Behold, the typical Formula 1 steering wheel. It does everything except launch nukes. Give it time.
It makes complete sense that everything in the car is powered by the steering wheel. When you’re cruising around the track at speeds close to 200mph, it’s not exactly easy to roll down the windows and change the radio station to something with a little more pep. “Who keeps putting Sade on my iPod?!?!” and the entire pit crew giggles.
The photo above shows the steering wheel from the Sauber C33, driven by Esteban Gutiérrez and Adrian Sutil. Teams don’t usually say what each button does (most probably launch nukes) but Wired has a breakdown of what each button, nob and twisty does.
- Yellow N button: Selects neutral from 1st or 2nd gear.
- BRKBAL (brake balance) rotary switch: Adjusts the front and rear brake balance.
- Black Box button: Confirms the driver’s intention to come to the pits.
- Blue and orange S1/S2 buttons: These can be programmed for various funcutions.
- Entry rotary switch: This allows the driver to make changes to corner entry settings of the differential.
- Orange and green BRK-/BRK+ buttons: These change the brake balance between a programmed position and the current BRKBAL rotary position.
- IGN (ignition) rotary switch: Controls ignition timing.
- White ACK (acknowledge) button: Acknowledges changes in the system.
- PREL (preload) rotary switch: Controls the preload differential offset torque.
- Red Oil button: Transfers oil from the auxiliary tank to the main tank.
- Black BP (bite point) button: Activates the clutch bite point finding procedure.
- DRS (drag reduction system) button, upper left edge of the wheel: Activates the rear wing flap in the DRS zone.
- Red PL (pit lane) button: Activates the pit lane speed limiter, limiting the car to the designated pit lane speed limit (typically 100 km/hr).
- Black R button: Activates the driver radio transmission.
- SOC rotary switch: Controls the state of charge of the ERS energy storage system, whether the system is generating or consuming energy.
- Pedal rotary switch: Changes the pedal map dictating how the accelerator pedal responds to inputs.
- Fuel rotary switch: Controls the rate of fuel consumption.
- Black OT button: Activates configurable performance maps to assist the driver in overtaking or defending.
- Tire rotary switch: Tells the ECU and other systems what type of tire the car is running on.
- BBal-/BBal+ switches: These are used to make fine adjustments to the brake balance offset.
- MFRS (multi-function rotary switch): This allows the driver and engineers to control a variety of systems that don’t require a dedicated buttons. They include engine modes (PERF), rev limiter (ENG), air-fuel ratio (MIX), turbo-compressor (TURBO), corner exit differential (VISCO), MGU-K recovery limits (BRK), MGU-K boost limits (BOOST), dashboard options (DASH), cruise control (CC, disabled for qualifying and the race), shift type (SHIFT), and the clutch bite point offset (CLU).
- White -10/+1 buttons: These allow quick navigation of maps from the MFRS dial.
Awesome. Now how the hell do you change this Sade?!?