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Monaco - brake fading problems 26 May 2007

In Thursday's practice sessions in Monaco (and even to some degree in Saturday's cooler, wet session), many cars suffered significant brake fade - in some cases it contributed to them running into the barriers. The problem, according to engineers from brake manufacturers Brembo, is the fact that this year's harder tyres provide less grip. This forces engineers to switch the car's brake bias towards the rear - and cooling rear brakes is harder than cooling front brakes. Cooling the rears relies largely on efficient extraction of heat (red arrows), whereas the fronts have far more efficient ventilation to prevent heat build-up (as shown with the multiple inlets on the Williams here). Monaco is not 'hard' on brakes in the traditional sense, but the short intervals between braking points gives the discs little time to cool. According to Brembo, this means drivers have to apply as much as 105 kilograms of pressure to the brake pedal - quite a physical strain over 78 race laps.