10 - Ferrari F2001
Special livery for the Italian GP, as a hommage to the victims of the 9/11 tragedy.
Many regard the F2004 and the F2002 as the best looking Ferraris in the 2000s, but they forget about the F2001. With simpler, cleaner lines, I think it looked much better than the newer models. The Italian GP at Monza was an opportunity to see the F2001 without sponsorship, which I think was especially great.
This car gave the great Michael Schumacher his fourth title in F2001, scoring a then record 123 points and nine race wins.
9 - Shadow-Ford DN5
Another overlooked car from what I think is Formula One's golden era, the Shadow DN5 had a slender, short design covered with a wisely-chosen black paint coat. Sponsorship wasn't as prolific as it is nowadays, and that contributed to the Shadow's mysterious look, which really matched its name.
Results weren't as great, with the DN5 taking 2 podiums, 3 poles and 2 fast laps between the 1975 and 1977 seasons.
8 - Lotus-Honda 99T
Probably one of the best looking cars Ayrton drove.
The Lotus - Honda 99T featured an unmistakable yellow colour and was covered in Camel advertising. The design itself was probably not so remarkable, but the paintjob made it stick in the memory of every Formula 1 fan in the world.
In the 1987 season, this car gave Ayrton 2 wins, one pole position and 8 podiums, and was third in the constructors' championship.
7 - Brawn-Mercedes BGP001
This version of the car in the early stages of the championship (Chinese GP, 3rd round) is particularly good, due to the lack of sponsorship.
With a pristine white look at the beginning of the championship that included more and more advertising as it continued, the BGP001 was a radical change compared to the more conservative looks all the other teams ran. I distinctly remember thinking, as a child, those fluorescent yellow wheels were astonishing and great looking. The chasis itself features flowing lines (due to the ban of aerodynamic appendages in the 2009 season) and a rather cleaner, more simplistic approach to its design.
The Mercedes engined BGP001 got Jenson Button his first and only world championship, with the team winning 8 rounds, getting 5 poles and 4 fast laps, and, consequently, the constructors' title.
6 - Williams-Renault FW14
In the picture, the 1992 FW14B .
Back when the cars ran as close to the ground as two coats of paint, Nigel Mansell drove this FW14B alongside Riccardo Patrese. With F1 guru Adrian Newey in charge of the design of this Williams, it was bound to be aerdoynamically exellent. In addition, it looked stunning, and made a rather strange color combination work to perfection.
This particular model, featuring active suspension, won the 1992 both drivers' and constructors' title. Earning 17 wins, 21 poles and 19 fast laps between 1991 and 1992, it was outperformed by Senna in the first year and dominated its second season in the sport.
5 - McLaren-Honda MP4/6
Come to think of it, this is Senna's best looking car, the stunning MP4/6.
Reigning champion Ayrton Senna raced in the 1991 Formula 1 season with the amazing MP4/6. It followed the same style as previous McLaren racers, with the same Shell and Marlboro sponsorship and a minimal yet effective approach to aerodynamics as a common denominator. It should be pointed out that this 5th place includes all McLaren cars from that era, from the MP4/4 to the MP4/7; although I think the MP4/6 is the best looking one.
Senna was able to defend his title from the previous year in this 710 BHP, V12 beast. Meanwhile the team also defended their 1990 constructors' title, earning a total of 8 wins, 10 poles, and 5 fast laps.
4 - Ferrari 312T
Not only did the 312T replace the rather outdated 312 B3, but it did so with style. It innovated with a short wheelbase, lower height due to the boxer, 12 cylinder engine (resulting in less drag), a tall, great looking airbox and a front wing inspired in a JCB digger. Opinions regarding this car are really divided: either you think it is hideous, or you think it is the bee's knees. There's no gray. I, as you may notice, am one of the latter.
The innovative 312T gave the great Niki Lauda his first F1 championship and Ferrari another constructors' title, getting 9 wins and 9 poles between the 1975 and the beginning of the 1976 season.
3 - Jordan-Ford 191
On board, the great Michael Schumacher.
Again, the 1991 F1 season. Is it the prettiest season in F1 history? Probably.
Jordan's (and Michael Scumacher's) debut car did nothing but turn every look towards the new kid in class. Design quirks included a cool, curvy front wing, a mad triple rear wing, and a flowing body coated with a great looking livery, especially with the 7up - Tic-Tac green and blue combo.
Results for Eddie Jordan's new car weren't too disastrous, getting one fast lap and 5th place in the constructors' championship, ahead of the likes of Minardi, Tyrrell and Lotus.
2 - Brabham-Ford BT44
They do not get much prettier than this; when all things just happen at the right place at the right time. Gordon Murray, who had an eye for clean aerodynamic lines, was Brabham's chief engineer at the time. The BT44 featured side skirts and air intakes as a primitive approach towards ground effect. Along with the unmistakable Martini livery, this car really stood the test of time and is regarded as one of the best looking racecars the highest class of motor racing has ever had.
While it didn't win any title, it did give Brabham some important wins (exactly 5) between the 1975 and 1976 seasons, as well as two pole positions and second place in the 1975 constructors' chapionship. Its partial success and astonishing looks made it an unforgettable entry to Formula 1.
1 - Tyrrell - Ford P34
This first place is controversial, but I think it is, no questions asked, the prettiest car in F1 history. Many will disagree, but the radical, unexpected design of the P34 is what got me into the history of Formula 1.
Featuring 4 smaller wheels instead of two bigger ones, in order to fit them directly behind the front wing for aerodynamic purposes, there is no doubt the P34 was a mouth-opening concept. Besides the argument about the front wheels, the 1976 Tyrrell had design details such as the NACA intakes in the front wing and the high airbox (when it was used) that made it good-looking on its own. The profile look of it is handsome as hell. Certainly the Elf sponsorship helped, to the point of it being considered one of the best liveries in F1.
But there is no escaping from the fact that it does have six wheels, a feature that stuck throughout history, making it unforgettable. It's the madness, the rebellion from the rules and the standard, the way Derek Gardner thought outside the box (and rules) and came up with something that stands as an example of what this sport is. The masterclass of driving, and engineering.
Jody Scheckter won in 1976 where he achieved pole position, the swedish GP. The P34 was 3rd in the 1976 constructors' championship. Between 1976 and 1977, it achieved 14 podiums. Yet, the legacy lives on.
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