Today’s Tip – Fancy Footwork

02-06We’ve talked in the past about the correct process of applying the brake: a firm and quick initial application followed by a bleed off of pressure as the car slows increasing the rate of releasing the brake as you turn into the bend.

The speed of the initial application can loosely be linked to the spring and damper rate of the vehicle.  In a softly sprung and damped car your initial application needs to be slower to match the rate of compression possible with the front suspension.  If you brake too suddenly the front of the car will not have had time for the weight to shift onto it giving the front tyres less downward push into the road and hence less grip.  In this instance increase the brake pressure slightly smoother and more progressively to allow the weight to shift forwards remembering a soft car will transfer weight slower.  Conversely a stiff car will transfer the weight more quickly so in a stiffer car you can have a much faster initial application of the brake as the weight will shift over the front more quickly.

Obviously, this is a very sweeping generalisation and there is alot more physics and engineering involved but it gives you an outline idea of how to approach braking in different vehicles.

For a master class in how to use the brake pedal take a look at the video below, courtesy of the WEC official channel, where Marco Sorensen takes us around the Bahrain circuit in his fabulous Aston Martin Vantage GTE: