After the success of last year's top 50 liveries countdown, we present you the Winter Olympics of the F1 world, the one off-liveries.
Pre-season testing often presents great hype and interest about which teams, if any, will run special edition liveries in its honour.
We selected 44 designs, before further cutting down to 40 liveries. Here's the first part.
Rules - liveries must only be used for one race/occasion per chassis. Any livery, which appears on multiple cars but uses the same basic design and is only used at one event per chassis, is allowed, although shall be grouped.
25. MasterCard Lola - 1998 Australian GP
While this technically was a full-season race livery rather than a one-off race Livery, the fact the team went bankrupt after just one race means we’re counting it in our list . With an elegant royal blue teamed with MasterCard's red and orange, the team expertly showed how to incorporate sponsorship requirements and still design a fantastic race car - well a fantastic looking car. The team was 13 seconds off the pace on debut and perhaps unsurprisingly never showed up to race again. This embarrassing fact means they slide in at number 25.
24. Zakspeed - 1984 Johnathan Palmer Test
How edgy can a livery get? No plain panels or boring shapes here. Faded black gradients, navy and white pattern to match Palmer’s helmet and some cutting red details. Zakspeed may never be the most memorable team of the 1980s this livery will certainly be one of (if not the best) one-off liveries of the decade.
23. Jordan GP - 2003 Macau Grand Prix
Think Jordan from the 2000s and a flood of memories filled with the likes of Schumacher, Hill, Alesi, Frentzen and Fisichella come to mind in some yellow and black Benson and Hedges-sponsored cars. So when Ralph Firman, known for being Ireland’s second best driver of the noughties, rocked up to Macau in a slightly-modified Jordan car covered in a jacket of Sobranie Blue, the world was split on whether it was a PR masterpiece or an aesthetic disaster. We’ll let you decide yourself, however it’s individualism ranks it's high at #23.
22. Renault F1 Team - 2016 Pre-Season Test
When Renault announced their return to F1 following a buyout of the fledgling Lotus team in late 2015, many were surprised to see that rather than excite the black and gold Lotus up. They increased the amount of black but instead replaced the gold for a more ordinary yellow. With the contrast however catching the eye it was something of a dark horse from the grandstand. When the car rolled out in Australia the colour scheme had been inverted, with the yellow banana looking worse than its pre-season counterpart. Renault managed to push their test livery up this chart even if they couldn’t drag themselves up the standings.
21. Williams F1 Team - 2008 Pre-Season Test
As is the case with a lot of special edition cars they come from pre-season tests. This one from Williams in 2008 was a special take on their usual plain navy paint scheme, one which celebrated 30 years of the team in F1. They ran several editions over the test. One with messages from all seven Williams world champions as well as the signatures of legends such as Senna, others showed off some of the team’s stats from the team’s history. The homage to their history was a classy touch and given that they are one of the paddock's most popular teams (well until they didn’t choose Kubica) many people were happy to see this even if it was only for pre-season.
Join us later this week as we continue our countdown of the top 40 and see where your favourite ranks. Comment your predictions for number 1 below or check the part 1, part 2 and part 3 of the series.
by Matthew Gannon