On the month March every year since 1950, a new Formula 1 season has given us F1 fans the opportunity to bear witness to a whole host of new vehicles race around a circuit for the first race of the campaign. Every now and then, a team comes up with a design which etches itself into the deep memories of many of us for its striking appearance and beauty. It’s crazy what four wheels and a metal shell can stir up in the hearts of petrolheads the world over. In this article we will see some of the most iconic and downright attractive cars which have raced in Formula One.
10. Red Bull RB6
Not only is the RB6 a good-looking race car, it is also incredibly fast. Sebastian Vettel drove this beast to his first of four drivers’ titles back in 2010. Personally, I’m just a fan of almost all of the 2010 designs; it was the first year where cars were considerably lengthened to facilitate the use of larger fuel tanks (to last the entire race distance). Those three stripes going along the side of the nose really completes the look for me, making the Red Bull look speedy even as it stands waiting in the garage. Also, who doesn’t love shark fins? It is also why I like the look of the 2017 grid as well , although there are none of them on this list for variety’s sake.
9. Benetton B186
Livery is so important when it comes Formula 1 cars. Benetton really nailed it when it came to their first ever car, the B186. I’m in love with the rainbow colour scheme, which was meant to reflect the Benetton Group’s “United Colors” branding. At the Detroit Grand Prix in 1986, the team even painted their tyres in orange and green, as shown in the picture. The car was decently fast too, with a singular win at the Mexican GP. The B186 is famous for having the most powerful engine ever in an F1 car. The BMW M12/13 produced upwards of 1350 bhp in qualifying trim!
8. Ferrari F1-75
With Ferrari’s effort for the current season, they went for a 90s revival look for their livery. Bringing back the nostalgic feel of the early 1990s Ferraris driven by multiple world champ Alain Prost, the Scuderia will be hoping for similar levels of success in the competitive aspect. That dark red paint is not something we’ve seen on a Prancing Horse since Kimi Raikkonen last won a championship for Ferrari, all the way back in 2007. We cannot ignore those sidepods either. The way they scoop inwards… it’s no wonder we at The F1 Scoop like them so much! No other team this year has gone for a sidepod design so radical. And don’t count Mercedes in there as they literally don’t have sidepods! The silhouette from the rear of the F1-75 will be ingrained in my memory and many others long after the 2022 season is complete, especially if they go on to win the title.
7. Vanwall VW5
For our oldest entry, we have a shoe! Some would call it ugly, but opinion is somewhat divided on the aesthetic beauty of the VW5. Many others, including myself, approve wholeheartedly with the curvature and proportions of this absolute monster of a vehicle. And it was certainly a monster on track. Despite their short existence in the motorsport, Vanwall won the World Constructors’ Championship in 1958 using this very car. Taking 6 wins out of the 9 races it entered, the Vanwall is actually one of the most successful Formula 1 cars, period.
6. Tyrrell 019
That early 90s silhouette, coupled with the high-nose design makes for a very alluring package indeed. The 019 appeared in the third race of the 1990 campaign, and gave a certain Jean Alesi a tremendous career boost which saw him hired by Ferrari for the following season. He was the star of the show at the Monaco Grand Prix, just a second behind winner Ayrton Senna to finish in 2nd place. The Cosworth engine wasn’t up to scratch compared to the Postlethwaite-designed chassis however. Alesi didn’t get any more points after that impressive showing. His teammate, Satoru Nakajima, could only muster a pair of sixth positions comes the end of the season.
5. Jordan 197
Our animal instincts are sure to make us fear and admire the Jordan 197 in equal measure. Either way, it certainly gets your heart rate pumping! The snake, with a pair of menacing fangs and vile eyes, certainly caused intimidation in the rear-view mirrors of defending vehicles. Jordan bounced back with the 197 after a disappointing 1996 season. They recorded a trio of podiums and several top-6 finishes for 5th in the Constructors’ Championship.
4. Ferrari 643
Simple yet elegant. This is what many of us think when we lay eyes on the Ferrari 643 for the first time. There is no point in denying that there is a resemblance in the shape of the 643 and the female form; like a young woman with her stomach to the floor. The 643 turns heads everywhere it goes: historic race meets, festivals, conventions and the like. Unfortunately, this Ferrari wasn’t as fast and lithe as it looked. Alesi and Prost were unable to muster a single win with it 1991. Prost in particular loathed the handling characteristics of the 643. At one point, he exclaimed that a truck would be easier to drive, which was the final nail in the coffin according to the Ferrari management. Alain was fired shortly after.
3. Honda RA300
Behold, the Honda RA300. Those exhausts are really something else, aren’t they? That’s all there is to say about this specimen. I mean, the Japan-inspired livery is pretty cool, but that winding convolution of metal is what grabs all the headlines. From certain angles it looks like a luscious jet-black mane seeping out from the driver’s helmet, perilously close to being pulled into the hot screaming engine just inches below. Its career in F1 was short-lived, with only 4 races in 1967 and ’68 combined. It got a victory at the ’67 Italian Grand Prix, with John Surtees behind the wheel beating Jack Brabham’s own car by 0.2 seconds to the flag.
2. Arrows A2
What many like about the A2 is that it looks like one seamless piece of bodywork. At certain races in 1979 it did away with wings both front and rear, making it look like a flattened golden bullet. The Arrows A2 was utterly unique in design. This was near the advent of the ground effect era, and Arrows experimented will a very extreme concept which produced literal tonnes of downforce which meant it didn’t need a front or rear wing. However, this was at the expense of stability and outright pace. The car was used for only 8 races before being replaced by the A3 for the 1980 season.
1. Jordan 191
The most beautiful Formula 1 car has got to be the Jordan 191. That 7-Up livery for Eddie Jordan’s outfit was simply a masterstroke. The sheer eye-candy of the 191 had swatches of people supporting the team in what was its maiden season. It wasn’t only the livery though, The shape of the vehicle was different to all the other cars on the grid, in a tantalisingly beautiful manner. The way the engine air intake arches towards the driver’s head and swoops down over the Ford motor isn’t talked about enough in the community. The 191 gave Michael Schumacher his debut at the Belgian Grand Prix in 1991, after usual driver Bertrand Gachot got himself suspended for spraying tear gas at a taxi driver he got crossed up with! 5th in their debut season is nothing to scoff at either, with regular points finishes allowing them to climb above teh likes of Tyrrell and Minardi.