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Tech insight - Alonso’s ergonomic clutch paddles

22 Nov 2017

McLaren’s Fernando Alonso is well known as one of the fastest race starters in the business. How does he do it? Only the double world champion himself knows the full answer, but the below must certainly help…

Steering wheel designs have become ever more intricate this year, particularly in the shape of the paddles that control the clutch. Like several other teams, McLaren have gone down the route of ergonomically designed holes into which the driver can insert his fingers. With a very soft spring, this concept gives the driver better feel and control over the clutch, and also allows him to disengage it quickly. This drawing, by renowned F1 technical illustrator, shows Alonso’s set-up.