Audi Press Release
- New cockpit design optimizes operation of controls
- Better seating position enlarges field of vision
- Active safety is enhanced
The range of tasks is growing: The Audi drivers not only have to pay the same attention to safety, speed and precision on track as before, but now have to get an exact handle on efficiency as well. The maximum consumption per lap specified by the regulations requires utmost discipline to avoid penalties. To make optimal concentration easier, the drivers’ work in the cockpit should involve as little effort as possible.
The innovations start in the foot well. The drivers no longer operate the clutch using a foot pedal but by means of paddles behind the steering wheel. “This is a principle I’m already familiar with from other race car categories which makes it easier to operate the clutch,” says Audi factory driver Lucas di Grassi describing the advantages.
The configuration of the controls between the dashboard and the steering wheel has changed as well. “Our objective was for the driver to be able to reach all the functions he frequently uses as easily as possible without having to take his hands off the wheel,” explains Chris Reinke, Head of LMP at Audi Sport. One of the new features is a multi-functional rotary switch for selecting tasks that used to be performed by using various controls. Two push-buttons make it possible for the driver to easily change individual functions to adjust the car’s balance, for instance through traction control or brake force distribution. As balance changes when the fuel load decreases, the driver can quickly readjust the set-up of his race car this way.
So the new Audi R18 e-tron quattro is not only a particularly efficient race car but ergonomically superior to its predecessors as well. “The new ergonomics help our drivers concentrate on the optimal lap even better than before,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “In total, this enhances their performance capacity and adds to active safety.”