The Best Looking Car Of 2008?

The Best Looking Car Of 2008?

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…

Ferrari F2008

Kimi Raikkonen - 2008 Malaysian Grand Prix

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 MP4-23

Heikki Kovalainen - 2008 Turkish Grand Prix

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.

BMW F1.08

Nick Heidfeld - 2008 Testing

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.

Renault R28

Fernando Alonso - 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix

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.

Toyota TF108

Timo Glock - 2008 Chinese Grand Prix

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

Sebastien Bourdais - 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix

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

David Coulthard - 2008 Turkish Grand Prix

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.

Williams FW30

Nico Rosberg - 2008 French Grand Prix

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.

Honda RA108

Jenson Button - 2008 British Grand Prix

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

Giancarlo FIsichella - 2008 British Grand Prix

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

Anthony Davidson - 2008 Bahrain Grand Prix

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.

My Favourite

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.

Kimi Raikkonen - 2008 Testing

Your Favourite



  • According to last week’s Autosport the earthdreams nonsense is being dropped in favour of putting sponsors on the car.

  • To me the McLaren and Force India liveries were too alike. Thankfully, the two hardly every shared much screen time together, unless the latter was being lapped. I guess this was an indication of things to come now that they’re the ‘McLaren B-Team’.

    My favourite livery? The Red Bull one. Bias or not, I think it’s a little bit different and stands out much more than the dull others. When they started tacking on the Red Bull Cola logos to the rear-wing and barge-boards things took a bit of nose-dive though!

  • I really like the nosecone of the Ferrari, how the top bridge seamlessly joins with the main nose, and as devoid of CFD add-ons such as the antlers that cropped up mid-season.

    I hope that Ferrari can produce a beautiful 2009 car, because the Williams and BMW efforts so far look very odd.

  • Steven (or Ollie)

    Could you put more details about the Honda´s Earth Dream concept been dropped, please?

    Unfortunately, I don’t have Brazilian Autosport magazine here in Brazil and the current edition arrives here a week later.

    Another question: do you think guys, that this could influence the team´s choice between Rubens and Bruno?


    (P.S. Ollie, sorry for post an off topic comment!)

  • Gotta disagree. I think Williams have again outclassed the rest of the pack. They took a different approach and I think it worked. It’s sad to see them struggling, but at least they’re struggling in style. 🙂

    Big well done to Toyota though. Somehow they’ve managed to build cars that look almost exactly the same for seven years running. That’s gotta be some sort of record?

  • Could you put more details about the Honda´s Earth Dream concept been dropped, please?

    I did a cursory seach and found nothing new about the Earth/Dreams livery. Therefore, I second Becken’s request for info.

    That’s gotta be some sort of record?

    Well, Ferrari have been painting their car in a similar livery for a few years! But there is tradition behind that.

    I was about to suggest that Toyota might be trying to do a similar thing, but remembered that earlier in the year there was talk of Toyota pulling the plug on the F1 team. Although that is looking a little less likely now they’ve improved a bit; even with the economy in the state it is in I can’t see them disbanding the operation just yet.

  • Completely agree with Paul. Initially, the nose did look a bit odd. But that was only when the car was released and tested. Once the races started, it looked STUNNING!! Also, loved the fact that they’ve darkened the red. Was a bit disappointed that they didn’t run the Marlboro logo and opted for barcode instead. Was actually looking forward to the Chinese GP so that they could run it, but Marlboro themselves decided not to have their logo and have the barcode instead. Felt a bit sad, but it’s ok. Their car simply ROCKED!!

  • My previous comment has ended up in the moderation queue. Possibly because I tried putting two links in thew same sentence.

    While Ferrari may have traditionally used one particular shade of red, at least the colour scheme they chose to perpetuate didn’t make the car look ugly…

  • but Marlboro themselves decided not to have their logo

    There was a story either late last year or early this year that was about Marlboro seeing out their contract with Ferrari, but no longer putting the actual Marlboro logo on the car at races where tobacco advertising isn’t frowned upon as much.

    My previous comment has ended up in the moderation queue.

    Now modded – sorry, I’ve been actually working this morning so have only just logged into the site. Yep, ’twas the two link in one comment issue, but it is up now.

    While Ferrari may have traditionally used one particular shade of red, at least the colour scheme they chose to perpetuate didn’t make the car look ugly…

    Oooh, I dunno about that. I wasn’t overly keen on Marlboro red. While the current shade still isn’t the traditional red they used to use, it is much better. And before anyone asks, I’m not getting into the Ferrari Red debate again…! 🙂


    “…Mind you, the fact that Honda have cancelled their big launch (just like Toyota) suggests that if they are going down the sponsor-route, none of them have gigantic amounts of money to throw at the team…”

    Interesting point Alianora. There’s a big rumor here in Brazil surrounding the tests at Jerez next week. The talk is that Rubens will test alongside Bruno to evaluate the young Senna.

    There’s others talks involving Senna and Rubens situation:

    — Petrobras will be a Honda sponsor next year (I do not know the size of the backing!) and the company is developing a product that will be linked with Senna´s (the uncle) brand.

    — Ross Brawns think that keep Rubens would be worth to the team on this time of huge change in technical regulations.

    — Nick Fry prefer the idea of the guys in Honda´s Office, who thinks that Bruno would be better to the team (commercially?).

    So, this news about a new sponsor could complete the puzzle. We have an internal fight between Braw and Fry. Brawn trying to make the team more competitive and Fry trying to make the team viable in face of the world financial crises…

    Obviously, it is just some thoughts…

  • There’s a big rumor here in Brazil…

    How come I don’t get to hear all this juicy gossip? 🙁 Oh yeah, I don’t live in Brazil. Hmm, I need a team of eavesdroppers in all the major countries on the planet…

    Brawn trying to make the team more competitive and Fry trying to make the team viable in face of the world financial crises…

    Didn’t see that one coming, no sir! 😉 So, how long do we think it will be before Fry is P5’d (because of the economic crisis, of course)?

  • Williams, Williams it is. Ferrari would be no 2, then RedBull and Toro Rosso

    Worst looking car must be that BMW Sauber … they could not put any more winglets wings horns on that one 🙂

    I am talking about the cars, not the liveries

    Liveries – Williams, Ferrari and then nothing

    The ugliest livery – several candidates – Toro Rosso, Force India, Renault, Toyota

  • Contrary to widespread opinion, BMW and Toyota fielded the most aesthetically pleasing combinations of 2008.

    The Toyota TF108, whilst retaining the overfamiliar white/red Panasonic livery appeared low, dangerous and sleek – especially with occasionally adopted black rim covers – and arguably displayed the most attractive rear 50% of any manufacturer on the grid.

    I adored the BMW’s fashionable, minimalistic combination of metallic blue and pearl white, and in its initial evolution, design architecture was unmatched in visual smoothness and seductiveness. HOT car.

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