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Fanatec ClubSport Racing Wheel F1 : Test & Review

Sim Racer

E-sport driver & Sim Racing enthusiast, I decided to share my passion on this website.

ClubSport Racing Wheel F1

Benefits

  • F1-style steering wheel
  • Excellent finish and build quality
  • DD base with 15 nm constant torque

Disadvantages

  • Available in 2-pallet version only in stock configuration
  • Technically compatible with PC and Playstation only

Fanatec is undoubtedly one of the best-known brands in sim-racing, and the reason is quite simple: with over twenty years in the industry and a comprehensive, diversified product catalog, the German giant represents the Go-To for racers wanting to get into virtual car racing.

The brand has many fans around the world, including novice, amateur and professional virtual pilots. It has to be said that Fanatec’s catalog caters for all types of riders, whether competitive or experienced, and for all budgets. It’s easy to find quality products that don’t cost that much, but Fanatec’s catalog includes peripherals that will cost you an arm and a leg.

Among the bundles offered by the German brand, we have the ClubSport Racing Wheel F1 which represents an almost complete package with a Direct Drive base developing 15 nm of constant torque and a Formula and GT-type carbon-fiber steering wheel. With a design largely inspired by motor racing – and rightly so, given that this steering wheel is officially licensed for F1 – this bundle will be a must-have for single-seater purists on Playstation/PC. In what follows, I’ll introduce you to this product, list its strengths and weaknesses, and give you my opinion on it.

 

Main and technical features of the bundle

  • Carbon fiber steering wheel with a diameter of 27 cm
  • Officially licensed F1 steering wheel
  • ClubSport DD+ base with 15 nm of constant torque
  • Steering wheel PC and Playstationcompatible
  • QR2 aluminum rear
  • Small one-inch LED display with RevLED
  • Forged carbon fiber finish in blue
  • 11 buttons, 2 rotary switches, 3 encoders, 1 joystick and 1 FunkySwitch
  • 2520° rotation angle, with electronic control
  • Premium leather handles
  • 2 magnetic rear paddles

 

Design

Let’s start with the design of this brand-new F1 bundle from Fanatec. The steering wheel is more or less the same as the ClubSport Formula V2.5, except for the materials used and the buttons. Instead of stickers and a flashy overall design combining red and carbon fiber, the ClubSport F1 steering wheel is more sober. The front plate uses forged carbon fiber with blue accents, and the stickers are now in white. It’s very beautiful, much more minimalist now.

The base model is the ClubSport DD+ in all-black, with a blue stripe at the rear. The device is simple and very similar to the CSL DD, which in fact takes its inspiration from it.

 

clubsport racing F1 image 2

Customized assembly

The steering wheel is mounted using the brand-new aluminum QR2, which will eventually replace the QR1 on all Fanatec bases and steering wheels. The installation operation is very easy to carry out: either pull on the ring, insert the flywheel, paying attention to the connection pins, then release the ring once the wheel is secured, or skip pulling on the ring first and forcing the flywheel a little into place.

As for the base, it spits out a constant 15 nm of torque and will therefore need to be installed on a chassis, or at the very least a sturdy steering wheel support. It is true that Fanatec claims that DD+ is compatible with Clamp tables of the brand, but I wouldn’t use this fixing method at all if I were you. The motor’s power is sufficient to damage furniture, and in most cases induces bending and instability.

 

Manufacturing and finishing

For the DD+, Fanatec uses aluminum for the base housing, with cooling fins for the motor and electronics. By the way, there’s no fan inside the base, so there’s no parasitic noise. The finish is perfect, with all the parts lining up without any gaps or gaps between them.

Although the steering wheel is based on an earlier Fanatec model, the brand has upgraded its finish for this new bundle. As a result, 5 mm forged carbon fiber is used for the front plate, with an aluminum structure at the rear (back-plate). The finish is exemplary on all steering wheel components, from the buttons and stickers to the leather grips and QR2: everything is spotless.

 

Getting started with the bundle

The F1 steering wheel has a diameter of 27 cm, which is a bit small. Nevertheless, its slightly reduced size makes it easy to handle, especially in terms of ergonomics. All controls, whether buttons, switches, encoders or paddles, are neatly arranged on this steering wheel, making them easy to use in full race mode. Your hands will never leave the handles of this wheel, and you’ll be able to reach all the buttons on it. The only drawback is the pallets. There are 2 of them at the rear, which could penalize some riders who wish to have Launch Control, clutch on the steering wheel, etc. Of course, Fanatec offers a Podium pallet module, but it costs around €180. Is it worth buying? Well, it depends on your needs and your budget.

clubsport racing F1 image 3

Sensations during play

First and foremost, the ClubSport DD+ is a new base model released a few months ago. Even if this product is technically new, we mustn’t denigrate the experience acquired by Fanatec over more or less 20 years of existence.

This base develops 15 nm of constant torque, something we don’t often find on competitors’ peripherals, but it’s much better than peak power. As far as feedback is concerned, it’s simply excellent, but only when you’ve taken the time to properly configure the base with regard to all its parameters. The ClubSport DD+ is not a Plug & Play base, as the CSL DD more or less is.

You’ll feel all the information transmitted by the car, from light to heavy details, and all with excellent feedback. What’s more, with 15 nm of torque, you can kiss clipping good-bye with virtually any flywheel offered by Fanatec, even the heaviest.

As for the F1 steering wheel, it lived up to my expectations, and above all was worthy of being coupled with the ClubSport DD+. Even though it tends towards beefy flyers rather than featherweights, you won’t feel the few extra grams at all, since the base is powerful enough for it.

 

Compatibility

So this bundle is compatible with all the peripherals and other accessories currently offered by Fanatec, including cranksets, brackets, shifters, handbrakes, steering wheels with QR2 Wheel Site, and so on. Virtually the entire catalog is included without the slightest problem.

As far as sim-racing titles are concerned, I was able to try it out on AC, ACC and rFactor, and all three worked perfectly with it. And finally, the platforms: on paper, you have PC and Playstation compatibility, but you can technically run the base on Xbox, provided you have a steering wheel compatible with this console. On the other hand, you’ll have a few hiccups here and there, depending on the title most of the time.

 

clubsport racing F1 image 1

Value for money

This bundle is priced at almost €1,300 on the Fanatec website. It’s certainly expensive, but at the same time, there are no real competitors to the ClubSport DD+, at least on consoles. Build quality is very much in evidence, with premiere materials for the steering wheel (forged carbon fiber), and a base that’s just magnificent in terms of feel. I’d say the ClubSport Racing Wheel F1’s value for money is very good.

 

My verdict

Fanatec has struck again with this brand-new F1 bundle for PC and Playstation. With its minimalist design, excellent force feedback and impeccable finish, this bundle is a real banger as far as I’m concerned. Its only major drawback is that the steering wheel comes with only 2 rear-mounted paddles, which will limit its use in GT or endurance racing. But on the other hand, the wheel is part of the ClubSport range, and you can upgrade the paddles with a module offering 6 of them. It doesn’t come cheap at nearly €200, but performance is priceless too.

gt dd pro

ClubSport Racing Wheel F1

The best F1 steering wheel in 2024

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