Anatomy of a 2011 F1 Steering Wheel

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Over the years, not only do we see changes happening in the engine bay and on the bodywork of the F1 car. There’s also changes that we can see on the steering wheel as well to reflect on the respective new components that is added onto the car. One of the new changes to the Steering wheel compared the previous season is the addition of the KERS and the DRS both of which would play a big part in helping the cars win races.

Each of these steering wheels weighs in at 1.3kg, it cost an estimated RM125,000 a piece. A typical Malaysia driver driving a Proton Wira installs a sports steering that only cost RM125 a piece and this usually comes with a Boss Kit! The interesting thing about all these steering wheels is, each one is designed specifically for each driver, with the buttons and dials positioning custom made to each driver. So even though Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso drives the same car, the steering wheels for both drivers are different.

The steering wheels are half the size of a typical road car’s and designed to make no more than a three-quarter turn of lock (which answers why it was so hard for us to steer the Johnnie Walker’s formula series car back into the garage in last year’s Pit Crew Challenge. The labels are F1 tech terms in english with the addition of the BOOST dial, controlling the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS), with a button for the DRS (Drag Reduction System) as well. Here’s a video of Nico Rosberg explaining how the new steering system works using Michael Schumacher‘s Steering wheel.

If you understand Italian, here’s Felipe Massa explaining how the Ferrari 150° Italia steering wheel works. If you know of any Italian translator, do let me know so we could put in some english subtitles to this video for all to understand.

Here’s a video of Felipe Massa’s 2010 Ferrari F10’s Steering wheel as a comparison between the 150° and the F10 version.

In comparison with a Formula 1 car, here’s a video look at how a Ferrari 458 Italia‘s Steering would look like and it’s functionality.

To give you an idea what it takes to keep an F1 car under control, here’s a Helmet Cam of Fernando Alonso recording him doing a lap at Fiorano. Observe his handling and the tiny adjustments that it takes on the steering wheel to keep the car at it’s optimum performance.

I wonder if there’s any places that sells replica of these steering wheels for us to use in our street cars. Where all the buttons and dials will just be more of a show piece as it wont have any use at all. Right? Anyway, here’s another video for all the Ferrari fans out there. All you need to know video by Ferrari about the F150th Italia.

Anyway, dear readers, do share your input here, who is your favorite Formula 1 driver this year and why? Let’s have a discussion going now that the F1 season is in the European leg where more improvement to the car will be done as they are much more closer to home.

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