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Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis
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Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

Bite-size tech: Nico Rosberg's steering wheel

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Bite-size tech: Nico Rosberg's steering wheel
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Apr 1, 2016, 9:30 AM

Giorgio Piola and Matt Somerfield look at the changes made to the steering wheel of Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg for 2016.

The steering wheels used in Formula 1 are amazingly complex pieces of kit and, whilst the teams have a design ethos that is provided to both of their drivers, each driver has their own calling cards that suit them ergonomically.

Let us take a look at how Nico Rosberg's steering wheel has changed for 2016, especially in light of the regulation changes surrounding the clutch release at race starts - which now means the drivers are only allowed to use one clutch paddle rather than the several previously being employed.

 

Rosberg's 2015 steering wheel, back view
Rosberg's 2015 steering wheel, back view

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Nico's new steering wheel retains the dual clutch paddle arrangement, albeit with a change in their shape, likely in response to how the paddle must be handled by the driver. At the start of the race, one of those paddles is made redundant and Nico must select which he'd prefer to use.

The gear change shifters are mounted on a single rocker, with the paddle tabs increased in width to suit the driver's requirements.

 

Ferrari SF15T and Ferrari SF16H steering wheels comparaison
Ferrari SF15T and Ferrari SF16H steering wheels comparison

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

As we've already seen, Ferrari has made changes to their steering wheels for 2016, which take into consideration the change in regulation, with just a single clutch paddle available to the drivers.

The quick starts made by both Ferrari drivers in Melbourne may have been, in part, due to the changes made to the physical start procedure implemented. However, the additional formation cannot be underestimated as a cause of the Mercedes drivers slow getaways either.

Undoubtedly, we will see changes implemented up and down the grid as each of the teams and then drivers react to the new regs.

Additional reporting by Matt Somerfield

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