Hooniverse Asks – What Does it All Mean???


Who hasn’t imagined themselves behind the wheel of an F1 car? In that daydream, you just hop in and set a new track record, showing all those “professionals” how it’s really done. If you could live out your fantasy in real life, however, they’d strap you in and then lock one of these wheels, looking more like a scientific calculator than the tiller from your Hyundai, in front of your sweaty palms. Can you decipher them all?

Hmm … ACK button or BOX button?

Of course, BMW isn’t technically associated with Sauber anymore, despite F1 ruling that Sauber must stick with the BMW name until the end of this year. But that shouldn’t detract from the awed “WHAAAAA?” sound your brain should make when you take in the incredible complexity of what sits in front of a driver as they guide one of the highest-performance machines on the planet against some of the most talented drivers. Hell, I don’t even like fiddling with the radio when I’m on the freeway lest I wander a bit in my lane. I can only imagine what sort of concentration it takes to correctly paw one of these switches with Jenson Button breathing down your neck through a long sweeper.
Click for a larger image.

There, I’ve gone and labelled all the components with my own yellow and red markings. Your challenge is to correctly name the purpose of all of these doodads and gimmicks. Are you as smart as a Teutonic F1 program engineer? There’s 27 individual functions to label, so you better get crackin’. There might be a prize in it for you! But we have to warn you that to determine a winner, we’re going to strap a laptop onto the wheel of a car and hit the skidpad as we go through the results and discuss prize options, so neither our lives or your satisfaction are guaranteed.
Oh, and I do realize that there’s no “N” in the labelled photo. Bonus points for the most creative function for the imaginary “N” switch.

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69 responses to “Hooniverse Asks – What Does it All Mean???”

  1. acarr260 Avatar

    W – CRUISE obviously means cruise control. I didn't know those cars could do 300 though. Impressive.
    M – Power Locks. I thought you just climbed into one of these things. Maybe this is a stripper model without the option packages.
    This should be fun

    1. SSurfer321 Avatar

      It didn't know there was an opportunity in a race to actually sustain 300mph long enough to warrant the use of the CRUISE!

      1. acarr260 Avatar

        Top Fuel… used for 0.1 seconds (if you can overcome the g-force and actually reach the button).

    2. DC175 Avatar

      That's almost certain to be KPH.

      1. acarr260 Avatar

        I assume you're right (I didn't designate mph/kph as that was a bit beside the point). I also assume that it's not really a cruise control.

        1. DC175 Avatar

          No I think it actually is. Pit Lanes have speed limits, so I wouldn't be surprised if that dialed a specific speed limiter when you were speed restricted like that.

  2. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

    S oviously controls the yrtne. Duh.

  3. P161911 Avatar

    N – Not going to win the race, blow engine to save face.

  4. Alff Avatar

    "BP" emits an oil slick on the track behind the car.

    1. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

      but they can drive somewhere else right?

  5. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

    Z is the Cathy button. When something goes wrong, it says "ACK!" for you.

    1. rovingardener Avatar

      No,no,no. Ack is for Bill the Cat.

  6. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

    And is that big blue and white thing in the middle the horn?

  7. engineerd Avatar

    That's immediately what I saw. I'm a dork, but I'm not alone.

  8. engineerd Avatar

    A = N
    There, I just defined the N button. Mathematically.

  9. smalleyxb122 Avatar

    How apropos that the gear indicator was given the letter G.

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

      Which is obviously why an F1 car wouldn't have an N-button.

      1. engineerd Avatar

        RBR tried to have an N button, but Ferrari complained.

        1. dr zero Avatar

          Was Webber in the prototype in Valencia?

  10. Goingincirclez Avatar

    I really wish "M" was a Pyro Laser. I have no idea what that would look like, but if anything deserves to combine a flamethrower and a laser, it should be a rogue F1 car.
    Also, you have to admire the decorum of the series. I'm pretty sure that "ACK" is code for "Oh Shit". Every car needs an "Oh Shit" button. At least that's what my passengers are always telling me.

  11. Alff Avatar

    I don't understand. Why not just make 10 the highest?

    1. Smells_Homeless Avatar

      But these go to 12!

      1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

        You have provided the only correct rebuttal, in its entirety.

  12. Baron Von Danger Avatar

    Z= ACK compiler

  13. chrystlubitshi Avatar

    interesting that you placed ZZ at the bottom… i always thought those two letters belonged somewhere else in terms of vertical arrangement… hmmm…

    1. Tiller188 Avatar

      Hah!
      I guess BMW/Sauber aren't fans?

  14. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

    The "N" is obviously the afterburner. <img src=http://www.corbisimages.com/images/67/2F016A5E-CFD0-4DF4-93A3-4CCDA05B6AAA/42-16028705.jpg>

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

      Why do I sense an "N Button" micromeme coming on?

      1. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

        N = fire or afterburner? I can live with that.

          1. Alex Kierstein Avatar

            Full of win. And fire.

          2. Goingincirclez Avatar

            Does it count if that happens when I shift to "N" from a rolling "D"?

          1. thomasmac Avatar

            If I recall correctly that is a one of 201 Z16 1965 Chevelle making it all the cooler.

      2. engineerd Avatar

        Hooray for Hoonmemes!
        Whoever is setting up the Wikipedia page needs to add this, as well as the PAH! meme.

        1. Deartháir Avatar

          What the hell happened to the Hooniverse Wikipedia page, anyhow?

          1. engineerd Avatar

            I don't know. I thought someone said they started one. Did it not get published? Did the Gawker empire remove it? Was it tagged as a terrorist organization by the US Department of State?

            1. Deartháir Avatar

              They got confused because of our specialisation in Weapons of Mass Distraction?

  15. Alff Avatar

    "U" summons a track girl.

  16. Smells_Homeless Avatar

    Well, I cheated to find out what they really mean and now I'm quite certain that I would kill myself before I could even get out of the pits.

    1. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

      I concluded that when Hammond tried to drive the junior Indy car. If someone used to insane supercars has that much trouble, I'm certain I'd burst into flames when I sat down.

      1. SSurfer321 Avatar

        That's because you sat on the "N" button.

        1. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

          So that's where they hid it!

    2. engineerd Avatar

      I've known what they all mean. I think I could figure out the radio.

  17. Alff Avatar

    You, sir, are a genius. There's no other possible explanation.

    1. Tim Odell Avatar

      You two are the same person, aren't you?

      1. Alff Avatar

        There are (at least) six of us.

  18. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

    Seriously, though, I would guess that "ACK" (Z) has something to do with the comm or telemetry signal.
    And could the "SC" on button ZZ stand for supercharger, like some kind of manual wastegate dump or something? Not having followed F1 for at least, like, 15 years, I really don't have a clue what sort of forced induction these things use nowadays, and my lunch break is nearly over. I have not zapped my frozen ravioli yet, so I'm not going to bother researching it. Sosumi.

    1. DC175 Avatar

      I would bet that's a limiter of some sort for when the Safety Car is out.

  19. Matt Avatar

    I have also cheated, and have everything in list format. Some are kind of weird, but for the most part, it all makes logical sense.

  20. Baron Von Danger Avatar

    From what I remember last time looking at these steering wheel controls:
    A= Neutral
    B= Water? maybe
    E= Data Display (not sure which selection it is showing)
    G= Gear indicator
    H= Flag Indicator
    J= Radio
    M= Pit Lane limiter
    P= Rear sensor
    Q= Fuel mixture
    R= Pedal sensitivity
    S= Forward sensor
    T= Wing down force adjustment
    U= Pit button or team notification/info button, something like that
    X= Selection for the Digital Display "E" (guessing)
    Y= Tire type selector
    ZZ= Scrolls the display screen
    I will update if I remember more
    *edit #4, can't stare at the pic any longer. I might have to guess for the rest. I have seen the plus/minus buttons before, but no clue what the plus or minus. K/C could be the engine start/brake. I don't know what the hell "D" could be.

  21. scroggzilla Avatar

    My dear boy, in my day, we didn't need buttons for such things.
    <img src="http://www.skippyforums.com/forums/gallery/files/1/244516.jpg"&gt;

      1. Deartháir Avatar

        Lucky bastard.

  22. dmilligan Avatar

    I haven't been following F1 closely for many years, essentially since Senna died. I am aware that they keep adding rules that prohibit driver changes to the car's suspension and aerodynamics while he's racing. So I'm mystified that the driver of a modern F1 car would even need that many switches and buttons. Obviously, I don't know dick about todays F1 cars.

    1. Mr_Biggles Avatar

      I think you hit it right on. Few of the buttons actually DO anything. Those wacky Germans are trying to impress the car-betties and baffle the rest of us.

      1. engineerd Avatar

        Or they know their own history with electronics and have built in plenty of redundancy.

  23. Goingincirclez Avatar

    Aww. I was imagining a call for a spiff… but then I suppose people might take issue with all the alcohol sponsors.

  24. fisheater Avatar

    Y = martini order
    N = remove BMW badging

  25. rovingardener Avatar

    Again, Ack is for Bill the Cat.

    1. BGW Avatar

      Personally, I'm pleased that it's been 54 minutes since you posted that comment and no "It's a trap" references yet.
      Wait…Dammit.

      1. Tim Odell Avatar

        Dammit!

    2. Tim Odell Avatar

      It's a TRAP!

  26. joshuman Avatar

    In addition to these buttons there is also a brake bias adjuster, front wing adjuster, the gear shift up and down, a hand clutch or two, master kill switch, the marshal's neutral button on the cockpit surround, the F-duct opening (this year only), and probably a few more switches. That neutral button is my vote for N.

  27. joshuman Avatar

    H should be the FIA warning indicator for safety car deployment or red flag.

  28. dr zero Avatar

    I remember reading in Evo once that most of the sponsors logos are actually painted on, so that there wouldn't be any interference in the aerodynamics from decals.

  29. jjd241 Avatar

    Here is a cheat sheet with all the answers!
    http://www.superherostuff.com/images/mach_5_butto

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