The best F1 gifts you can buy

Ensure you buy the best gift possible with CAR's guide to F1 gifts

best F1 gifts

by Ryan Gilmore |
Updated on

Most of the CAR team love a good F1 gift. We also love F1 and keeping up with each season, so combining the two seems like a no-brainer. The sport is littered with history and great stories in subsequent F1 books, and gifts have been around since the 1950s.

However, there is a lot of not-very-good F1-related merch and sponsored rubbish for sale. They are often very cheap and really quite tacky for most people's tastes. So, finding a good F1 gift can be harder than you think.

Luckily however, there are also loads of great gifts out there. Ranging from motorsport art prints to entire cars, F1 gifts range widely in size, style, budget, and outright cool factor.

The best F1 gifts at a glance:

Editor's pick: Lego Icons McLaren MP4/4 Aytron Senna - buy from Amazon.
Best F1 wall art: F1 Track Wall Art - buy from Etsy.
Best replica F1 Helmet: Michael Schumacher 1992 Spa GP - buy from F1 Authentics.

We've come up with a guide to the best F1 gifts that won't leave the recipient gently asking for the gift receipt. Join CAR as we take you through our choices for the best F1-themed presents, from team merchandise to products from smaller businesses.

CAR - Best gifts for F1 fans

Editor's pick

Lego Icons Senna F1 CarVia Lego
Price: $94.29

The second Senna-themed gift goes to a brand new release by Lego for the Icons range. The MP4/4 McLaren was the car that Senna was best known for driving. That astonishing clip of him fighting the car around Monaco with one hand was nothing short of spectacular.

Unless you're the chief test driver for McLaren's heritage cars (yep, that is a real job), none of us could ever have the chance of recreating that lap. We can appreciate it though, by building the Lego MP4/4 - and at just £70, it's great value as well.

Pros

  • Very nice detail
  • Little Senna mini figure included
  • Great value

Cons

  • There aren't other classic F1 cars in the Icons range yet
  • It's one of the quicker builds

Best F1 gift for gamers

F1 23 PS5Via EA Sports

The latest F1 game instalment is always a perfect gift shout for fans of the sport. With more tracks, better graphics and an improved physics system, this is the perfect way to enjoy the sport between race weekends or over the long breaks. It's quite unfortunate that you can't race any historic stuff, though.

As per the previous F1 games, you get to create your own season and driver story. But following a notable change in recent installations, you don't just get to drive in Formula One. You also get to dig your teeth into Formula Two as well.

Pros

  • Immersive story mode
  • Perfect for current (just) fans of the sport
  • Amazing graphics

Cons

  • F1 2024 is coming
  • Not great for historic F1 fans

Best F1 documentary

Senna Formula 1 DocumentaryVia StudioCanal

Ayrton Senna needs no introduction, he is one of, if not the best F1 driver ever and his rise to the top is fascinating. From a relatively normal upbringing in Brazil to winning three F1 champions, Senna's life was utterly crazy.

It wasn't without pockets of controversy, however. From his ruthlessness in his driving style against other drivers to crashing out Alain Prost to win a title. Faithfully detailed with archive footage and carefully crafted research, this film is perfect for any fan of the sport.

Pros

  • Excellently-made and directed documentary
  • Essential viewing for any F1 fan
  • Displays some truly incredible driving

Cons

  • It ends after around 90 minutes
  • It can leave you crying

Best affordable F1 gift

AMG F1 Petronas CapVia Mercedes AMG Petronas F1

Rrp: $44.71

Price: $37.00

Channel your inner-Russell or Hamilton with this Mercedes-AMG baseball cap. At least until the end of the season before the latter switches to the scarlet team.

Whilst some F1 merch can be a bit tacky and make you look like a walking billboard, this hat gently lets the world know you like F1 without showing off too much.

Pros

  • Pretty stylish
  • Good quality
  • Slim fit

Cons

  • If you're a Ferrari fan, look away
  • Merch like this dates very quickly

Best F1 gift for bookworms

How to Build a CarCAR
Price: $98.95

Adrian Newey OBE will go down as one of the greatest brains in the history of the sport. His approach to designing Formula One cars has consistently surpassed every rival that's tried to copy or beat it.

His autobiography includes everything from his early days of sketching to designing cars for the likes of Andretti, Mansell, Prost, Hakkinen, Coulthard, and of course, Verstappen and Perez. It's a great read for fans of the sport and provides a fascinating insight into the mastermind behind successful F1 cars.

Pros

  • Great autobiography
  • Written by the genius himself
  • A perfect gift for someone who hasn't read it yet

Cons

  • It was written in 2017, which dates it a bit
  • Not really suitable (too detailed and technical) for younger fans

Best T-shirt for Ferrari fans

Puma Charles Leclerc TVia Puma

Rrp: $85.00

Price: $78.99

Pros

  • Authentic shirt with brand licensing
  • Perfect for attending Monza
  • Comes in an okay range of sizes

Cons

  • Extra small (XS) not selectable
  • Bit of a loud design for some

The best budget Lego F1 car

Lego Technic Mercedes AMG F1Via Lego

Recently-released and at great value, Lego Technic's Mercedes F1 W14 makes for a great gift for younger F1 fans. It also uses a pull-back mechanism, which allows you to release the car before it speeds off towards the other end of the living room.

It has 240 pieces in total and if you have other F1 memorabilia hanging around, this would make a great addition without taking up as much space as a larger technic model.

Pros

  • Has pull-back mechanism
  • Is quite well-detailed for the price and scale
  • Perfect gift

Cons

  • Not for those looking for a challenge
  • Alternative teams not widely available

Best F1 wall art

F1 Wall ArtVia Shinade Creations

Want to confuse your friends with cool wall art, but they can't quite work out what shapes they are? F1 track wall art is one of the most subtle, yet great ways to tell if someone is a motorsports fan. It's a simple case of 'if you know, you know'.

Here, you can choose any F1 track listed in the photographs before personalising it to your own taste. You can select the size and colour to fit the colour and furniture of your home, and you can even choose multiple tracks. If we had permissions, we'd take them all and decorate our office.

Pros

  • Lots of customisation
  • Many tracks available
  • Subtle house decoration

Cons

  • Sections and corners not labeled
  • Things could get out of hand

Best replica F1 helmet

micheal schumacher spa 1992 helmetVia F1 Authentics

Cited as one of the true legends, Schumacher began his career at Jordan F1 before swiftly moving over to Benetton between 1991-95. He won two world championships with Benetton before moving to Ferrari, and this 1:2 scale helmet is a touching tribute to his early years in the sport.

It's a replica of the helmet he wore during his first race win at the 1992 Belgian Grand Prix. You can get an optional display case, and if you fancy a browse, other helmet designs are available either in 1:2 or even 1:1 scale.

Pros

  • Beautifully replicated
  • Celebrates a Schumacher milestone
  • Comes with optional display case

Cons

  • It's too small to wear
  • Can take up quite a bit of space

The best F1 car model

Red Bull 1:18 modelVia F1 Authentics

The current star of the grid needn't be introduced. Max Verstappen is the epitome of today's driving talent along with Adrian Newey's eye for a winning car. For spectators, 2024 is going to be looking more predictable than ever, but one day, we will celebrate how much of a winner Max was.

This 1:18 scale model of the 2023 RB19 is crafted in extraordinary detail. Everything from the mirrors to the tyres is made beautifully and to an accurate scale down from the real thing. There is a whole range of cars you can choose from in this calibre of models offered by F1 Authentics.

Pros

  • Incredible detail
  • Comes with plaque and display plinth
  • Perfect to have on your mantel piece

Cons

  • There's a fairly limited range of 1:18 cars available
  • Space can always be an issue with these things

Best full scale F1 car available to buy

Alfa Romeo C43 Show CarVia F1 Authentics
Price: from £200,000

www.f1authentics.com

The ultimate in an F1 gift comes in the shape of an actual car. And impressively, F1 Authentics can actually make that happen... sort of.

The C43 show car doesn't have an engine. It's body is a mere copy of the car that would go on to race in the 2023 season, but it does come with a 3D printed steering wheel with working screen and rain lights. You can even steer the wheels for extra manoeuvrability, and remove the front wing, wheels, and nose.

Pros

  • What a thing to have on display in your living room
  • Represents a nicer team name than Kick Sauber Stake F1
  • Full size and signed by Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu

Cons

  • It doesn't have an engine
  • You can't drive it

How to generate F1 gift ideas

With shows like Drive to Survive increasing in popularity, that also extends to an ever-increasing number of fans of Formula One. This only means F1 gifts have been more in-demand than ever. Walk though any major European city, and there are stores selling F1 merchandise for tourists. You might even be inspired to go on a track day, and in need of a virtual driving coach.

If you're buying for somebody else, try to find out who they're aligned to in the sport. A Leclerc fan probably won't appreciate a McLaren cap, or vice versa. This is a great way to narrow down what would be perfect for the recipient. Remember if you buy a 1:1 model replica helmet, the recipient can't use it on a track day since it won't need to pass safety regulations.

Price is a huge factor, too. You can spend nearly £2,000 on an F1 car model, yet there are plenty of budget-friendly options out there to suit a small collection space.

Ryan Gilmore is the Deputy Autos and Tools Editor for Parkers, specialising in car cleaning and hand tools. A veteran car cleaner; if it details, waxes or washes he'll be on hand to make sure it's worth your money.

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Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us