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Inside Lotus F1 Racer Kimi Raikkonen’s Billion-Dollar Steering Wheel

Lotus F1 Wheel

Photo from the Lotus F1 team’s Twitter page

It’s no secret that Kimi Räikkönen is the crazy half of the Lotus F1 team, and Lotus thought it appropriate to fashion a new racing wheel hewing to his unique sensibilities. Judging by all the new buttons, it seems that Räikkönen frequently gets bored during GP races, and many of the new features are designed to keep his mind from atrophying.

A sat-nav feature is a wise addition, as he is known to occasionally get lost on the track during a race. A “Deploy Angry Bird” button references his countrymen at Rovio and “Banana” turns a normal F1 race into a 2400cc game of Mario Kart, although I would guess a blue shell would have a more desirable effect. “Like” and “Tweet” buttons are a necessity for anyone with 166,000 Twitter followers, and with the press of a single button, Räikkönen can mute his pit crew and call his mother instead. He can also enjoy a fresh Nestlé cone while on a particularly uninteresting straight, like the one immediately before and after the finishing line at the Melbourne GP circuit.

The “replacement” wheel was a neat gag by Lotus, who obviously understand their unusual driver and have a good sense of humor about the Internet’s fascination with him and his antics. Räikkönen and Romain Grosjean will be racing for Lotus in the upcoming 2013 season, which commences March 17 at the Australian Grand Prix

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About Cameron Rogers

Cameron Rogers is the founder and lead writer at Downshift Autos, the only automotive blog on the Internet*. Born in the back of an AMC Gremlin, Cameron vowed to never let this extraordinarily embarrassing detail define him, so help him God. He drives a GTI but absolutely will not shut up about it if somebody asks. He will not hesitate to let people know that no, they shouldn't get a Porsche 911 when a Morgan 3 Wheeler is so obviously the superior choice. He is obsessed with the seats of a Carrera GT and the steering wheel of a Fisker Karma. He once sat in the driver's seat of a Tesla Model S, his greatest accomplishment to date. He is just now realizing that writing an autobiography, however miniscule, in the third person is odd and unnerving. *As of this writing, Cameron has been informed that there are, in fact, many websites and blogs centered around cars and car culture. He regrets his grievous error.

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