To all the F1 enthusiasts out there, you would’ve surely wondered how those flitting tiny beasts are manoeuvred so efficiently. Of course it takes talent, but it also takes a lot of buttons and paddles. Wonder no more, you kindred souls. In an interview with GQ, Former Formula 1 racer David Coulthard takes us through the toggles on the Red Bull Racing Team’s car.

Disclaimer: These would not be the same for ALL the Formula 1 cars out there.

1. These are called engine modes. The driver toggles between the options using this button. This control also helps overwrite various rotary switch and multi functional rotary switch settings. 

2. The paddle at the back is the gear lever.

3. These are the clutches. Although the car has just one clutch, there are two paddles. “When you leave the garage on a right hand circuit, it’s difficult to operate down here. As you leave an anti clockwise circuit, you use that lever,” explained Coulthard. How handy, right?

4 . This is the neutral button which is pressed when the driver arrives at the pit stop.

5. This one, called the ‘Warm’ button is used when the rear tyres need to be cooled off. This is what makes sure that the car does not spin up too much. Ignorance of this could lead to crash and burn.

6. This red button is what’s called the pit limit. This is what keeps the car from exceeding the speed limit while coming down the track.

7. If there are wets or intermediates on with your tyres, the circumference would differ. When the driver presses this button, he allows the adjustment of circumference of the tyres. Those colours around the dial indicate degradation state.

8. This shows the fuel usage. If the usage is high, the driver needs to clean the engine. That, in turn would cost a little bit of time.

9. If the clutch paddle does not behave, here’s what can be used instead.

10. That’s the king of buttons of the steering wheel, the drink button.

11. That’s what you use when you want to break balance forward or backward- meet the break balance button.

12. The Drag Resuction System (DRS) is what comes in handy for overtaking manoeuvres. This is mostly found at the back, and there’s a lever to open up the rear wing on the straight.

Could this be any cooler?

Feat Image source: McLaren