With the new F1 season underway last month, it seems that Thrustmaster decided the timing was just right to unveil their latest Formula Wheel Add-On, the Ferrari SF1000 Edition, and what a beauty it is. Now, all you Formula One fans have the perfect way to follow along with your favourite sport by attaching this near-on perfectly lifelike replica rim to your sim rig, taking you one step closer to knowing what it feels like to sit behind the wheel of an F1 car.
With a large Ferrari badge on the central rotary dial and a unique DRINK button located near the top left, there’s no doubt that the latest Thrustmaster rim is an authentic replica of the wheel used by Ferrari’s F1 racer, Charles Leclerc. This add-on wheel is, of course, officially licensed by Ferrari and is the same as the wheel used in the 2020 F1 season, the SF-1000.
While this isn’t quite the same as Leclerc’s steering wheel (a few dials are missing), for the budget it’s extremely impressive considering it’s purely designed for sim racing:
Right off the bat, this wheel is compatible with Thrustmaster’s TS-PC, T-GT, TS-XW, TX, and T300 wheelbase, basically all Thrustmaster wheelbases that use the Thurstmaster quick-release wheel mounting system.
Design and Build Quality
The look, design, and attention to detail with this replica wheel are all fantastic, and it’s clear to see that Thrustmaster has come a long way in terms of development since their original F1 wheel, which was based on the 2011 Ferrari F1 car.
Out of the box, the shifter is detached from the rim, so you’ll want to install that first before you start any racing. The shift paddles supplied with the wheel comes are magnetic, but Thrustmaster also offers the T-Chrono Paddle as an optional upgrade shifter that provides more responsive feedback
Screen, Buttons, and Rotary Dials
Looking at the carbon front face, you’ll undoubtedly notice the 4.3″ / 109 mm interactive screen surround by 21 LEDs. Once you turn on the wheelbase, the screen will display a loop of Thrustmaster’s and Ferrari’s logos until you enter into the game.
The on-screen display has different layouts depending on the sim software and car you’re driving. There’s an RPM indicator consisting of 15 LEDs and another 6 LEDs (3 on either side) for waved flags.
Around the screen, you’ll see 11 buttons, all of which have a firm, tactile click feel. Additionally, you also get a D-pad with 7 rotary encoders, 2 of which are thumb-operated and located on the flanks of the wheel. This is where the wheel differs slightly from the Ferrari original, as it doesn’t have the 3 extra thumb dials found on the actual F1 wheel. However, other than those very slight discrepancies and maybe a couple of missing or differently labelled buttons, the layout of this wheel is very, very close to the original.
One catch is that not every dial is actually functional in-game. The centre dial, for example only changes the screen’s brightness within the wheel menu, and it cannot be reprogrammed in-game.
All of this functionality would be take quite some time to configure manually, but luckily Thrustmaster and Codemasters have supplied native support for the F1 2020 game. This means all buttons are mapped, screen displays configured so you can just go racing.
Of course, you also have the option to remap all the buttons and dials and create your own profile if you wish, which would be useful for play games asides from F1.
All in all, the Formula Wheel Add-On Ferrari SF1000 Edition is a very welcomed addition to the Thrustmaster line-up, and if this is a sign of things to come from the US-based sim manufacturer, we can look forward to more high-end products with lifelike accuracy in the future.