T818 Ferrari SF1000 Simulator review – Giving you the feel of F1


THE racing games season is approaching fast with a number of games on the horizon.

Something like Thrustmaster’s Direct Drive wheel T818 Ferrari SF1000 Simulator is just the right choice for games like F1 23, Forza Motorsport, and those who are levelling up from another top-of-the-range wheel.

The new Thrustmaster attaches without the need for screws.

Its compatibility has pros and cons. 

It’s excellent that the T818 works with practically all Thrustmaster rims: if you own any wheel from the same manufacturer, you’ll be able to use it immediately with great ease.

On the flip side, this will only work on your PC – Xbox and PlayStation won’t be supported at all, and that’s a shame if you think of the great racing games over there, such as Gran Turismo 7.

For the occasion, Thrustmaster has launched the new quick release system, which is fast, practical, and safe.

It no longer requires screws, nor does it need you to engage in overly complex installations.

At first, you have a feeling the rim might slip a bit as the housing is a touch shaky, and it took us some time before we decided whether we had installed it right. 

However, it turned out to be just a feeling, since the grip was always solid, even without screws.

If you’ve never tried a Direct Drive wheel, it’s kind of force feedback, as it removes the traditional filter between the player and the car.

It feels much more powerful, realistic, and precise in any condition, and this is even coming from the excellent T300 RS.

Playing F1 22 is a tailor-made experience, and the many settings available allow you to further customise the driving to your liking. 

T818’s response is granular and always perceptible, and the Direct Drive technology means you recognize the slightest nuances.

Setting the dead zone of your wheel is so sensitive that the steering wheel starts tilting at very high revs even when you vary it by just a handful of points. 

Assetto Corsa Competizione, on the other hand, feels like a day at the gym.

You’ll be absorbing and giving hits, feeling the heaviness of every gesture, making for a quite tiring but extremely satisfying gaming session.

If you play with a steering wheel, there is very little better than this game, and this Direct Drive setup by Thrustmaster.

Speaking of sensitivity, you won’t be able to leave the steering wheel alone even on straights, as the Direct Drive means it reads each and every alteration on the surfaces.

The same goes for the curbs which you go over at your own risk.

The device is surprisingly heavy, and we don’t recommend using it mounted on a folding cockpit like the Playseat. 

However, it fits very well to your desk, and the mounting system is slightly raised, which makes driving easier and more comfortable as the wheel almost tells you how to put your arms around it.

As for the look of the T818, the standard version already feels like a little car engine on its own, with a neon belt wrapping the air intakes on the inside. 

Moreover, this new special edition features the Ferrari logo and red colouring on the main body, which makes it a must-buy for the Scuderia’s Tifosi.

This edition also comes complete with a detailed and fully functional Formula Wheel Add-On Ferrari SF1000 Edition.

Compared to the previous version which doesn’t come with a display and electronics, the side grips are still made of rubber, but they’re made of higher quality.

Despite this, we still recommend playing with sport gloves.

Front buttons are also much better, as they feel expensive and don’t look like they’re about to slip away from the rim’s body. 

Curiously enough, they have the opposite problem of being somewhat hard to push.

Compared to the classic Ferrari F1 Wheel Add-On, it is the electronics where it stands out.

The central screen is a pleasure to watch if you’ve always dreamt of driving a Formula 1 car, despite offering quite generic information outside of speed and gears.

The greatest pleasure lies in the electronic speedometer, usually sold separately, which not only punctually follows the throttle in all the games, but even comes with a portion specifically dedicated to the DRS in F1 games.

The magnetic back buttons are still clicky, clattering when you operate them, but way more stable than their cheaper counterpart. 

Here all the front buttons have a dedicated function and while in most cases that doesn’t correspond to the real deal, balancing brakes with the analog wheels on the sides of the screen makes you feel like Fernando Alonso all the time.

Ultimately the T818 Ferrari SF1000 Simulator is an undeniably expensive gadget, but it feels a good pick for both those playing with a Direct Drive for the first time.

A couple of caveats in terms of compatibility and features aside, it’s an ideal landing point for anyone looking to take the leap.

Once you buy it, you won’t need anything else to fuel your motorsport and gaming passion.

Score: 4/5

Written by Paolo Sirio on behalf of GLHF.


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