In this edition of "Tech Tuesday" we focus on another essential component of our simulator: the pedals. This module, consisting of gas and brake pedals made of stainless steel, has a built-in mechanism for micromechanical adjustments of the pedal position. This allows the pedals to be quickly and precisely adjusted individually for each driver, thus ensuring an ergonomic posture.
Sitting in our simulator for the first time, you may be surprised at how stiff the brake pedal feels compared to the pedal in a road car. But in F1 cars it can be even stiffer! The braking system consists of a brake pump (see figure 1) and the brake calliper (see figure 2).
The braking process is very similar to that of a real car, except for the last step. The pressure exerted by your foot on the brake pedal is transmitted to the brake pump, which in turn transmits the pressure to the brake fluid. This cannot compress and so transmits the pressure, ideally evenly and without losses, to the pistons in the brake calliper. In a real car, this means that the brake pad is finally pressed against the brake disc and the vehicle is slowed down. However, as our simulators do not have wheels, the pressure in the brake fluid is measured by a professional and F1-accurate pressure sensor. The information collected is then transferred to the software to apply the actual force in the game.
There is also an elastic element in the brake calliper enables you to feel the needed braking pressure.
Acceleration is provided by the integrated linear position sensor device (potentiometer, see figure 3) with external coaxial spring (see figure 4). The potentiometer, an electrical component, transmits information on the position of the accelerator pedal. The spring around it gives the feeling of acceleration and allows the pedals to return to their rest positions as soon as foot pressure is released. The accelerator pedal and the general drive by wire are made entirely of aluminium.