There are no prizes or points for the prettiest F1 car. But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't judge them aesthetically. It's not just about the paint job, either. It's about the curves and the corners, the wings and the sharp and pointy bits, too — the overall package.
It is a shame that current regulations have led to an entire field of turbo-charged tanks but you have to work with what you've got. And somehow, some of them this year are pretty handsome.
This list was originally published in February 2020 but since then three teams have changed liveries and this writer has changed his mind a little. So, five months on, we present the final final rankings...unless anything changes in the next few days, that is.
10. Alfa Romeo C39
I mean, it's not absolutely terrible. It's not. But it is not really anything. It just is. And F1 cars, aesthetically speaking, that just exist are a crime against the sport. The driver number is nowhere near prominent enough, and the livery is not bold enough overall. The red looks okay but it is a fairly underwhelming effort from Alfa. It's essentially the same design as 2018 when they were Sauber and 2019, when they rebranded to Alfa Romeo.
9. McLaren MCL35
The colour scheme is pretty good, I admit. Not quite as good as last year, though, and I think a black halo in that industrial style looks better than a colour-coordinated one. Where the MCL35 falls down is at its front end, with its nose that looks reminiscent of that of a proboscis monkey. If it goes quickly then fine, but this is probably the ugliest McLaren of the past few years.
8. Racing Point RP20
大发体育网站Gone is the blue as a secondary colour, although there's still a bit of it about with sponsor BWT. As such it looks less like a Dulwich Hamlet-themed car and that is a negative. Again, the nose is hardly the most attractive, all bulbous as it is. It looks remarkably like the nose of the Mercedes W11 or W10. In fact, the whole thing is a cover version of the W10. I'd like the pink here to be a bit deeper, too. Or perhaps have the halo in a contrasting colour.
7. Ferrari SF1000
大发体育网站It's a stronger red than last year's car and the front end is quite stark and solid-looking. But I am still not sure about the black on this car. It doesn't pop. There needs to be more white. Again, the protuberance at the end of the front wing loses it some points but it is one of the sleeker front wings in the field this year. Not sure about the new numbering, either. Looks a bit budget.
6. Red Bull RB16
Worryingly (reassuringly?) I don't think there are any absolute shockers this season. I suppose blandness rather than outright awfulness is the recurring theme in many of this year's cars. Red Bull stick to what they do best which is run pretty much the absolute same livery every season with barely a tweak. The Aston Martin sponsorship looks nice on the rear wing, though, and I am a big fan of the matte finish they've used for a few years now.
Plus points for a novel skinny nose, which is quite un-Red Bull like. They last had a really skinny nose in 2009 but ditched it mid-way through the season. Solid (lack of) effort.
5. AlphaTauri AT01
大发体育网站It is simple and complicated at the same time. Simple: just two colours. Complicated: the swirly AlphaTauri clothing logo on the side of the car. Last year we had two teams who rebranded and changed names (Sauber to Alfa Romeo and Force India to Racing Point) but largely kept the same livery. If you are going to change names then at least make the most of it. And that's what AlphaTauri have done — and executed it well. This was ranked second in the original list but after a little while to dwell on it, it is not quite as pretty as we first thought.
4. Williams FW43
These are turbulent times at Williams. The team is up for sale and they lost their title sponsor and changed their livery between pre-season testing and the first Grand Prix. Not ideal. It is a shame that the red/white/blue (reminiscent of the original spec 1997 Arrows) that we saw in testing has disappeared entirely to be replaced with something a bit more sleek and clinical. But the new paint job is not half bad, though I would like to see a bit more more blue on it. It is perhaps the most "Williams" livery they have had since 2013.
3. Haas VF-20
Last year's Haas promised so much. A black and gold livery turned out to be a bit dull in reality. And then there was the whole saga with the title sponsor whose colours they raced in before eventually pulling out. But this year they have gone back to their more traditional red/black/grey livery but have wisely swapped the grey for white. And splashed a lot of it on the nosecone.
大发体育网站You can't go too wrong with red, white and black and the VF-20's front end is the prettiest on the grid. It's sleek. And the front wing elements swoop around nicely, too. It probably also helps that the car isn't overloaded with sponsors. Nice work.
2. Mercedes W11
The general design aesthetics of the W11 are solid, though the bulbous nose is a little off-putting. And by moving to a black livery大发体育网站 Mercedes have jumped up the list from five to number two. After a decade in silver, perhaps they will now be known as the Black Arrows. Not to be confused with the black Arrows — the A19, from the now-defunct team's 1998 campaign.
The strength of black is diluted a little by the red and turquoise of their sponsors but from the front it is now a fine-looking car. And also symbolic of something greater. Hopefully it will be even better when we see it in action.
1. Renault RS20
The all-black launch/testing livery topped our initial list, though we were worried that the new one would make it look less appealing. Thankfully it does nothing of the sort. It was a tough call between this and the Mercedes but the RS20 is just that little bit more striking.
大发体育网站There is still plenty of black but that combined with the yellow in this way makes it look waspish. As in like a wasp. Or, in other words, like a late 1990s Jordan that has matured a little.
Okay, it is almost identical to the 2019 colour scheme but design-wise I'd say, next to the McLaren, the Renault is the most daring on the grid, or certainly the most individual. The pinched front nose contrasts with that bulky air intake over the engine. It looks the most modern design on the grid. It's bold and it's brilliant.