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Formula One

All of 2024’s F1 car liveries, ranked definitively and inarguably

Welcome to the black parade

Ferrari SF-24
  • Mercedes W15

    Every team on the 2024 F1 grid has shown its hand now. We’ve seen the car reveals from each team, and the start of the season feels so close we can practically hear the Dutch national anthem already. There’s just one absolutely crucial matter to attend to first: we need to rank how cool each car looks, in order.

    This is a deeply scientific process. We’ve run the numbers, hired a wind tunnel, bought in a load of lab coats and clip boards, and then looked at pictures of the new cars on our phones for a while. These then, quite incontrovertibly, are the aesthetic pleasure rankings for 2024’s F1 grid. It’s bad news, Red Bull.

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  • 10: Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber C44

    10: Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber C44

    A new colour scheme and a new name for the artist formerly known as Sauber. A name that reads a bit like a tabloid headline (Stake F1 Team do what?) but that’s incidental: it’s the worst livery on the grid this year.

    Why? Because in a paddock that’s bizarrely groupthink-ed its way into nearly unanimous blackout liveries, it’s the one that says the least about the heritage of its team, and the one that most closely resembles the custom team you made in an F1 game on your PS5 before losing interest halfway through the season.

    We’re not against exposed carbon, nor this striking shade of energy drink green. But together, in this precise configuration? Too much like the antagonist in a Pixar F1 movie.

  • 9: Haas VF-24

    9: Haas VF-24

    Listen, they’re doing their best. There’s nothing overtly wrong with this new slight variation on Haas’ ‘let’s put a massive stencilled ‘HAAS’ on our sidepods’ livery, but much like signing and re-signing Kevin Magnussen until the heat death of the universe, it’s perhaps a bit unambitious.

    It also falls foul of the aforementioned grid-wide blackout this year. Were it not for the fact that they’ll be 30 seconds back, commentators would have a heck of a job telling these cars apart from the McLarens, Mercedes and Alpines at a glance.

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  • 8: Red Bull RB20

    8: Red Bull RB20

    Nobody expected that it would suddenly be bright orange, or that it wouldn’t once again feature everyone’s favourite taurine-fuelled bovine emblazoned over the engine cover. Red Bull’s had a look since it entered the sport in 2005, and it’s largely stuck to it. However: come on now. What is this?

    It’s a livery that somehow manages to simultaneously appear as though nothing’s changed since last year, and look even more boring. The team probably has better things to concern itself with than how drippy the livery is on the car that will win each and every race like a toddler who hasn’t learned to share, but the fact remains that this is as boring as watching a Friday practice session at the defunct Valencia street circuit while sitting next to an evangelical crossfit enthusiast.

  • 7: Williams FW46

    7: Williams FW46

    Williams have elected for blue this year.

    There’s really not much more to say about it. It’s a nice heritage blue, a bit like the one on last year’s car, except they’ve complied with the new 2024 regulations and included some compulsory black carbon too. We’re a long way from those incredible Martini liveries.

    However: there’s still a Williams on the grid, and it’ll probably get into Q3 a few times under Albon’s expert stewardship. Granted, that has absolutely nothing to do with how well-designed or striking this blue and black livery is but motorsport’s not always fair. Speaking of blue and black liveries, ladies and gentlemen please welcome to the stage…

  • 6: Alpine A524

    6: Alpine A524

    How Pat Fry and co’s hearts must have sunk when they saw everyone else reveal their identical liveries throughout February. Because this one actually creates an aesthetic contrast. It feels as though the car’s going so fast that some of the paint’s peeled off. The sponsors and flashes of colour make it clearly identifiable as an Alpine, but deconstructed in a pleasing way. Nowhere near as pleasing as the 2021 A521, the best livery the sport’s seen for years, but half-decent.

    And then all the other black liveries turned up and stole Alpine’s thunder. How absolutely selfish of them. Five second penalty for Ocon.

  • 5: Visa Cash App RB 01

    5: Visa Cash App RB 01

    Despite calling itself Visa Cash App RB this year - a name that hits the eye like an insult about a close family member - we’ve got lots of positives to say about Toro Rosso Alpha Tauri Baby Red Bull’s livery this year.

    Look at the way its contrasting lines of colour work with the swooping lines of the sidepods. And the way the space between the front wheels and the halo on the monocoque is given a similar diagonal swoosh of contrasting colour. It’s all working together. Every line is aware of the others, and they’re teaming up to give the appearance that the sheer speed of the car has sent the colours streaking out in these attractive diagonal angles.

    It does lose some points for its resemblance to the 2017-19 era Toro Rosso, but wins at least as many back for keeping its clothes on and giving our poor starving eyes a bit of colour to look at this year.

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  • 4: Aston Martin AMR24

    4: Aston Martin AMR24

    Much like last year, the combination of classy, timeless racing green with modern fluro yellow piping works extremely well. This looks like a team who's been in F1 for decades.

    That subtle yellow piping is positioned really nicely to accentuate curved parallel lines running along the side of the car, as though you can see it cutting through the air. This is probably what Adrian Newey sees with his naked eye when he watches a car moving at speed.

  • 3: Mercedes W15

    Mercedes W15

    Yes, it’s another black car from the team known the world over as the [checks notes] silver arrows. Here’s the thing though: it’s a black car that looks very similar to the one that scored an incredibly dominant drivers’ and constructors’ double in 2020. Heritage matters in F1.

    And to be fair to Toto’s outfit, it’s a lot less black than last year’s. Viewed from the front it conjures memories of Lewis’ incredible 2014-2019 run in the old silver liveries, and that nice neat red Ineos sponsor spot running along the air intake sets off an otherwise subdued colour palette.

    It’s still taking some mental gymnastics to come to terms with the reality that Lewis Hamilton won’t be driving this car next year. Might we see an entirely new look from Mercedes’ 2025 livery, similar to Repsol Honda’s bold new 2024 livery to mark Marc Marquez’s departure after over a decade?
     

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  • 2: McLaren MCL38

    2: McLaren MCL38

    During the mid-2010s the Honda-engined McLarens seemed to be jutting out their chins and actively daring you to find something, anything, exciting about them. Then the Woking outfit returned to papaya orange and seemed to find an extra second a lap. Are we absolutely sure there’s nothing in this ‘some colours weigh more than others’ thing?

    This year’s McLaren also benefits from some especially cool sponsor decals. The Google Chrome logos return to the wheel rim covers, a wonderfully thoughtful bit of sponsor placement, and main sponsor OKX’s pixelated font somehow gets across the team’s gen z appeal. Short of stapling a North Face jacket to the rear wing, there’s no better way to make an F1 car seem young than a crypto sponsor with a gamer-y logo.

  • 1: Ferrari SF-24

    1: Ferrari SF-24

    Ahh, sweet colour. Thank you, Maranello, for ensuring that we can tell at least one team apart from the others in 2024. The SF-24 is once again painted in traditional rosso corsa, just as it has been since the sport began, and finds a classy arrangement of sponsors that accentuate it. The extra dashes of white and yellow call to mind the special tribute liveries they ran at Monza last year, and they work just as well here as that livery did in ‘23.

    Will this utterly arbitrary livery rankings piece be the only thing the Scuderia wins in 2024? You’ve got to say it’s possible. But if you’re going to trundle around as runners up in a mirthless procession led by an energy drinks company for 24 races, you might as well look stylish while you do it.

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