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F1 should evaluate more road-relevant brakes, says supplier Brembo

Formula 1 could switch to carbon-ceramic brakes in the future if it needs to become more road relevant, suggests supplier Brembo

F1's current carbon-carbon brake discs were first used in grand prix racing in the late '70s.

But that has not moved across to mainstream road cars because of the difficulties faced in using carbon brakes in cold or wet conditions if the discs have not been warmed up.

However, advances in the use of carbon-ceramics mean they now feature on some new sportscars, and Brembo suggests they could be good enough for use in F1 too.

"The future of braking systems need not be with carbon-carbon discs," Brembo's performance group CEO Mario Almondo told Autosport.

"Brembo sees the application of material that is more applicable to everyday road cars - even high-performance ones.

"I make the example of carbon-ceramic brakes, which have been used in the McLaren Senna [supercar] after a good partnership.

"If in F1 we want to get towards solutions that are closer to our normal products, we could go in that direction."

Carbon-ceramic brakes have most of the benefits of carbon-carbon discs but are more durable because the ceramics used in their production help with thermal shock resistance.

That longevity also means there is less carbon dust released during their use, which has environmental benefits.

Asked about the possibility of brake discs lasting as many as seven grands prix, Almondo said: "It's possible, absolutely.

"I will also add that carbon-ceramic does not emit [carbon] particles as much, so it would be more green.

"Yes it is a material that weighs more, but it could have the same performance - even in F1.

"The weight may be an issue that we face, but it's something we could talk about."

F1 launched a tender for standard brake discs and systems from 2021 last month, and a decision from the FIA on whether to pursue standardisation is expected next week.

Almondo said Brembo has applied to become the F1 supplier for both elements, but added the company would prefer for competition to remain among brake suppliers.

"Brembo prefers competition to show on the field that we are better than our competitors," added Almondo.

"This is our philosophy, it has always been and we do not change our stance.

"That said, there are requirements that lead to cost reductions in F1, and the brake systems are not immune from this project."

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