Playseat's latest racing seat makes it crystal clear that you like F1, in case a cockpit in your room wasn't clear enough

Playseat Formula Intelligence - F1 Edition racing seat on a gradient background.
(Image credit: Playseat)

If you're familiar with sim racing cockpits then you'll know this F1-branded one from Playseat means serious business. It ditches all forms of convenience for pure F1 realism, opting for a low and relaxed seated position that mimics the real deal. It's also expensive, at $2,499/£2,149, which I'm assuming is another nod to a real F1 car and not only because it's covered top-to-bottom in official F1 branding.

The F1 logo slapped on every flat surface on the Play screams 'I like F1', even more so than perhaps a specific team-sponsored bit of kit. You don't just love one team, you're in it for the love of the sport. Though there genuinely are other reasons why you might want to pick up the Playseat Formula Intelligence F1 Edition.

As I mentioned, the laid-back seating position isn't just to look cool, it's mimicking the actual driver position within an F1 car. As such, calling it 'relaxed' or 'laid-back' might be a mistake, but an F1 driver is as close to lying flat as one can be while still being able to maintain full control of rapidly moving motor vehicle. The Playseat mimics that, more so than others, including the Playseat Trophy I use regularly.

There are a few major differences between the Playseat Formula and Playseat Trophy—as you'd expect from a $2,499 model versus a $599 model. The Playseat Formula replaces the fabric seat of the Trophy with a much more plush seat that extends down to the back of your thighs. There's also an adjustable screen and wheel mount that sits just in front of your eye line for an immersive racing experience—the Trophy doesn't quite have that level of customisation nor lets you mount a monitor.

You'll need plenty of room for the Playseat Formula. It measures 168 x 61.5 x 73. 5cm (66.1 x 24.2 x 28.9 inches), and I don't believe it can be rotated upwards to save space like the Trophy can. At 49.5 kg (109.12 lbs), I wouldn't really want to try.

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Though I'm not sure where all the money goes on the Formula model compared with the Trophy, the benefit of the realistic seated position alone will be enough for some to make the leap up to the fancier model. That and some of the clientele for the Formula simply want the best at any cost—Playseat says that includes actual F1 drivers, such as current World Champion Max Verstappen, who is known to compete in sim racing tournaments and reportedly dabbles in sim racing on his private jet.

If you don't have a private jet but are looking for a way to keep your pedals in a reliably stable position, I recommend something as simple as a foldable racing stand. It does a pretty great job and keeps the clutter to a minimum. Whereas even something like the Playseat Trophy is tough to find room for, but is a great use of the space, as I repeatedly tell my partner. I put together a video comparing the two types of sim racing stand late last year, if you're interested. 

Jacob Ridley
Senior Hardware Editor

Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things as hardware writer at PCGamesN, and would go on to run the team as hardware editor. Since then he's joined PC Gamer's top staff as senior hardware editor, where he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industries and testing the newest PC components.