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F1 tech explained: Paddy Lowe on the mysteries of the F1 steering wheel

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F1 tech explained: Paddy Lowe on the mysteries of the F1 steering wheel
Jul 17, 2016, 10:12 PM

In the latest of a our occasional series of videos, Mercedes F1 technical boss Paddy Lowe takes us behind the scenes at the Mercedes factory and, a...

In the latest of a our occasional series of videos, Mercedes F1 technical boss Paddy Lowe takes us behind the scenes at the Mercedes factory and, against the backdrop of Lewis Hamilton’s 2015 F1 world championship winning car, explains the secrets of an F1 steering wheel.

This is very topical at the moment with the row over team radio restrictions and what a team can and cannot tell its driver. Lewis Hamilton fell foul of this in Baku when he found himself in the wrong engine mode and the team could not tell him how to make the changes on his steering wheel to the mode.

Paddy shows the complexity of a current 2016 F1 steering wheel, how the clutch and gear paddles work as well as the display on which the drivers rely so heavily now that they are limited on radio instructions.

Paddy Lowe is one of the judges in this year’s F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize, the crowdsourcing challenge. This year there are two challenges around Virtual Reality projects.

The second challenge is live now – so get involved!

Challenge 2 has been set by Paddy and the Mercedes F1 team, who want fans with a technical interest to suggest ways that VR and AR can improve their communications between the track and the staff working remotely at their UK factory to boost competitiveness. This is going to be a big growth area in the next few years, so this challenge is right at the cutting edge of F1 thinking.

Currently, the two teams of engineers come up with a race strategy, review component changes and resolve any issues using audio communications and two-way video feeds between the track and the factory. The objective is to show how this collaboration could be enhanced using VR or AR during mid-season tests, practice, qualifying or race day, helping the two teams to become a more closely integrated unit, and ultimately boosting the drivers’ competitiveness.

Six winners of Challenges 1 and 2 will get to go behind the scenes with Mercedes and with F1 Management at the US Grand Prix in Austin in October where the Grand Prize winner will receive a cheque for US$50,000.

To find out more and to take part in the challenge go to the FCIP website.
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