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Video: this is how steering wheels have evolved

Prepare to have your mind blown at how technology has changed the art of turning

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A steering wheel is quite a crucial part of a racing car, especially when you get to a corner. But the design of these once standardly circular devices has drastically evolved over the decades – probably more than any other fundamental component of the car.

To think that the first cars on the road were steered by tillers sounds a bit mad nowadays. Especially when you look at what Nico Rosberg had his hands on to weave his Formula One car to secure the World Championship in Abu Dhabi last weekend.

Thankfully, the creative folks at Donut Media have made a natty little video to show us exactly how far things have come.

Using wheels from the Racing Hall of Fame – ones that have been gripped by racing legends from the 1950s up to present day, no less – they fast-forward through history to see how technology has really changed the game of turning.

Starting with Stirling Moss’ incredibly simple aluminium and wood wheel from 1957, the three-minute video zips through an incredibly diverse number of diameters, textures and technology before it all starts getting a bit mad in the late eighties.

This is when electronics became more prevalent and took the wheel from simply being the thing that turned the front wheels into Mission Control. There’s the inclusion of quick release, shift lights, hand clutch paddles, brake bias, fuel settings, carbon fibre construction – the works. And all of this was going on while the humble circle wheel had its top, then bottom lopped off in the pursuit of lightness, until we get to the carbon Skittle-covered bow-tie F1 wheel of the modern day.

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