Category: Technology

Late braking, or out braking your opponent in Formula 1 is when you brake later than them going into a corner. This will allow you to get ahead and take track position, but it can come at a cost.

By braking later, your car will be carrying more speed into the corner, and you will get to the apex of the corner first. If your car is on the inside, then your opponent won’t be able to defend. However, get it wrong and you may overshoot the corner, losing time and likely giving back the position.

It might sound simple to brake later than your opponent, but it’s not. F1 cars reach speeds over 300 Kph and brake heavily at the last minute. Judging exactly where your opponent will brake and matching, or bettering, them corner after corner is challenging, and taxing on the tyres. Drivers need to bide their time and pick the right moment. 

If you brake early, you won’t get to the apex of the corner quick enough, and the other driver may drive around your car through the corner. If you brake too late, then there’s the risk of locking the brakes and running wide, costing you more time, and crashing into the defending car or going off the track.

Late braking is a skill and comes with risk, so some drivers are more apt to use this passing manoeuvre than others. For example, Daniel Ricciardo is often called “The last of the late brakers”. 

Late Braking :
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Andrew Burden

The author Kiwi F1 Fan

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