F1 racing has long been a technology battle, and while the driver is an important component, his role has been increasingly supplemented by computers and engineers. This is perhaps no more visible than on the steering wheel which, once just the way you changed the direction the tires pointed, has turned into an Xbox-esque controller for a huge variety of precision settings and high-tech abilities.
This video from Mercedes does a good job showing off what the various dials, switches, and buttons do, but just check out the diagram and guide at F1 Fanatics for a more concise explanation. Not all steering wheels are the same, obviously, but all F1 cars must have this level of quick access and control in order to be competitive. This one is from Sauber.
Just imagine trying to keep track of that while going 150 in the wet:
Yeah, I’d probably have a heart attack. My respect for F1 drivers (already pretty high) just went up another notch.
[via Hacker News]