We Got Into The Lego Technic McLaren F1 And Found Out A Few Cool Things About It

·3-min read
I got a taste of the Lego Technic McLaren Formula 1 Pop-Up Experience, which is located in front of Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza, and runs till 2 Oct 2022.
I got a taste of the Lego Technic McLaren Formula 1 Pop-Up Experience, which is located in front of Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza, and runs till 2 Oct 2022.
I got a taste of the Lego Technic McLaren Formula 1 Pop-Up Experience, which is located in front of Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza, and runs till 2 Oct 2022. | Photos: The Lego Group, 2022 (left) and Nicholas Yong

Start your engines! F1 is finally back in Singapore after two long years.

And to celebrate its return, a life-sized Lego McLaren Formula 1 car has made a pit-stop along Orchard Road in front of Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza.

I managed to strap into the driver’s seat of the brick build and discovered some wow facts about it (besides imagining I was Lando Norris):

Photo courtesy of The Lego Group, 2022

1. It replicates the livery of a real F1 car

This life-sized Lego model is truly a 1:1 replica of the actual MCL36 McLaren F1 car that will be zipping along the Singapore Grand Prix next weekend – down to the exact sponsor logos along the nose and sides.

2. It is made up of 288,315 pieces

That’s roughly 38 Lego Millennium Falcon sets or 201 Lego Technic McLaren Formula 1 race car sets. (Psst: you can buy the latter at the pop-up store next to the replica life-sized car at 10% off the retail price of $299.90.)

What’s Lego Technic? It is a line that's slightly more advanced compared to regular Lego sets, and includes gears, pins, and moving, technical functions.

3. It is 9x the size of the Lego Technic McLaren F1 set

Compared to the Technic set, the life-sized replica is a whopping nine times bigger. It measures 5.7m in length and 2.4m in width, roughly the same size as the actual race car. A grown adult can fit inside the life-sized Lego car, but it's a snug fit - which makes me wonder how actual F1 drivers are able to sit for hours in such a cramped space!

Photo courtesy of The Lego Group, 2022

4. The Lego steering wheel is just like the real thing… well, almost

The steering wheel on the life-sized Lego model looks like the ones F1 drivers use, and like the actual wheel, it is removable too! The gear buttons on the back of the Lego wheel are clickable. So if you close your eyes, you can pretend you’re racing on the Singapore street circuit.

5. It took 1,893 hours to build this car

The replica Lego McLaren F1 car was designed in collaboration with the McLaren Racing team and The Lego Group, and built by the only Lego Certified Professional in the Southern Hemisphere, Ryan "The Brickman" McNaught. Ryan was also the brains behind the Brickman: Wonders of the World exhibit held at the Science Centre earlier this year.

Cesar Ridruejo, General Manager at Lego South East Asia, steps into the driver's seat.
Cesar Ridruejo, General Manager at Lego South East Asia, steps into the driver's seat.
Cesar Ridruejo, General Manager at Lego South East Asia, steps into the driver's seat. | Photo courtesy of The Lego Group, 2022

You can get a free print-out of a photo of yourself seated inside the life-sized Lego McLaren Formula 1 car. Tag your photo on Instagram with #LEGOSG #LEGOTechnic #McLarenF1SG, and redeem the photo at the pop-up booth.

It took me slightly more than six minutes to complete this Lego activity.
It took me slightly more than six minutes to complete this Lego activity.
It took me slightly more than six minutes to complete this Lego activity. | Photo courtesy of The Lego Group, 2022

There are fun activities at the pop-up too, such as seeing how fast you can complete the build of a half-assembled Lego Technic McLaren F1 set (it took me just over six minutes, but my brain was running around in circles looking for the pieces), and a “Match & Build” memory game where you need to rebuild the Lego F1 steering wheel.

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And if you’re a huge F1 fan, McLaren F1 driver Lando Norris will be stopping by the pop-up on 28 Sep 2022 at 3pm. Will you be fast enough to catch him there?

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