The top-of-the-range hardware in Alexander Albon’s simracing rig

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Whether he’s playing F1 2019 or Euro Truck Simulator 2, Alexander Albon has the very best simracing equipment at his fingertips and feet.

The Red Bull Formula 1 driver has built a simracing set-up most online racers would envy. Here’s the details on his choice of kit – and what it would cost to build one of your own.

Cool Performance simulator

Albon is one of several Formula 1 drivers who turned to Cool Performance for the core of their simracing rig. These are typically high-end gaming rigs using liquid cooling for top performance with minimal noise.

Lando Norris also uses Cool Performance products and carried their branding on his Formula 2 car in 2018. His team mate Carlos Sainz Jnr, seven-times NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson and a raft of junior drivers are also Cool Performance customers.

If you’ve got £41,700 to spare, Cool Performance will build you a half-F1-car simulator. Albon’s build is slightly more modest than this, but still costs more than a family hatchback.

Pro-Sim Evolution F1 rig and pedals

Leo Bodnar SimSteering2 FFB System
Leo Bodnar SimSteering2 FFB System

Albon’s system is built around a Pro-Sim Evolution F1 rig. This is a serious set-up already used by some teams in Formula 2 and other junior categories. The hefty, 120 kilogram aluminium frame offers a wide range of adjustments to tailor it to different drivers and the cars they want to simulate.

Electronically adjustable pedals allow Albon to raise them high as they would be in his real-world Red Bull RB16. The pedals themselves include a hydraulic braking system and adjustable gas spring throttle which Pro-Sim claim are “the most accurate and adjustable pedal system available anywhere”.

The brake pedal can take a 200kg hit for those big stopping zones which is important. Albon’s team mate Max Verstappen almost lost a 24 hour virtual race at Spa last year when the brake pedal failed on his sim.

The driving seat position and steering wheel can also be finely tuned and, of course, these items are also top-quality pieces of kit.

The price tag, including some of the hardware detailed below, is an eye-watering £29,220 after tax.

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Cube Controls Formula Pro steering wheel

Cube Controls Formula Pro steering wheel
Cube Controls Formula Pro steering wheel

Albon’s simracing steering wheel wouldn’t look out of place on a real F1 car. He wields a Cube Controls Formula Pro which includes a mixture of buttons, F1-style rotary switches and a multi-directional joystick.

Four paddles on the back of the wheel allow for a launch control-style clutch system and the whole thing weighs less than a kilo, thanks in part to the front plate being made from carbon fibre.

If you want one of your own it’ll set you back around £825.

Leo Bodnar SimSteering Force Feedback System

Leo Bodnar SimSteering2 FFB System
Leo Bodnar SimSteering2 FFB System

The wheel is plugged into a professional grade force feedback system manufactured by Leo Bodnar Electronics and used for a wide range of simulator applications including racing cars, military vehicles and heavy good vehicles (so, perfect for Euro Truck Simulator 2 then).

Alexander Albon playing F1 2019
Albon will race in this weekend’s Virtual Grand Prix
If you want to upgrade your steering wheel base to match Albon’s, one of these will cost you over £2,500 (when they’re back in stock).

Triple-screen 27-inch Samsung monitors

Picture quality is not the only important factor here but refresh rate to ensure smooth, lag-free play. While Albon’s rig was supplied with three monitors (not pictured), he chose to disconnect two in order to configure his system for streaming.

Over to you

Are you into simracing? How does your set-up compare to Albon’s? Have your say in the comments.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 28 comments on “The top-of-the-range hardware in Alexander Albon’s simracing rig”

    1. Good thing he’s also keeping a backup of his settings in that Time Capsule.

      (ok it can be an Airport but I had no jokes with that)

      1. I use the keyboard for F1 simracing. Now I know why I do not win :)

    2. Are you into simracing? How does your set-up compare to Albon’s?

      I was interested in simracing, but unfortunately I don’t have such a savvy mother as Alex, so we couldn’t really afford any rig.

      1. Man that’s an ugly comment!

        Amplified by the fact that it’s about such a non-ugly person.

      2. @armchairexpert Get yourself a used Logitech G27 for 50-100 € (which comes with pedals) and you are as good if not better equiped than 90% of the people you meet in online racing.
        If you find you wanna take it further because you are really high up in the rankings and you feel the last missing tenths (and the last missing consistency) is probably equipment rather than talent, you can get a bucket seat from a junkyard and built something around it yourself with stuff from your local home improvement market. Even if you decide to also upgrade wheel and pedals with some fanatec, you can still stay below 1500€.

      3. I saved a little and was able to get a decent setup to have loads of fun. Playstation 4 Pro, couple of games, a Logitech G29 and a foldable seat from Playseat, since I play in the living room and keep the seat with wheel and pedals attached in a closet. It’s far from being perfect, but I pretty much suck at these games so I think it’s adequate to my level. The whole setup cost me less than 800€.

        1. turbospastic
          1st May 2020, 7:04

          I got same set up!

    3. For me it wasn’t so much about the setup, it was about the games. I had a late-model belt-driven Microsoft Widewinder wheel and pedals, a single TFT monitor that’s smaller than the TV I know have in my kitchen, and a rather battered old office chair.

      But the GAMES were what made the experiences for me, it was around the early-mid 20’s I have my rather primitive setup. Most fond memories of:

      UbiSoft MGRPS2
      TOCA Touring Cars 1 & 2
      NASCAR Racing 3
      Colin McRae Rally
      Viper Racing
      Monster Truck Madness (packaged with the wheel).

      What I also loved was the early modding community at the time and the initial forays into downloading tracks and car skins, even designing a few of my own on occasions.

      Like most, i eventually moved on to consoles, but I never got a wheel and pedal setup for my PlayStation. When I (grew up and) upgraded my PC past the point where my Sidewinder no longer had any support or drivers for the Windows I was running, I sold it on eBay with a very heavy heart.

      Looking now at the kit, setups, games and VR headset options there are now today, I get pangs.

      1. !#%&^!%# now I have to get viper racing running again..

        I really liked the suspension view on the track. In some ‘playful cornering’ in my (slow) car I still envision that view to get perfect apexes
        :-D

    4. I needed to come back to iRacing after moving to Spain and having to sell everything. So I built myself a computer and got me a Thrustmaster T300 RS GT.

      I got a very budget oriented computer intended for iRacing mainly, with a single 27″ inch monitor (not a gamer one with crazy frequencies).

      The whole package is a basic set, admitedly, but if you want to go hardcore, you also need a rig to mount it all, and I don’t have the space nor the money to have one. So an IKEA desk it is.

      All in all, it cost me 900€ for the whole computer+monitor+accesories, and 340€ for the wheel set. I’m already having tons of fun!

      BTW those do not look like 27″ monitors. They look huge.

      1. @fer-no65 Albon’s monitors aren’t pictured – I’ve added a note to clarify.

        1. Try assetto Corsa competitzione. Only one class of car but it’s something special

    5. Jose Lopes da Silva
      30th April 2020, 14:13

      My simracing rig is similar to Jacques Villeneuve’s.

      1. Ah, I see you’re a man of joypad as well

        1. Jose Lopes da Silva
          1st May 2020, 11:17

          Yep ;-)

    6. Albon seems to be the only one who always uses driver’s POV, regardless of the game. Lando, Leclerc, Russell, and Latifi, all use the camera-pod view when playing F1-2019. Of course, everyone must use driver POV in iRacing.

      1. I use the pod so I can see wider since I haven’t got side monitors nor can turn my head.

    7. It’s incredible, especially the screens. But don’t know about the furniture as adjustments seems limited.

      But honestly surprised they don’t have proper motion simulators like Force Dynamics for example, as they can surely afford it.

      1. @balue from what I’ve heard (or at least that’s what I remember), there’s some lag between what’s happening and the pistons from a motion simulator. So it’s not that accurate.

        1. William Jones
          30th April 2020, 20:24

          The lag is about 4ms on mine, (nlr motion platform) impossible to notice. I imagine it’s more to do with compatibility with the frame, the manufacturer of which is a sponsor. The ones designed to emulate g-force won’t be used, g-force is difficulty without information, unlike all the other motion systems which help you understand what the car is doing better. All the motion platform does is help me feel weight movement, I would suggest 4 buttkickers is 90% more useful, because they help you understand what your tyres are doing, and at £130 each, a bargain comparatively. He doesn’t have those either though :)

    8. Pretty far from my potato laptop + driving force gt at the kitchen table, works pretty well with low graphic settings in iracing. Its mostly lack of training time that is my issue, but get podium finishes often anyway :)

    9. Pssh…..ps4, g29 on a stand I made out of a pallet (full adjustable with a 10mm drill) and a 49″ Samsung tv. Awesome fun.

    10. Lando Norris seems to have a more advanced rig (definitely the steering wheel) though his copy of F1 2019 is straight out of the Mclaren Honda era!

    11. I recently bought a PS4, playseat challenge and G29. All used off eBay and Facebook marketplace. Managed to do it for under £350.
      Using it in the lounge in front of the 49” tv.

      I race on Gran Turismo Sport and it’s great.
      There’s a lot of sim-snobbery about, but nobody can agree on what is the best, but I’m not so sure it really matters. It’s all racing and anyway, real racing drivers are fast on GTS.

    12. I play on PS4 Pro in our family living room. My setup is a Playseat Challenge with Thrustmaster T300RS, T3PA pedals, TH8A shifter and TSSH handbrake. Also have PSVR for some games (Dirt Rally). I’m really enjoying my setup playing on a 80″ 4K TV. I’m more of an enthusiast/hobby player and I can fold up and pack away my driving setup within 5 minutes.

    13. I play driving games on a second-hand PC that is either 8 or 9 years’ old (I got it second-hand 4 1/2 years ago), using a 19″ Razr monitor, sitting on a cushioned dining room chair.

      Input is on a basic switched keyboard from 1997 that, from what I’ve seen on the internet, is worth more than the rest of the computer combined.

      I play Skunny Kart, Death Rally, Grand Prix 3 and occasionally F1 2002. I will start playing F1 2013 (the newest game my computer has the RAM or video card to run) as soon as I can find someone who can tell the difference between the PC version and the PS3 one… (I haven’t opened the box, but given that it has the wrong computer type on the top, I’m not taking any risks!)

    14. The important thing to note is that a lot of these higher end rigs are insanely over engineered for no other reason than to look “pro”. The people selling them must have some incrediable margins.

      All you really need to have some good fun sim racing is a mid-range gaming PC, an okay wheel, the best pedals you can afford (or a load cell upgrade for cheaper pedals), and a decent screen. As for a rig to put it all on, make out of whatever you have / whatever you know how to work with. Timber, PVC pipes, t-slot aluminium all work well, at much less the cost.

    15. Love oogling these high-end rigs! Plenty of examples floating around Instagram as well.

      I’ve got an ollllld RacingSeatsUSA seat + mount for my TS-PC Racer wheel, and compatible pedals. Display is a single 29″ curved UWHD @ 144hz. Primarily playing PCars 2 and Assetto Corsa, just trying real hard not to ruin anyones race.

      Mostly using this for video editing, FPS gaming though.
      PC build:
      AMD Threadripper 2920x, custom built closed-loop liquid cooling system
      Radeon 5700XT GFX
      G.Skill 32GB RAM OC’d to 3200mhz
      Intel Optane PCIe NVMe primary storage (I MUST load in first 😛)
      Full details here although I need to update that post with the newer components, and some small modifications to the cooling loop – https://think.knewman.rocks/2019/06/17/thermaltakep901/

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