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 of our favourites but unfortunately some haven’t quite charted. Here are the four that missed out on a place in our countdown.
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 (see below for an example).
McLaren - 1997/2005
While McLaren fans have been begging for an orange car for almost a decade, even more so after title sponsor Vodafone left at the end of 2013, we can’t quite rank these testing liveries in our top 40. While hugely popular, more so than the eventual orange release of 2017, we still feel it is a cheap replica of the original papaya orange cars of the early days. Sure it’s a nice homage driven by legendary drivers, but it just didn’t work sadly with the sponsorship.
The orange test livery was first used in 1997 as a tribute, and to also mark a seismic change the team. The successful red and white of the Marlboro era was gone as the tobacco giant moved to Ferrari, leaving behind years of memories, most notably the Senna and Prost battles. In its place came another tobacco company, West, with a sleek black, white and silver race trim that would too become iconic in the hands of Hakkinen, Coulthard and Raikkonen. Before the almost greyscale design was released to the world however the orange stunt was set for the pre-season test at Jerez. While eye-catching and appealing, it felt a tad too staged.
Used again in 2005, the beginning of West’s final season as the title sponsor, it looked better on the newer car although again just lacked something to move it any higher up our list.
Renault F1 Team - 2006.
With the clampdown on tobacco advertising in certain countries on the F1 calendar, teams were having to get creative on how to keep their liveries looking fresh without breaking the rules. It made for some weird and wonderful liveries; McLaren added driver names, Ferrari had white panels. Buzzing Hornets, and other anagrams were invented but perhaps most creative of all was Renault. After a few beige ideas somebody finally decided to put animal patterns onto the engine cover and top of the car. As tacky as it sounds, it worked amazingly.
In fact the only reason it’s not near the top of our list is that, although each animal was only used once, the idea was used too often for a one-off, that and it’s a little too similar to the race trim, otherwise a solid top 10 from Renault.
Williams - 2011-2014
While Williams’ typical pre-season livery is a smart one. It just lacks creativity. A full navy car with some white sponsors. Is there anything else to say for this design?
And the final entrant to miss out on the top 40 is..
Honda - 2002-2006.
Another one with little to say really, a black monochrome Honda. A lovely looking vehicle that just lacked creativity, individuality and was used just a little too often to make the top 40.
So that was a sneak preview into what’s coming up. Join us later this week as we start our countdown of the top 40 and see where your favourite ranks. Comment your predictions for number 1 below, catch our previous series here if you missed it and if you don’t already follow us on Twitter and Instagram @Rach_F1 or like us on Facebook for all the latest updates.
by Matthew Gannon