April 13, 2011

'Most Staggeringly Complex Steering Wheels Ever Built': German Formula 1 driver Nico Rosberg explains the dials, knobs and readouts of his race car's steering wheel to Autopia. "It looks a bit more like a spaceship control pad than a steering wheel," he says.

posted by rcade to auto racing at 04:18 PM - 8 comments

I guess it was too 'staggering complex' to include a photo.

posted by feloniousmonk at 04:25 PM on April 13, 2011

Why do you need a photo when there's a video?

posted by rcade at 05:09 PM on April 13, 2011

Yeah, that link is broken, so no video either.

posted by Tinman at 05:46 PM on April 13, 2011

Link worked fine for me, and damn. I knew those things were complex and expensive, but I had no idea there was so much on them. So my question is this-how much does the driver have to do with determining settings? Do engineers and pit crews tell them where to place the dials, or is it something they do on the fly from their own skill?

posted by tahoemoj at 06:55 PM on April 13, 2011

tahoemoj, my guess would be that the answer to your question is "yes."

posted by outonleave at 10:31 PM on April 13, 2011

Current steering wheels are amazing. Look up the many onboard videos on YouTube to compare now with 20 years ago. (I recommend any onboard involving Senna at Monaco).

A lot of people have said it's getting too complicated, but I heard someone recently, Brundle I think it was, saying the drivers can handle it, and really, if they were told they could go half a second a lap faster if they had even MORE to do, any REAL racer would leap at the chance.

With KERS back this year, and the DRS to control it's getting nuts. And of course the F-Duct system was banned this year on safety grounds as a driver had to move his hand or leg to one side of the cockpit to use it. The device stalled the rear wing. It was deemed dangerous as it gave the driver too much to do.

Ah, the FIA, proudly making no sense for decades now...

posted by Drood at 01:37 AM on April 14, 2011

That's nearly as awesome as Nico's comand of english, which is better than that of most English people.

posted by JJ at 05:05 AM on April 14, 2011

(I'm Irish, before someone wants to point out that I spelt command incorrectly.)

posted by JJ at 08:48 AM on April 14, 2011

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