Akebono extends tech deal with McLaren Mercedes 2014 F1 team

Posted on 18 Feb 2014 by Victoria Fitzgerald

Woking/Tokyo based Akebono Brake Industry has elevated its alliance with McLaren Mercedes to Technology Partner for the 2014 Formula 1 season. The partnership will see Akebono designing and integrating an all-new braking system to align with the latest changes in Formula 1 regulations.

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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 engineers and specialists have created an electronic “brake-by-wire” rear brake control system in response to new F1 regulations that have introduced power units that will combine output from a 1.6 litre V6 combustion engine with a brand new hybrid Energy Recovery System (ERS). The developments mean that the rate at which cars can harvest energy under braking has increased by five times as much from 400 to 2,000 kj per lap. The new “brake-by-wire” technology will aid the braking effort at the rear, negating the need for the driver to constantly alter the brake bias and also preventing rear lock-up.

The brake suppliers will also retain its supply status of racing calipers and brake pads for the McLaren 12C GT3, as well as, being the brake partners of the P1™ high performance sports car.

Hisataka Nobumoto, chairman, president and CEO of Akebono said:

“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.”