We’re now a third of the way through the 2016 Formula One World Championship, with the Canadian Grand Prix completed this past weekend, and the new European Grand Prix in Baku, Azerbaijan set to take place next weekend.
Even with Mercedes proving dominant once again, there are still more questions to be answered in the 14 races that still lie ahead. Will Rosberg be able to hold off the advances of his defending-champion teammate Hamilton? Will Ferrari or Red Bull find the pace they need to supplant the returning champs? Will Max Verstappen live up to the hype that saw him promoted to the A-team? Will McLaren and Honda iron out the wrinkles that have plagued them these past couple of seasons?
All these and more will be answered with time, but today we ask a different question: Of all the 11 teams on the grid this season, which has the most striking livery? Check out the images below – presented in the order in which they finished last season – and scroll down to cast your vote in our Grand Prix of Aesthetics.
Ever since Mercedes took over the Brawn GP team in 2010, it has stuck with a argento livery inspired by the legendary Silver Arrow racers of the pre-war period. The metallic look is offset by the teal color of its sponsor Petronas, but aside from black accents and red numbers, it steers largely away from other colors to interrupt the sleek look.
The Scuderia’s cars are once again emblazoned in red, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. But this year the Italian team re-introduced more white into its livery than we’ve seen since longtime sponsor Marlboro was forced to abandon its branding due to anti-tobacco regulations.
It’s been a while since Williams has challenged for the championship, but that doesn’t mean it can’t look good trying. The team signed a deal with Italian liquor brand Martini two years ago, and has been sporting ever since its legendary racing stripes of light blue, dark blue and red on a white background – the same combination we’ve seen on Porsches, Lancias, Fords; all motorsports icons and all looking gorgeous in Martini colors.
Red Bull Racing
Being owned by the energy drink maker, it’s only natural that Red Bull has kept its liveries pretty consistent over the years, with dark blue emblazoned with the drink brand’s logo in red and yellow. This season, though, it hasn’t just done away with the purple that came with title sponsorship from Infiniti (ditched alongside the Renault branding), but switched from a glossy finish to a matte one.
Once dominated by the colors of the Indian flag, Force India is now running a more sinister livery of black and silver. Co-owner Sahara still dominates as title sponsor, with logos rendered either in white on black or black on silver. The result bears some resemblance to to what McLaren used to run in its Mercedes days, but with orange and green highlights instead of red.
RBR isn’t the only team sporting a matte-finish livery this season – so too is its longtime (but troubled) partner Renault. The French manufacturer stepped out of the shadows this season, reacquiring the Lotus team that was once its own and switching back from merely supplying engines to running its own team. In the process, the team based in Enstone changed up its livery, back to the yellow and black favored by its once-and-future parent company, but rendered in a striking matte finish.
With the same owner and sponsor as its big brother, Toro Rosso has naturally adopted a similar livery to the Red Bull Racing team. To set it apart, the Italian team typically applies a sketched-style logo and gold tones instead of yellow. The livery on this year’s STR11 largely mirrors those of years past, so there’s nothing to shout home about.
Sauber’s cars once stood out on the track with their Red Bull and Petronas sponsorship, long before they both moved on to more prominent teams. White with blue and red ensued in the BMW years, then switched to varying combinations of red, white, gray and black. These days its cars are visually distinguished by their blue and yellow liveries that leave a lot to be desired – just like its race results, actually…
Shortly after parting company with its longtime engine supplier Mercedes, McLaren ditched the silver and black with red livery it had sported for years, lately in eye-catching chrome finish. Now back under Honda power, McLaren has run these past two seasons under a new livery of black with red stripes. Looking good, yes, but whether we’ll ever see those colors in the winner’s circle again, however, is another matter.
In ditching the Marussia name for Manor, F1’s struggling back-marker team also switched to a yellow and blue livery that’s somewhat nondescript. That’s the least of their worries, though, as the MRT05 is consistently being lapped by the front-runners.
The newest addition to the field, Haas F1 runs a livery of white with red and black highlights. The name and logo of the metalworking machine company that put the team on the grid dominates as the only sponsor. The result is neat, though not that original as it’s already been used by countless other teams that have come and gone.
Poll:Which F1 Team Has The Best Livery This Season?