Our 3D animation details the changes made by Ferrari for the 2016 season

By: Giorgio Piola, Technical Editor
Co-author: Matt Somerfield, Assistant Technical Editor

Ferrari is the only team, thus far, to have reacted to the single paddle gearshift requirement Formula 1 was hit with at the start of the season.

The FIA, keen to put the controls back into the drivers’ hands, issued a technical directive last year, stipulating that for 2016 the clutch could only be operated by a single mechanism – and a single hand - when moving away from the start.

This has led to some interesting race starts so far, with Ferrari perhaps at the top of the movers and shakers charts.

Ferrari SF15T and Ferrari SF16H steering wheels comparison

Ferrari's reaction was to change its wheel design with immediacy, taking away erroneous controls and replacing them with a design that better facilitates its needs.

As such, Ferrari replaced the quadruple paddle clutch arrangement used in last year’s design with a large singular paddle.

It has a much longer throw, giving Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen a lot more modulation with which to control the clutch.

Our 3D animation details the changes made by Ferrari for the 2016 season, whilst also looking at the differences between Vettel and Raikkonen's wheels.

Of course, the other teams are likely to react sooner rather than later, making changes not only to the steering wheel mechanism as Ferrari has but also to the clutch assembly itself – something Mercedes has already asked Daimler for assistance with.

Rosberg's 2016 steering wheel, back view

For a comparison to see how different Ferrari’s design in, Nico Rosberg’s wheel still features the twin paddle clutch arrangement underneath the gear shifters.

While only one paddle is responsible for the clutch, it is likely that the engineers have disabled the other paddles to stop the driver from engaging it by mistake whilst under the pressure of a race start.

Source: Motorsport.com

Be part of something big