When it comes to brakes, there's no bigger name than Brembo. The Italian company has made a reputation for itself building brakes for high-end carmakers like Ferrari and motorsport applications from IndyCar to Formula One.
This video explains the entire Brembo F1 braking system, from pedal to caliper. At first glance, it may resemble what one would find in a normal car, but every component is beefed up and specialized for this high-performance task. Highlights include aluminum monoblock calipers, carbon rotors and pads, and a brake-by-wire system with redundancy in case of an electronics failure.
The increased importance of kinetic energy recovery has also affected the design of F1 brakes. The current Energy Recovery System--Kinetic (ERS-K) allows for smaller rear calipers than before, for example.
The additional use of energy-recovery systems is part of sweeping rule changes implemented for the 2014 F1 season. Under the new regime, the gasoline engine (now a turbocharged V-6) and energy-recovery system are considered one single "power unit."
This makes the current F1 car more of a genuine hybrid than previous designs, which used electric energy to a more limited extent.