Formula 1 is the biggest racing series in the world, with 10 teams and 20 drivers giving their best to win. Being the pinnacle of Motorsport, Formula 1 pushes technical innovations to the fullest. As a result of these innovations, the cars have changed a lot since the inception of this series, giving the cars a commanding and aesthetic look. But aside from the innovations, there’s one more thing that makes the cars stand out, and it’s the livery that the team chooses to put on their car. Ever since 1968, every team has been using different liveries, reflecting different sponsor deals to bring in some money. And, although there have been some amazing liveries over the years, some of them stand out. So, which of those are the 10 greatest Formula 1 liveries of all time?
10.) Mild Seven Renault
Starting off this list at number 10 is a team livery that came out as a result of a deal between Mild Seven, a cigarette company, and Renault.
After a 17 year hiatus from the sport, Renault made it’s comeback in F1 in 2002, officially launching as Mild Seven Renault F1 Team.
The team used a combination of blue and yellow, the former representing the team’s title sponsor (Mild Seven) and the latter representing the owner (Renault).
There were a bunch of other secondary sponsorships, with Elf, Alpine Stars, Hanjin, etc.
The partnership went on to have a lot of success, with Renault winning the 2005 and 2006 WCCs and WDCs with Fernando Alonso.
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9.) Rothmans Williams
At number 9 is a livery that’s one of the most popular among F1 fans.
Williams F1 collaborated with Rothmans, a tobacco company, in 1994.
The first car to use this livery was the FW16 in 1994, Ayrton Senna, Damon Hill, and David Coulthard being the drivers.
The cars featured a livery that primarily consisted of blue and white.
Prior to sponsoring Williams, the tobacco firm used to brand Peugot in WRC.
Technical partners, Renault and Elf, remained within the blue hoop of the car’s engine cover, and were joined by minor sponsors, Divella and Segafredo.
Winning the 1996 and 1997 Championships, Williams ended their partnership with Rothmans in 1998.
8.) West McLaren Mercedes
After the partnership between Marlboro and McLaren ended in 1996, McLaren joined in with the cigarette brand, West.
The dawn of the season would mark as a beginning of the transformation for McLaren, as the newly designed MP4/12 competed dressed in a black, silver and white livery.
Along with West, the team also signed some secondary sponsors, such as Computer Associates Sun Microsystems, SAP, and Kenwood.
The MP4/12 was noted for it’s secondary brake pedal, which drstically improved lap times by counteracting under or oversteer.
Adrian Newey, along with Neil Oatley, would go on to co-design thr double championship winning MP4/13.
The team won the 1998 and 1998 Championships with Mika Hakkinen behind the wheel.
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7.) Canon Williams
Japanese printing and photography company, Canon, became Williams’ title sponsor in 1985, and would continue to sponsor the team for a total of 9 years.
Williams were now kitted out in a combination of yellow, blue and white, with ICI, Canon, Honda, and Mobil, all occupying space within the slanted panels upon the bodywork of the FW10.
The partnership delivered back to back championships for Williams in 1986 and 1987, and two more championships in 1992 and 1993.
6.) Brawn GP
The origins of the Brawn Team trace back to the withdrawal of Honda from Formula 1 in December of 2008, as financial reasons saw the Japanese automaker abandoning it’s Formula 1 plans.
Honda’s race contracts and assets were purchased by a group of former Honda F1 staff, including, Ross Brawn.
The team’s livery employed a white base augmented with black and fluorescent trimming.
Perhaps the most appealing addition to the team’s bright and energetic livery was the car’s fluoro wheel covers.
The team won the 2009 WCC and WDC with Jenson Button.
5.) Scuderia Ferrari – Marlboro
Ferrari officially competed as Scuderia Ferrari – Marlboro from 1997 till the end of 2006.
Most significantly, this marked the very first instance of Ferrari changing it’s primary livery colour at GP level, as the Scuderia traded in it’s timeless shade of scarlet for Marlboro red.
This resulted in a more vibrant look for the team as Marlboro’s famed chevron descended from the very top of the car’s engine case.
The team would also usher in this new appearance with black driver numbers surrounded by a white outline.
The partnership between Marlboro and Ferrari was a successful, winning 5 consecutive championships from 2000 to 2005 with Michael Schumacher.
4.) Benson & Hedges Jordan
The 1996 season heralded a beginning of the partnership between Jordan and Benson & Hedges, a cigarette brand.
Engine supplier Peugot (a few years later, Honda) remained on the car, seen on the engine case and the rear wing, joined once again by Total.
Jordan also secured deals with various new sponsors, such a Corona and GDez Capital.
The primary colour used by the team to design their livery (except for 1996) was an ultra luminous canary yellow.
Alongside Benson & Hedges, the team picked up MasterCard and Excalibur as team sponsors.
All-in-all, Jordan’s bright new motif was a very busy, yet well-balanced livery.
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3.) 7up Jordan
Upon the commencement of 1991, Jordan revealed it’s striking visual identity in the form of the 191, which was painted in bottle green.
The team’s primary colour was a tip towards the team’s Irish roots and featured promotion from the Irish Tourism Office.
Jordan also introduced to the F1 grid American soft drink giant, Pepsi, which promoted it’s 7up brand.
The team’s secondary sponsor, Japanese camera brand, Fuji, mainly took up space in the rear wing.
Along with this unique shade of green, blue and light green were also employed as offset colours.
The 1991 season was a success for the new team, as they finished 5th in the WCC.
2.) Marlboro McLaren
Towards the end of 1980, Marlboro would orchestrate a revolutionary partnership between McLaren and Ron Dennis’ highly successful, Project Four Racing.
In 1981, the recently restructured team debuted it’s revolutionary new carbon-fiber composite chassis, designed by John Barnard.
The Marlboro chevrons were seen both the front and rear of the car.
Additional sponsors, lubricant manufacturers, Unipart, were welcomed, seen on the car’s sidepods.
The partnership brought in multiple championships for the team in the 1980s and 1990s.
1.) John Player Team Lotus
Was there ever a doubt as to which Formula 1 livery would rank number 1 on the list of 10 greatest Formula 1 liveries of all time?
In 1972, Imperial Tobacco decided to promote it’s JPS brand in conjunction with the Lotus F1 Team, and so, Formula 1’s most revered livery was born.
Another simple yet ultra aggressive livery made use of a powerful combination of black and gold.
The black colour gave the car a sleek look, and the gold lettering indicated the glory and power the Lotus’ cars were known for.
1972 also saw Lotus switch from Shell to Texaco. It is a near perfect livery, and fully deserves it’s spot at number 1 on this list. What’re the 10 greatest Formula 1 liveries of all time in your opinion? Let us know below!
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