Lego has just announced its first ever Technic F1 car: the Lego Technic McLaren Formula 1 Race Car. Almost as complicated to name as it is to build, this is going to be an instant must-buy for F1 fans – at least, those who don't mind it being a McLaren.
It'll go on-sale on March 1st, and will cost £159/$179. For that, you'll get 1,432 pieces, to build a model that's full of the signature functions of Lego Technic sets, and will measure a not-inconsiderable 25.5 inches long when complete.
Even more exciting for engineering fans is that McLaren says that the car is a chance for F1 lovers to get a closer look at the 2022 McLaren F1 car design. The colours are drawn from the 2021 car, but the physical design is drawn from the new car, thanks to a collaboration between McLaren and Lego on the design. James Key, Executive Director, Technical, McLaren Racing says that the set "celebrates our 2021 season livery while giving fans a hands-on interpretation of the new 2022 F1 car design."
Of course, it's not just about the looks. As with all Lego Technic sets, it's got a bunch of true-to-life functions built in, as well as being as accurately to-scale as possible. In this case, you get the V6 engine with moving pistons, steering controlled from the cockpit, suspension system, and differential lock.
This set is in the mid-tier of Lego's Technic range when it comes to difficulty. It's a lot of pieces, and makes a large final result, no question. But it's doesn't have the incredible fiddliness of the most expensive Lego Technic cars, such as the Bugatti Chiron, which are around double the number of pieces and double the price. The difference there comes down to things like the advanced gearbox in the Chiron, which is extraordinarily complex.
We think the balance that Lego has struck with the Lego McLaren F1 car is about right – we're sure some people would love to build an F1-style gearbox out of Lego, but this set is more affordable and more accessible, and will still be a great way to spend a long weekend building it, before displaying it proudly on your shelves.
Here's a gallery of more pics of the new car, to whet your appetite before the lights turn off and the race to pick up one of these begins…