The story behind the F1 simulator used by five drivers including Lando Norris
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In 2023, five Formula 1 drivers will have something very special in their living rooms, and you can too!
Cool Performance is a simulator brand at the absolute cutting edge of technology and customisation. It’s endorsed by Lando Norris.
Whether it’s F1 drivers, golfers, the England soccer World Cup squad or yours truly, everyone is blown away by the accuracy, changeability and comfort of the company’s sims in action.
Lando’s brother Oliver started the company – a brilliant racer in his own right and often on-par with Lando in karting before pursuing his education and business interests – when it became obvious they were doing too much travelling across Europe to visit various simulators to prepare for races.
“So Cool Performance was born, with the mission to build a simulator which was to that standard of race teams, but condensed into a home unit,” Oliver Norris tells Podium Life.
“We achieved this quite quickly with the team of racers we had and have behind the company.
“We all understand the feeling of a car and what the simulator needs to output. As time has gone on we have enhanced the simulators in terms of its functionality with luxury items such as materials and electronic pedal adjustment.
“We now have gone down the route of allowing customers to customise the colours, materials and the look/feel of their simulator so it fits into a home setting better than ever before. This is proving extremely popular with our customers.”
Whether it’s Norris, Alex Albon, Carlos Sainz, PGA golfer Ian Poulter or championship-winning NBA basketball star Andrew Bynum, it’s clear the simulators are a hit for a range of drivers looking for a tool to make them a better driver at the highest level or just enjoy car racing games online with the very best of equipment.
And no F1 driver gets a free sim, something Oliver Norris says “proves to us that we are doing something right with the direction of our simulators”.
The most popular product is the Formula sim – a ‘cool’ £25,550, with an Esports option for £14,250 – which has a similar seating position to an F1 car. You can adjust the steering height and angle, seat and pedals – the pedals are electronically controlled – along with materials and colours so that the sim fits into your home aesthetic.
It offers force feedback from the steering motor through the steering wheel to replicate the feeling of the weight of a car’s steering and the vibrations from the track, and the brake pedal can be set-up to replicate lots of different cars and categories with varying pressure.
This can really help with muscle memory and keeping sharp in a car when you can’t get out on track in a world where testing is heavily restricted in top categories to keep costs down or just plain expensive for series lower down the ladder.
It might sound like a lot of cash, but if you race 15 times a year and have to travel to Dallara’s sim in Italy, for example, to prepare, that might cost a few hundred/thousand pounds per trip. The Cool Performance unit is an investment but you’re paying for the convenience.
Simulation is absolutely vital if you want to compete in almost any series these days, even at the grassroots where a sim like this is incredibly expensive. But if you’re paying a few hundred pounds per trackday for each race you do, you could cut down and use the sim to do some of your preparation.
It’s not going to be in everyone’s budget, but you certainly get what you pay for. Finance options are available, too.
Cool Performance builds and completes the sim in your home so you never have to order anything outside of the package you order from them. And, as you can imagine, they rack up the miles setting up sims all over the world.
Completing most of those miles – reportedly around 11,000 – is Lando, who can spend hours and hours per day driving a whole host of machinery on iRacing, not just his own McLaren F1 car.
Obviously a huge part of Lando’s time is spent on McLaren’s simulators. The F1 teams have huge simulator units capable of spectacular computing power, and are running weekend-around on race events to provide feedback on set-up directions for the team on track.
This has given Lando a huge amount of knowledge of simulation which in turn makes him the perfect driving games tester at Cool Performance, to go with his 15-years of perfecting how best to practice on a sim.
“Back when we started Lando wasn’t considered a F1 driver, he was just like any other racing driver progressing through the ranks,” adds Oliver Norris.
“He helped us massively with the feedback the simulator gave us, and helped us develop settings. He still does this today giving us feedback with what to change/do to give a better replication of real life.”
“We use data from 20+ drivers, we constantly enhance the experience which gets pushed out to our customers automatically.”
Oliver doesn’t race anymore, he doesn’t have time given the sprawling, worldwide business Cool Performance has become.
He has to be ready to pack and fly for the next customer’s set-up in its ever growing portfolio.
Perhaps the best result of how strong his simulator line-up has become means Oliver is as close as physically possible to racing on-track.
“I miss it frequently, but I can get as close as possible with the simulators that we create!” he adds.
“If its suitable for the worlds top drivers I know that I am driving the correct machinery to replicate that feeling we all love. I can race with the guys I used to race with as well as driving with some top Esports drivers who also give us real drivers a run for our money!”
As you can imagine, Cool Performance has introduced Oliver to people he never would have met purely in the motorsport gaming world, like Bynum and Poulter as examples.
Perhaps the England football team would be considered the biggest names to use a Cool Performance sim.
“Connor [Hughes, Cool Performance] and I are not huge football fans so we didn’t really know too many of the players when we saw them, but it was fantastic to be providing a world stage event with our world renowned product!” Oliver adds, while almost the whole of England reads and wishes it could have been in his position.
“We really enjoyed this experience connecting Lando and the England football team together. Lando set a time for the players to beat, a few got close! But not close enough!”
Back in 2019 I was lucky to have a similar chance of learning and trying to beat Lando’s time around Brands Hatch, and I was pretty proud of being 1.6s off even if Lando had some opportunities to make fun of me.
Since 2019 the Cool Performance units have gone to another level, but Oliver isn’t content and has his eyes on the next goal for the company.
“The next steps are enhancing the customisation side of the business,” he says.
“The base of the product (the realism of it) is to such a high standard that it’s improving that 0.1% all the time, which will never stop. But the offering to customers is a key part of the business. Customers want bespoke products when they are purchasing such a high end/realistic simulator.”
“We now can offer completely customised simulators in 4 weeks. This is exactly what we did with Lando’s new simulator, carbon parts, bespoke paint colour. We can offer over 6,000 colours and A Grade carbon fibre parts to our customers which really makes building your simulator similar to building your own car in a showroom.”
So, if you have the budget and don’t have access to an F1 simulator at an F1 factory like well over 99.9% of the population, Cool Performance is for you.
Even if you are a F1 driver with access to a F1 sim, Cool Performance is also for you, as proven by the five drivers on the books in 2023!
A F1 simulator is a virtual environment that simulates the experience of driving a F1 race car. As a part of a F1 driving simulator setup, hardware like pedals and a steering wheel are required. A full F1 simulator cockpit provides a realistic and immersive driving experience for entertainment, training, and even research purposes. A Formula 1 simulator experience is different than just playing a traditional racing video game. It represents a higher level of realism and accuracy for real-world driving conditions. F1 simulator professional drivers use this technology to prepare for upcoming races because it can simulate the dynamics and physics of driving a vehicle on a specific race track.
What is the best racing F1 simulator? This resource can provide specific brands and manufacturers to look into, but overall all top racing simulator have these features in common. They all offer realistic physics that take into account factors like weight distribution, suspension behavior, tire grip, and aerodynamics. Their gameplay experience offers authentic environments that replicate real-world locations with accurate traffic patterns, landmarks, and road layouts. They’re good enough to be used by professional drivers for education and training purposes. The best F1 simulators also include specialized hardware components like gear shifters, motion platforms, steering wheels, and pedals. Above all else, F1 simulators focus on realism over entertainment. Common F1 games prioritize entertainment value over accuracy and realism. But that is not the case with driving simulators.
Formula 1 Simulator
If you’re searching for a specific F1 driving simulator software, it could depend on the gaming console or company who develops the game. Looking for a F1 simulator PS5 game? Gran Turismo Sport is a console-exclusive racing simulator for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. Looking for a F1 simulator for Xbox and Windows? Check out Forza Motorsport. A Formula 1 simulator doesn’t have to be a full set-up with physical items and complicated assembly. It can simply start with the video game itself that allows gamers to add features and accessories along the way.
iRacing is another F1 racing game that offers realistic physics and competitive multiplayer environment. Assetto Corsa is also a popular game that offers a wide range of tracks and cars. For gamers interested in playing a career mode with immersive graphics, day-night cycles, and realistic weather, Project CARS 2 is worth checking out. Aside from F1 arcade and simulator games, there are gaming experiences that focus on trucks and trucking. Euro Truck Simulator 2, for example, allows players to drive trucks across Europe while exploring cities and managing deliveries. American Truck Simulator is a sister title to Euro Truck Simulator 2 and offers the same experience but across various locations in the United States.
F1 Racing Simulator
The answer is “Yes!” to those wondering, “Can you buy a Formula 1 simulator?” How much does a F1 simulator cost? How much does a good F1 simulator cost? It depends on the manufacturer and current market. Cool Performance professional simulators range from approximately $27,000 to $38,000. Their gaming simulator is priced around $15,500. How much does Mercedes F1 simulator cost? The Playseat Formula Intelligence – Mercedes AMG F1 simulator at Playseat America is priced around $3,000. The Stage 5 Full Motion Racing Simulator carried by SimXperience Simulations is priced around $28,000. A used full motion racing simulator for sale is possible and won’t be as expensive as something brand new.
If you’re looking for a F1 cockpit simulator for sale but don’t want the full set-up, Best Buy offers the Next Level Racing F-GT Lite Simulator Cockpit for around $300. It is portable and allows fans to experience to enjoy a realistic driving experience without the significant investment. Any used F1 simulator for sale or used racing simulator cockpit for sale won’t require as much money, but brand new racing simulators with all features and accessories do offer the best driving simulator experience. Whether you buy new, used, a full set-up or not, it’s best to research all available options and determine what can deliver the best experience within your budget.
F1 Race Simulator
If you’re looking for a full racing simulator setup for sale, there are several places you can consider. Online retailers like best Buy, Newegg, and Amazon have a variety of racing simulators and accessories available for purchase. If a racing simulator cockpit for sale near me is not possible, look online first. Many F1 race simulator manufacturers have their own websites where you can directly purchase a full simulator cockpit or specific feature like a steering wheel. Fanatec, Thrustmater, and Logitech are just a few of the quality manufacturers out there where anyone can explore their full list of products and research specifications. Dedicated simulator retailers like Sim Racing Studio, SimXperience, and Next Level Racing also offer simulators and hardware components.
If you prefer seeing items in person first, or testing before buying, you can check out your local electronics or gaming store. It’s not a guaranty that every store like this will have a racing simulator or even accessories for a racing simulator, so it’s best to call them first and check before driving there. Stores like GameStop and Best Buy are good options that might carry racing simulator products. 10 or 15 years ago, these stores would be the first option for gamers to shop and find what they need. But now online shopping has become mainstream. However, these stores are still open and carry a wide range of gaming products.
Any F1 sim needs the basic hardware items to make it a true simulation experience. And of these items, the steering wheel and pedals are the most important. A F1 simulator wheel can elevate your sim racing experience to new levels of fun. These steering wheels often include a USB and Bluetooth dual-mode connection with customizable buttons. You can change the color of these buttons and configure how you want your racing set-up to look when not playing. Here is a list of the best F1 sim racing wheel options:
Precision Sim Engineering GPX
Rexing Mayaris Formula Wheel
VPG V-PF1 Pro
LM-Pro Steering Wheel Precision Sim Engineering
GOMEZ SIM INDUSTRIES: Formula Pro Elite.
The VPG V-PF1 Pro was designed for both professional drivers and gaming enthusiasts. It includes dual-clutch paddles, a full-color touchscreen display, RGB LEDs, magnetic shifter, and many more features. The Rexing Mayaris Formula Wheel displays a master clutch, analog joystick, clutch bite, thumb encoder, and much more on its full carbon fiber body. The Precision Sim Engineering GPX was engineered for optimal control and immersion and incorporated feedback from drivers who have experienced real-life Formula One racing. The GOMEZ SIM INDUSTRIES: Formula Pro Elite steering wheel has a high-resolution 4.3” LCD touchscreen, 5mm carbon fiber faceplate, direct-injection silicone handles and much more. The LM-Pro Steering Wheel from Precision Sim Engineering is great for long stints with your racing simulator. Connecting this steering wheel to your computer is easy and is ideal for racing fans who enjoy Formula One simulation but also like to drive other cars too.
Playseat formula intelligence for F1 simulators can be found at playseatstore.com. PlayseatStore sells official Playseat products and always carries the newest products (including special editions). The Playseat F1 online store offers a wide range of seats for every type of gamer. This includes racing, gaming, and even flight. They have seats for Rally, GT, and Formula One racing. You can also filter and sort their products by price, material, and even color.
The Playseat Evolution Pro Red Bull Racing Esports seat is featured on their website currently and is priced for $399. The Playseat Evolution Pro Black Actifit and Playseat Sensation Pro Red Bull Racing Esports are also featured seats that can be found on their online store. In addition to seats, they also sell accessories like floor mats, TV stands, gearshift support, keyboard holders, brake pedals, adapters, and more. You can also sign up for their newsletter to ensure you’re always up-to-date on new releases, sales, and top accessories.
We hope this resource helps guide your buying decision and evaluation of racing simulators. The information provided should help with the following questions:
What is the best F1 simulator to buy?
What is the most realistic F1 simulator?
How much is Formula 1 simulator setup?
What simulator do F1 drivers use?
If you need additional information beyond this page, check out the Podium Life Gear, Tech, or Gaming category pages. There you’ll find a list of curated content that highlights the latest trends and products in all categories mentioned above. This also includes sim racing cockpit previews, video games, and the technology used to elevate a gamer’s racing experience. These pages are designed to educate racing fans on available products that other fans, drivers, and racing professionals use. Each post serves as an introduction to a specific product and provides a link on how or where to buy it.