Tag Archives: Formula 1

Ferrari 312 | Picture Special

Lego Ferrari 312 Grand Prix Racer

In the mid-1960’s Formula 1 was, perhaps surprisingly, nearly as restrictive technically as it is today. Engines had to be just 1.5 litres or less, which meant they were often comically smaller than those available to the general public. In 1965 the teams requested more power, and to their almost complete surprise the governing body responded by doubling the allowed engine capacity for 1966. We can’t image the FIA being that responsive today…

Lego Ferrari 312 Formula 1

The Three Litre era of Formula 1 was born as the existing teams scrabbled to take advantage of the new regulations. Ferrari were lucky, having a larger V12 engine available to them from their sports car racing programme, which they modified to keep within the maximum 3000cc allowed and shoved in the back of their F1 chassis. It was a bit of bodge-job though, being heavy and down on torque, and thus the resulting ‘312’ racer wasn’t a Championship winner, taking only three race wins from thirty-eight starts.

With limited success the 312 is sadly most famous for the tragedy that struck Lorenzo Bandini in the 1967 Monaco Grand Prix. On the 82nd lap Bandini caught the guardrail whilst entering the Marina and his car overturned, rupturing a fuel line as it did so. The shower of sparks ignited the car, and with the straw bales lining the track also catching fire Bandini was trapped in the inferno. Marshalls managed to pull him from the car, but he died in hospital a few days later.

Lego Ferrari 312 Formula 1

Ferrari continued to race the 312 with little success for several more years, with no money to develop a new car and the Cosworth DFV engine used by many other teams winning absolutely everything. Eventually Enzo Ferrari sold a stake of his business to FIAT, and in 1970 used the money to develop a new purpose-built flat-12 engine for Formula 1 racing, finally returning the team to a race winning position.

The 312 was quickly forgotten, but whilst it certainly wasn’t one of Ferrari’s more successful designs, it was – as you can see here – surely one of their most beautiful. The impeccable Model Team replica of the 312 shown in these images comes from Andre Pinto, who has captured every detail of the 312’s the suspension, interior, bodywork, and the (spectacular) V12 engine to create one of the finest classic Formula 1 cars ever built in Lego form.

There’s more to see of Andre’s beautifully photographed 1967 Ferrari 312 at both his Flickr album and at the Eurobricks discussion forum. Take a look via the links above, and if you’d like to hear what that slightly bodged 3.0 V12 sounds like, take a listen here.

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F1 of Ages

Lego McLaren MP4-6

The 2018 Formula 1 season is all but over, so we’re heading back in time to some of the sport’s greatest racing cars. TLCB regular Angka Utama is the builder behind them and he’s done a simply spectacular job of recreating three of F1’s most iconic entries.

First up (above) is the McLaren-Honda MP4/6 in which Ayrton Senna won the 1991 F1 World Championship. Angka’s model captures the real car beautifully, including a neat brick-built miniaturisation of the famous Marlboro livery.

Lego Ferrari 641

Angka’s second historic F1 car comes from the previous year, when Ferrari’s 641 took second in the F1 Constructors Championship driven by Alain Prost and Nigel Mansell. Like the McLaren above Angka’s model perfectly captures the famous racer’s shape and livery, and also includes some wonderful suspension and brake detail too, thanks to the ingenious use of mini-figure hands and Technic cogs.

Lego Williams FW14

Angka’s third and final classic Formula 1 car recreates one of the most advanced cars ever to enter F1. The Williams-Renualt FW14 was launched in 1991 with active suspension, traction control, and a semi-automatic transmission, and by 1992 it was utterly dominant, winning nine out of sixteen races and taking Nigel Mansell to the World Championship.

The model includes the FW14’s famous Canon/Camel livery and the superbly replicated bodywork and suspension of the Ferrari and McLaren too. There’s more to see of each brilliant miniature F1 car at both Angka’a Flickr photostream and via MOCpages – click the links to make the jump and ask Angka to build some more!

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Blue Wonder

Lego Mercedes-Benz Blue Wonder

Race transporters used to be much more interesting than a DAF with a huge box trailer on the back…

This is the Mercdes-Benz ‘Blue Wonder’, built in the mid-1950s to transport the team’s racing cars (plus a few customer cars too). Based on a lengthened Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing chassis, and powered by the same engine, the Blue Wonder was billed as the fastest transporter in the world.

Sadly the original vehicle was scrapped in ’67, although Mercedes have since built a replica, and so has previous bloggee pixeljunkie of Flickr, whose Mercedes-Benz W196 Formula 1 car appeared here earlier in the week and now resides on the deck of the truck.

There’s more to see of Pixel’s fantastic model at his photostream – click the link above to transport yourself back to 1955.

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Silver Arrow

Lego Mercedes-Benz W196

Mercedes-Benz have been the dominant team in Formula 1 since the introduction of the latest ultra-high-tech but also ultra-restrictive technical regulations. Jump back over sixty years and it was again Mercedes-Benz dominating the sport in time when – perhaps surprisingly – the technical regulations were also massively restrictive.

Limiting engines to just 2.5 litres naturally-aspirated or 0.75 (yes, under a litre!) supercharged, Mercedes-Benz decided to drop their supercharging for the ’54 season and built a 2.5 litre Straight-8 with a world-first direct injection for their new W196 racing car.

The resultant design took Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss to nine wins out of twelve race entries and back-to-back world championships. In 1955 the W196 won every single race bar Monaco.

The W196’s dominance was cut short however, when one of Mercedes-Benz’s 300 SLR endurance racers powered by the same engine crashed at the ’55 Le Mans 24 Hour race, cartwheeling through the crowd killing 84 and injuring another 180. It was the deadliest moment in sporting history, yet the race didn’t even stop. Mercedes-Benz pulled out of all motorsport activity, and didn’t return for another thirty-four years.

This gorgeous Lego recreation of the championship-winning Mercedes-Benz W196 from ’54-’55 comes from Flickr’s Pixel Junkie, part of a wider classic racing build featured here previously, and there’s more to see of his stunning silver model via the link above.

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Matra MS80

Lego Matra MS80 Forumla 1

Matra may not a be a manufacturer familiar to many of you, but if so they’re one of the greatest companies you’ve never heard of.

Founded in the 1960s Matra have made everything from sports cars to air-to-air missiles, including probably the world’s first crossover and the world’s first MPV (albeit for Renault). However it’s their racing subsidiary, Equipe Matra Sports, that we’re most interested in here.

Equipe Matra Sports produced racing cars for an almost immeasurable number of categories, winning Le Mans three times, five Formula 2 Championships, and both the Drivers and Constructors Formula 1 World Championships in 1969, making them the only team besides Ferrari to win the Championship with a car not built in Britain.

This is that car, the gorgeous Matra MS80, powered by the ubiquitous Ford-Cosworth DFV V8 and run by Ken Tyrrell before he started his own team. In the hands of Jackie Stewart the MS80 won five of the ten races it entered in the ’69 season, winning the Championship by a huge margin, despite the fact that every other race winner that year used the same engine.

This fabulous Model Team replica of the Matra MS80 comes from classic racer extraordinaire Luca Rusconi aka RoscoPC, with a superbly-replicated Cosworth DFV engine, working steering and suspension, and some ace period-correct decals. There’s more to see of Luca’s brilliant Matra MS80 on Flickr via the link above, plus you can read our interview with the builder as part of the Master MOCers Series by clicking here.

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Ferrari 312T | Picture Special

Lego Ferrari 312T Niki Lauda

This is the four-time Championship winning Ferrari 312T, shown here in its earliest configuration from 1975, and it’s one of the greatest Formula 1 car designs of all time. Powered by Ferrari’s proven flat-12 engine the 312T was not turbocharged as per many of its rivals, despite the ‘T’ in the name. That ‘T’ in fact stood for ‘Transverse’, denoting the gearbox layout, making the 312T the first Formula 1 car to use the design.

The result was fantastic handling, and whilst the newer turbo-engines in rival cars of the time made huge power it was often at the expense of reliability, meaning their straight-line advantage often came to nought. Ferrari’s handling edge was so good they raced the 312T for six years, evolving the design over that time to meet with changing regulations, before the car was finally replaced in 1981.

Lego Ferrari 312T Niki Lauda

This incredible replica of Niki Lauda’s championship-winning 1975 Ferrari 312T comes from race-car-building-legend Luca Rusconi aka RoscoPC. Developed from an earlier model featured here last year, Luca has updated his 312T with the latest LEGO parts, and the model comes complete with beautifully authentic-looking period decals, working steering, suspension, and a faithful recreation of the famous flat-12 engine.

There’s a whole lot more to see of Luca’s stunning Ferrari 312T at his Flickr album via the link above, plus you can learn how Luca creates his amazing historic racing cars like this one in his Master MOCers interview by clicking here.

Lego Ferrari 312T Niki Lauda

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Ferrari 640 | Picture Special

Lego Ferrari 640 Formula 1

The 2018 Formula 1 season is nearly upon us. Grid girls are out, halo driver protection is in, and the sport continues its slide into boring, safe, mediocrity. We’re going to take a trip back to more exciting times then, when cars were powered by a variety of fire-spitting engines, the main sponsors were tobacco companies, and girls were allowed to look pretty.

Lego Ferrari 640 Formula 1

This is a Ferrari 640 Formula 1 car from 1989, and it was rubbish. Driven by Nigel Mansell and Gerhard Berger, there wasn’t a single race in the 1989 championship where both cars finished. The culprit was Formula 1’s first semi-automatic electrically-controlled gearbox which broke with clockwork regularity. Who’d have thought Italian electronics would be unreliable?

Lego Ferrari 640 Formula 1

When the gearbox electronics weren’t on strike though, the V12-powered 640 was incredibly fast. Of the thirty-two race starts in 1989 the Ferrari 640 finished just ten, but all of those were on the podium, including three race wins.

Lego Ferrari Formula 1 Car

By the end of the season the 640’s troublesome semi-automatic gearbox had been largely sorted, but it was too late for Mansell and Berger who finished just 4th and a lowly 7th respectively, thanks to frequent retirements. However a new line had been drawn. The following year the more reliable Ferrari 641 took six race wins and finished second in the Constructor’s Championship, and by the mid-90s semi-automatic gearboxes had become the norm in Formula 1.

Lego Ferrari Formula 1 Car

This wonderful Model Team recreation of the fast but fragile Ferrari 640 comes from Formula 1-building legend Luca Rusconi aka RoscoPC who has appeared here numerous times with his stunning racing replicas. His incredible 640 features beautifully replicated bodywork, including period decals, plus working steering, suspension, and V12 engine. There’s a whole lot more to see at Luca’s Ferrari 640 album on Flickr, plus you can read our interview with the builder as part of the Master MOCers series by clicking here.

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Brabham BMW BT50

Lego Brabham BMW BT50

This is a Brabham BMW BT50 and it was – frankly – a bit shit. Powered by a tiny four-cylinder 1.5 litre turbo the BT50 was hugely forward thinking for 1982, but also catastrophically unreliable. The Bernie Ecclestone owned team retired cars from 17 out of 22 race starts in 1982, although the car did prove fast when it worked, securing a race win at Canada.

Not one of Formula 1’s greats then, but nevertheless a car that pioneered the technology that almost all top-flight racing cars use today. This superb recreation of the Brabham BT50 comes from previous bloggee Greg 998, and it includes working steering, suspension, a well-replicated BMW Motorsport engine and a wealth of rather lovely decals. There’s more to see of the build at Greg’s Flickr album or via MOCpages – click the links to make the jump.

Lego Brabham BMW BT50

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Eagle Weslake Mk1 | Picture Special

Lego Eagle Weslake Mk1

The UK and US have a long and successful racing history. The AC Cobra, the Ford GT40, Lola, Chevrolet-McLaren and many more all prove that Anglo-American collaboration can produce an incredible racing car. The Anglo-American Racing Eagle Weslake Mk1 however, did not.

Built by American Formula 1 driver Dan Gurney the Eagle Weslake Mk1 wowed crowds when it debuted at the start of the 1966 season. The car initially raced with Dan at the wheel powered by a Coventry-Climax four-cylinder engine, until it’s purpose-built Gurney-Westlake V12 was ready for the ’67 season.

Often cited as the most beautiful Formula 1 car ever built, if the newly-engined V12-powered Mk1 went as well as it looked it would be a championship winner.

Lego Eagle Weslake Mk1

It didn’t.

Despite obvious speed allowing the Mk1 to qualify at or near the front of the grid almost all season, chronic fragility of the Gurney-Weslake V12 engine meant the car retired from every race bar two. The two races in which it did finish were both podiums though, proving the speed was there and making Dan Gurney one of only three drivers ever to win a Formula 1 Grand Prix in a car of their own making.

However the Eagle-Weslake’s statistics don’t make for great reading. Of the 26 races the Mk1 started the car finished just six, and in three of those it was powered by the old Coventry-Climax engine. By the end of 1968 Anglo-American Racing closed its doors and Gurney returned to the ‘states under the All American Racing banner to continue competing in domestic championships.

Lego Eagle Weslake Mk1 F1

Nevertheless the Gurney-Weslake Mk1 was a race-winner and thus deserves its place in the Formula 1 Hall of Fame. TLCB Master MOCer Luca Rusconi (aka RoscoPC) has recreated the Mk1 in spectacular detail, as he continues to upload his huge back-catalogue of historic racing cars to Flickr.

First built in 2013 (when it appeared here) Luca’s model has been beautifully re-photgraphed, and it features working suspension, functioning steering, and an accurate replica of the unreliable Gurney-Weslake V12 engine. A whole host of stunning images are available to view at Luca’s Eagle-Weslake Flickr album – click here to take a look.

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Hairpin

Things have become a bit slack at TLCB towers recently. The Elf-Wrangler-in-Chief is away and we must admit to having been rather lenient with the Elves. We’ve left top off the Smarties jar on more than one occasion. We’ve enjoyed the abundance of Lego aeroplanes that they’ve brought us, though the little monsters must realise that these aren’t cars! This morning, two of the Elves staggered in looking a bit soggy. They’d swum home from Amsterdam carrying Ralph Savelsberg’s EA-1F Skyraider and tried to tempt us with it.

Fortunately, we’d read The Brothers Brick and spotted this beautiful scene by Simon Pickard on Flickr. Simon’s model of this famous part of a famous F1 circuit must have involved a great deal of patience. He has wedged hundreds of tiles, edge-on, to create a smooth and flowing tarmac curve. Topped off with two cars from different ages of racing and a nice crane, this model is well worth a further look.

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Speed in the ’70s

Lego Historic F1 Car 1970s

This TLCB writer wasn’t alive in the 1970s, but it seemed like a very bleak time. Everyone was on strike and everything was either brown or beige. Apart from Formula 1.

F1 in the 1970s was something of a golden age, filled with colour, danger, and some of the coolest looking racing cars ever to take part in the sport. This top-notch generic 1970s Formula 1 car transports us back to that time, it’s been built by GiantAmbushBeetle of Eurobricks, and there’s more to see via the link above.

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Williams FW14B – Picture Special

Lego Williams FW14B Formula 1

This is the Williams FW14, designed by the legendary Adrian Newey and powered by Renault’s formidable 3.5litre V10, it won more than half of the Formula 1 races that it ever entered.

Launched in 1991 the FW14 was a technical masterpiece, and one that many thought too complicated to work. With active suspension, a semi-automatic transmission, traction control and incredible aerodynamics, they were initially  right, and teething troubles meant a string of retirements throughout the 1991 season.

Despite the breakdowns Williams still managed to secure seven race wins and second place in the Constructor’s Championship, behind the slower but more reliable McLaren, and they set to work ironing out the reliability issues for the 1992 season.

Lego Williams FW14B Formula 1

The following year Williams returned with the upgraded FW14B and it proved utterly dominant, winning ten of the sixteen races and qualifying 2-3 seconds faster than anyone else. Williams took the Constructors’ World Championship in 1992, with Nigel Mansell becoming World Champion just a year after he considered retiring from the sport.

Williams replaced the FW14B with the FW15C for 1993, further the developing the active suspension, traction control and semi-automatic gearbox debuted on the FW14. The car took the team to another Driver’s and Constructor’s World Championship, before the FIA outlawed electronic driver aids in 1994, making the FW14 and FW15 possibly the most advanced Formula 1 cars that have ever been built.

This incredible recreation of the 1992 Championship-winning FW14B comes from previous bloggee and Master MOCer Luca Rosconi aka RoscoPC, who continues to upload his amazing back-catalogue of historic Grand Prix cars to Flickr. With a working V10 engine, pushrod suspension and functioning steering Luca’s beautiful build is as accurate underneath us it is on the outside.

There’s much more to see at the FW14B Flickr album, and you can read our interview with Luca as part of the Master MOCers series to find out how he builds creations like this one by clicking here.

Lego Williams FW14B Formula 1

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McLaren M23 – Picture Special

Lego McLaren M23

This is the McLaren M23, a car that raced in Formula 1, Formula 5000, and the Indy 500 over five seasons between 1973 and 1978.

Powered by the ubiquitous Cosworth DFV engine and with relatively unremarkable bodywork the M23 was not the most innovative car of the time. However McLaren’s continual development of the M23 kept it amongst the front-runners of Formula 1 right up until the arrival of the M26 mid way through the 1977 season, earning two Driver’s and a Constructor’s World Championships, sixteen Formula 1 race wins, and multiple podiums.

Lego McLaren M23 Formula 1 Car

It was towards the end of the M23’s career that it won probably the most famous Formula 1 Championship of all time, when James Hunt emerged victorious from a season-long battle with Ferrari’s Nikki Lauda at a rain-soaked Fuji Speedway. The 1976 season has been immortalised in the 2013 Ron Howard epic ‘Rush’ (which if you haven’t seen it – watch the trailer here), and now Hunt’s ’76 McLaren M23D has been immortalised in Lego too.

Constructed by Formula 1 building legend Luca Rusconi (aka RoscoPC) this Model Team McLaren M23D is a near perfect recreation of the 1976 Championship-winning car. With period-correct decals, a working V8 engine, and steering and suspension, Luca’s M23D is a stunning Lego replica of one of F1’s greats.

Lego McLaren M23 James Hunt

There’s lots more to see at Luca’s Flickr photostream, where you can also find his extensive back-cataelgue of superb historic racing cars, plus you can read our interview with Luca as part of the Master MOCers series by clicking here.

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Pit Stop

Lego Scuderia Ferrari F1 Pit Stop

Two seconds. And Scuderia Ferrari have changed four wheels and tyres. That’s less time than it took you to read this sentence.

Suggested by a reader this neat pit stop scene showing the world’s fastest mini-figure pit crew at work comes from Master MOCer Andrea Lattanzio aka Norton74, and there’s more to see on Flickr. But be quick!

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Life-Size Scuderia Ferrari SF70H Formula 1 Car

Lego Scuderia Ferrari SF70H Formula 1 Car

The LEGO Company have been busy lately. Hot on the heels of their largest set ever, the 7,500 piece Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon, LEGO’s expert model-makers have reminded us what a really big LEGO model looks like.

This is a life-size replica of Ferrari’s 2017 race-winning Formula 1 car, the Scuderia Ferrari SF70H. Built from 349,911 LEGO bricks, the SF70H contains forty-seven times more pieces than the 75192 Millennium Falcon set, and took a team of expert designers and builders 750 hours to complete.

Expect to see more of LEGO’s life-size Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 car throughout the year, and in the meantime you can check out a time-lapse of the monumental build process via the video below.

YouTube Video

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