Technical Formula One Steering Wheels

Speshal

World Champion
Valued Member
A while before testing there was a discussion/brouhaha that the drivers will have too many buttons to deal with and drive the car to the optimal level with KERS and rear wing flap.

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/89138

So I wasn't just imagining things then! :shocked:

Were these assumptions overblown?

Here is the new wheel for the the MP4-26 which doesn't look too busy to me. The Flap button is pretty obvious - I;m thinking P is it lane but it's not the nightmare that was presented.

You have the usual buttons for drink, radio, box confirmation, neutral etc and then the usual rotaries for engine settings.







wish I could change the title to Steering wheels
 

Monzaman

Test Driver
If anything, the number of buttons and dials on the wheels should bring back into discussion if pit to car telemetry should be brought back into play to let the teams make the minor adjustments.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
If anything, the number of buttons and dials on the wheels should bring back into discussion if pit to car telemetry should be brought back into play to let the teams make the minor adjustments.

Alternatively the FIA could outlaw pit telemetry and limit the number of switches and dials on the wheel as well. What do the drivers need?

Gear selector (although if they went back to a gear lever it would do away with the neutral and reverse buttons)
Drink
Radio
Kers (on or off)
Wing Adjust (front & rear)
Neutral
Reverse
Fuel pump
Brake bias (although this doesn't have to be on the steering and do the drivers really need to be able to adjust it?)
Fuel mix - lean and rich (no more adjustment than that)

Anyone think of any others?

Here's another idea, voice activation. That would have a real relevance to road cars as most of the voice controlled system I've used are crap so if they make it work in an F1 car it coudl only improve things for road cars.
 

Chad Stewarthill

Champion Elect
Contributor
FB,
Does the KERS need separate on/off switches, or do they just hold the button down to activate and release to deactivate?
Also, I believe that the front wing adjustment is a thing of the past.
 

Monzaman

Test Driver
Even with the gear selector I believe the reverse button was on the steering wheel (not sure about neutral). If the pit could control the last three themselves, the drivers would only need to worry about gears, drink, radio kers and wing buttons while they drive in anger. Pit to driver telemetry would be better for the serious fan as well because there would be far more radio contact (driver telling the pit how the car is handling), and finally they would hand over the team orders rule back to the team so it wouldn't matter if Massa didn't want to let Alonso by - the team would just rich up his engine, or cut his fuel pump on a long straight.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
FB,
Does the KERS need separate on/off switches, or do they just hold the button down to activate and release to deactivate?
Also, I believe that the front wing adjustment is a thing of the past.

Looking at the Ferrari wheel KERS has a dial going from -4 to +4. If anyone can think why I'd be grateful to know. Also intrigued by the FFA dial, do you think this is the "FIA/Ferrari Assistance Adjuster"
 

Josephiah

Podium Finisher
Here's another idea, voice activation. That would have a real relevance to road cars as most of the voice controlled system I've used are crap so if they make it work in an F1 car it coudl only improve things for road cars.

That could be amusing, if current voice recognition is anything to go by...

Driver: "Front wing adjust plus 2"
Car: "emergency wheel eject activated. 5... 4... 3..."
Driver: "What the...?!"

Or alternatively, in the slower cars:
Driver: "FASTER, DAMN YOU, FASTER!"
Car: "command not understood"
 

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor
There is also a diffential control knob on there which only the driver can use.He will frequently use different diff settings for each corner on the track.KERS output is controllable thats what the dail settings mean..The driver can use as much or as little as he wants.Its not simply on or off.The wing is on or off.
 

Speshal

World Champion
Valued Member
Even with the gear selector I believe the reverse button was on the steering wheel (not sure about neutral).

As far as I recall you press and hold neutral (on the top wheel the big green N) to get reverse (hence the REV above it)

In the olden days ( LOL ) you waggled the gear stick to find neutral.

 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
Bah, the busier they are the better I like it. The cars are close enough on performance, whether the drivers can get the dancing fingers working might be the difference between them.

Re-legalising pit-to-car telemetry would be a bad move, I think. We don't want Ferrari turning Massa' engine down for him, do we? Once the car leaves the garage I prefer to think the driver is on his own.
 

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor
I agree.I would also make radio one way only.Driver to pit.Teams fussing over the radio "watch your tyre temperature" or similar are in my view illegal.The rules say that "the driver must drive the car alone and unaided".
Dash read outs should only show car data and Race control information.
Once the car is out of the pits the driver should be on his own.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Not really related to steering wheels but why doesn't F1 use the sort of head up displays they use in jet fighters? These guys are probably far busier than an F1 driver and have the additional problems of moving in 3 dimensions whilst running the risk of being blown out of the sky.

I seem to remember Lotus working on something like this back when Jonny Herbert drove for them but it never seemed to get anywhere.
 

Chad Stewarthill

Champion Elect
Contributor
Looking at the Ferrari wheel KERS has a dial going from -4 to +4. If anyone can think why I'd be grateful to know. Also intrigued by the FFA dial, do you think this is the "FIA/Ferrari Assistance Adjuster" :whistle:

Front Flap Adjuster?
(given that it's a 2009 wheel, not this year's)

I like your idea better btw.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
Meanwhile, the Ferrari voice system:

Massa: Fuel setting 2
Car: Fernando is Faster than You. Fuel Setting SLO
Massa: Brake balance change 45:55
Car: Braking and pulling right
Massa: Setting P45!
 

snowy

Champion Elect
I seem to remember Lotus working on something like this back when Jonny Herbert drove for them but it never seemed to get anywhere.
Gosh! I remember seeing that article on Screensport back in the early 90's. I'm feeling all nostalgic.

Or was it Tomorrows World...
 

fat jez

Race Winner
Valued Member
the heads up display depends on some sort of screen in front of the driver or pilot to project onto. Since F1 cars don't have much of a windscreen, I'm not sure what they could use?
 
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