LEGO Speed Champions 76919 McLaren Formula One Race Car: Pretty in papaya [Review]

It’s a good time to be a fan of LEGO and the McLaren F1 team. If you prefer your Macca race cars a bit more modern — and minifigure-scaled — than the new 10330 McLaren MP4/4 & Ayrton Senna set that we just reviewed a few days ago, then 76919 McLaren Formula One Race Car may be for you. It’s hitting shelves from the 1st of March for US $26.99 | CAN $34.99 | UK £20.99. Are its 245 pieces worth the time and money? Read on to see what we think of this latest addition to the Speed Champions garage!

The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

The box and contents

The box depicts the orange (or papaya, if we’re being pedantic) F1 car on a race track, with the McLaren and Speed Champions logos in either corner. Its real-world counterpart is shown in an inset on the reverse.

Inside are three bags and a loose chassis piece…

… Plus the instructions, and a reasonably hefty collection of stickers. Almost all of them are for applying sponsor logos. This sticker sheet must have cost a fortune in licensing!

The build

The Speed Champions made the move from 6-wide to 8-wide some years ago, and the McLaren starts off feeling quite small by modern standards, at just four studs wide. The steering wheel goes in early doors, making great use of the game controller piece with a new print.

New part buffs will be pleased with what’s included here, such as the 1x2x2/3 slope (identical in dimensions to the so-called cheese grater element), and the slick Pirelli-printed tyres. There are a couple of rare parts as well: the 1×2 jumper brick and the tapered 2×5 slopes have each appeared in just one set. Naturally, the prints are new too.

These tapered slopes give us our first building technique of particular note. They are used for the airbox above the driver’s head, and a single orange ski is sandwiched between the pair to represent the fin that runs to the rear wing.

The other printed slope is used in the front wing. This little assembly is attached to chassis via a Technic axle to which the wheels will be attached. Note the bucket handles cleverly used as wishbones as well!

The sidepods are made of a clever Studs-not-on-top (SNOT) arrangement, again using more new parts: some 1×4 wedged slopes, and a 1×2 wedge tile. The latter appears in different colours in every one of these new sets.

After that, the rear wing and halo head protection device are attached. The halo uses the tried-and-tested method of a flex tube bent round in an arc. For some Nice Parts Use (NPU), take a look at the spoons doubling as wing mirrors!

The minifigure

There’s only room for one inside this car, and one minifigure is what we get. He’s decked out in dark bley McLaren overalls and armed with a wrench, so he could masquerade as part of the pit crew too. The hairpiece can be swapped out for an orange helmet with a printed logo.

The back is also printed. I don’t think he bears any particular resemblance to Lando Norris or Oscar Piastri, who drive McLaren’s F1 cars these days. That mop of hair does make him look similarly young, though.

The finished model

The final vehicle looks resplendent in its black and orange papaya livery! The new parts mean the designers have absolutely nailed the look of the MCL60. In particular, the sidepods, front wing and airbox go a long way to get the shape across.

The slick tyres also look fantastic. In fact, the only slight disappointment is that the wheels are mounted on axles going all the way across the car, but there isn’t really a good solution without sacrificing the all-important playability. It’s not an issue that is unique to this F1 car.

Conclusion and recommendation

Formula One cars are often a difficult subject to replicate at minifigure scale. The many curves, minimal shaping and aerodynamic appendages, particularly on modern cars, mean that detail is often lost as the scale gets smaller. But 76919 McLaren Formula One Race Car doesn’t suffer from these problems. The amount of detail present makes this, in my view, the best F1 car LEGO has ever made at minifigure scale. And on top of that, it has some really interesting new parts and prints. So if you can pick this up, you should!

76919 McLaren Formula One Race Car consists of 245 pieces, and will retail for US $26.99 | CAN $34.99 | UK £20.99, with availability starting from the 1st of March.

Check out our full gallery of pics:

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