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10 Mar 2014

The increase in performance from ERS means that braking balance becomes a priority for the drivers this season.

Having been used to seeing drivers manually adjusting brake bias in previous seasons (driver reaching down to the left of the cockpit) this season the process will become electronic. Additional paddles or buttons will be found on the steering wheels for the driver to make adjustments.

The standard hydraulic front to rear braking system is retained but the electronic system sits on top of this. This is because with the driver/car is harvesting upto 5 times the electrical energy per lap (2mj up from 400kj's) it puts more prominence on bias.

When the driver applies the brakes the amount of pressure will be monitored by the ECU. Dependent upon how much harvesting the MGU-K is doing the ECU will then proportion off how much physical braking is done by the rear brakes.  

The whole system is software controlled, with code written by each individual team.  Thus far, drivers have been complaining of a lack of feel from the brakes, due to the momentary delay between his input, the ECU working out the bias split, the amount of harvesting happening and the reaction of the physical braking force.  This will undoubtedly lead to an area of improvement as the relationship between the systems and the drivers are realised and additional code written.

Note: The systems fail safe reverts to full hydraulic control in order that the required braking pressure is achieved.


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  2. Can the braking system automatically change balance for each turn, or must it still be done manually? Also, is the balance automatically changed as the weight of the car changes throughout the race?

  3. Hi Mason

    No the adjustment must be made by the driver, weight changes (distribution) does affect the way the driver applies bias but he must do this, not the system.


Whilst I'm trying to keep atop of the blog you may have noticed of late that there is less content appearing. For those of you that haven't realised, most of my work has now been moved over to where I'm working with Giorgio Piola.

As some of you may have found out already I'm also working with the Missed Apex crew on their podcast from time-to-time, either doing race reviews or dedicated 'Tech Time' shows.

I've embedded the latest version of the podcast below and will update this a frequently as I appear. However, please head over to Itunes if you want it to appear in your player when episodes are available. The show is great to work on and has a great lineup of 'regulars' but has also enticed some bigger names recently too, with Will Buxton and Bradley Philpot on shows during the summer break.

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