Brembo releases statement about IndyCar brake calipers

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – With brakes being a hot-button topic in the Verizon IndyCar Series paddock this weekend, Brembo has sought to clarify its role even as INDYCAR has shifted brake suppliers from Brembo to Performance Friction Corporation (PFC) for 2017.

Brembo released a statement on Saturday afternoon. It is linked below:

Brembo recently has become aware of an alleged problem caused by excessive brake operating temperatures.  See “Solution in Works for Indycar Brake Concerns” (Racer Magazine).

For the year 2017, Brembo has not been asked to attend, contribute or participate in Indycar Series brake development (rotors, pads and bells), as Indycar, PFC and the Competitors have elected to assume such responsibility.

We have no way of establishing whether there are any issues with Brembo calipers being used by Indycar Competitors as the most recent, and only, brake test Brembo attended was in Road America in the summer of 2016.  From that test there was no evidence of issues with the use of Brembo calipers with PFC brake components.

Brembo would like to remind you that our calipers are specified products that have been supplied to the Series since 2011, and in accordance to the Rules and our Agreement with Indycar, have not been modified nor has further development been undertaken. Brembo has supplied each Competitor with a Technical Bulletin covering all performance and safety topics of our product (last version attached). Brembo also issued a Technical Bulletin for the Indycar Series (2012, attached) where maximum running temperature of 210°C was specified, in conformity with the signed Supply Contract with Indycar.

We recommend that each Competitor operate Brembo calipers within the defined specifications.  Reliability is not guaranteed outside these specifications and the magnitude of the deviation may result in extremely dangerous conditions.

For everyone’s information, Brembo is able to produce calipers capable of withstanding the highest temperatures achieved in Motorsport Applications, if given clear specifications and operating conditions in which its product will be used. Brembo is always concerned about the proper operation of a brake system in any series in which its components may be used.  In fact, although Brembo was not consulted in connection with the new brake components being used with its calipers, Brembo requested data and feedback after the Elkhart Lake test in order to analyze the results with clear reference to the Brembo Testing Specifications.  Unfortunately, it never received a response.

We further would like to note, the Sebring track is more difficult on brakes as compared to Road America.  This is common knowledge to any brake expert, as well as any racing expert or fan.  However, as Brembo was not asked or able to participate in any phase of  development of the new braking system (in spite of a declared willingness to do so), we are not able to provide any feedback or suggestions on the use of other our components in Indycar’s and its Competitors’ application.

As a result, it is impossible for Brembo to contribute to the good running of the sport, and to exercise any kind of responsibility for any incidents that may occur as a result of the new braking system and its related parts.

We would also caution Indycar and its Competitors, as well as the media, from making any statements which are inconsistent with the content of this Technical Bulletin.  We will consider inconsistent statements as detrimental to our image, and will take appropriate action against such allegations.

Hamilton, Red Bull teammates both go to NASA before USGP

Photo: Red Bull Content Pool
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One of the more intriguing United States Grand Prix adventures occurred on Wednesday, as both Lewis Hamilton and the pair of Red Bull Racing teammates, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, all went to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston – in separate sessions – before heading onto Austin.

Hamilton posted on his Instagram story on Wednesday that he’d “quit his day job in a second” to work at NASA and become an astronaut, and the unbridled enthusiasm spoke to the three-time Formula 1 World Champion’s love of different life aspects entirely outside of racing.

“(I) had an incredible day yesterday, having a bit of a comedown today,” Hamilton said today at the FIA Press Conference. “I was just buzzed all day yesterday because it’s always been something I’ve wanted to do. It’s always something I’ve been fascinated about, space and space travel particularly.

“So to actually go there… and I had a million questions. I’m sure the guy got fed up with me. I asked a lot of questions and I got to see a lot of great things, some of the new technology they are working on and yeah, I want to go back.”

The Mercedes AMG Petronas team posted a gallery of Hamilton’s adventure on its website, linked here, and a few samples are below.

As for the Red Bull pair, the young duo of Ricciardo and Verstappen were equally awestruck by the experience.

“There really are a lot of similarities between this and F1, just the technology alone,” Ricciardo said. “I had a guest come to a race last year, when they got into the garage they were like: ‘this is like a space station’. We went to mission control here and it’s really like what we have in the Ops Room in Milton Keynes. Even the safety technology is similar. The astronauts go through the same measurements, a similar kind of HANS device etc. It’s really cool.”

Verstappen added, “There are quite a lot of comparisons, if you really want to talk about it we could go on for an hour! The control center looks pretty similar to ours. We share a lot of the same technology. It was really interesting for us to see that and I bet it would be the same if they could see ours.”

Here’s a link to Red Bull’s gallery and some teaser shots below.