Last updated: September 28th, 2023
Featured image: Mick Schumacher in a Pro-Sim rig and Gomez Sim Industries Formula Pro Elite Wheel
Naturally, we’re all very proud of our sim builds, it doesn’t matter if you’ve had to compromise and build to a budget, or you might just be getting started and looking for inspiration.
But what are the professional drivers running? What do their rigs look like? Let’s take a look.
- Fernando Alonso
- Philip Eng
- Jehan Daruvala
- Juan Pablo Montoya
- Max Verstappen
- Lando Norris
- Sergio Perez
- Timo Glock
- Romain Grosjean
- Antonio Giovinazzi
- Sophia Floersch
- Nicholas Latifi
- Bruno Spengler
Fernando Alonso’s sim racing setup
The man who needs no introduction was very prolific during the Covid-19 lockdown era, arguably the time that sim racing as a sport really hit the mainstream. The Race hosted a series of special events which included an F1 driver series that included Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button, and some big names in motorsport:
Fernando Alonso’s home sim racing setup is pretty simple compared to the works Aston Martin simulator:
It’s perhaps not well known that outside of F1, Fernando Alonso is an investor and member of the board of directors of MotorSport Games, which includes Zak Brown (Mclaren CEO) or Gerard Neveu (former WEC CEO) and Dmitry Kozko as CEO of MGS. Critically, Motorsport Games own the rights to the simulated annual Le Mans on rFactor2.
His sim setup is relatively simple:
- Fanatec DD2 F1 bundle.
- Allinsport hydraulic pedals and cockpit
- Samsung G9
- Sim Racing PC – impossible to tell the specification but I’m sure it’ll be a nice one!
Philipp Eng is an Austrian professional racing driver, and BMW Motorsport works driver. He also owns an impressive sim racing rig with a range of high-quality components. Admittedly this update is actually from around 202 so I suspect by now he’ll have changed that wheelbase!
At the heart of Eng’s sim setup is the now obsolete CSL Wheelbase. It’s probable that Fanatec has supplied their DD2 or even an 8Nm CSL DD which are arguably two of the best direct drive wheels you can buy. In the picture, you can see the Fanatec CSW BMW V2 wheel, again it’s likely he has the new BMW M4 GT3 wheel instead!
To fully immerse himself in the experience, Eng uses a Samsung C49RG90SSR monitor with a massive 49-inch curved screen and a high resolution of 5120 x 1440 pixels. With a 120 Hz refresh rate (the G9 will do 240hz, just by the way!) and a low 1ms response time, this gaming monitor provides incredibly smooth and clear visuals.
The Simlab P1-X Black cockpit is the perfect base for Eng’s sim racing rig, providing a sturdy and adjustable frame that can accommodate drivers of all shapes and sizes.
In conclusion, Phillip Eng’s sim racing rig is an impressive setup that combines some of the best components in the industry.
Jehan Daruvala (born 1 October 1998) is an Indian racing driver currently competing in the FIA Formula 2 Championship with Prema Racing.
Jehan’s setup has been built and provided by Cool Performance, specifically he is running their F1 style simulator which includes a custom direct drive wheel base, a Precision Sim Engineering LMx wheel and a custom hydraulic brake system.
I would rate this as an extremely high-end setup, but as I mentioned before, you could achieve something like this with an Overpower.gg cockpit, a Simucube 2 Pro and a Formula Pro Elite from Gomez Sim Racing.
Juan Pablo Montoya
The Juan Pablo Montoya simulator is based on its association with WFG and AllinSports, companies that, in one way or another we have also seen in Fernando Alonso’s simulator setup. His location in Florida makes AIS a logical provider for all of his gear.
The pedals are similar to those of Fernando’s, uniquely built and designed by Allinsport and it is a set of two pedals probably of a very similar specification to other high-standing pedals such as the NWS 3P, the Heusinkveld Ultimate+ , or the SRP-GT .
The wheelbase is a Direct Drive, possibly a Simucube 2 or 1.
Another F1 World Champion, the thing we love about Max is that he just wants to race all the time. When he’s not fulfilling his Formula One obligations, you’ll probably find him in his sim:
As we can see from the photo, Max has an F1-style rig: a PlaySeat F1 (there’s a Red Bull Racing variant of these now!). A Leo Bodnar sim steering system and a Precision Sim Racing LM-X 911 RSR style sim steering wheel. This is a very easy setup to copy. Personally, I think a Simucube 2 would be a simpler choice to get a setup up and running.
Lando is an avid sim racer, too, spending a lot of time in the F1 2020 series games. It appears his home sim setup is from Cool Performance:
Sergio’s setup is a little more down-to-earth than some of the other pro drivers’ high-end setups, with some very familiar-looking gear indeed:
Sergio Perez’s home simulator setup:
- Sim-Lab P1-X
- Fanatec CSL Elite LC Pedals (V2 now available)
- Fanatec DD2
- Cube Controls CSX2 (updated to CSX3)
- Fanatec Podium hub
- Curved Ultrawide 49″ monitor (Samsung G9)
Timo coaches various eSports drivers. Here you can see a pretty much fully Fanatec setup.
Here’s that rig in full:
It’s rare to see a Fanatec cockpit in the wild. Still, here we are – that’s a Rennsport V2 cockpit from Fanatec (see our recommended sim racing rigs here), a BMW DTM style Fanatec wheel, a DD2 direct drive wheelbase and a Samsung G9 Ultrawide monitor. Obviously, it’s impossible to tell what sim racing PC the setup is running, but I’m sure it’ll be a strong spec.
It’s no secret that Romain Grosjean is much more popular since his departure from HAAS, particularly in the United States. Since his terrible accident in Bahrain, and curiously his departure from F1, things are going better for Romain recently. He has found a competitive car in Indy Car and has returned to the circuits with a fresh air that leads him to recall his greatest successes.
Together with this, he continues to grow his sim racing team, bringing together the best talents and trying to develop other types of activities, although always related to racing. Of course, it is Romain Grosjean himself who also enjoys racing at home.
His cockpit and seat are from Sim-Lab – a P1-X, most likely. With this, Romain supports 4 monitors from Acer, one of his main collaborating partners. The pedals are Fanatec Clubsport v3, and to complete the setup, a Fanatec Podium DD2 base. All this is crowned by a Cube Controls steering wheel – Cube Controls being among our favourite sim racing wheels.
Antonio Giovinazzi is one of the reserve drivers for Alfa Romeo Racing, with rumours of a re-entry into F1 in 2023. Although his results are not very always very showy, he is a very fast driver in the right car.
We don’t know exactly which simulation is Antonio Giovinazzi’s favourite, but in the picture, he is seen testing the Honda F1 available on iRacing. His simulator is simple and full of logos and sponsors who have apparently given up their products to associate his image with that of the driver. Sponsorship isn’t unusual, even I get sent free stuff!
The setup consists of a Sparco Gaming cockpit and seat that support a 49-inch curved Samsung monitor . The pedals are Heusinkveld Ultimate, throttle and brake-only assembly completed by a Fanatec Podium DD2 wheelbase. All this is crowned by a Cube Controls steering wheel (a CSX2, now updated to CSX3)
Antonio Giovinazzi’s sim kit list
- Fanatec Podium DD2
- Cube Controls CSX2 (Now updated to CSX3)
- Heusinkveld Ultimate
- Samsung G9
- Sparco Simulator G02300B Complete Gaming 2
- Logitech G PRO X – Gaming Headset with Blue VO!CE, USB, Black
This time, Sophia Floersch, F3 driver, shows us through a video that she has published on her YouTube channel, the components to use in her simulator.
The PC is a high-performance one from a German store, similar to one of the expensive ones that we advise you from time to time here on the web, whose most important pieces are an i9 and an RTX 2080Ti. Of course, now higher-end GPUs are available, although in iRacing we found that the 2080 rtx ti is still a very good GPU for sim racing.
Sophia uses a Fanatec DD2 base, combining the F1 2020 rim (this was a LTD and is now unavailable but check out our recommended Fanatec wheels here) and the Formula V2 to simulate her real car. In her opinion, the customization offered by Fanatec is the best that can be achieved in terms of realism compared to a real F3 racing car.
Sophia Floersch’s sim kit list
Nicholas Latifi needs no introduction as a Williams F1 driver, he’s also very much into sim racing. Here he is in his sim:
Luckily he shared several close-up photos of his recently updated sim. Here’s his kit list:
- Ascher Racing F64-USB V3
- Simucube 2 Pro
- OMP racing seat
- Heusinkveld Ultimate+ pedals
- Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard
Despite Nicholas being on the F1 grid, you can see how down-to-earth his setup is. You don’t have to have the latest of everything to be fast, you just have to practice! It’s good to see he’s an iRacing Formula driver too. The iR-04 is still the best car in iRacing, though (in my opinion!)
Former DTM champion Bruno Spengler needs little introduction. Currently racing for the BMW factory/works team and clearly a sim racing enthusiast too, here he is using the flagship LM-X Wheel from Precision Sim Engineering.
It looks great in this set up which includes: triple monitors (using 34″ triple monitors), Heusinkveld Ultimate+ pedals, the LM-X Wheel from Precision Sim Engineering, and a SimHub-based dashboard on a tablet (right). While some photos in interviews show him using Fanatec gear, I think it’s just as likely that there’s a Simucube 2 Pro or Ultimate is hidden away behind this shot. As for the cockpit – it could be a Sim-Lab P1-X.