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Why Are F1 Steering Wheels So Expensive?

Introduction

The price range of an F1 steering wheel will shock anyone who’s asking about it for the first time, especially if they don’t know all the cool specs it offers. So why are racing wheels so expensive?

We have the answers to the above question right here. The cost of getting an F1 steering wheel is included, of course.

In the end, you’ll see whether or not the products are worth your money. Rest assured that race teams aren’t spending that much money to show off.

  1. F1 Steering Wheel Cost

F1 cars are worth about $10 million to $15 million depending on the design. It shows that the parts are high-cost products.

For example, the powertrain (engine, driveline components, and transmission) can take most of the overall cost of buying the vehicle with a price range that starts from $5 million to $10 million.

Now for the F1 steering wheel… It can cost about $40,000 to $100,000. However, it could be more than $100,000 million depending on the level of sophistication. You’d be looking at 3× to 5× the above price range when you factor in how many times racing teams have to change their steering wheels in a year (three to five times). The possible costs are unbelievably high, right?

Visit Automohub.com to get expert reviews and buyer’s guides about all kinds of racing car accessories, F1 racing ties, and other parts, etc. 

  1. How Do They Work?

Steering wheels are easy to operate once you’ve had enough practice—regardless of their complicated look. However, you should have an idea of how they work apart from knowing why they’re so big-budget. Visit Toolsbible to get expert recommendation and how the performance & deployment of the internal combustion engine(MGU-K and MGU-H) controls the Power Unit modes and allow the driver to change the car’s settings on F1 steering wheels.

The following can be done with the aid of the controls on an F1 steering wheel which can have as many as 20-something buttons:

  • Interfacing and menu navigation on the in-built display screen. For example; differential adjustment, engine power settings, front and rear brake balance, data display options, etc.
  • Vehicle steering/directional changes.
  • Car setup switch.
  • Clutch control.
  • Differential adjustments (rear-wheel torque transmission).
  • Braking pressure settings.
  • Dispensation of water to the driver.
  • Wheel contact angle changes.
  • Radio communication (with the engineers in the pit).
  • Pit lane speed limit option.
  • Power (strat) mode settings.
  • Honking.
  • “Fail” modes for car computer reset.
  • Overtake button for an extra boost.
    • System battery recharge option.

What Are the Advantages of a Racing Steering Wheel?

  • It does almost the same things that a regular type can do, but with more advanced functionalities.
  • It contains additional features such as electronic shifting systems, pre-wired buttons, transmission lock systems, etc.
  • It’s lighter than the regular type due to the combination of materials used in the construction process. The materials may include carbon fiber, copper, fiberglass, gold, silicon, titanium, etc.
  • Many racing steering wheel brands are flatter than the normal types which enhance driving convenience.
  • It cushions the impact of your chest with the racing collapsible steering column during accidents.
  1. Why Are F1 Steering Wheels So Expensive?

In other words, why are racing wheels so expensive? Now is the time to answer that question and we have 4 points for you…

These are six reasons explains why F1 racing wheels so expensive

  1. Technological Advancement and Ever-Changing Individual Racing Team Requirements

Steering wheel replacements are made due to new tech, accidents, expert recommendations, and so on. The steering wheel would also have to be changed if the in-car system is modified to accommodate new tech, make the vehicle faster, or ensure safety. In fact, other accessories that come with F1 racing cars, even external parts, are also affected by the above changes, such as the diagnostic tools

Sometimes, the transformation may be extensive. Other times, it may be very narrow in scope. However it is, the transformations take a considerably high amount of money. Some notable additions to F1 steering wheel specs over the years include the following:

  • Airbags
  • Cruise control buttons
  • Volume control
  • Built-in display screens
  • Some back-of-the-wheel paddles, rotary switches, and scroll wheels
  1. They’re Custom-Made and Limited in Number

Since they’re custom-made, F1 steering wheels can take about 50 to 80 hours to make. This period range isn’t surprising when you think about the high-tech design specs involved. If they take that long to make, it means that very few are available for the market.

  1. Sophisticated Computer Functionalities

There are many buttons on the steering wheel which perform several digital functions. These roles are made possible with electronic engineering (e.g. buttons and wiring), firmware, software, server-side code, and so on. These are mostly hand-made features!

So imagine having to customize this part of the vehicle with all the state-of-the-art specs it offers. It’s going to take a lot of time and money to make.

  1. They’re Designed for Ease of Vehicle Operation when Driving

F1 steering wheels are expensive because they’re designed for the optimal convenience of the driver during the most challenging of races (race tracks). Everything is custom-made even to the driver’s hand grip measurements. They’re not like the everyday car types which are designed for less demanding conditions and fewer personalization features.

Materials used in making the wheels are of high quality as seen in the list given earlier. They range from the lightest to the strongest of materials.

Normally, race cars are designed to suit race tracks. It’s only right that the steering wheels get an ergonomic design based on the driver’s preferences from button layouts to grip material. Asides from that, drivers need to keep their hands on the steering wheel for the entire race. Therefore, it should have all the necessary controls in proximity.

On a closer look, some steering wheels look like “advanced” video game controllers with their double-grip design, buttons, screen, LEDs, and so on. They’re aesthetically captivating even with their complex appearance.

VI. Conclusion

Now you have enough reasons as answers to this question: Why are racing wheels so expensive? In summary, they’re custom-made to suit the requirements of race teams who desire periodic modifications made possible by technological advancement to get the best results.

F1 race teams are getting value for their money with the number of benefits that the sophisticated steering wheels have to offer. Even makers of regular cars are adopting steering wheel technology used in Formula 1 as well as other motorsports. For example, steering wheel-mounted paddles.



The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Possible typo?

    However, it could be more than $100,000 million depending on the level of sophistication.

    “$100,000 million”

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