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Formula 1 returns for the 2023 season this weekend! Thankfully, racing game fans have a number of options to get their F1 racing fill, including driving games such as F1 22 and over on iRacing where members can get into the Mercedes-AMG Petronas W13 E Performance from 2022.
In trying to simulate Formula 1 racing, however, what exactly exists out there that can get fans as close to the real-world action and is also officially licensed by entities inside Formula 1? Here are some of those options that you can buy now or may be coming at a later date.
FORMULA 1 PLAYSEATS
Perhaps the biggest group of official products hails from the folks at Playseat.
Not only does it have generic, non-licensed cockpits in the form of the Playseat Formula and Playseat Formula Intelligence, but they also have official team products on the market from both Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 and Red Bull Racing.
In the case of the Formula Intelligence cockpits, the price doesn’t vary between the licensed models or the generic ones. All Intelligence models ship at $/£/€2,499.
As for the less-expensive Playseat Formula, the generic one runs at $/£/€999, but to get either the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 or Red Bull Racing models, it will cost a little more at $/£/€1199.
The Playseat Formula differs in the fact that it’s not a full chassis, and the wheelbase mount sticks up from the bottom and separates users’ legs into the left and right sides.
On the other hand, the Intelligence model is a full-bodied chassis that envelopes the legs, giving a more realistic and rigid seating position. Both cockpits, however, are fixed to only being utilized in the formula seating position despite having some adjustability.
For Williams fans, do note that they’ve recently teased an Intelligence model recently, and I would expect it would fall into a similar price range. It is unsure if they will also come out with a Williams Racing model of the Playseat Formula.
TRAK RACER x ALPINE
If you want a rig that can swap between GT and Formula seating, the Alpine Racing TRX does have that ability, and this one is the official gaming simulator of the Alpine F1 Team.
It comes in three different variants, all of which are carrying the official Alpine F1 Team branding. You can get it in the 2023 livery colors, the 2022 livery colors, or just in black. Whatever way you take it, it costs $1400 directly from Trak Racer.
The Alpine F1 team not only lends its hand to the paint scheme but was actively involved in its development, in particular the ergonomics and long-term comfort offered by the seat’s design.
Trak Racer also offers two other cockpits that are not Alpine licensed but can get you the Formula-style seating position with TR120 Racing Simulator for $673 or the TR80 Racing Simulator MK5 for $647.
FANATEC’s OFFICIAL F1 COCKPIT
Back in July at the 24 Hours of Spa for 2022, Fanatec unveiled a sleek-looking prototype, something that we still don’t know much about except that it’s been officially licensed by Formula 1 and used by the F1 Esports series. It was then showcased once more at December’s SimRacing Expo.
It’s expected to launch later in 2023 and marks an expansion of the German peripheral manufacturer’s rig line-up, plus the continuation of its F1 partnership.
Other than all of that, there are plenty of other brands that sell Formula-style racing cockpits, rigs and seats. Next Level Racing, Sparco and Sim-Lab all come to mind, offering something that delivers the low-slung sing-seater seating position.