The Top 25 F1 Liveries of All Time : #25

So, here we are – F1 Colours’ Top 25 Liveries of all time. Well, I say “of all time”, but I’ve actually placed a starting limit of 1970 on selections – that’s shortly after the Gold Leaf Lotus appeared in ’68, and so at the beginning of the time that sponsorship deals or specific team and manufacturer (as opposed to national) identities really began to dictate the colour schemes of F1 cars. After all, you can take it as a given that racing green Lotus, silver Mercedes and scarlet Ferrari are all utterly classic paint jobs – but what we’re looking at here is the era in which a successful blend of sponsor satisfaction and aesthetic quality became all important, in which designing a team’s entire visual identity became a full-time role completely independently of its aerodynamic stylings. I’d like to make it clear, though, that this is very much a personal list of my favourite designs – you’re bound to dislike plenty of my inclusions, feel that I’ve missed out plenty that should have been a given, and ranked things in an order you disagree with. So feel free to voice your dissent (or agreement) as we go along! Coming soon, we’ll have a (shorter) list of what I consider to be the worst liveries ever – but for now, sit back and enjoy the trip down memory lane that this top 25 provides. I’ll try to post one every weekday over the next five weeks – so see if you can spot the trends in my taste as we go, and try and predict which car will come out on top!

We start the countdown, then, with number 25…


The once-great Tyrrell team had been in the grip of a sad decline for a good few years by 1996, and the sparse, almost entirely sponsor-free white livery they’d begun to use (aside from a flirtation with Nokia and blue in ’95) was indicative of that. Despite this, they managed to come up with a very neat little design in ’96 – and, ironically, successfully incorporated Mild Seven branding (a non-title deal, only present because of driver Ukyo Katayama) into their car in a way that Benetton, who had them as title sponsors, would very rarely manage throughout the nineties. A definite case of “less is more”, the blue flourishes manage to lift the otherwise plain car away from the “we’ve got no money” look.

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    January 27, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    White space, baby.


    February 1, 2008 at 11:27 am

    The ’96 car was a very clean design, I preferred the ’94 version that Mark Blundell drove. Although the black and white one from ’91 is a classic.

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