The Top 25 F1 Liveries of All Time : #10

So, we’re a day behind. Sorry about that – personal reasons meant that I wasn’t able to sit down and write this yesterday. So I’ll try and catch up at some point – I’m thinking that what I might do now is post four this week, five next week, then next weekend do a “round-up” on Saturday and post the #1 on Sunday. But we’ll see. Anyway, enough of that – for now, let’s just get on with…


The first entry in the top ten isn’t what I’d call one of my absolute personal favourites – but it’s impossible to have the list without it, as it’s arguably the first truly recognisable sponsor-based livery, and endures to this day as one of the most famous of all time. After having been the first team to bring sponsorship into F1 with Gold Leaf in 1968, Lotus began in 1972 an association that would last until 1986, and make up some of the most memorable imagery of the ‘70s era – the famed black and gold somehow making the brutish, hulking cars of the time look smooth and classy (although, that said, the wedge-shaped Lotus 72 was the exception, a lovely car in and of itself). I’ve gone for the original design here, as I think it’s the one that was the best-suited to the lines of the car, and which also had the most original impact. The gold plate for the race numbers, with the number laid on in black, looks better than the gold-on-black numbering of some of the later cars; and I’m not particularly keen on the introduction of the Union flag from 1976 onwards, nor the muted gold of the 1980s versions. It’s a livery that remains among the most popular at classic car festivals, and there are frequent calls for it to be brought back in some form – although I have to say, I think it’s a design that’s very much of its time, and any attempt to resurrect it would probably be unnecessary nostalgia-dwelling. Nevertheless, its importance in the history of sponsor/team identities simply can’t be overstated.

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    February 5, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    The original and best – and British!


    May 11, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    This has to be brought back some how. We should be compensated for the 2008 Honda.

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    […] no denying that the black-and-gold JPS livery is pretty much the most famous and iconic racing livery of all time. It was a wonderful car both in […]


    April 28, 2011 at 6:33 am

    Should be #1.

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