How Complicated is a Steering Wheel in an F1 Car?
By Doris Molenaar
Maybe I’m just an idiot driver – but there are many buttons on my steering wheel that I don’t know the use of, mostly because while I’m driving I can’t pay attention to the traffic and look at my steering wheel at the same time. I sometimes make a half-hearted attempt to find the cruise-control button, but I immediately start swirling and somewhat panic-stricken that I will crash my car into the guard rails I’ll give up on that adventurous quest and think: “I’ll just keep my gas pedal right here.”
(OK, clearly I’m an idiot driver)
But you can understand my amazement when I saw this video where racing driver Michael Schumacher explains how a modern Formula One car steering wheel works – something that closer resembles a game controller than anything. This colorful steering wheel functions as a driver’s control panel, information display and communication hub.
Besides having features like paddle shifters, with this steering wheel you can change everything from engine torque to fuel mixture. There is a boost button that release 80hp for about 10 seconds (I call that the mushroom option), a neutral button and an obligatory blue button for reverse. To further prove that it’s actually a game controller there is also a reset button.
The only thing I think the steering wheel is missing is a button that shoots out turtle shells to knock out any competitors.