Minichamps Mercedes-AMG Petronas W11:
Lewis Hamilton, 2020 Eifel GP Record 91 wins …
Another Formula 1 season starts this weekend and to mark the season’s launch it seems appropriate to review a Minichamps 1:43 scale model of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas driven by all-time F1 race winner Lewis Hamilton, when he set the record in 2020.
Sir Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton is a seven-time F1 champion now as he enters his 17th F1 season. His record is overwhelming with 103 wins, 103 poles, 61 fastest laps, and 191 podium finishes after starting with McLaren and then switching to Mercedes. He is the undisputed leader and winner in F1, although his seven world titles only tie Michael Schumacher in that category. Hamilton, a Brit, is also the first, and only, black driver in F1.
Mercedes sought Hamilton for their team as Schumacher was retiring and the German automaker wanted the top-rated driver for its team leader. Hamilton quickly became the highest paid F1 driver ever and has remained so for much of his career.
Hamilton won his first Grand Prix in Canada in 2007 during his rookie season where he lost the title by one point to Kimi Räikkönen. But Hamilton won the title the following year, 2008, with a last-lap pass to cement his first crown. He won his other F1 titles in 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020. He barely missed the title several other times.
This Mercedes racer celebrates his record breaking 91st win that moved him past Schumacher on the all-time win list. During the 2020 season he won 11 of the 17 contests. While he has increased that total to 103, he failed to win a GP in 2022, the first time he didn’t visit the winner’s circle in a season. His hopes are high, along with teammate George Russell for 2023, but Red Bull, Ferrari and Aston Martin appear to be the other favorites.
The Mercedes W11 racer was designed by James Allison and John Owen and a team of technical experts at Mercedes race team. It was said to pack 1,025 horsepower from its 1.6-liter turbocharged V6, aided by an electric motor. It also included something Mercedes called Dual Axis Steering that allowed the driver to adjust the toe of the front wheels for better handling as race conditions changed.
Obviously the car was stout too as Hamilton’s win total attests, but his teammate Valtteri Bottas also won two races in 2020, so the car took victories in 13 of 17, an extremely dominant performance. The W11 also helped Mercedes win its seventh straight F1 Constructor’s title to set a record, besting Ferrari’s longtime mark.
First, I love how Minichamps packages its F1 racers in shallow 1.5-inch tall cases that measure 5 5/8 long and just under 3 inches deep for easy stacking if you want to collect a variety of F1 cars representing various teams and drivers. The acrylic cases protect the cars and make for easy display, that shallow height not wasting vertical space as some display cases do.
Minichamps is expert at creating wonderfully formed racers with near perfect markings and sponsorship decals for the various venues where F1 cars perform worldwide.
This one is the more recent black Mercedes livery with the cool white/silver Mercedes “peace sign” logo dotting the back half of the car’s engine cover. Trim is turquoise on the front wing, mirror tops, and rear spoiler where the bright color accentuates the Petronas name. By the way, Petronas is a Malaysian oil and gas company owned by the government there. It’s logo is the turquoise oil drop seen in several locations on the car.
Hamilton is No. 44 and that’s in white on the nose and on each side of the finned engine shroud.
Petronas, in off-white and trimmed in silver, is on each side pod , while also on the top of the front wings’ edges and Petronas Syntum is imprinted just in front of the cockpit on the nose. There’s a Pirelli badge near the nose’s front edge along with the typical Mercedes emblem.
Tiny IWC decals are on either side of the cockpit’s edge, with AMG just in front of the cockpit’s sides. The safety halo includes an End Racism sticker and AMD logo. Petronas Primax is on the tail just below the No. 44 and Epson and Crowdstrike are on the spoiler’s side plates.
Minichamps includes the dark red trim around the air intake just above Hamilton’s head, including the Ineos logo. That logo is also on the wing’s rear.
All the body aerodynamics are here from the multi-tiered front wings to those winglets and scoops by the front suspension, and beside the cockpit above the side pods and flat carbon fiber skirting. A tiny blue and white EQ Performance logo rides on the rear portion of the skirt.
Slicks are the supersoft race tires with Pirelli P-Zero labels in red, the hub edges being a spiffy turquoise to match the car’s accents. Naturally front and rear suspensions are nicely detailed and the rear light bar extends from the tail as a warning for use in rain and during slow lapping situations.
Almost forgot about Lewis, the racer is in the cockpit with a purple and black helmet like he wore for the Eifel GP. You can see the safety belts holding him tightly in the cockpit and a flat-bottom and top race steering wheel in his grip.
This special release marking his record 91st win also includes a replica of an orange Schumacher helmet that was presented to Hamilton after his victory, and a pit board that can be posed with the car. Atop it says Lewis in yellow with 91 wins and Danke Michael in turquoise below that. Classy!
Equally classy, the back plate art here is a picture of Hamilton with his name in all caps, so you won’t mistake who drove this car.
Note too that this car is available for other GPs run during the unusual 2020 season where fans were not permitted due to the worldwide Covid pandemic. And Minichamps makes models of virtually all F1 entrants each season, so if you have a favorite driver or team you likely can find a model of that car, possibly even one in markings from its best race of the season.
I’ve been dealing with Replicarz for years and they are a fast and reliable supplier of die-cast cars. But for Minichamps there are many sources, including eBay. I’ve listed Minichamps and Diecastlegends websites below too.
Got a favorite, just Google the driver’s name and 1/43 diecast and you’ll likely find exactly what you want.
Vital Stats: Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team: Lewis Hamilton record 91 F1 wins
Stock No.: P201144
MSRP: $79 (est.)
Link: Replicarz.com or diecastlegends.com or miniatures-minichamps.com/gb/