What are the best options for F1 seats & cockpits for my sim racing rig?

OP formula rig from Overpower.gg

Featured image: OP Formula Rig from Overpower.gg

If you’re planning to buy or build an F1 sim racing cockpit but you’re not quite sure where to start, this definitive guide will provide you with all the information you need to make an informed choice. Just as there are many motorsport disciplines in real life, so too are there many shapes and styles of sim racing cockpits and seats on the market to accommodate different forms of driving.

I’d like to preface this guide by stating that no matter what type of F1 cockpit you use, it’s essential to check if your racing hardware – i.e ., your wheelbase, pedal set, etc. – is compatible with the solution you choose. While you may prefer the aesthetics or materials of one cockpit/seat over another, it’ll be no use if you can’t even bolt your wheel to it, so always check the fine print to confirm compatibility, and if it’s not mentioned, contact the manufacturer before making any final decisions.

Treq Formula Rig with F1 bucket seat option.
Treq Formula Rig with F1 bucket seat option. “8020” aluminum profile opens a lot of possibilities for a great F1 rig build

What choices do I have for an F1 simulator?

The main difference between F1 cockpits and seats compared to more conventional sim racing rigs is their sloped driving position, which replicates how real F1 drivers sit in their cars. Therefore, choosing the proper cockpit and seat for your F1 needs will significantly impact your overall experience in your racing simulator. Whether you buy a bundled package that includes a seat and cockpit as an all-in-one unit or purchase these items individually, it’s essential to pay attention to a few crucial factors when putting an F1 rig together.

To keep things simple, I’ll break this guide down into three parts:

F1 Cockpits:

F1 Sim Racing Seats:

If you’re looking for the quickest and easiest way to get into F1 sim racing, all-in-one cockpits are probably the best choice. Most, if not all, of the recommendations I’ve made below, offer fantastic realism, rigidity, and a lot of hardware compatibility, but you’re somewhat limited to its design features, and there may not be much room for expansion depending on the model you buy.

Mercedes W12 in iRacing

However, if you’d like something more bespoke, and if you’ve got the time (and patience!) to build your own DIY cockpit, then the design and expansion possibilities are essentially endless. You can construct an aluminum profile frame, make the entire thing out of wood, or use a combination of materials to piece your rig together, and then you can choose the perfect F1 seat to slot into your design.

As for pricing, it’s not all that easy to say which solution offers the most value for money. Some all-in-ones at the lower end of the spectrum are very affordable, but they may lack the ability to handle the forces of some direct drive wheelbases or load cell pedals. On the flip side of that, high-quality all-in-ones can carry a hefty price tag, but you can guarantee the rock-solid mounting necessary for powerful hardware. With DIY solutions, it’s all down to which materials you select for your build. If you want to save money, sometimes DIY is the way to go so long as you’re careful about design choices and don’t worry too much about appearances. Conversely, if you decide to utilize the strongest materials and opt for lavish decorations, your DIY build could become the biggest money pit you can imagine!

All-in-one F1 sim racing cockpits

When you just want to mount your hardware and get on with driving, all-in-one F1 cockpits are the answer, but then comes the decision of which one to buy. Well, as I mentioned earlier, there is a fair amount of choice in this market segment nowadays, and all brands and even models have distinct attributes. As with all sim racing cockpits, things to look for include build quality, strength, and rigidity. Plus, keep in mind the available space you have, how powerful your equipment is, and how much you want to spend.

Here is my recommended selection of F1 cockpits, listed according to price in ascending order.

Race-X Pro by Sim-lab

This is such a nice-looking rig, from the very well-known manufacturer, Sim-Lab. It will obviously have all the support and hardware compatibility you’ll need:

The Race-X Pro from Sim-Lab

In terms of the (flat) wheel mounting plate and pedal base, the pedal and wheelbase compatibility is far-reaching. There’s an option to include a seat in the order, although of course, the Race-X uses standard bracket fittings, so you can pick from a wide range of sim racing seats.

This rig will accommodate any Fanatec wheel, it’s likely going to have a lot of CSL DDs attached to it. It’s also Moza compatible so an R5 or R9 would be a good equivalent to the CSL DD.

As for the best pedals, my choice would be Heusinkveld Sprints, but it will accommodate any Fanatec pedal too.

OverPower OP Formula

Finnish company Overpower.gg have an array of standard and Formula-style cockpits, all made and designed in Finland from environmentally friendly materials. Their rigs really stand out as an escape from the standard “8020” style aluminium extrusion is barely used. This is, however, is a highly versatile and solid F1 sim rig.

OverPower OP Formula

As you can see there’s a minimalism to the design which is really appealing, but don’t let that fool you – this Formula rig is strong and incredibly stiff. It’s compatible with all of the best-known sim pedals and direct-drive wheels. It comes with a thick neoprene cushion which serves as an ergonomic elastic base, very much like a real F1 seat. Minimal, light but strong.

Overpower offers variations of this design at varying price ranges and the OP Child Formula is an F1 cockpit for kids. What’s really nice about Overpower is that they will work with you to customise the finish of your rig to match the surroundings. These really take a nice approach and are highly worthy of an addition to our list. Take a look.


At a very reasonable €525.00, it’s impossible to ignore this aluminum profile F1 rig from Treq:

Treq Formula Sim Rig
Treq Formula Sim Rig (formula seat available separately)

Built-in 8020 profile and custom brackets, this rig offers compatibility with all Logitech, Thrustmaster, Fanatec and Accuforce wheels. It’s highly adjustable and overall a really versatile, reasonably priced entry-level F1 cockpit.

iSimRS F-SIM 2.0

Moving up the price ladder a little further, we have the iSimRS F-SIM 2.0. With its retro-arcade appearance, it certainly looks the part, while its materials and design features ensure a rock-solid base for your equipment.

iSimRS F-SIM 2.0
iSimRS F-SIM 2.0

It features fully adjustable positioning for your wheel and peddles, and the rig is compatible with the most up-to-date sim hardware. The seating position is also adjustable thanks to the sliding rail making the iSimRS F-SIM 2.0 ideal for multiple drivers, and the additional adjustable headrest ensures maximum comfort while driving.

SRC-FX Formula Chassis

Going back to aluminum profile rigs, we have the heavy-duty SRC-FX Formula Chassis, which offers thicker-than-standard 90x45mm anodized aluminum profiles, making it incredibly strong. This means it can provide extra stiffness and support for your racing hardware and is capable of handling almost any direct drive wheelbase or top-of-the-line pedal set. Of course, all the mounting solutions are fully adjustable.

SRC-FX Formula Chassis
SRC-FX Formula Chassis

The rig also comes with a handcrafted formula racing seat which offers the perfect sloped driving position for F1 racing and features thick cushioning to ensure comfort. While it may not be the prettiest-looking rig on the list, you can guarantee it is one of the toughest.

Bernax Cockpit Simulator

At the top end of the all-in-one market, the Bernax Cockpit Simulator offers all the compatibility, functionality, and sturdiness you could ever want or need, all the while looking like some kind of aerodynamic time machine.

Bernax F1 Cockpit simulator
Bernax F1 Cockpit simulator

What stands out most about the Bernax Cockpit Simulator is the level of customization offered by the manufacturer, who can tailor each rig to your exact specifications. Some options include motion capabilities, integrated speaker systems, a leather-lined interior, and a range of color choices.

DIY F1 Cockpits

If you’re reading this segment, then it’s safe to say you’re ready to get your hands dirty and build something unique. This method obviously takes a lot more planning, but the rewards may be worth it if you’re willing to put in the effort.

Open Sim Rigs

A quick search on Google will show you various ways people have built sim rigs from all sorts of materials. However, it can sometimes be hard to imagine how it was put together from what we see in pictures. For this reason, I think one of the best ways to start a DIY rig is with a set of blueprints such as those found on the Open Sim Rigs (OSR) website. You’ll find a collection of rig designs and build instructions, as well as a complete list of the parts needed to construct a DIY frame.

SUPER SPORT - F1 - design on Open Sim Rigs
SUPER SPORT – F1 – design on Open Sim Rigs

Having a solid foundation will ensure maximum strength and rigidity for your rig, and from there, you can customise it however you like. Some of the best examples of F1 rigs I found on OSR include plans for a SUPER SPORT F1 RIG – 40 SERIES and a SUPER SPORT FORMULA – 8020 – 40 OR 15 SERIES. I highly recommend browsing through the collection to find the best solution for your needs and checking out the blog section, which is full of valuable tips for building a DIY cockpit.

True DIY

If you’re confident enough in your handyman abilities, maybe a set of IKEA-Esque instructions is considered cheating. In that case, your best route will be to put your design skills to the test and draw up your own plans. There are plenty of examples of people who have done exactly that, and some of the results are simply stunning.

A fully DIY F1 simulator cockpit
A fully DIY F1 simulator cockpit (source)

For some inspiration, have a look at this Mercedes F1 sim cockpit built entirely from wood. Of course, if you’ve got the time, patience, and budget, there’s nothing to stop you from replicating an entire F1 car chassis to add another layer of immersion to your sim racing.

While planning your DIY cockpit, keep in mind to provide strong mounting points for your wheel and pedals or any other hardware you may have and remember that you will need to integrate a seat into the design. Monitors are another consideration unless you plan to go down the VR route.

F1 Seats for Sim Racing

If you’ve opted for a DIY F1 cockpit, then at some point, you’ll need to select an F1 sim racing seat.

When ordering a racing seat, one thing to keep in mind is its size. Usually, the most important measurement to get right is the width of the seat from one bolster to another, as this will determine how much support your legs will have while driving. Also, remember that F1 seats differ from other racing seats in the sloped driving position they provide, so here I’ve listed some of the best options for you to drop into your DIY build.

Sparco Formula Gaming Seat

The Sparco GP Formula Gaming Seat from the industry-leading manufacturer makes an ideal solution for your F1 rig. It features a firm outer shell to ensure a solid connection with your cockpit, while the adjustable cushioning provides enough comfort to let you play for hours.

Sparco GP Formula Gaming Seat

Tillett Racing Seats

Tillett Racing is a professional maker of high-quality karting seats, but you can also use many of their designs for your F1 sim racing cockpit. Have a look through their collection of ‘W-model’ seats, which of fantastic support and driving positions for F1 racing.

A Tillet bucket racing seat approved for Motorsport. Made from carbon!
A Tillet bucket racing seat approved for Motorsport. Made from carbon!


Another very reputable producer of sim racing seats is LUSOMOTORS, and for your F1 needs, check out their MK8-1S model. This is a highly-durable yet extremely comfortable racing seat, available in various sizes to suit different body shapes.


SimLab SF1 Formula Seat

Finally, our top-shelf offering is the SF1 Formula Sim Seat from none other than SIM LAB, one of the most trusted brands in the world of digital motorsport.

SimLab SF1

This seat ticks all boxes and offers everything you’d expect from a SIM LAB product; high-quality materials throughout, ergonomic design, and maximum rigidity and durability. 

I’ve chosen my F1 cockpit and seat, what next?

The wheelbase

All of the cockpits we’ve looked at today are compatible with the major wheel manufacturers. If in any doubt, always enquire with the retailer. For me, I’m a huge Simucube 2 Pro fan – the higher torque available via any direct drive wheel will be a far more fulfilling experience. Formula cars tend to have heavier steering and require more strength to drive than a GT car with power steering and so starting with direct drive would provide a far more realistic F1 experience.

The excellent Simucube 2 Pro is all the direct-drive wheelbase for F1 you'll ever need
The excellent Simucube 2 Pro is all the direct-drive wheelbase for F1 you’ll ever need

The pedals

The pedals come next. Again, I’m personally of the opinion that you should be braking at Formula car forces (anything from 30kg to 150kg if you have the strength!). So A set of Heusinkveld Sprint pedals are still the go-to choice for approximately 600EUR, despite having been around for ages they’re just such good pedals. If you want to take the brake pressure level higher and get a hydraulic sensation for additional realism, then it has to be the Heusinkveld Ultimate+.

I’ve also recently tested the Pagani SimSports pedals from Asetek. The feel of the brake is perhaps the closest you’ll get to an F1 car:

pagani huayra pedals from Asetek
Pagani SimSports pedals from Asetek

If the budget is a little too high for the Pagani variant then the Invicta pedal is a more comfortably priced item with the same braking system.

For a full list of your pedal choices, check out our guide.

Enjoy shopping around and making your ultimate F1 simulator shopping list!

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What are the best options for F1 seats & cockpits for my sim racing rig?