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Analysis - Nico Rosberg, wheel to wheel

03 Apr 2016

The Formula One steering wheel evolves year on year, taking on new design and functionality requirements, and adapting to individual driver requests and ergonomic preferences.

In the two drawings above from renowned technical illustrator Giorgio Piola we can see the differences between Nico Rosberg’s 2015 steering wheel and that on his latest Mercedes.

Despite the rule changes for 2016 which dictate that only one paddle may be used to release the clutch for race starts, Rosberg has opted to retain a dual-paddle clutch arrangement (lower red arrows).

The paddles’ shape, however, has been revised, with one - of Rosberg’s choosing - remaining redundant for the start. Similarly the shape of the gear change shifter, as in 2015 mounted on a single central rocker, has been altered to suit the driver, with slightly wider paddles than before (right arrow).

Rosberg’s approach contrasts with that of Ferrari, who as seen previously below have moved to a single-clutch paddle arrangement for 2016 - a move which appeared to pay dividends with their fast starts at the Melbourne season opener.