LEGO Technic McLaren Formula1 Racing Car – A replica that is worth buying? [Review]The Brothers Brick – Toys Daily

We all know that LEGO is the best toy company in the world. McLaren is one of Formula 1’s most popular teams. They are the second oldest competitor and have a lot to offer. They’re also known for being innovative in the world of racing vehicles. It was only natural that they joined forces to create the LEGO Technic 42141 McLaren Formula 1 Race Car. The 1432-piece set retails at $149 and will be available beginning March 1. US $179.99 | CAN $239.99 | UK £159.99. Come along as we hop in the driver’s seat to take a closer look and run her through her paces.

The LEGO Group provided a copy to The Brothers Brick to review. If they are given products to review, TBB will not be covered.

Unboxing parts, instructions, and sticker sheets

This 18+ black box shines. It’s likely the LEGO packaging team would take a different approach if the new design didn’t come into play, but I really can’t imagine this looking better in any other format. The black and orange greeble strip look great with the car colors. pop.

The box’s front corner clearly states that this is the McLaren Formula 1 Team racecar in 2022. But that’s not exactly true. Many folks probably couldn’t care less, but Formula 1 fans might find themselves a bit let down. This was technically the last prototype built in 2021. It is unfortunate that LEGO released this LEGO release at a moment when the actual 2022 car had already been revealed. There were some significant differences. But we’ll get to that later.

There are 10 numbered bags (1-4), one unnumbered bag, and the tires. It’s immediately apparent that there isn’t a ton of meat to this set. To be honest, it feels like the initial assessment of the contents is that they don’t live up to the box size.

The instruction book is thick and includes a great shot showing the vehicle against a dark background. It seems to match the exclusivity of this set. Sponsors also refer to racecars. Sponsors often have lots of stickers so this set has quite a few stickers. These sheets are odd in that the instructions were in their own plastic bag/sleeve. However the largest sheet was slightly wrinkled with lots of bubbles. Fortunately, it doesn’t create a problem later.

The inside of the instruction manual pays tribute to both LEGO and F1 Team creators, much like the LEGO BMW motorcycle. The very first page shows a side-by-side comparison that is decent, however, it’s not nearly as flattering and true-to-life as the motorcycle.

The build

The first steps in building a car are the suspension and back differential. This is quite simple. It quickly becomes complicated due to the amount of stuff that takes place in a small space. It is not difficult, however. McLaren actually spoke out in favor of a locking differential. This would make it even more complicated. It is not included in final model. The keen eyes of a diehard Technic fan may also feel as though they’ve seen this before. Indeed, it’s extremely similar to the Grand Prix Racer from 2013.

As previously mentioned, once the structure is mostly finished, there’s a lot going on. It makes for a beautiful suspension.

At this point you can’t help but play with it, though the springs are needed for additional stability and… well… spring.


As you can see, the suspension’s motion range is significantly reduced as shown in the GIFs. Of course, it’s not like these road-huggers are known for their wicked suspension.

And, naturally, you can’t help but play with the differential too, just to make sure it works (wink). This is, depending on your perspective, the most difficult part in the entire 18+ set. In fact, aside from the typical issues of uncooperative pins, this set really isn’t much of a challenge or terribly interesting/exciting from a mechanical standpoint at all.

From here we break into that unnumbered bag and attach a giant 11×15 black frame. Now we’re ready to support the skeleton for the rest of the model.

Before the bones, we have to round out the guts with the engine block – another fun feature to “test”.



These are the steps for labeling your bag. “1” and we’re ready to move onto the other half of the model. For now, we’ll set this one aside.


Bag 2 begins with a steering gear rack mounted in a 5×7 Technic frame – new in orange. This setup extends front end length to accommodate an 8 tooth drive that controls the steering wheels. It is notable that the suspension springs have 3L connector pieces to hold them in place. This was last seen in a limited edition 2004 FIRST LEGO League set. It was previously included in a 2002 Bionicle Set.

The set’s most intriguing technique is the compression of front suspension springs during the building process. The springs can slide into a groove, then lock into place. This is possible because they have a unique locking mechanism. “resting”State becomes slightly compressed.

Now we have a tidy, compact central body that has been securely locked in place. While the springs stabilize it some, playing with it at this point puts a little unnatural torque on the system, so it’s better to want until it’s fully secured.

Once the work is done, the suspension will look very similar to the one at the rear. The front suspension is slightly more flexible.

Now it’s time to apply our first stickers to the model – and some of the most difficult. At 1×1, you almost need tweezers to get them on at all, let alone properly placed. But, I was able to do it without them.

Totally new with this set are a pair of panels used above the wheels, as well as an incredibly useful 19×3 Technic frame, which I’m pretty sure I need a boatload of. These frames are used as a secure for the sides of your newly-installed cockpit. They’re attached to the frame via “H”This case involves liftingarms “I”), which are new in black.


Bag #2 is now complete. The two halves of bag 2 are now joined together and ready for paneling.

Bag #3 contains many beautiful new parts. Bag #3 also contains four triangular curved panels. They are available both in black and blue. Also appearing in blue for the first time is the large 11×3 curved panel. The 11L blue liftarm hasn’t been seen since 2016. And last but not least, we have an entirely new part in the form of tiny 2×1 curved panels.

The tail end is detailed with both Technic and System elements. This includes a couple of those nice new 2×6 tiles in black. You can also place large sections along the sides to increase your body’s width and provide a base for your curves.

We can now expand to the blue side. This is actually one of my favorite aspects of the build because there’s something organic and interesting about the shape. It’s almost like the giant maw of a whale or body of some unique insect.

Another cool feature is the air inlets. The frame is made of fins that attach pneumatic elements. Both the technique as well as its appearance are quite appealing.

We come to the nose of the vehicle. The front looks great with its large, curved panels. These panels are also very useful, even though they have a slightly different color to the rest of the pieces. On the other hand, the orange portion of the nose doesn’t have as pretty of a slope as the real deal. You win some, but you lose some when it comes to LEGO’s limitations.

Bag #3 is the final step. This acts as a fin. It will give the vehicle’s peak its distinctive airfoil shape. At this point, despite seeming small upon opening the box, it’s clear that this model is huge in terms of footprint.

Bag #4 contains another group of interesting elements. Blue is the first color to feature the 7-foot-long curving panel. New in orange are the suspension wishbone (used in the cockpit halo), 1×2 thin liftarm, the pin hole bush with attached axle, and the 1×3 modified crank. The orange 90° (#6) connector was last seen 2004 in that same FLL set previously mentioned. The orange 1×2 locking hinge plate was last seen in 2003, but as a different mold type.

This set of steps begins with the assembly of giant orange panels, which are loaded with sponsor decals.

When a model is sticker-heavy, it’s a real bummer to come across issues with those stickers. These stickers are a focal part of the case. Our model was slightly damaged by bleeding, especially around the Gulf logo.

Connecting some additional orange sections (which include 11×3 curved panels, new in orange), all of a sudden the body is mostly closed up! It’s at this point that the mirrors are added to the build, but it feels a bit unfinished. There are no bush elements to act as spacers, or hold the axles in their place. You can push them out of place by simply bumping them at a correct angle, as shown in the illustration. This isn’t the only place a bush can be absent. Most of the time it doesn’t create a stability issue, but it sure doesn’t feel finished. I double-checked more than once to make sure I didn’t miss putting them on.

It may not seem like a big deal to some, but I find the DARKTRACE logo at my rear spoiler one of my biggest eyesores. There is a big gap between the top stickers, bottom stickers on the box, and instructions. I didn’t like the look so I tried to get them closer together. The result is fair, but not great. The problem is the amount of decal that was left on the sticker sheet. There must be a better way!

As we move on to the last steps, we will be reviewing some System components. In this case, stacking the 1×2 modified plates on the newer 2L bar with stoppers is an interesting technique.

The large wheels, last seen in the LEGO 76240 Batmobile tumbler 2021, are the end of the build. Unfortunately, it’s a bit of a lackluster finale. Why? The reason is that the vehicle’s back tires are wider than the front, even though they are identical. We had our fingers crossed that printed tire options would be available, but we are stuck with the awkward round plates that require difficult-to-place stickers.


The completed model

As you can probably tell from the tone thus far, there aren’t a ton of high praise points here. It looks great when viewed from all angles. Its bold design is also noticeable. It is a bold statement piece and matches McLaren F1 design, regardless of your feelings about it. Apart from the similarities, the shapes are quite cool.

It may be worth revisiting the suspension, even though it was already discussed.

As you can see, this final structure reduces the range of motion. This is to be expected. Perhaps I’m biased, because I’m more of a rugged vehicle person, but it feels weird to have spent such a significant portion of the build on suspension to have it be so limited.

This aspect is more complicated than you might think. The steering wheel’s small size and halo make it difficult for adults to use. Plus, when the steering wheel is centered, the wheels aren’t, which is likely a product of the necessary 8-tooth gearing. This is not an issue.

It is very sleek for a Technic vehicle. You can certainly appreciate the body shaping, although it’s not mind-blowing in terms of its comparison to the real thing. Also, it’s important to reiterate that this in not the McLaren F1 2022 model, as advertised. The car was recently revealed with slightly different colors and shapes. In some ways, it’s a completely different car.

Conclusions and recommendations

Let’s imagine a Venn diagram for a moment. This diagram shows Formula 1 and LEGO Technic fans, as well as Formula 1 enthusiasts. It could be seen as a sliding scale from an average LEGO Fan to an ardent F1 fan. Which category do you belong? If you’re curious, I’m a life-consuming AFOL with some special interest in Technic. I’m not well-versed in Formula 1, but I respect the aesthetics. I did a lot of research for this article. So what’s my take?

This may seem obvious to you. The entire set is not something that many people would appreciate. A casual AFOL with a pocket full of cash and no knowledge of F1 or a diehard F1 fan with little previous LEGO experience might find this model to be a great display piece – which is wonderful! Each to their own. Otherwise, to be blunt, it’s honestly underwhelming and overpriced. It’s rare that I don’t recommend a LEGO model to some demographic. Unfortunately, this may be the last Technic set I recommend to anyone buying from this or any other wave.

The LEGO Technic 42141 McLaren Formula 1 Race Car has 1432 pieces. It will be available from March 1st. US $179.99 | CAN $239.99 | UK £159.99.

The LEGO Group provided a copy to The Brothers Brick to review. If they are given products to review, TBB will not be covered.

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LEGO Technic McLaren Formula1 Racing Car – A replica that is worth buying? [Review]The Brothers Brick – Toys Daily

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