F1 cars are gorgeous, icons of engineering that look as good sitting still as they do roaring down a track at 200 miles per hour. But one of the most beguiling components is one that you only get a good look at when you’re in the cockpit – the steering wheel. Crafted from carbon fibre, packed with controls and with a full colour screen in the centre pumping out information on brake bias, sector times and engine modes, these steering wheels are beautiful pieces of kit in their own right – even if F1 drivers occasionally toss them out of the cockpit in anger after spinning off into a gravel trap.
One of the most famous steering wheels in F1 comes from Ferrari’s stables, that of the 2020-spec SF1000, and it’s this one that forms the basis of Thrustmaster’s special T818 Ferrari SF1000 simulator that I’ve been testing for the past few weeks. It’s the ultimate racing setup for Ferrari fans, with the prancing horse logo emblazoned on the centre of the carbon fibre steering wheel and ‘Rosso Corsa’ – Italian racing red – panels on the T818 10Nm wheel base.
At £940/$1099, it’s hardly in impulse buy territory, but if you want a high-end direct drive wheel for playing the Formula 1 games and other PC racing titles, this certainly fits the bill. After several weeks of testing the wheel, base and Thrustmaster’s T-LCM pedals, I’ve got to say I’m impressed – but before committing to a purchase of this magnitude you should know what you’re getting yourself into.