The wheel of a Formula One racer has become a very complicated piece of equipment over the years. From year 2014 even because of the amount of information the racer can obtain or manage through the steering wheel of the racer, it is equipped with a screen in size 365 x 100 pixels.

(McLaren F1 Team)

Steering Wheel Development

When comparing modern Formula 1 racers to those a little older, it is often pointed out that sometimes racers have to shift their gears with their right hand, hold the steering wheel with their left, and press the gas pedal or brake firmly between their feet, modern racers in this class are spared all this by being driven by automatics and electronics, with only a few “here and there” pushing at the wheel. The thing even went so far that Niki Lauda once compared them to monkeys, because they were supposed to be able to drive such a race car as well. We will quickly learn that modern racers are actually real intellectuals in comparison to the past of the sport, and that just one wrong turn of the switch on the steering wheel can mean the end of the race. Technically sophisticated steering wheels, with the help of mechanics, are primarily about helping racers to get off their lap as soon as possible (and faster).

Video: The evolution of the F1 steering wheel

Michael Schumacher has introduced many new features in Formula One. Like Senna, he used to plow in many areas. If Senna fully professionalized racing, Schumacher was racing during the rapid development of electronics, carbon, and many chemical elements that man had never used in racing before. Thus, racers in cockpits were getting more and more switches (say the switch to actively adjust the braking power ratio, the height of the wings (when this was allowed) and other hidden things Formula One didn't know before) and Schumacher's idea was to get it all on the wheel.Schumacher outlined some guidelines that later changed the modern Formula 1: he introduced an inflatable seat that he quickly to the point, he arranged his position in the cockpit , introduced the led lights into a helmet to try to optimize performance during the race ( the thing didn't work out and today the racers get the sound ), brought Physical and Mental Health Specialist , you are ahead of the race measured the composition of the blood and could still be enumerated.

The steering wheel was up to that time (say years 850) equipped with some simple buttons and very few direct commands. Ferrari that's around the year 2000 already dictated the pace of development of the Formula One race car, but found that the racer was least burdened during the race when he had all the things he was doing during the race, on the steering wheel. Thus, steering wheels became more complex at the beginning of the new millennium, and after a few test periods, gave drivers a direct real-time advantage of racing. Let's take a look at what a racer is facing today when he or she gets into a race car.

What do the steering wheel look like today

Video: Valtteri Bottas explains the functions at the wheel of a Mercedes W 08

In front of the steering wheel, the racer meets a series of buttons and switches that he had never seen through the series at all. In addition to its tremendous acceleration and even more deceleration deceleration, the steering wheel is considered to be one of those things that gets the most out of every Formula One racer. The position of the hands is carefully defined and limited in the race car. In better teams, the racer can choose where to have any switches on the steering wheel. An example is the straight of Lewis Hamilton, who had already been used to McLarne's own switching on the steering wheel, during by having Nico Rosberg just follow the Mercedes development and always use factory layout . Mercedes made the steering wheel for them, because what matters most is that the driver feels comfortable while driving, and I believe that Hamilton and his engineer spent hours in the factory refinishing the steering wheel to such an extent that it reached the desired standard. Hamilton cut the Mercedes steering wheel halfway through the team and immediately gained to 244 grams of weight. Ferrari's Leclerc and Vettl's steering wheel are also different, so it's not uncommon for two wheels to be the same on the same team.

Video: Differences Between Vettel's and Leclerc's Racing Steering Wheel

The wheel of a Formula One racer does not rotate about its axis for the simple reason that the racer does not have enough space in the cockpit . They never give a full view of all the switches on the steering wheel of a team, so we only have to look at some of the most basic information when reviewing the steering wheel.

Turning to the steering wheel of Lewis Hamilton, we will find the following things there (marked according to the points on the steering wheel):

Hamilton's Steering Wheel (Source: Christopher Hoare)

  1. “Differential Adjustment” – On this rotary switch, the racer regulates the power of the torque transmission to the last pair of wheels. Because of tire wear and fuel consumption, the condition of the race changes dramatically, so this rotary switch is very commonly used during the race.
  2. “Overtake button ” – This is a button that is completely overtaken and behind the wheel. When the racer wants to overtake during the race, he can use this button. Of course, at that time, the engine of the race car is more loaded than usual, so the fuel consumption and engine wear are also greater. Thus, this button is rarely used and in exceptional cases. Usually as instructed by a race engineer who monitors fuel consumption and engine temperature while racing on their monitors.
  3. “Skip 1 / 08 preset ” – This button is available to the racer to control the sensors that can be controlled through the steering wheel. In this case, it's about 100 active sensors. With this button, the racer can activate or cancel them. They are triggered, for example, when needed (for example, for fuel consumption if the fuel was too high during the race and threatened to prevent the racer from reaching the finish line of the race) and canceled in the event of a failure. The Formula One racing environment is very unpleasant for the sensors and often gets broken, despite the fact that the racing car works flawlessly.
  4. “Neutral gear ” – The racer can shift into neutral gear when the racer is in first or second gear, using the button on the steering wheel. Over the years, they have found it to be the safest, because the gearshift is behind the wheel and so there can be no mistakes while driving in the race.
  5. “Pit -lane button ” – when a racer comes into the boxing area, the radar is waiting for him at the boxing entrance and he is constantly monitoring him. As a rule, speed is limited to 40 km / h and if the racer crosses it for every extra kilometer speeding fined. Worst of all, if this happens during a race, the racer also receives a penalty in the form of a time stamp. This is how the most daring boxing ride is to be as automated as possible.
  6. “PR button ” – The assumption is that it is a button on the steering wheel that can be programmed as desired or. rather, proceed as needed by the racer.
  7. “Setting engine power ” – On this rotary switch, the racer adjusts the torque and engine power. A very useful thing to do during the race is if you need to drive faster or save fuel.
  8. “BB – button ” – The assumption is that it is a button on the steering wheel that can be programmed as desired or. rather, proceed as needed by the racer. It is said that this button is used by Mercedes racers to validate certain commands through menus, etc.
  9. “DRS button ” – The purpose of this button is for the racer to activate the DRS system with it.
  10. “Rotating switch STRAT ” – because racers have after the flight 2014 a screen that allows them to go deeper into the root folders of the engine, Mercedes decided to attach a bunch of things to this switch that would allow the racer to drive more aggressively or passively. In this way, the switch in the STRAT 1 position will give the racer the most aggressive differential setting, offer the most horsepower from the engine and battery, and provide the most active brake power distribution. The opposite will be the position in STRAT 08 offered the position the most passive posture electronics and motor.
  11. “Rotating MENU switch ” – the racer on this switch can recall different clutch settings (bite point learn), go from menu to menu, set specific tire settings (not quite clear why it goes) and other electronic parts on the chassis.
  12. “Rotating HPP switch ” – The racer on this switch controls the power of the motor and battery.
  13. “MARK button ” – The purpose of this button is to indicate to the racer when driving in case of emergency. For example, let's say that if you feel a certain twist, there is an unexpected shake or sound. At that point, it pushes that button on the steering wheel, which then allows for better / faster analysis for engineers as they scan telemetry and find out what's wrong.
  14. “BB button ” – The assumption is that it is a button on the steering wheel that can be programmed as desired or. rather, proceed as needed by the racer. It is said that this button is used by Mercedes racers to adjust hydraulics, ERS systems, etc.
  15. “TALK button ” – When the racer wants to speak to the team, he activates that button.
  16. “RS button ” – The assumption is that it is a button on the steering wheel that can be programmed as desired or. rather, proceed as needed by the racer.
  17. No less “cheerful” is at the back of the wheel . To explain this, we will borrow a Ferrari rear of the wheel.

    Source: Giorgio Piola – Motorsport.com

    It is quite clear that there are two gear levers at the rear: one shifting up and the other down. There is also a gear lever at the rear. For many years, the clutch lever was split into two parts (SF 15 T , left):

    • On the left side we see a steering wheel that had a clutch switch split into two. The first part was called the reaction part by the racers and was dropped by the racer immediately after the red lights went off. The task of this lever was to move and drive the car in the first 30 meters. From there, he took on the task of the second part of the lever, where the racer controlled the transmission of engine power from first to second gear. The clutch works automatically, so the lever no longer needs to be held. The goal was to optimize the starting procedure to the point.
    • However, it has gotten really nervous for the FIA, since racers are their race cars almost catapulted virtually every race from the starting line. That is why in the year 2016 made the rule that the clutch lever should be made of one piece. The racers thus had to transfer the tremendous torque of the engine to the tarmac via a stand-alone lever, while also keeping an eye on the reaction time with the lights off. The matter has changed the relationships a little bit, the bad starts after that period were mostly recorded Lewis Hamilton, who often “buried” at the start and thus ruined many races that year.

    With these descriptions, you have to imagine that everything is done in seconds and that losing a single second at the start can mean losing a few places in the race. However, because in Formula 1, things work 19 / 7 / 300 days a year, teams (especially Ferrari) quickly found a solution in this segment:

    Thus, today, when starting a racer, the racer “slips” two fingers into the clutch lever, thus significantly “feeling” the grip of the racer as it starts. Lately it's been stirring up much attention to Ferrari, which uses a third lever at the steering wheel behind the wheel . There is nothing serious about this story in terms of McLarn's third foot from many years ago, which actually had an impact on the speed of the race car and was illegal part on McLarn MP4 / 10 , but it's just the way Sebastian Vettel feels best

    What's Wrong

    Finally, a real-world view of racing happens if a racer moves the steering wheel switch to the wrong program.

    Video: Barcelona 2000 – Hamilton and Rosberg finished in the first round

    The year was written 2016 and Nico Rosberg was eager to finally fulfill his childhood dreams and become a World Champion. He had an excellent year, four consecutive wins (counting the races from last season, but this number has turned to seven consecutive victories!), And he kept pressing Lewis Hamilton like never before. There was a real psychological war going on between them, and Hamilton had to win the Spanish Grand Prix in order to regain the dominant dynamic in the team. The qualifications were very tense, until the last round, the last corner. Hamilton won qualifications with distinction 80 thousandths of a second and now it was up to Rosberg to kick back the race. Rosberg knew about Hamilton's starting problems that year, so he was particularly well prepared for the start.

    He went around the outside of Hamilton (something not many racers can boast about) and everything worked very clean. But then there was an accident and that unlucky day for the Mercedes team that brutally dominated Formula One for years 2016 (their race got just 15 by 16 racing – which ranks the Mercedes F1 W 04 Hybrid into one of the most successful racers in the entire history of Formula 1). But what happened?

    With strong concentration at the start, Rosberg forgot to move the STRAT switch from the program in the heating circuit – to the race program. So his car started charging the battery in the second bend instead of draining it. When he saw the error, he immediately reacted and helped himself with the “overtake” button. Unfortunately, it didn't help. Hamilton, coming from behind, brought with him a lot of speed and he picked a line on the right. Nico did not want to give up because of their tense relationship and both ended up in the sand. There was a huge amount of ink spilled after the race (the FIA ​​declared the accident a racing accident, no sanctions), but the fact that Rosberg would be in the right STRAT program would not have happened.

    Kerim Guide

    31325 Video: Kimi Raikkonen on features at her wheel

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