Made from carbon fiber, each wheel can cost $50,000; they have to unlatch in less than five seconds for emergencies, and the weight-saving cutouts along the bottom are possible because they never turn more than 3/4ths of a circle from lock to lock.
Each F1 team has a different setup, but the basic layout is similar: Buttons and toggle switches control on-off functions, from this year’s adjustable rear wing to engaging neutral gear. The dials can be used to vary torque, differentials, brakes, clutches, engine rev limits and anything else a team can dream up. The display on top relays shifting point alerts and messages from race managers, and if the drivers need to hydrate while in the cockpit, they can even control their in-helmet beverage system with the “drink” button.
The revival of the KERS hybrid system has also added a button and dial back to the controls — and FIA also only allows the adjustable rear wing to be deployed in certain places along the track.