Since 2018, Fanatec has been annually launching a limited edition F1 steering wheel with the new F1 game from Codemasters. We thought the 2018 steering wheel was very successful, but unfortunately we were never able to get it. We left the 2019 steering wheel for what it is because we thought it was far from successful. But then the F1 2020 Limited Edition version was announced and we instantly fell in love with it. Only 2020 copies of the F1 2020 Limited Edition steering wheel are available for sale, so it remains to be seen whether it will be possible to get one. On May 14, the wheel became available for pre-order and we were very happy to be able to get a hold of 1 of the 2020 limited copies.
The release would be this Friday, July 3rd, so the wait can begin. We already own a Formula v2 so we can still have some patience. To our great surprise, UPS arrived at the door on Monday 29 June with a package from Fanatec. A few days earlier than expected, and we don’t mind at all! Unpacking the outer box of the steering wheel is not that exciting, but the contents of the inner box are. So we had to wait for it, but it was completely worth it!
What stands out is the 5mm thick Forged Carbon plate which, together with the orange accents, leather handles and the omitted underside, form the basis of the F1 steering wheel. The perforated leather handles feel very comfortable and ensure that you do not get sticky hands while driving. We prefer to drive with gloves and with those this just feels great. We also see the well-known buttons, switches, encoders, funky switch, etc., the multi-colored LED bars and the OLED display. Both the LED bars and the OLED display can be (fully) customized in the Fanalab software.
When we flip the wheel we see the new magnetic shift modules. We thought it was about time that the standard Fanatec shifting modules would be upgraded. On a decent quality steering wheel like Fanatec, we found the standard shifters (without magnetic modification) to be far from a good level. The new switch modules are actually a stripped down version of the current APM (Advanced Podium Module). What is striking is that Fanatec has now made the paddles from 3mm thick Forged Carbon. On the APM these are 2mm thick and for that reason are often the weaker point of the APM. The shift modules have relatively little travel and have a strong magnetic resistance and ‘click’, which gives a solid, positive feel to every shift. Fanatec has announced that the new magnetic shifting modules will be released as a separate accessory later this year (presumably Q3).
The steering wheel is also equipped with the ClubSport Quick Release adapter, a quick-change system for cars that allows you to change the steering wheel within seconds. There are also 11 customizable button caps supplied with a very complete sticker set and tweezers to stick the stickers neatly and to customize your button caps completely to your own style.
We find it very difficult to describe, but we think this wheel really feels a level higher than the previous Fanatec F1 steering wheels. For us this is an absolute must have in the Fanatec collection!