There are several sim racing wheels out there, each with its own features and compatibilities to boast. However, what makes each of them stand out is the feedback they offer, their build quality, looks, and they feel they offer. The Podium Racing Wheel F1® is one such racing wheel that claims to “have it all.”
Officially licensed by the F1 and for use on the PS4, the Podium Racing Wheel F1® by Fanatec is a top-of-the-line racing wheel that is perfect for any fan of Formula 1 sim racing. This wheel gives you the ultimate in control and precision while you are racing, and it also looks great doing it. The Podium Racing Wheel F1 is constructed out of high-quality materials, and it shows in both its appearance and its performance. This wheel will give you the edge you need to transform your experience.
But is it the best wheel out there? In this article, we will take a closer look at the Podium Racing Wheel F1® to help you get a better idea of what to expect from your purchase, its competitors, and the games we have tried it on so far.
Podium Racing Wheel F1® Review – Summary
The Podium Racing Wheel F1 features a magnetic gas and brake pedal set made of carbon fiber, housed comfortably in an aluminum cage. This not only looks great, but it also provides a very solid feel that will give you the confidence you need while racing.
These carbon fiber pedals reduce the risk of slippage while driving, especially when installed in a motion simulator. The wireless connections with the motion sensors and the rig itself mean that the connection remains secure, no matter how strong the feedback is. The lack of wires also gives a more aesthetic appeal to the wheel’s design itself.
The carbon fiber and aluminum build make the entire wheel lightweight and extremely strong. The Podium Racing Wheel F1 ® is inspired by actual F1 steering wheels, except that it has been further enhanced for better ergonomics for the buttons on top. This gives you the best possible grip on the wheel while racing and reaching the buttons intuitively in tense situations.
The Podium Racing Wheel F1 also comes with a few other goodies that will come in handy while racing. These include a shifter knob and boot, as well as its 20 Nm torque capabilities thanks to its outrunner-type motors. This torque matches what most F1 racers experience mid-race. The smooth wheel and pedals on top of the torque can combine with the right racing sim with its haptic feedback capabilities to enhance your racing experience further.
The Podium Racing Wheel F1® can be mounted on the stand without an extensive motion sim as well. This results in greater compatibility for your racing wheel for many rigs – even if you only have the wheel and nothing else!
Although the Podium Racing Wheel F1® is made for the PS4 (and later versions), with the right set of drivers, it is compatible with your PC and Xbox One (and later versions) as well. Its intuitive design makes it compatible with casual and more detailed, serious racing sims, hence being suitable for almost every racing style. This means that the wheel is not just suitable for iRacing, RaceRoom, or rFactor 2 but can also be used for Need For Speed, GRID, Forza, and other casual racing games!
This was a basic overview of what the Podium Racing Wheel F1® has to offer. Now, let’s dive deeper into the review for a better outlook and see if the wheel is what you are looking for.
Pros & Cons – Podium Racing Wheel F1®
Great product design. Ergonomic, unique, intuitive, and easy to get used to.
Costly compared to the competition
Lightweight, hence reducing gameplay fatigue.
The quick release may feel a bit clunky in the beginning.
Great compatibility across PS4, Xbox One, & PC.
The foam on the wheel may get dirty after a while.
Great gameplay capabilities
Great performance from start to finish
Smooth power steering, gear shift, and micro-feedback pedals
Completely customizable, except for the three primary PS4 buttons (PS, Share, and Options)
Direct Drive capabilities
If you are looking for a top-of-the-line racing wheel that will give you the edge you need to win any race, then the Podium Racing Wheel F1® is the way to go. But like any other sim racing wheel, there are some cons to consider, as mentioned above. We rate the Podium Racing Wheel F1® to be a 9.5/10, hence making it a great addition to your gaming experience.
What to Expect From The Podium Racing Wheel F1® Box
The ‘unboxing’ of every sim racing wheel is where the excitement and adrenaline truly rushes, kickstarting your sim racing experience with the wheel or completely underwhelming it. The Podium Racing Wheel F1® arrives in a large box containing the wheelbase itself, a bunch of cables, and of course, the wheel.
Cables you will find include:
- The power supply cable
- USB cable
- Connection cable (to link the pedals to the wheel)
You will also find a toque key for setting up the wheel, changing its power output, and a few button replacements. The caps are for the wheel rim. You can softly pull out the buttons to reinstall the PS4 button caps or even reconfigure the button placement to your liking. You can find the guide inside, as well, which includes more details on how to set up the wheel and reconfigure them as needed.
The box is neat and can also be used as a standalone display. You can easily set it up next to your PC or on your shelves to add more aesthetic value to your room.
When Setting Up The Wheel
When you pull out the wheel and its base, you will find that it is fairly easy to put together. You will find several ethernet cable points next to the power source, along with the standard Fanatec bolts to fix the wheel on the wheelbase. There are several bolts on the base, too, which you can unscrew and use to install the entire Podium Racing Wheel F1® onto your rig. If you don’t have compatible mounts, you can always order Podium mounting brackets with your rig, but the bolts are usually compatible unless you made your own rig.
There are a number of racing sim rigs you can mount the racing wheel on. Choosing the best one will help you get the best torque while driving – not to mention how it can also protect your wheel and its base from excess vibrations. This way, you can protect the wheel from damage and extend its life considerably.
After mounting, all you have to do is to plug in the Fanatec wheel with the cables that came into the corresponding socket. Start with the USB connection and your pedals, connecting them with the RJ12 ports. You will find a number of RJ12 ports, of course, to help you attach other peripherals as you’d like. You can attach shifters, handbrakes, and more as per your preference!
You have just one USB cable to connect your computer/console, which is fairly simple, but if you aren’t careful enough, it can cause problems in the future as well. More USB ports would have been welcome on the body, but the USB 3.0 that it comes with has proven to be quite sturdy so far based on our tests.
Podium Racing Wheel F1® Wheel Base
As important as the main attraction is, the wheel base is equally important when it comes to really enjoying your sim racing wheel experience. Without a good base, even the most ergonomic and premium wheels can disrupt your immersion and introduce issues in the near future.
The Podium Racing Wheel F1® offers one of the sturdiest and more immersive experiences out there. While there are some competitors that you can go for in the same (or less) price range, you may not be able to get the same level of experience that this wheel base offers.
Some of the competitors you can go for include:
This is what you’ll get with the F1® racing wheel.
This is a medium-range wheel base that offers up to 8 Nm of torque. It definitely does not compare to what you get with the Podium F1® Racing Wheel, but has its own allure when looking to build your own racing sim. Definitely not the best, but not the worst that you can go for, either.
A 5Nm sim racing wheel base for those on a budget, this is a standalone wheel base that is great for those starting out, but may not offer the same F1 experience that the Podium offers. Again, it is from the Fanatec line, which means it will have great build quality and experience, but users have reported a certain lag as the connector starts gathering dust after a while. The “power” in this steering isn’t the same as what the Podium offers, either.
Much like the DD2 in terms of performance and its premium feel, this wheel base does not come with the same kill switch or the mode button, but is a great option for those looking for a great experience while reducing costs. You may have to take a few extra steps when shutting everything down or turning it on, but it delivers an experience similar to what you can expect from the Podium Racing Wheel F1®.
As far as the wheel base that comes with the wheel is concerned, it is sure to up the ante when compared to its counterparts. The base is a direct driver, meaning that as soon as the game sends a forced feedback signal to the wheel, you are good to go. The wheel responds to the feedback, giving you a warning before the race starts to prepare yourself.
The base has a very noticeable strength and clarity in terms of the feedback you get, especially in newer motorsports games where you can actually feel the debris on the race track. You can also get a good feel of the mechanism underneath, as the gears and cogs rotate with such strength in the base, which further adds to your driving experience. There is no gear grinding in the base, which further smoothens out the experience.
When it comes to the whopping 20Nm of power that the base offers, you can rest assured that the car will respond to even the smallest stimulus you provide! Of course, you may not need the entire 20Nm of power that the wheel base offers, but it is great to know that you can truly push the limits with this base.
Coupled with the intuitive and comfortable wheel, the wheel offers a smooth drive even on hard wheels or when going off-track. After a racing sim like DiRT, you may even find yourself looking for bumps, curbs, and surface changes just to feel how the wheel base responds!
Fanatec’s Podium Racing Wheel F1® has managed to revolutionize noise performance. Despite the gears and cogs in the wheel base, it operates silently, even during off-road drives. Of course, as you push it further, the base does try to cool itself down by increasing the noise level, but it still operates with nothing more than a silent hum.
The belt within the base has been known to cause problems in many competitor wheel bases, but Fanatec has managed to improve upon this quite extensively. This is one of the key considerations that F1 made when licensing the wheel to use its name – and so did Sony for its PS4.
The direct drive option is one of the most silent modes of operation for the wheel base. Despite the force that the wheel base offers, your entire rig may start making noises, but the motor itself remains silent, even after DiRT Rally jumps.
Versatility of The Podium Racing Wheel F1®
On the wheel itself, you will see a number of dials for different mode settings. The same is true for the wheel base, allowing you to unlock the full potential of the wheel base. You can actually enable 100% force feedback, but do so only when you know you can handle it! At 100%, you will definitely give your muscles a true workout.
Remember, though, 100% force feedback turns into an unrealistic level of feedback, especially on modern race cars. We tested the Koenigsegg Agera One:1 on rFactor on 100% force feedback, and it turned into an internal strength test for the entire studio!
The differing levels of force feedback changes how much torque you have to deal with. So, you can use this versatility to tune the wheel base to give you the experience you are looking for. The different settings on the wheel can also be customized to further enhance your drive and give you a relaxing or intense drive experience.
Driving into the sunset? Simply turn the feedback level down, put your VR headset on, and relax. Or are you testing your limits on Le Mans or Nürburgring? Turn the feedback up and see how you fare!
The Fanatec Podium Racing Wheel lets you set up five different profiles, adapting to your needs respectively. It not only changes the level of torque you are facing, but also gives you a great workout, hence keeping you healthy.
For further adaptability, you can go with some of Fanatec’s own software for wheel customization. The software is also being designed as an application on the PlayStation store, and will extend this adaptability across different platforms. The software allows you to save more than five profiles and even change button settings, if you feel so included.
This adaptability isn’t just limited to forced feedback, mind you. You can also change:
- Display options
- Car telemetry
- Wheel resistance
- Pedal options, and more.
One problem that we found with the versatility was that while the wheel base that comes with Podium Racing Wheel F1® should ideally offer a quick-release mechanism, it can be slightly tricky to operate when new. This is because the mechanism can be relatively stiff and may require a lot of force to get the wheel rim off the base or wiggle it out. Only the first few releases are tricky, though, and after a while, the wheel rim sits snugly on the base.
Achieving the perfect fit may take a bit of effort, but once you are able to get it just right, you won’t be experiencing any slippage or loosening.
The Wheel Itself
Now that we have reviewed the experience and mechanism of the Podium Racing Wheel F1®, it is time to get to the main attraction; the PS4 and F1® certified wheel. The wheel is really beautiful, alluring to almost everyone out there not just for its functionality, but also for how it combines the truly “F1” experience with aesthetics.
If you look at the more modern F1 car steering wheels, you will find that the steering wheel is truly modeled with these wheels in mind. Of course, there aren’t as many buttons, and it isn’t anywhere near as complicated, there are still a number of settings that you can adopt with the steering wheel, and the buttons, switches, and gears are sure to make it seem complicated at first.
On the wheel, you will find the standard PS4 buttons (11). These include:
- Square button
- Triangle button
- Circle button
- L1 and L2 button
- R1 and R2 button
- PlayStation home button
- Share button
- Options button
- 12-way multi-position switches
- Thumb encoders
- A number of rocker switches
- Dial for mode selection
Behind the wheel, you can find:
- The Podium Advanced Paddle Module
- Paddle Shifter (2)
- Two extra paddles that you can program. Normally, these are dedicated to:
- DRS and
- The Clutch
- Magnetic feedback system
The shifters on the back are magnetic, of course, and therefore offer a much bigger punch than normal shifters. Furthermore, they are made from original carbon fiber, hence giving you the authentic F1 feel.
Moving on to the hand grips, you will find that they are given an Alcantara finish. Each hand grip is wrapped to give you a comfortable grip and to make sure that over time, the ergonomics settle with respect to your hands.
The wheel is large enough to give you a better feel and grip, but compact enough to make sure that you are able to reach every button on the rim without having to take your hands off the grip! This is a very handy feature when playing DiRT or driving on the Nürburgring!
Originally, the Podium Racing Wheel F1® was designed for PS4, but it is cross-compatible, nonetheless. Not only can you play with the steering wheel on the PS5, Xbox One, and PC, but the wheel is also backward compatible. You will need to install the relevant drivers and the haptic feedback may not be as intuitive in backward compatibility (because of game limitations), but it can definitely improve your overall experience, nonetheless.
This is one of the first wheels to offer cross-platform direct drive compatibility – something that sim racers across the globe were desperately asking for. The wheel is pricey, yes, but its cross-platform compatibility means that the one-size-fits-all policy applies to it, hence eliminating the need for further investment.
Of course, the wheel does not come with a handbrake or gear stick, which you’ll have to purchase individually. When testing the wheel, we used the shifts behind the wheel and programmed one of the extra shifts for the handbrake.
There will be some degree of confusion when using the PS4 wheel on Xbox, though, especially between X and O, both of which are active buttons on the consoles.
The Premium Quality of The Podium Racing Wheel F1®
Now, as we move towards the end of the Podium Racing Wheel F1® review, one of the most important considerations that most sim racers make is that of the build quality. Despite the wheel base release mechanism issue (temporary), the overall build quality of the wheel is nothing short of commendable. The carbon fiber and aluminum come together perfectly to give you a strong wheel.
Keep in mind that it is sturdy, but it doesn’t mean that the wheel is bulky, too. In fact, the entire structure is very sleek, finished off with an alluring blue Alcantara to give off that PS4 plus F1-isq vibes. There is an OLED display on the wheel to give you key readouts in a premium fashion. As mentioned above, you can use the dial on your wheel to determine what you want to see, and how you want to see it. You can also automate this view with a timer, changing these key elements regularly.
This makes the wheel even more immersive, giving off that Formula 1 experience that you seek. The LED rev lights along with the display help you determine how far you are pushing your engine – or how much further you can go. The lights also change color with respect to the six flag lights on track, not only showing you your RPM but your fuel levels, yellow flags, tire conditions, lap status, car damage, and more.
Following is an overview of the specifications that the Podium Racing Wheel F1® boasts.
Adjustable Drift Mode
Adjustable FF Strength
Can, Data Cable, Emergency Stop Connection, Handbrake Connection, Pedals & Shifter 1 Connections, Shifter 2 Connection, Torque Key
Rev Lights On Wheel Base
Degrees Of Rotation
Up To 20Nm
Detachable Button Caps
Tuning Menu Through Steering Wheel
1″ 128×64 OLED, 2.7″ 256×64 OLED
USB Update Rate
Force Feedback Drive System
3-Hole Pattern, 5-Hole Pattern From Bottom, Sidemount 2-Hole Pattern On Each Side
Adjustable ABS Vibration
Adjustable Brake Force
Paddle Shifter Adjustability
|PC, PS4, Xbox One Ready|
One of the biggest concerns that sim racers across the globe share for the Podium Racing Wheel F1® is the price. Currently, the wheel stands at just over $1,900 (€1,799.99), exclusive of taxes and shipping fees. For a steering wheel, this may seem to be quite a lot.
Not only does the premium build quality you get against the purchase worth it, but it is also important to note that the expense comes with a “complete package” in a way. You get a wide range of buttons, LED functions, a premium steering wheel, an equally premium wheel base, and of course, a number of features to boast.
However, it isn’t unrealistic to wonder if a sim racer would be willing to spend that much money on a steering wheel, even if it is a rare and unique piece of equipment. After all, DIY steering wheels are sure to cost significantly less. But would you be able to implement as much functionality, practicality, experience, and premium quality in a DIY wheel?
Then there is the direct drive capability to consider as well.
This concern over the price slowly starts to deteriorate as you consider the countless pros that Podium Racing Wheel F1® has to its name. There are several other direct driver wheels out there as well that you can compare this wheel to, including SimCUBE.
The SimCUBE wheel costs almost half as much as the Podium Racing Wheel F1®, but it does not include the wheel base. Furthermore, it does not have the same natural feel as the forced feedback, nor is it as powerful. However, it does offer a relatively similar driving experience as far as flats are concerned. The ease of use and compatibility are yet two more instances where the SimCUBE ends up falling short.
Another area where the Podium Racing Wheel F1® excels is that you can use the pedals with other wheels as well, for example, with Logitech wheels, to get a unique combination.
All this is to say that the Podium Racing Wheel F1® is rather costly, but one of the best racing wheels that sim racers can buy. Of course, there are other options as well, but for those who want the real experience and a test of their skill and strength, combined with premium quality and features, there aren’t many better options. This is why this wheel controller is highly recommended and we are confident that you will love the sim racing experience even more!
Frequently asked questions
- What are the dimensions of the Podium Racing Wheel F1?
The Podium Racing Wheel F1 is a racing wheel that is specifically designed for the PlayStation 4. The dimensions of the Podium Racing Wheel F1 are 6.7 x 6.3 x 2.9 inches (17 x 16 x 7.4 cm). The Podium Racing Wheel F1 weighs 2.2 pounds (1 kg).
- What is the weight of the Podium Racing Wheel F1?
The Podium Racing Wheel F1 is a high-performance racing wheel that weighs in at just under 3 pounds. It’s made of durable materials and features a comfortable grip that makes it easy to handle during intense racing sessions. The wheel also has a smooth, responsive surface that provides excellent feedback while you’re driving. Overall, the Podium Racing Wheel F1 is a great choice for anyone looking for a top-quality racing wheel.
- What is the maximum weight capacity of the Podium Racing Wheel F1?
Assuming you are referring to the Logitech G29, the maximum weight capacity is around 300 pounds. The base is made of metal and is very sturdy, so it can handle a lot of weight. The wheel itself is made of plastic and is not as sturdy, so it can only handle around 150 pounds.
- What is the warranty period for the Podium Racing Wheel F1?
The Podium Racing Wheel F1 has a two-year limited warranty. This warranty covers defects in materials and workmanship in the product under normal use. It does not cover damages caused by accident, abuse, misuse, or modification of the product. If a defect is found, we will repair or replace the product at our discretion. This is the sole remedy under the warranty. This warranty gives you specific legal rights, and you may also have other rights which vary from state to state.
- How is the Podium Racing Wheel F1 powered?
The Podium Racing Wheel F1 is powered by a 12V power supply. The power supply is included with the purchase of the wheel. The power supply plugs into the back of the wheel and into a standard outlet. The power supply has an on/off switch and a power indicator light. The power indicator light is green when the power is on and red when the power is off. The power supply also has a USB port that can be used to power other devices.
- What are the pedal dimensions of the Podium Racing Wheel F1?
The Podium Racing Wheel F1 has a pedal width of 12.5 cm and a pedal height of 8.5 cm. The pedal depth is 5.5 cm. The distance between the two pedals is 12 cm.
- What is the maximum pedal force of the Podium Racing Wheel F1?
The Podium Racing Wheel F1 is a high-performance racing wheel that is designed for use with the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3. The wheel features a force feedback system that provides realistic and immersive racing experiences. The maximum pedal force of the Podium Racing Wheel F1 is 10N. This is the equivalent of approximately 2.2 pounds of force. The pedal force is adjustable, so you can customize the feel of the pedal to your liking.
- What is the maximum steering angle of the Podium Racing Wheel F1?
The Podium Racing Wheel F1 has a maximum steering angle of 900 degrees. This means that you can turn the wheel a full 90 degrees in either direction from the center position. This gives you a lot of control over the car, and you can make small adjustments to the steering to keep the car going in a straight line.
- What is the maximum wheel rotation of the Podium Racing Wheel F1?
The Podium Racing Wheel F1 has a maximum wheel rotation of 900 degrees. This means that the wheel can rotate a full 900 degrees from its center point before it reaches its maximum rotation. This is a feature that is unique to the Podium Racing Wheel F1 and allows for a much more realistic driving experience.
- What is the shipping weight of the Podium Racing Wheel F1?
The Podium Racing Wheel F1 has a shipping weight of 12.2 pounds.