It’s that time of the year again when we need to consider which of the eleven cars that competed this year is the most attractive. In the past two seasons, I have picked Williams as the racer with the most attractive body and colour scheme. The subtly contoured shell that didn’t appear to be over-sculptured and smart placement of sponsor logos proved a winner for me. But this year, I’m afraid I have changed my allegiance…
The F2008 was a beautiful machine in my eyes. The team finally darkened the red last year and combined with the removal of the Vodafone logo the Maranello-built single-seater just looked stunning. It proved quick as well, winning the constructors title at the hands of Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen.
McLaren are going through a phase of building beautiful cars at the moment as well. The MP4-23 was a very nice development from the 2007 car and with the chrome paint job with flashes of red, it looked gorgeous. However, in some photos and at some races, the mirrored effect didn’t always work, especially with the uncommon amount of wet races we had in 2008, the car often looked a little grey and drab.
I often slate the manufacturers for rarely updating their liveries and generally not getting the concept of building an attractive car that is also quick. BMW are such a team who I think in the past two years, I’ve only placed above Toyota because they’ve not been around as long (in their current guise). However, I actually liked the F1.08. It was bordering on the quirky with the little knobbly bits and pieces sticking out all over the place. The car actually grew on me.
Ever since Renault moved away from the Mild Seven blue, the car has never really looked the same. The blue and yellow scheme became synonymous with the team, especially in 2005 and 2006 when they took the titles. However, I don’t mind the ING colours – orange and white with the Renault yellow. And I think the R28 was reasonably attractive. All in all, I quite liked the 2008 car.
Sorry Toyota, but you’ve failed again. Ever since 2002 the livery has hardly changed – I am bored of it. Combined with an unimaginative car (although it was a considerable improvement in terms of pace) and I feel it necessary to place the Cologne boys at the bottom again.
Scuderia Toro Rosso STR3
Scuderia Toro Rosso are another team I liked to loathe the look of. It’s garish bull plastered over the engine cover has never looked right to me as it’s so hard to make out over all the bumps in the bodywork. However, the car proved quick, it wasn’t an ugly machine under the paint work, and if they keep the same styling for next year, it may look better on the aerodynamically clean cars.
Red Bull Racing RB4
When they managed to keep the car in one piece, the RB4 wasn’t ugly either. Although it was essentially the same as the Scuderia Toro Rosso, Red Bull managed a better livery. The stripes that lead up from the nose gave the impression of speed, although it clearly didn’t actually help the pace as the sister team beat them on points. Red Bull failed with David Coulthard’s one-off livery in Brazil though, which really let the side down considerably. And I am starting to get a little bored of the Red Bull logo, despite knowing it isn’t going anywhere in a hurry.
As I said in the introduction, Williams have long had great liveries covering good looking cars. And although the FW30 wasn’t hideous, I felt they’ve lost their touch somewhere. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but somehow the livery has changed out of my favour. The car is still a smart blend of base-paint and sponsor logos though, and the dark blue will also remain a good choice in my mind.
Well, it’s better than the RA107, put it that way. The little touches of red are nice, and there is nothing wrong with a generally white-coloured car. But can we please drop the earth thing!? Pretty please, Honda.
Force India VJM01
I think I actually preferred the interim livery Force India ran with over the off-season last year. The gold/white/orangey-red just doesn’t do it for me, and the huge shark fin was simply ugly. And with a strong lack of pace, the car just didn’t work, especially when being lapped by a McLaren – they just look too similar at a distance of more than fifty metres.
Super Aguri SA08
We didn’t get to see much of the Super Aguri this year, the team going into administration after just four races. However, the plucky Japanese squad did update their livery from 2007, adding black in to possibly distract the eye from realising there were very few sponsors on it.
I think the 2008 Best Looking Car Award would have to go to the Ferrari F2008. I liked the moustached front wing, the gorgeous lines, the sidepods that tailed off, and for the first time ever, I thought the Marlboro barcodes didn’t look too bad either. The test in Bahrain before the season got underway also saw the team run with Marlboro logos (for the very last time) which just made the F2008 look even better – I’m still not really a fan of the barcodes. And when Ferrari got around to putting a fin on it mid-season, that didn’t look overly hideous either.