Thrustmaster has shown off a little bit more of its new racing wheel, following an initial teaser back in December. The short video clip reveals some more details on the wheel, but it’s very much a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it affair, as the cuts come thick and fast.
It’s more obvious than before that this is a formula-style wheel. The broadly rectangular shape and open-ended grips are fairly characteristic of this type of wheel. If that weren’t enough, the unit sports a large, center LCD screen, very much like a modern F1 car. This particular screen appears to be in the region of five inches, and carries typical formula car telemetry like DRS and KERS.
We get to see other glimpses of buttons, dials, and switches too. There’s a large engine speed/gear change indicator across the top of the carbon fiber wheel, picked out in individual LEDs, and we can see further DRS badging on the top. Unlike the earlier teaser image, it also looks like the wheel is mounted to a base unit of some kind — though it’s not clear whether the whole rig is new or just the wheel.
While Thrustmaster has been very careful not to reveal too much, the details might prove a bit of a clue as to the wheel’s identity. In terms of general shape, layout, and button coloring and labelling, the new wheel is almost identical to the steering wheel you’d find in the cockpit of the Ferrari SF1000. That’s the F1 car used by Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc across the 2020 Formula One World Championship, and which forms the basis of the 2021 season SF21.
It stands to reason that Thrustmaster would make a Ferrari F1 tie-in wheel too. The peripheral manufacturer is a partner of the official Ferrari Driver Academy Hublot Esports team, which will boast a driver line-up of Brendon Leigh and David Tonizza in F1 Esports this year. It’s also previously made a steering wheel replica for the 2011 season Ferrari 150° Italia, although the new item seems to reproduce far more functionality.
We’ll have to wait until April 20 to find out exactly what Thrustmaster has planned, what it’ll cost, and if we’re right!