That's fun you noticed that nowadays !
A lot of racing games are like that. I think the more noticeable is Formula One Grand Prix from Geoff Crammond.
Some games like F1 201x from Codemasters have the same feature. That can help when you don't play with a steering wheel, or with keyboard, or with an analogic joystick like those of the Atari ST, Amiga, etc...
So... that's just a feature !