Thrustmaster Ferrari SF1000 Review

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The Thrustmaster Ferrari SF1000 add-on steering wheel is one of the best looking F1 wheels. However, does the rest of the wheel live up to the overall appearance. I find out in this detailed review of the Ferrari SF1000 steering wheel.

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Thrustmaster SF1000 Wheel Hero

Our Verdict

8.8 / 10

Product Design

89

89
Gameplay

85

85
Value For Money

87

87
Compatibility
Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PS4, PS5, PC

Pros

  • Impressive design
  • Ferrari F1 replica
  • Incredible large screen
  • All inputs are functional
  • Working rev and flag lights

Cons

  • Cheap feeling plastic on places
  • Button clicks a little too stiff
  • Average hand grip construction
  • Poor quality quick release
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This is the Ferrari SF1000 Formula Sim Racing steering wheel add-on. And, I have to say as a bit of a Formula 1 nerd, this is one of the coolest-looking wheels I’ve had the pleasure of racing with.

In this review, I’ll take a detailed look at this Thrustmaster steering wheel and put it through its paces on track to see if it is worth picking up.

I do want to say that this steering wheel was sent to me by Thrustmaster, but this doesn’t impact anything I’m about to say in this review.


Watch Thrustmaster Ferrari SF1000 review


Price

This Ferrari SF1000 add-on steering wheel fits perfectly into a mid-range price point for sim racing wheels. It costs;

  • United Kingdom – £349.99
  • Europe – €399.99
  • United States – $399.99

That’s a pretty reasonable price considering what you’re getting and you can quite often find it priced lower at some retailers. However, this relatively low price point for a sim racing wheel with a large display and all the bells and whistles that this SF1000 wheel has, does mean that some areas of the wheel suffer a little in terms of quality.

During my time with this wheel, I’ve been comparing it to other wheels that I’ve used within this price point. That’s the likes of the Fanatec Formula V2.5 and the Asetek La Prima Formula wheel to name a couple.


The design of the Thrustmaster Ferrari SF1000 steering wheel

So let’s start this review properly by looking at the overall design of this wheel. like I said right at the beginning, my first impressions of this wheel blew me away. It is a true 1:1 replica of the steering wheel used by Sebastian Vettel during the 2020 season. And it isn’t a million miles away from the wheel that Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc use today.

Thrustmaster SF1000 Wheel Unboxing

That alone is pretty cool. And for many Formula 1 fans, this wheel is more than high quality enough to be purchased just to sit on a shelf or in a display cabinet.

When you start to get up close and handle the wheel, some things start to stand out which does detract a little from its overall quality. Some choices of material, sticker quality and hand grips to name a few. And I’ll jump into more detail in a second.

But first, let’s break down what we’ve got here. This 1:1 replica comes in at 280mm across and features a huge number of inputs. Every toggle, button and encoder on the wheel can be used while sim racing which is awesome. Some control the screen directly, while others can be mapped in-game.

The front of the wheel features a real 3mm thick piece of carbon fibre which looks stunning. At the top of the face plate are a range of rev lights as well as two sets of flag lights. Again, all of these work just like they do in the real-world Ferrari F1 car.

Thrustmaster SF1000 Wheel Buttons

Then there is that screen. This huge 4.3inch display is again, the same size as the screen that is found on the real-world wheel and can be set up to look just the same. The display can show a range of live information while racing and you can change what is shown at any time.

The hand grips are constructed from rubber, and around the back, you have a set of magnetic brushed aluminium shifters and dual-clutch paddles, as well as the rather plastic-y Thrustmaster quick release.


Pros of the Thrustmaster Ferrari SF1000 design

OK, so let’s touch on the positives and what I love about this wheel’s design. Of course, the overall look of this wheel is excellent, and some material choices throughout are lovely.

The carbon fibre faceplate is a nice addition adding a bit of realism and quality to the overall design. Having metal paddle shifters on a rocker feels great every time you pull a shift although they do feel ever so slightly clunky with a pretty loud click. These shifters can be activated as both push and pull paddles meaning you can change gear one-handed if you really do want to show off.

There is a set of upgradable paddle shifters which I’m told feel less clunky during use, although I haven’t got them on this wheel so unfortunately I can’t comment. But these shifters are perfectly usable out of the box.

Thrustmaster SF1000 Wheel Shifters

Also, I feel that the engagement of the rotary encoders and thumb encoders feels great. As you rotate them they have just the right amount of resistance meaning you can make incredibly quick changes on the fly with the confidence that you haven’t made too much or too little adjustment.

Finally, I do want to mention the screen as it really is excellent. The image clarity is crystal clear and you get a few options to customise. You can change some settings on the wheel itself which allows you to switch your measurements, and set up your in-game telemetry for games such as F1 23.

When you’re in a game you can choose between a range of different screen layouts, which is all controlled with the encoders on the centre of the wheel. Also, there is a really nice metal toggle switch at the bottom of the wheel which is incredibly tactile and actually allows you to turn off your display if you wanted to for whatever reason.

I’ve been told that the display does work on all consoles including Xbox and PS5. But I’ve only tested it with a PC, and is really a bit of a game-changer if you like to race F1 23. You can show all your in-game MFD displays on the screen including your tyre temperatures, wear level, damage and more. These can be changed mid-race using the encoder next to the Ferrari logo, and it really feels great to use this to interact with your car rather than scrolling through an on-screen HUD.

Thrustmaster SF1000 Wheel Display Off

If you are racing a different game outside of the F1 series, there are a few preset displays built in which again can be scrolled through mid-race. These work flawlessly in both Assetto Corsa Competizione and iRacing.

Cons of the SF1000 wheel

Now I do want to point out a few things that I’m not so keen on and some of these are just Thrustmaster quirks which are commonplace on a lot of Thrustmaster wheels.

When you look past the carbon fibre faceplate, some materials feel a touch on the cheap side. The entire body of this wheel other than the faceplate is plastic. This won’t really affect you while driving, but when you’re interacting with the wheel outside of the sim, it always niggles me.

The quick release itself is the classic Thrustmaster QR, however, you’ll need the updated Thrustmaster QR adapter if you plan on using this wheel with the T818 wheel base. The QR is an all-plastic construction and is quite honestly nowhere near the same quality as quick releases from other brands such as the new Fanatec QR2. Although the newer approach used by the T818 wheel base is much better than past solutions.

Thrustmaster SF1000 Buttons

Another area which could have been improved is the button quality. At this price point, I’m OK with the buttons and encoders being constructed from plastic. However, engaging each button isn’t the most positive experience.

They’re pretty heavy to engage and there is a fair bit of movement before they actually click. I compare them most similar to the buttons found on my Fanatec McLaren GT3 V2 wheel, and that is a sub-£200 wheel. The push buttons on most MOZA wheels and on the Asetek La Prima feel considerably nicer.

Also, it’s a very minor point, but the sticker placement is very inconsistent. Some button stickers are quite wonky, so I think a little more quality control in this department would be beneficial. This could be just a quirk on my wheel, but I don’t have a second to compare it.

Finally, one more area that could have been improved is the hand grip finish. These grips are constructed from rubber and have almost no give to them. They’re rock solid and do have a nice texture to them. They’re not the same sticky rubber that is found on the Fanatec McLaren GT3 V2 wheel which is nice, but they are also not the same quality of silicone used on wheels from Asetek.

There is quite a prominent seam that runs down both hand grips which is very noticeable if racing without gloves. But if like me, you do mainly race with gloves you’ll have no complaints with these grips.

Thrustmaster Ferrari SF1000 Wheel Rotary Encoders

Outside of the build quality itself, there is one huge area where Thrustmaster are lagging behind their competitors and that is with their software. Updating the drivers and firmware on this wheel is one of the most painful processes I’ve come across in sim racing.

To update the firmware you have to actually take apart the steering wheel, removing the shifters at the rear to physically connect the steering wheel to your PC via a USB cable. Then you go through a manual firmware update, before having to re-assemble your wheel and get racing again.

If you’re racing one of the F1 games on a console, to get the display working correctly, you have to go through an additional process to connect your wheel by wifi and set up the UDP telemetry. Honestly, it took me around an hour just to find all the correct documentation on Thrustmaster’s website and actually get both my Thrustmaster Ferrari SF1000 and T818 wheel up and running.

In fact, I’ve spoken to a few other sim racers during my time with this Thrustmaster set-up, and a few told me that they returned their SF1000 wheels simply because the set-up process was so painful to complete. I really hope this is addressed moving forward and Thrustmaster simply release a better solution like almost every other sim racing manufacturer. Setting up any sim racing product shouldn’t be this convoluted.


Should you buy the Thrustmaster Ferrari SF1000 steering wheel?

Overall though, this SF1000 sim racing steering wheel is a relatively mixed bag that leans further into the positive than the negative. It looks stunning, and out of all my steering wheels, this is the one that I show off most to friends. Just having that official Ferrari branding and looking like it’s been ripped right out of a real-world F1 car is awesome.

Thrustmaster SF1000 Wheel Gameplay F1 23

Also, the functionality that you get for this price point is unmatched. Show me another sub-£400 steering wheel with this much interactivity and a screen like this. You really have to stretch into the £600-£700 range to find a comparable wheel.

However, there are places where this does feel like a lower-cost wheel. Some material choices such as the plastic body, plastic inputs and poor-quality hand grips do affect my final opinion.

If you can look past these imperfections, or if you race with gloves on, then this wheel is an F1 or Ferrari fan’s dream come true. The competitive price point, impressive functionality, the Ferrari branding and cool factor really make the Thrustmaster Ferrari SF1000 a wheel I’d highly recommend to most.

Technical Specifications

  • 4.3-inch (109-mm) IPS LCD display showing up to 69 key items of information, with different skins for the type of game being played, for optimal racing comfort
  • 3 mm-thick carbon fibre faceplate (21 layers) combining rigidity and lightweight design, for balanced Force Feedback
  • Up to 25 action buttons (including 7 encoders) for intuitive driving and unlimited configuration possibilities
  • Native connectivity or wireless telemetry connectivity, with iconic labelling and official markings for unrivalled immersion and realism
  • 100% aluminium interchangeable magnetic paddle shifters, and two customizable analogue paddle shifters
  • Compatible with PC (Windows 10), PlayStation and Xbox (list of features available on the Thrustmaster technical support website)
  • Compatible with the following Thrustmaster T-Series racing wheel bases (sold separately): TS-XW, T-GT, T300, TX and TS-PC
  • Compatible with the Thrustmaster T-Chrono Paddles paddle shifters (sold separately)
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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.