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Tech insight: Mercedes’ unique brake discs

08 Aug 2016

Mercedes’ domination on track owes much to the relentless way in which they’ve continued to develop the standard-setting F1 W07 Hybrid since the start of the season. One of the latest areas of the car to see revisions is the brake discs…

With the brakes on an F1 car regularly exceeding 1,000 degrees C, dissipating heat efficiently is a major concern in order to keep the brakes working effectively over a sustained period of time. Mercedes' latest development - giving their brake discs a concave/scalloped edge - is a move that has likely been made to improve cooling efficiency, with the revised shape (believed to be an F1 first) enlarging the surface area of the disc and improving fluid dynamics within the brake drums. On top of a direct performance advantage, improved heat dissipation helps the disc stay in an operating 'sweet spot' - which has an additional benefit in terms of tyre temperatures.