Brake assembly on a McLaren F1 car

FIA cancels plan to impose standard F1 brakes in 2021

2021 F1 season

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The FIA has cancelled a tender inviting a company to supply standard brakes and braking systems for the 2021 F1 season.

The governing body has been exploring ways to cut costs by introducing more standard parts to Formula 1 cars. However teams had raised concerns about whether braking performance would be able to keep up with advances in car performance if F1 had a standard braking set-up.

In a statement issued on Friday the FIA said the introduction of a standard braking system had been “delayed” but not scrapped.

“To allow further evaluation of the real-world performance of 2021 Formula 1 cars, the FIA has chosen to delay the potential implementation of single suppliers for brake friction materials and brake system components.

“The significant regulation changes and their interpretation by the teams will affect multiple aspects of the 2021 cars, and considering the critical role of the brakes in both safety and performance, the FIA has decided to cancel both the selection process for brake systems and for brake friction materials in F1 until further studies can be undertaken.”

As RaceFans reported previously, Brembo had been favoured for the role of standard brake supplier.

“The FIA would like to thank the pre-selected bidder, Brembo, for providing a thorough and sound proposal based on the specifications supplied to it,” the statement added. “Nonetheless, and in light of the considerations regarding car performance mentioned above, it has been decided to reassess the situation in 2021.”

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3 comments on “FIA cancels plan to impose standard F1 brakes in 2021”

  1. Considering what Binoto said about “Ferrari’s DNA” and standard parts, i bet FIA got vetoed.

  2. Mandating standardised parts is a band-aid fix to the cost problem. Brakes are a part of the car that is most typically sourced from a supplier, which makes it an ideal candidate for standardising, but also limits the budget savings.

    Instead, there should be a focus on regulations that set limits to certain aspects of performance. If there is an engine power limit and a downforce load limit, most teams should be able to build a car that hits those performance goals without much difficulty and expense. Every team should have a car that is fairly close in terms of pace.

    The challenge then becomes optimising the car for all the other aspects. Engine development focusses on economy, reliability, tractability, packaging. Aero focusses on drag reduction and performance in dirty air.

    If all teams are broadly on the same level of performance, the gains to be had from a massive engineering budget are much smaller, which might stop the arms race.

    Opening up the regs to allow more creativity from the engineers might also make the cars more interesting to fans.

    1. @davids – I disagree with part of your assessment on standardized parts. Moving into a budget cap scenario, to me it makes sense to standardize some parts to reduce spending on development in certain areas and allowing teams to reallocate those funds to other areas. I’m not sure whether brakes are a ‘good’ area to standardize or not. But I do think that there are/will be areas that it would make sense to de-emphasize.

      I agree with you that with these new restrictions (budget cap, and some standardization) that the remaining areas should be more opened up, including engine and aero performance. But I do think that they should focus any performance ceilings on the negatives that the FIA/F1 want to limit while allowing positive development to be less impeded. For example, you can create as much downforce as you are able, but the resulting wake at 5m, 10m, 50m, and 100m (or whatever ranges) must be no greater than X. If we want closer racing we need to protect that variable rather than mandate a specific downforce target. Because if I am an aero engineer, and we have reached our max downforce, might as well make it more difficult for teams behind.

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