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Top 10 Formula 1 Liveries of All Time!

What shade, color and contrast make the best livery!?
Publish Date: 02/07/2023
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster
There's been many cars painted with some interesting liveries over the years, which are the best?

This is another one of those lists where it’s all down to personal taste, preference, favorite colors and shades of contrasts. We’ve seen many liveries being splashed on Formula 1 cars, some good, some bad, some weird.

With the current 2023 liveries being unveiled we thought that there’s no better time than now to count down some of the best and most iconic liveries to have ever graced F1. For your convenience, we’ve also added every single constructor which is on this list with some of their career stats:

Constructor Starts Wins Podiums Poles Constructor Championships Driver Championships
Arrows 382 0 9 1 0 0
Benetton 260 27 102 15 1 2
Ferrari 1051 241 793 242 16 15
Jordan 250 4 19 2 0 0
Lotus 606 76 190 102 7 6
McLaren 924 183 494 156 8 12
Mercedes 271 125 281 136 8 9
Racing Point 38 1 4 1 0 0
Renault 400 35 103 151 2 2
Williams 779 114 313 128 9 7

10 – 2020 ‘Blackout’ Mercedes

2020 Mercedes-AMG F1 W11 EQ Performance

2020 Mercedes-AMG F1 W11 EQ Performance

2020 was a year of uncertainty for many of us, we didn’t even know if the F1 season was going to take place. Good news is that the 2020 season ended up producing some decent amount of racing, but not before Mercedes showed up with an absolutely amazing blacked out livery, something none of us were expecting. We have Lewis to thank for this one, through his platform he wanted to raise more awareness for the Black Lives Matter movement and rightly so, he convinced his team to run this amazing livery for the following season too. Thanks Sir Lewis!

9 – Martini Williams

2017 Williams FW40 driven by Lance Stroll at the 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix

2017 Williams FW40 driven by Lance Stroll at the 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix

The Martini name and its colors aren’t new to racing. This livery has been iconic and adorned many Porsche cars at Lemans during the 1970’s, Lancia rally cars in the 1980’s, Italian touring cars in the 90’s and was even present in Formula 1 during the 1970’s & 1980’s. To our delight, Williams had announced a partnership with Martini racing bringing back the iconic white, blue and red livery back to F1 in 2015 through to 2018. I still miss this one.

8 – Benson & Hedges Jordan

1997 Jordan 197 photographed during July 2015 The Hawk International Challenge at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

1997 Jordan 197 photographed during July 2015 The Hawk International Challenge at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

Bright and yellow with nose art that includes a shark, a bee and a snake (known as Hissing Sid) make these liveries some of the most memorable ones in the sport’s recent history. Adorned by sponsors which just seem to make their logos pop, such as Mastercard, and with shades of black, it was certainly one of my favorites growing up. It’s also reminiscent of the ATS team livery from the 1980’s but better. Benson & Hedges was replaced by DHL in 2001 and with that drew a close to one of the best liveries the sport has ever seen.

7 – Camel Lotus

Lotus 99T driven by Ayrton Senna during the 1986 pre-season testing at Silverstone

Lotus 99T driven by Ayrton Senna during the 1986 pre-season testing at Silverstone

We’re sticking with the yellow theme here and personally, this is one of my favorite liveries, especially on the 99T. A simple yellow painted car with bold dark blue lettering just looks too good. Cigarette & tobacco branding was king in Formula 1 back in the day and Camel took note of this, staying in the sport and creating new partnerships with many teams for many years until the brand disappeared from the sport in 1994.

6 – Benetton United Colors 1

Gerhard Berger driving the Benetton B186 at the 1986 Detroit Grand Prix

Gerhard Berger driving the Benetton B186 at the 1986 Detroit Grand Prix

After sponsoring teams such Tyrell, Alfa Romeo and Toleman, the fashion brand Benetton wanted to find a way into F1 team ownership. They bought out the Toleman team at the end of the 1985 season, and they went on to create the most powerful F1 car to date. With 1400 hp in qualifying trim, it needed a livery which made it look fast. It was adorned with a variety of colors, especially on the engine cover which looks like it required quite some thought. Definitely an ‘’art car’’ in my opinion and one of my personal favorites.

5 – Marlboro Mclaren

One of the most successful F1 cars of all time: 1988 McLaren MP4/4 Driven by Ayrton Senna

One of the most successful F1 cars of all time: 1988 McLaren MP4/4 Driven by Ayrton Senna

Probably the most iconic and most popular liveries to ever adorn the sport, the simple white and red chevron livery adorned McLaren cars for 22 years, from 1974 until 1996. So for those complaining that the Red Bull livery is too repetitive and boring, get used to it. Marlboro McLaren World Championship Team as it was formerly known produced seven Constructors’ Championships between 1974 and 1992, including four consecutive championships in the late 1980s and early 1990s, as well as nine Drivers’ Championships.

4 – Rothmans Williams

1997 Williams FW19 being driven by Jacques Villeneuve at the 1997 San Marino Grand Prix

1997 Williams FW19 being driven by Jacques Villeneuve at the 1997 San Marino Grand Prix

Rothmans was an active promoter in motorsports during the 1980’s and 1990’s. The white blue and gold livery adorned the legendary Porsche 956’s at Lemans and some other Porsche rally cars. From 1994 until 1997 Rothmans brought their iconic colors to F1 with a partnership through Williams. Together they won two Formula 1 championships, 1996 with Damon Hill & 1997 with Jacques Villenueve.

3 – Jordan 7up

The 1991 Jordan 191 considered to be one of the most beautiful F1 cars ever built

The 1991 Jordan 191 considered to be one of the most beautiful F1 cars ever built

The Jordan 191 is arguably one of the most beautiful F1 cars ever made and one which would introduce a certain Michael Schumacher to the world. It also wore a fantastic green and blue livery sponsored by 7up, not your usual Formula 1 sponsorship name. 7up must have been quick to realize that Formula 1 ain’t exactly cheap, which is why this special livery only lasted for the 1991 season before the partnership fell through.

2 – Canon Williams

1991 Williams FW14 driven by Nigel Mansell in the 91 season, this car is now owned by Sebastian Vettel

1991 Williams FW14 driven by Nigel Mansell in the 91 season, this car is now owned by Sebastian Vettel

From 1985 through to 1993 Williams had a very special white, blue and yellow livery splattered with sponsors such as Canon, ICI, Camel and more. In my opinion, the peak and best livery from this era in Williams being the FW14 & FW14B used in the 1991 and 1992 seasons, powered by Renault these cars propelled Ricardo Patrese and Nigel Mansell to 17 wins, 38 podiums one constructors championship and one drivers championship for Mansell.

1 – JPS Lotus

The Lotus 72 is responsible for winning the Constructors’ and Drivers’ Championships three and two times, respectively. Won Constructors in 1970, 1972, and 1973, and won Drivers’ titles in 1970 with Jochen Rindt, and 1972 with Emmerson Fittipaldi.

The Lotus 72 is responsible for winning the Constructors’ and Drivers’ Championships three and two times, respectively. Won Constructors in 1970, 1972, and 1973, and won Drivers’ titles in 1970 with Jochen Rindt, and 1972 with Emmerson Fittipaldi.

I might have a thing for black cars, starting this list off with one and finishing it off with another. The JPS Lotus livery just oozes class. Simple black and gold which adorned the Lotus F1 cars from 1972 until 1986 and propelled some of the greatest names in F1 history, the likes of Emerson Fittipaldi, Mario Andretti, Ronnie Peterson, Elio De Angelis and Ayrton Senna all drove this iconic livery. In my opinion the best looking JPS Lotus car was the Lotus 72 and 98T.

Honorable Mentions 

With so many great cars it’s hard to put together a top 10 which suits everyone’s taste but it’s a representation of what I think are the most iconic and the most beautiful liveries to have graced the sport. Yet there’s still some honorable mentions!

  • Vodafone McLaren – The chrome livery gave us some memorable moments, though it must have been annoying in the sun to some drivers and spectators – it’s also the first F1 car I’ve heard running.
  • Orange Arrows – Good contrasting colors which just work, also was driven by Jos Verstappen, Max’s dad.
  • Mild Seven Renault – Yellow and blue always look good with each other and this era of V1O cars gave us some of the most spectacular racing and visually striking looking cars, also helped Fernando Alonso win his two titles.
  • Saudi Air/Leyland Williams – A personal favourite from the 70’s and 80’s. I was hoping they would return it when they raced in Saudi Arabia for the first time as a tribute.
  • BWT Racing Point – Who in their right mind would paint an F1 car pink?! These guys did it and it worked, nice.
  • West McLaren – Oh yeah, definitely one of my favorites growing up, just looked so bad ass!
  • HSBC Jaguar R1 – What would eventually become the Red Bull team (and boring liveries).
  • BAR Lucky Strike Honda – Just another nostalgic driven tobacco brand sponsor, but it looks good!
  • Red Bull/Petronas Sauber C17 – Given the current top 3 rivalries in the sport, would it even work nowadays? It was even Powered by Ferrari. Yes, you read that right.
  • Any Ferrari – It’s basically red.
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