The 2022 F1 Car Liveries… RANKED

At the end of last season, Formula 1 underwent a massive overhaul to their official rules and regulations as part of a years-long plan to stimulate the cars of the hybrid-era. Originally planned to launch in 2021 but delayed due to the pandemic, we are now almost two complete race weekends in to the 2022 F1 season and the new cars are proving to be incredibly interesting.

The turbo hybrid-V6 powertrains of each car are relatively unchanged compared to recent years, but nearly everything else about the cars is completely different. Not only do the cars look different, but the entire aerodynamic theory of them has been changed—the 2022 F1 cars are now designed around ground effect, something we haven’t seen in the context of F1 design since the early-80s.

With all that said, the fancy new 2022 cars are a massive step forward for Formula 1. All of the physical changes have challenged the teams’ graphics departments to rethink their livery design as well, with their goal being to create stunning designs to live up to the new era of F1 (and satisfy their sponsors, which is a subject that will be touched upon in this list).

Some of the designs this year are total hits, some are misses, and one even managed to be the center of a political nightmare. Here is our list of all 10 cars, ranked from best looking to worst:

#1: Aston Martin AMR22

Aston Martin F1 fans probably had mixed feelings earlier this year when the news broke that BWT had cut ties with the Silverstone-based team. For one, it came as a result of team principal Otmar Szafnauer’s departure, but it also meant that the car would no longer have that ugly pink stripe strewn across it like last year’s car. Thankfully, this year Aston Martin did not hold back on their design and their 2022 challenger is as delightfully green as it should be.

#2: Alfa Romeo C42

Alfa Romeo’s F1 liveries have grown increasingly more attractive since their complete rebrand/ditching of the Sauber moniker. This year, the trend continues with their typical stunning metallic burgundy/white paint scheme but is elevated by a few vintage touches—namely the massive “ALFA ROMEO” typescript emblazoned on the upper engine cover which is a nod to Alfa Romeo’s original logo and racing history. Also… the Italian flag covering the entire underside of the rear wing is enough to make any non-paisan feel a bit patriotic.

#3: Ferrari F1-75

Ferrari earned mixed reactions when they switched over from their famous glossy red finish to a mostly-matte red paint scheme in 2019, and when they switched to an even darker matte-red in 2020—the tifosi were not too happy (although perhaps their mood was due to the Scuderia’s lackluster performance that year). Nevertheless, Ferrari has perfected the dark red/black and their 2022 car brings back memories of the Ferraris from the early 1990s. After a 1-2 finish in Bahrain this year and an apparent return to form, perhaps it’s just the good looks that Ferrari will be taking with them from the 90s cars.

#4: Williams Racing FW-44

This choice may irk some readers, but sometimes it’s hard to mess up a clean blue livery. Not a lot to see, but not a lot to miss here either—that’s why it works so well.

#5: Alpha Tauri AT03

Alpha Tauri’s livery hasn’t changed much since the team’s official rebrand in 2020, but the stark contrast between dark-navy blue and bright white continue to make their car stand out in a positive way. Some choice sponsors take away from the cleanliness of this livery, namely FlexBox, but otherwise it works well. The Italian flag on the mirrors is also a nice touch.

#6: Red Bull RB18

Red Bull’s livery has been more or less the same for nearly 10 years now, and it is certainly not ugly. It is almost too iconic to change at this point, especially now that Red Bull’s Max Verstappen is the defending world champion. However, there are too many new and interesting liveries this year to have the RB18 higher up on the list.

#7: Haas VF22 (Updated)

Haas has had quite an interesting start to the 2022 F1 season to say the least. Their original livery for the VF-22 this year would likely be at the bottom of this list, but the updated (and remarkably sponsor-less) livery is actually quite an improvement. It’s clean, simple, and inoffensive. It’s also not that out of the box, so for that reason it will sit at #7 on our list.

#8: Mercedes W13

The all-black liveries of the last two Mercedes F1 cars were unbelievably sleek and good-looking, but the Brackley-based team’s return to the distinctive “Silver Arrows” livery is a perfectly understandable move. What is not so understandable, however, is the ridiculous splash of red on the upper engine intake and the endplates thanks to Mercedes’ sponsorship deal with INEOS which started in 2020. The chemicals company is certainly getting their money’s worth as the red stands out—but for the sake of a well-designed livery it simply looks awful. Also, the highlighter-yellow driver’s number on Lewis’ car is another design blunder (though some say it could be a blatant attempt to take advantage of a loosely-enforced rule in the FIA handbook regarding the visibility of driver’s numbers…but that is hearsay at the moment).

#9: Alpine A522

There is too much going on here. The blue and the pink does not even look all that bad together, it’s just that there is too much going on here.

#10: McLaren MCL36

If the Alpine A522 wrote an excerpt on “too much going on”, then the McLaren MCL36 wrote the entire book. What happened to the Gulf livery of last year’s Monaco Grand Prix? Not to mention, the car actually looked decent at its launch this year but McLaren opted to remove more paint in an effort save weight. Plus, the emblematic Google colors on the wheel covers just look silly. As McLaren fans often say: “Maybe next year…”.

All images featured in this article are copyright of Formula 1 © 2022.

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