Since 2018, Brembo decided to intensify its cooperation with Ferrari in a unique fashion. The two Italian companies have been working together in F1 for years and decided to see if they could use modern means to strengthen their cooperation.
This meant that not only did Brembo engineers begin to work with the team in the paddock, but some personnel who stayed behind at the factory in Italy were also informed of the latest developments on track, with all data collected from Ferrari at the circuit sent directly back to HQ in Bergamo.
That extra information strengthened the working relationship between the two parties, and the engineers from Brembo now had even more data to work with to improve the brakes. The company's F1 and Open Wheel Customer Manager Andrea Algeri said he could not have predcited how crucial a role the new set-up would play in 2020 for both Brembo and their eight F1 customers.
"It's incredibly important for us to be on the track, because that is where everything happens," he said.
"Still we are always looking to the future, so we thought it was a good idea to create the Remote Garage. This way we can improve ourselves and serve the teams even better. That was the idea from the beginning, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are already working much more intensively with the Remote Garage.
"We can no longer travel to the circuits. Normally, we are on the track with two engineers and they assist the teams when there are problems with the brakes. That almost always goes well and the engineers within the F1 teams know exactly what to do with the brakes. As a result, our engineers come into action mainly when there are problems with the brakes, of which there are fortunately relatively few.
"The F1 teams are living in a bubble right now due to the pandemic, which means they cannot allow two Brembo engineers to walk around different teams. That's why we decided to work from the Bergamo factory, as we can't designate one engineer per team to always stay in a specific team bubble.
The article continues below the photo of Andrea Algeri.
"So we decided to make our Remote Garage much bigger and use it for all teams to which we supply brakes. That means we have to make do with videos and photos that the teams send us, and based on that information and data try to help them. So far, that is going very well and we are happy that we can get through a difficult period in the world in this way."
Algeri, who himself was ever-present in the paddock prior to the pandemic, does not have to think about how the situation would have developed without current means of communication.
"Fortunately, it is now possible to work remotely, although of course it's not an optimal situation. X number of years ago that would have been absolutely impossible and we would never have been able to use this type of solution," he said.
"It is also very important for us to be present at the different circuits. You have to speak to the people in the paddock, the engineers of the teams and even team bosses. When you are in good contact like that, you know just a little better what is going on and how we should tackle certain situations with a view to the future. It is often a bit more difficult to explain something digitally."
The Italian brake supplier hopes that staff will be able to return to the circuit after the summer break, also with an eye to the future.
"In 2022, we will be driving completely different cars, so it is important that we are well prepared. Next year we will probably also be present with more staff at the Grand Prix, as we want to help the teams in the best possible way in a particularly challenging 2022 season," Algeri said.