Akebono Brake Industry and McLaren have announced an extension to their technology partnership. From 2014 onwards, Akebono is elevated to the status of ‘Technology Partner’ of the McLaren Mercedes team and will design and integrate an all-new braking system in response to the latest changes in the Formula 1 regulations.
Furthermore, Akebono retains its supply status of racing calipers and brake pads for the hugely successful McLaren 12C GT3 race cars as well as being the brake partner of choice for the next generation McLaren P1™ high performance sports car.
In 2014, Formula 1 sees the introduction of new ‘power units’ that combine power output from a 1.6-litre V6 combustion engine with that of a brand new hybrid Energy Recovery System (ERS). The change means the rate at which cars can harvest energy under braking has increased five-fold from 400 kJ per lap to 2,000 kJ per lap, thus significantly affecting the braking effort at the rear wheels.
Akebono’s dedicated team of engineers and specialists have developed an electronic ‘brake-by-wire’ rear brake control system to aide the braking effort at the rear, negating the need for the driver to constantly alter the brake bias, and thus contributing in preventing rear lock-up.
Akebono’s Chairman, President & CEO, Hisataka Nobumoto said: “This is the third extension to our partnership with McLaren since we began the relationship back in 2007 and becoming a fully-integrated technology partner to McLaren Mercedes is another step in being recognised as the best brake manufacturer in the world.
“Formula 1 represents the greatest of engineering challenges and the new regulations introduced this year give us an excellent opportunity to design and integrate a brand new electronic system that will further showcase our technical prowess.
“Supplying the McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 team, the McLaren 12C GT3 race cars and the breath-taking McLaren P1™ is an outstanding achievement for Akebono and our associates and shareholders ought to take great pride in what Akebono has accomplished in such a short period of time.”
Jonathan Neale, Chief Operating Officer, McLaren Mercedes said: “Akebono has been a committed, unwavering ally of the team since 2007 and has continually innovated its product offering, not least in the face of this year’s new regulations which see a huge increase in energy recovery under braking. Akebono’s all-new electronic brake system will be a valuable technical asset.
“Status of ‘Technology Partner’ at McLaren is not to be taken lightly – it is a mark of technical excellence and product performance – and is well deserved by Akebono which now supplies bespoke brake systems to all of McLaren’s race cars across Formula 1 and GT as well being the OEM partner to the awe-inspiring McLaren P1™.”
Akebono began its collaboration with McLaren Mercedes in 2007, developing and refining its braking technologies at the sharp end of global motorsport competition. These processes have produced an ultra-reliable brake system that boasts significantly reduced weight and exceptional cooling capacity while also being able to withstand high temperatures and maintain structural rigidity.