changes to aerodynamic regulations in Formula 1, it is easy to miss the smaller rule shifts, such as those relating to cars’ brake systems.
This year, supplier Brembo is equipping all teams across the grid, however, the manufacturer does not specify exactly which teams it is supplying with which components. It is common practice for teams to mix and match brake disc and friction suppliers to achieve certain braking characteristics and some have long standing deals with other manufacturers. Brembo simply states that it will “supply most of the cars with hydraulic (calipers, pumps and by-wire units) and friction parts (carbon discs and pads)”.
The new regulations see wheel diameter increase from 13in to 18in and this in turn requires larger brake discs. For 2022, the diameter of the front discs has grown from 278mm up to a maximum of 328mm, while the maximum thickness remains unchanged at 32mm. At the rear the discs have increased from 266mm to 280mm, with the thickness rising from 28mm to 32mm.
Previously, front discs could be ventilated with up to 1,480 holes of 2.5mm diameter. This year, the rules only allow for between 1,000 and 1,100 holes at the front and 900 at the rear, (compared with 1,050 holes previously). The updated specification also imposes a new minimum hole diameter of 3mm. Brembo notes that while this means disc thickness stays the same, there will be fewer and larger holes, reducing cooling ability. Perforated brake pads have also been banned this season, so Brembo now offers teams a choice of two alternative configurations for improved cooling.
In terms of weight, Brembo states that the 2022 braking system is around 700g heavier per wheel, adding almost 3kg to the total weight of cars compared to last season. Notably, Brembo asserts that nine out of 10 teams are using its calipers, with the 10th using AP Racing units (a company owned by Brembo Group). However, Brembo highlights that each team has its own customized design of caliper. Four teams will also use by-wire units developed by Brembo and AP Racing to balance rear braking effort with energy recovery from the MGU-K.