formula one, racing

Here’s what the buttons on an F1 steering wheel really do 

words: Justin Hynes
Photography: Vladimir Rys 

Controlling a Formula One car involves a bit more than merely pointing it in the right direction. With its myriad buttons, dials and switches, today’s F1 steering wheel is a tech-head’s dream.

Formula One in 2017 will undergo its biggest set of regulation changes since the introduction of hybrid engines in 2014. This time, though, the emphasis has been shifted to chassis and aerodynamics.

The bigger, more aggressive cars will be fitted with fatter tires, which will increase grip and provide extra downforce. The front wing is also wider and more sharply raked to help drivers follow rivals. The rear wing is lower, while a larger diffuser will significantly increase downforce at the rear. It all means they’ll be faster, with lap times set to fall by 3 to 5 seconds.

It also means they’ll be a lot more physical to drive, as the recent spate of Instagram pics of drivers working at muscle-busting training regimes attest. 


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Welcome to mission control 

Move the curser over the dots to find out exactly what all those buttons do. More information on


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04 2017 The Red Bulletin

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