It’s nearly that time of year again. Formula 1 is back! Last year’s season was the best in a long time with Redbull and Mercedes battling it out for the drivers championship literally until the last lap. I think Lewis Hamilton was robbed of his 8th Championship. But surely being included in this speed champions set has to make it just a little bit better. Right? If you’re not a fan of F1 yet, check out the Netflix documentary Drive to Survive. It takes all the drama and excitement of the season and compresses it in to around 10 hours of viewing. It’s a great watch.
The F1 W12
This set has two seperate cars and both are absolute weapons in real life. The first bag is the W12 F1 car from the 2021 F1 season. Although not as dominant as in previous seasons, it was strong enough to take out the constructors championships. The build starts with the chassis of the W12 with the standout NPU being the gaming controller as the steering wheel. The Sideboards (flat bits on the side for air movement) also give the chassis a mean look.
After the chassis, we start to fit out the aero and safety parts. Last season, the Halo almost definitely saved Lewis’ life, so it’s great it’s included. The set gives you the choice to add either #44 Lewis Hamilton or #77 Valtteri Bottas stickers. I think Valtteri is a great driver, but it’s almost impossible not to choose Hamilton being a 7 time world champion.
The addition of a new element for the wet tyres is awesome. If you don’t look closely, you think that the tyres actually have the blue strip printed onto them. Coupling it with the treaded tyres mimics the F1 “Wets” nicely.
I have two minor issues with this model. The first is the axles. They are quite chunky with the grey element and look a little out of place. Using a single black technic axle would have better reflected the high strength, low weight elements of a F1 car.
The second is the new base element underneath the car. A new centre piece makes it incompatible with the Speed Champions 3D printed stands we designed previously. It does break my model, but it’s a better solution and now easily clips onto a standard 1 x 2 brick studs. In this case, I’ll generously give LEGO a pass on this one. 😉
The Project One
The Mercedes Project One is a perfect vehicle to combine with the W12. The Project One show car built by Mercedes brings the best of F1 technology to the road. With over 1000hp and a 0-200kmh sprint of less than 6 seconds, it’s as close as you can get to a F1 car on the roads. If you’re not into car stats, this is faster than many cars can get to 100kmh!
Building the chassis was The chassis of Project One returns to the 8 stud wide option. The aerodynamic centre fin is built in with a unique approach. The surrounds are built first, and the fin is then lowered into place. It’s a cool technique!
On both models there are a tonne of stickers. I would love to know what volume of set sales is required to make all pieces printed? The front two headlights and the cockpit glass are printed, but not the other elements for this model. If you know how LEGO chooses which to print and which to sticker, let us know in the comments.
The double stacked wheel arches for the bonnet air scoops is a great technique. It would have been nice if the front one could be slightly lower than the rear to give a sweeping look. However, a full stud lower would have been too low so this approach is a fair balance.
The rear aero and spoilers look great as does the central monster exhaust pipe.
A male and female driver are included. I really like seeing LEGO including female drivers and we’re starting to see more females in many different classes. It’s only a matter of time until we see a female F1 driver.
Like most minifigs, both drivers have the traditional yellow heads. Given one is clearly modelled on Lewis with the facial hair and hairpiece, I would have liked to see a brown head used. Sure, that would have excluded it being Valtteri, but when you win 7 world championships, it does give you the right to be the minifig in my opinion. The included minifig is on the right. Notwithstanding the minifig head colour the racing suit is on point and looks fantastic with high levels of detail front and rear.
The female driver doesn’t have a race suit on as the Project One is a road going car, but her jacket is still printed front and rear and looks pretty good. As does the cap element.
We love Formula 1 almost as much as the Speed Champions series so really enjoyed this set. There are a few minor quibbles, and the Project One doesn’t entirely reflect the real life car, but it’s a decent effort. If you check out the real life Project One, you’ll see it’s extremely contoured. It would be difficult to mirror accurately at this scale.
Nevertheless we loved the build and look forward to adding it to our collection. We’re also really excited about the Lambo Countach set just released. It’s a perfect match for Speed Champions with the real life blocky look.
At $69.99 retail it’s reasonable value for a licensed set and great fun to wroom around, so we recommend grabbing a set when you can.
You can pick it up from LEGO or many retailers at the moment. We got ours at Kmart for $59.
Set: Mercedes-AMG F1 W12 E Performance & Mercedes-AMG Project One
Theme: Speed Champions
Set #: 76909
Number of Minifigs: 2
Number of Pieces: 564