8461 - Williams F1 Racer

Lego Technic 8461 - Williams F1 Racer

Vital Stats

Set No. 8461
Set Name Williams F1 Racer
No. of Pieces 1483
Main Colour Blue
Electrics None
Pneumatics None
My Rating 7/10
LB's Rating 8/10
Features V10 Engine
Suspension on all 4 wheels
Damped Hinged Engine Cover
Differential Gear on Rear Axle
Unusual Parts Suspension Struts
Shock Absorbers
Damped Shock Absorbers
Racing Tyres
Alternate Models None


I bought this set on ebay. The parts were clean. The stickers were already applied and not in good shape as can be seen in the photographs - they were cracked and some were missing. The parts themselves were clean and did not need washing. Some of the white parts were yellowed with age. The box came with the set.

This is the second of the Formula 1 racers in the Lego line. It is practically identical to the first one - the Silver Champion. It is based on an actual F1 racer - probably the Williams 2001. There are two sets of some stickers - one for Ralf Schumacher(5) and one for Montoya(6). There are multiple brand stickers all over the car.

8461 - Top View
Top View
8461 - Side View
Side View
8461 - Front View
Front View
8461 - Back View
Back View
8461 - Bottom View
Bottom View


The model has a V10 engine. Exhaust pipes made of flexible hose run from each engine cylinder towards the back. There are two exhaust ports at the back of the car. The engine cover pivots up to reveal the engine.This is triggered by pulling on a lever in front of the driver's seat and the upwards motion of the cover is damped by two damped shock absorbers. This is the best part about this model.

Engine Cover
Engine Cover
Dampers for Engine Cover
Dampers for Engine Cover
V10 Engine
V10 Engine


The engine directly drives the rear wheels. The drive train is — 8 tooth gear → 24 tooth gear → axle → 24 tooth crown gear → 16 tooth gear → 16 tooth gear → differential(16 tooth side) → universal joint → universal joint → wheel. An interesting construction is the crown gear meshing with the 16 tooth gear. This is unusual as the 16 tooth gear has a radius of 1L. In order for the crown gear to mesh it, a wedge belt wheel is used as a spacer to push the crown gear forward by 0.5L. This needs a 19L axle. Rather than use a grey 7L axle, a 6L axle and a 12L axle are joined using an angle conn #2. This adds 1L to the length - a handy trick.

The wheels are pretty big and wide. All four wheels are identical and have the F1 regulation four grooves. These wheels are unique to the Formula 1 racers.

Rear Drive Train
Rear Drive Train


Both the front and rear axle have suspension. Both use similar construction techniques. Each wheel is held in place using 4 suspension arms. These arms are a new part used just in the Formula 1 cars and keeps the wheel axle horizontal while allowing it to move up and down. They look a lot like the real thing.

Each side uses a 6.5L shock absorber. The shock absorber is too long to fit in any direction except along the length of the car. A link to the wheel support converts the up-down movement of the wheel to forward-back motion using a few parts. This is attached to the shock absorber. The same approach is used for both the front and rear suspension. In case of the front wheel, the steering link goes to the wheel support. In case of the rear suspension, the driving axle has to reach the wheel. This is done by using two back-to-back universal joints. This allows the wheels to move up and down and still keep the wheel axle and the drive axle parallel.

Front Suspension
Front Suspension
Rear Suspension
Rear Suspension


The steering wheel is an ungainly square shaped thing. This is OK as the real life ones look weird as well. The steering wheel is at a slight angle and a universal joint is used to bring it to horizontal. An 8 tooth gear drives a gear rack to steer the front wheels through a link. The pivot point for the tyre is the inner edge. This does make the wheels a bit hard to turn.



I bought the set on ebay and it came with the box. The top has a picture of the racer. The bottom has various views of the model.

Box - Top
Box - Top
Box - Bottom
Box - Bottom

Links and References

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