Formula One racing cars have been the subject of LEGO products since the 1970s and their design has evolved according to the changing selection of pieces available. 75879 Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H represents the latest model in the series and has been released alongside 75883 Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team.
All three vehicles are based on the cars designed for the 2016 season and this Ferrari is accordingly distinct from that found in 75913 F14 T & Scuderia Ferrari Truck. The model is decorated with almost thirty stickers which are laden with advertising and the bodywork is accurately represented using a selection of curved slopes and tiles. In fact, I think this might be the best Formula One car released to date!
The driver wears a red racing suit which is decorated with white stripes and a couple of green highlights recalling the Italian flag. This printed design is faithful to the suits worn by drivers during the 2016 season and it includes all of the appropriate branding on the front and back of the torso. The head is adorned with some stubble which resembles that of Sebastian Vettel, although I expect it has simply been chosen as a generic face.
Black and white crash helmets are included to replicate the differing headgear worn by Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen in 2016. This is great but I would have liked to see some printing as I think the helmets look fairly plain in relation to the designs on the torso and legs. It is also worth noting that the printing on my figure is slightly fuzzy, although that will not apply to every copy of the set. Nevertheless, this is an excellent minifigure on the whole and I appreciate its accuracy to the real uniforms.
The Completed Model
Speed Champions sets are often accompanied by some equipment and this pit wall is the largest such model yet included in a set of this size. The base of the wall is lined with a red and white rumble strip while the Ferrari branding is prominent on the panel above. A set of starting lights is suspended over the track and you can rotate the chequered flag to signal the end of the race. This is printed on both sides and the same element appears in 75833 Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team.
A 1x2 tile is printed with a keyboard on the other side of the wall and the monitor above includes a sticker which displays a race track. I am not aware that this shape is based on any particular track from the 2016 season but it looks splendid and the pit wall is completed with a couple of clips for storing equipment.
The Ferrari SF16-H was relatively unsuccessful during the 2016 season but it looks great, as one would expect of a Ferrari. The red, black and white colour scheme is very striking and I think a good balance has been struck between those colours. A total of 27 stickers lend further detail to the model and many of these are quite small so their application presents a challenge. However, they are accurate to the real vehicle and the set would not appear complete without them.
Formula One cars are designed primarily around aerodynamics and the flowing shape of such vehicles is not particularly suitable for the inevitably cubic nature of LEGO at this scale. However, the side pods are quite realistic and several of the stickers included are designed to give the illusion of curved bodywork. Comparing the model to the actual car reveals a couple of significant inaccuracies as the engine intake and cockpit are mounted too far back but it would be difficult to avoid this given the constrained proportions of the model.
The front wing is formed using a 2x6 plate with curved corners and includes realistic details such as endplates and flaps which are adorned with the Santander logo. The nose cone is formed using curved slopes of differing widths. This looks a little awkward but is faithful to the design employed during the 2016 season and accurate branding is formed using three separate stickers along the entire length of the nose.
A single Technic axle holds the front wing in place, allowing it to be removed with ease and swapped at pit stops. This is a nice feature as it does not reduce the sturdiness of the model, although no spare wing is included. However, there is a spare 1x2 tile with a number on it so you can switch the numbers to reflect different drivers if you wish.
There is room to seat a minifigure in the cockpit and a steering wheel is included but the interior is otherwise very plain. Blue Technic pins are used to attach the side pods. Unfortunately they are visible inside the cockpit and the opportunity to use light bluish grey pins to represent displays or dials has been missed. It is also worth noting that the space for the driver is quite large and I would have liked to see a removable cover included to fit more tightly around the minifigure, as on the real cars and in some past sets.
The engine intake is decorated with stickers on either side and a black camera mount is also included on top. The positioning of the cockpit has shortened the intake but it still looks fairly realistic and I like the colour combination of white, black and red which surrounds it. It would have been nice to see the Pirelli branding on the edges of the tyres, although printing on rubber elements has been liable to rub off in the past so this would excuse its absence.
The rear wing completes the model. This section simply consists of two 1x2x2 panels and a pair of tiles but it looks fine as any attempt to recreate the relatively subtle shaping of the rear wing would probably not succeed, instead resulting in an unsightly stepped design. Finally, a trans-red 1x1 tile is fitted to the rear of the vehicle, representing the rain light.
The smaller Speed Champions sets have consistently offered excellent value in past years and 75879 Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H undoubtedly maintains the established high standard. I am very pleased to see a Formula One car appearing in a set costing just £12.99 or $14.99 as they have previously been restricted to larger sets in recent years.
The number of stickers included will frustrate some and there is room for improvement with regard to accuracy but this is still my favourite Formula One car released to date! It looks great on display and the customisation options are very welcome, as is the large section of pit wall which is included.
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