Fanatec Podium F1 Racing Wheel Review

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The mighty Fanatec Podium Racing Wheel F1 brings the power of direct drive to PlayStation for the first time ever. Is it just as good its PC counterparts? Let's find out in this review!

Fanatec Podium Racing Wheel F1 Review

Our Verdict

9.4 / 10

Product Design




Value For Money




  • Plug and play with the PS4
  • Cross compatibility functionality
  • Wrist breaking amounts of force feedback
    • (Yes, that is a good thing!)
  • Industry leading force feedback quality
  • Possibly the best F1 style steering wheel


  • Very expensive
  • Not compatible with Xbox One out of the box
  • Requires a strong rig to cope with the FFB strength
  • No pedals included

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Is the Fantec Podium F1 Racing Wheel the best cross-compatible direct drive racing wheel money can buy? Well, quite simply, yes. That is because it is the only fully cross-compatible direct-drive racing wheel on the market today. That was a pretty easy win for Fanatec. Become the only player in a marketplace, and you are ensured that you have the best product.

In this review, we will examine this direct-drive racing wheel in depth. We will tell you exactly what it is and what consoles it works on. We will also examine its design, practicality, and quality. Finally, we will let you know whether you should save your pennies and actually buy one. Trust me, you’ll need to save a lot of pennies, as this piece of sim racing gear costs rather a lot of money!

What exactly is the Fanatec Podium Racing Wheel F1?

Fanatec’s Podium range of wheel bases are all designed to bring wrist-breaking direct drive power to your sim rig. Up until recently, both of Fanatec’s direct drive wheel bases, the Podium DD1 and DD2 have only been PC compatible. Yes, they can become compatible with Xbox One consoles if you install the correct module and steering wheel. But never has a wheel base been designed for cross-compatibility.

Fanatec PS4 Buttons

This Fanatec Podium Racing Wheel F1 direct drive wheel has been designed to be compatible with PlayStation consoles straight out of the box. This is not only the first Fanatec direct drive wheel to be PS5 and PS4 compatible but also the first-ever direct drive wheel to be designed for PS4. Pretty cool huh!

Now, sim racers who like their games sprinkled with a bit of Gran Turismo can enjoy strong-force feedback, just like their PC sim racing buddies.

Although the Podium Racing Wheel F1 is designed specifically to be plug and play with the PS5 and PS4. It can also be used on Xbox One and Series X|S consoles. Similar to the existing DD1 and DD2 wheel bases, Xbox owners will need to install a different steering wheel to make it compatible. But the option is still there.

Read our complete Podium DD1 review

Unboxing the Podium Racing Wheel F1

So, let’s start our journey towards sim racing mastery by taking a look at the box and what you get from your sizeable investment. When you first open the box, you will see the Podium direct drive wheel base sitting in all of its glory. As with all Fanatec products, the packaging for this wheel base is absolutely on point.

Once you bring yourself to stop staring and admiring the wheel base itself, which can be hard to do as it is a beautiful piece of machinery… You will find the following things hidden in the box;

  • Podium DD1 Wheel Base
  • ClubSport Formula V2 steering wheel, PS4 edition
  • Advanced Podium paddle module
  • Extra set of button caps
  • Power Supply Unit (PSU) and cable
  • Braided USB cable
  • Torque key
  • RJ12 connection cable
  • A locking bolt (for older steering wheels)
  • Quick guide manual

When you start to set up this wheel, you will appreciate how well thought out it is. The wheel base comes with pre-drilled mounting points that fit onto any compatible Fanatec wheel base mounts. And just like with other Fanatec wheel bases, the base itself is where you connect all of your Fanatec peripherals.

Podium Connection Points

There are a wide range of connection ports on the rear of this wheel base. These are for your pedals, shifters and any other peripheral you fancy plugging in. From there, you just have a single USB connection which runs to your PC or console. This is great for tidy cable management.

Unboxing done. Let’s get straight into how good (or bad) this direct drive racing wheel is. I mean, that is why you’re here. Spoiler Alert – Oh, and I don’t know why I wrote bad just now. This thing is certainly not that. It is mighty impressive!

How good is this racing wheel

As a quick note, I tested this racing wheel on both PS4, and PC, using games such as iRacing, Assetto Corsa Competizione and F1 2019. But before I even attempted leaving the pits in any game, I ensured the DD1 wheel base was mounted securely to my Sim-Lab GT1 rig.

If you don’t do this, it will literally shake itself away from your rig, and cause a lot of damage! Make sure that doesn’t happen. Attach it to a rig that can handle it. You have been warned!

Sensible advice over, let’s start driving! The first thing you notice when jumping from a belt-driven racing wheel to this direct drive wheel, is how immediate everything feels. It shouldn’t be a surprise, as the motor which generates the force feedback is attached directly to your steering wheel.

Fanatec Funky Switches

By circumventing any belts, pulleys or gears, you feel the force feedback immediately as it happens. Your steering wheel is essentially the motor, feeling lightning-fast in your hand. I’ve never felt force feedback that is as quick as it is with this wheel.

Yes, it is stupidly strong, but you almost forget about that during your first few laps. Instead, you are hanging on for dear life, trying not to have the steering wheel ripped from your hands. Of course, you can turn down the strength of this wheel, and for longer play sessions, you really should. During long races, we had the force feedback strength set to between 60% and 70% and found this is the sweet spot for most games.

By lowering the overall force feedback strength, you can race comfortably without sacrificing the force feedback detail you receive. The real beauty of having a direct drive wheel is the sheer range in force feedback.

With a normal belt-driven racing wheel, the strength is generally set close to 100%. But this often causes force feedback to peak at 100% strength. Because much of the force feedback detail emits close to 100% power, over time, a lot of the force feedback starts to blend together. And you find it increasingly difficult to differentiate a large kerb from a fast bump to a side impact.

Fanatec DD1 Force Feedback Screen

When using this direct drive wheel, the pure range in its strength output makes all of the examples above feel different. You really can feel the difference in force feedback when you drift out wide over a large sausage kerb. Or when you drive over a large bump in the road. Everything feels different and unique, and from this, you can learn and evolve your driving.

Force Feedback strength

Maybe you like being punished, or maybe you just don’t like your wrists very much. If either of these applies to you, you certainly can crank up the force feedback using the torque key provided and feel the full 20Nm force of this wheel.

When you unleash the full power of this racing wheel, you start to realize just how impressive the wheel base is. Even at maximum power, there is no loss in the quality of the force feedback that you feel. Everything still comes through the wheel with the same level of clarity as when running at 60% strength.

Much like other well-designed Fanatec racing wheels, you can adjust all of your force feedback settings directly on the wheel. You can even do this while in-game. This sounds small, but when you are in the middle of a race session, or between qualifying laps, the last thing you want to do is quit out to a menu screen.

This allows you to tweak the strength up and down instantly, to match the type of car you are driving closely. You can do this just by using the small toggle switch on the front of the ClubSport Formula V2 wheel. It’ll bring up the force feedback options on the steering wheel’s LED screen, where you can quickly adjust settings.

If you find yourself switching between games, or motorsport disciplines often, you can save up to five profiles on the wheel itself. This allows you to quickly select your F1 2019 wheel settings at the push of a button. Or switch between your GT3 and GT4 wheel settings. This is a great feature to have, although, in our opinion, five presets just aren’t enough.

Fanatec Direct Drive Force Feedback

Force Feedback quality

The strength is fantastic and will absolutely cause you to make some extremely funny noises—especially when you catch an unexpected bump! But where this direct-drive racing wheel excels is in the level of detail of its force feedback.

With the much larger motor of the Podium direct drive, even the tiniest levels of force feedback can be felt. As mentioned earlier, the range in force feedback makes this racing wheel special.

You can feel everything that you would expect if you were in a real car, on a real track. If you drift out wide and put a wheel over a painted white line, you will feel it. Drive over the change in road material, and you’ll feel it. These tiny details can really allow you to grow as a driver, as you will learn the true limits of tracks.

No matter how good, many other racing wheels simply can’t offer this level of detail in their force feedback output.

Let’s look at the ClubSport Formula V2 steering wheel

This racing wheel bundle, not only comes with the direct drive wheel base but includes the already stunning Formula V2 wheel rim. I mean, if it didn’t include a steering wheel, it wouldn’t be a bundle, but hey ho…

The wheel rim itself has been designed to be very similar in size and shape to real Formula 1 steering wheels. The first thing you’ll notice when holding this steering wheel is how small it feels compared to other racing wheels. The formula-style form factor is a little smaller in width than a traditional wheel.

Fanatec ClubSport V2 Steering Wheel

But the smaller form feels good in your hand, and the lightweight feel of the wheel allows the wheel base to shine truly. It feels full of energy to drive with as it zips from side to side. It doesn’t feel cumbersome or heavy in any way.

The front of the wheel features a large selection of buttons and dials. Enough to make real racing drivers jealous! In total, there are 11 buttons, 2 multi-position switches with twelve-way inputs, thumb encoders, rocker switches and another dial in the centre of the wheel.

Most of the buttons are well-positioned and easily reachable without taking your hands off the wheels. Although to use the multi-position switches we found that we did need to take a hand off the wheel. It was just a little too far to turn it with my thumb. Although some people may be able to do this.

All in all, it feels and performs great. It does a fantastic job of replicating a real formula-style racing wheel. The first time we used the DRS button, or the pit lane speed limiter button immersed me into the sim I was playing.

This version of the Formula V2 pays homage to its PS5 and PS4 compatibility by including splashes of blue across the wheel. None more noticeable than the blue Alcantara hand grips. The blue complements the wheel’s carbon fibre and the shifters’ gold well. And in our opinion is one of the nicer colourways Fanatec have produced.

Pre-installed Podium Advanced Paddle Module

Another bonus is that this Formula V2 steering wheel version comes pre-installed with the Podium Advanced Paddle Module. This module elevates the game massively by including magnetic shifter paddles and incorporating Formula 1-style dual-clutch paddles.

Fanatec Podium Advanced Module Shifters

These extra paddles allow you to handle the clutch bite point just like in a real Formula 1 car. Or, if you don’t fancy they can be used as throttle and handbrake buttons. They can even be set up to handle the clutch just like a launch control system.

The magnetic shifters in this advanced module are a vast improvement over the standard paddles that come with the Formula V2 traditionally. They give a very precise feeling when you punch through the gears. The carbon fibre paddles elevate the shifting up a gear to match the supreme strength and quality of the rest of this racing wheel bundle.

Just in case the steering wheel doesn’t feel close enough to a Formula 1 wheel, Fanatec has included their classic quick release system in the rear of the wheel. This allows you to easily change this wheel out and install another Fanatec racing wheel onto the wheel base. However, you will need to apply a bit of force to get the wheels on and off.

Fanatec Quick Release System

Will a Fanatec direct drive wheel make me faster?

Well, this is up for debate. We would argue that the increase in force feedback detail will allow you to learn cars and tracks in a way that isn’t possible with lower-level racing wheels. The extra detail that you feel through the wheel can allow you to adjust your driving style and learn track limitations better than if you were using a belt-driven wheel.

If you already race at a high level, you certainly won’t find tenths of a second just by switching to a direct drive wheel. What you almost certainly will get, is more enjoyment out of your racing wheel setup. The extra details will immerse you into your racing sim game of choice more than ever.

Combine this Podium direct drive racing wheel with a good VR headset, and you will be transported to another world! You’ll be so immersed that you could almost be driving that IndyCar around the Circuit of the Americas in real life!

How does this direct drive wheel compare to other Fanatec wheel bases?

When jumping from a CSL DD or older ClubSport wheel base to this, you will instantly notice an upgrade in the force feedback. As mentioned earlier, that improvement doesn’t just lie in the strength improvement that direct drive offers. The quality and range of force feedback are the parts which you will find most improved.

The ClubSport wheel base already boasts some of the force feedback of any belt-driven racing wheel. However, this Podium wheel base offers force feedback that is stunning in comparison. The amount of customize-ability that this wheel base offers is unparalleled, even compared to other Fanatec wheels.

This Podium direct drive wheel base allows you almost endless ways to configure the wheel to ensure it fits and compliments your style of driving.

Fanatec Podium Wheel Base Review

Fanatec Podium Cross Compatibility

As mentioned, one of the major selling points for this direct drive wheel is its console compatibility. Out of the box, it is instantly compatible with PS4 consoles and PCs. To get it working on Xbox One consoles, you just have to attach an Xbox-compatible wheel rim.

This is the only direct drive racing wheel on the market that can boast this level of console compatibility. And it is probably the main reason sim racers will buy it. If you are a sim racer exclusively using a PC, you can always pick up the wheel base separately and attach any wheel rim you fancy.

As of this review, we are unsure whether this racing wheel will be supported by PS5. Sony hasn’t released any information about peripheral compatibility, so we just don’t know. Microsoft has been a little kinder by confirming that this wheel and all other third-party Xbox peripherals will work on the Xbox Series X consoles. Yay, Microsoft.

How does the Podium F1 DD1 compare to the other direct drive wheels?

It is tricky to compare this wheel base to other direct drive wheels on the market. In terms of performance, it offers a driving experience that is very comparable to other products. The strength output is largely the same, as is the force feedback quality.

However, the reason I say it is tricky to compare is that no other wheel base offers console compatibility in the way this does. For that reason, a sim racer will buy this wheel base over any other.

You can pick up other direct drive wheel bases cheaper than this Fanatec version. But you won’t be able to enjoy this wheel base’s plug-and-play, cross-compatibility.

Fanatec DD1 Wheel Base

The Price

This is the part of the review which hurts us a little. Well, it hurt us a lot when we finally placed our order for this wheel base!

The Podium Racing Wheel F1 costs an eye-watering €1,799.95 / $1999.65. Yes, that is the price of an old second-hand car or a decent high-end gaming PC. In the case of Fanatec, it costs a lot of money to enter the world of direct drive. But is it worth it?

When you break down what you get for your money, remember that you’re getting a steering wheel and the advanced paddle module included. The Formula V2 wheel costs €369.99 / $410 on its own, and the advanced paddle module costs €179.99 / $200.

The bundle includes €549 / $610 worth of accessories, bringing the wheel base cost down to under €1250 / $1400. This is in line with how much the wheel base costs on its own through Fanatec’s online store. Given that other direct drive wheel bases start from around $800 upwards, the jump to this premium Fanatec wheel bundle isn’t huge.

The main question is, do you take sim racing seriously enough or enjoy it enough to spend $2000 on your wheel setup? In truth, no other direct-drive wheel on the market offers what this PS5, PS4, and Xbox-compatible wheel base does. And the Fanatec Podium Racing Wheel F1 does everything supremely well. This is the best PS5-compatible racing wheel available.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Fanatec Podium F1 the same as a DD1 or DD2?

The Fanatec Podium F1 wheel uses a DD1 wheel base that has PlayStation compatibility enabled.

Is the Fanatec Podium F1 compatible with Xbox One?

You can use the DD1 wheel base with Xbox One and Xbox One X consoles. However, you will need to use an Xbox-compatible steering wheel. The Formula V2 wheel that is included with the Podium F1 is not compatible with Xbox One consoles.

Is direct drive worth the upgrade price?

Direct drive is without a doubt the closest thing you can get to driving a real race car. It delivers the strongest and most accurate force feedback. And it is worth upgrading if you can afford the cost.

Technical Specifications

  • Degrees of rotation – 90°-1080°
  • Torque – Up to 20Nm
  • Tuning Menu through steering wheel – Yes
  • Diameter – 270mm
  • Display – 1″ 128×64 OLED, 2.7″ 256×64 OLED
  • USB update rate – 1000Hz
  • Platform – PC, PS4, Xbox One Ready

Review written by Felix König

About Felix König

Felix König is a professional Esports sim racer from Seattle, WA, and is the founder and editor of Sim Race Reviews. In addition to over 10 years of professional sim racing and competing in both iRacing and Assetto Corsa Competizione competitions, Felix has been sharing his sim racing knowledge and expertise with other sim racers. His passion lies in sim racing, and in particular in the plethora of sim racing hardware from racing wheels to pedals and more.