When it comes to the pinnacle of motorsports, things get very expensive and very complicated at Formula 1.
A Formula 1 steering wheel, a tiny carbon fiber control panel that places every electronically adjustable parameter of a Formula 1 race car into the palm of the driver’s hands, can cost $50,000 alone. With more buttons, toggle switches, dials, and switches than a tournament-spec Streetfighter fighting-stick gamepad, racing drivers must push their cars as hard as possible, handle the physical strains from high loads of G-force, while delicately managing all the vehicle vitals and settings on the button array.
To the unfamiliar, the dizzying control layout may seem excessive, but Mercedes GP and 7-time World Champion Michael Schumacher share a guided tour of the steering wheel to help racing fans understand what’s what.
Starting with its main function of steering the vehicle left and right, Schumacher gets into identifying the boost button for the car’s Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS), the neutral and speed limiter button for coming into the pit-lane, a button that alerts the team for an unscheduled entry into the pits, a safety car button, a reverse button, brake balance check and clutch check buttons, toggles for the clutch, fuel mixture, engine management, differential adjustment, and wheel diameter adjustment. Finally, a main menu toggle switch and a multitude of ‘menu’ option buttons handle the rest. In the event the buttons and switches on the wheel fail to respond, a ‘reset’ button is available as well.
Check out Schumacher’s video below to find out more:
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