Power Ranking the 2016 Formula 1 Liveries
The 2016 Formula One season is just around the corner, and we've now seen the liveries that will be used by 10 of the 11 teams taking part.
Mercedes, Ferrari, Williams, Red Bull, Force India, Toro Rosso, Sauber, McLaren, Manor and Haas have all unveiled their new looks for the year ahead. Only Renault, who used a black paint scheme in testing, have yet to show their colours.
Few of the teams have made significant changes over the winter. Manor have more blue on their car than they did last year, Ferrari have a lot more white and Red Bull have a unique new finish on the RB12, but the rest appear almost unchanged from 2015.
Whether that's a good or bad thing largely depends on what you thought to last year's challengers.
But almost every team has made at least subtle alterations, so it's time to put them on the catwalk for the annual Bleacher Report F1 beauty pageant.
Who'll be walking away with our tiara this year, and who'll take home a consolation prize? Read on to find out.
Renault ran with a testing livery during the pre-season at Barcelona; they will not unveil their real colour scheme until days before the Australian Grand Prix.
Autosport's Ian Parkes reports the team are set to use a shade of yellow for the main body of the car, with the wings coloured in black.
That sounds like it'll look great—but as we haven't seen it, we can't include Renault in the rankings.
10. Force India
Force India are one of many teams to have made no significant changes to their livery for 2016; the VJM09 has the same basic black and silver colouring, coupled again with thin stripes of orange and green.
And like its predecessor, it seems to have been designed not to look beautiful, but to make its sponsors' logos stand out.
The result is another very busy, quite garish car. The Force India isn't ugly by any means, but F1 cars should be attractive—and it certainly isn't that.
More images are available on the Force India website.
Haas had many opportunities to make an impact with their livery. They could have gone for yellow, to play on their Ferrari links, or they could have made more of their American nationality with a nod to Old Glory.
Instead they've opted for a primarily black and silver (though officially it's light grey and dark grey) paint scheme, with splashes of red around the front, rear and sides.
One look at the Haas Automation website tells you where the inspiration came from, and no one can blame Gene Haas for choosing a design that promotes his company.
But while black and silver do go well together, for a new team wanting to stand out, isn't it a little dull? The VF-16 just looks like another generic silver-and-black car, and we've had enough of those recently to last us a lifetime.
Special Award: Miss Rookie.
More images are available on the Haas website.
8. Toro Rosso
Toro Rosso have switched to Ferrari power for 2016, but few changes have been made to the team's livery. It's still predominantly blue with the same reds and golds as the STR10, and the visually unappealing red bull is still painted on the engine cover.
The rear-wing endplates are one of the few areas to receive some treatment, now featuring branding for Red Bull Cola rather than departed sponsor Cepsa.
There are a few nice touches on the car, but it lacks any striking beauty. Sadly, the main Red Bull team's switch to a matte-effect paint job makes the STR11 look a bit dated.
More images are available on the Toro Rosso website.
The 2016 Ferrari is a curious car. From some angles it looks really beautiful, but from others it looks truly awful.
From the side it's very nice, and it also looks pleasant from the front. But move round to view it from an angle—or watch it driving on a race track—and it looks rather unappealing.
The problem is the white engine cover, which appears to have been added as an homage to the liveries used during the Scuderia's dominant spell in the 1970s.
This large blotch of white, coupled with a sizable chuck on the chassis underside, makes the car look too disjointed and messy for a Ferrari.
On the positive side, the black patches work well with the main red shade and the sponsor logos are kept fairly small—so their impact on the livery is minimal.
Special Award: Miss Historic.
More images are available on the Ferrari website.
McLaren introduced their mainly black (officially "graphite-grey") livery ahead of last season's Spanish Grand Prix, and it has been largely retained for 2016.
Some of the red that works so well to break up the darkness has been removed from the front end, but the larger, clearer driver numbers lessen the impact of this change. Elsewhere, the white sponsor logos enhance the appearance of the car and help to give it some shape.
For a black car, it's very pretty—but black maybe isn't the best colour for an F1 car, because it hides so many little details.
More images available on the McLaren website.
The Mercedes livery design team has one of the toughest briefs in F1. The W07 will undoubtedly be quick, so it's going to be one the most photographed and filmed cars of the year, and there's a good chance it'll be called on to appear in advertising campaigns when the team wins another constructors' championship.
So it needs to look great. But it also needs to incorporate one of the vilest colours known to man—the emerald green of title sponsor Petronas.
Mercedes have done this quite tastefully in 2016. The green only stands out from certain angles, and the addition of darker shades onto the primarily silver livery blends everything together quite nicely.
It's not the best-looking car on the grid, nor is it the ugliest—it just fits somewhere in the middle.
More images are available on the Mercedes website.
Williams go into their third season with the Martini Racing livery, and it seems the exterior designers were given a simple brief—if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
As a result, the FW38 has exactly the same paint scheme as the FW37. It's still elegant and beautiful, and it still stands out amid a sea of darker cars, but it just doesn't seem as special now that everyone is used to seeing it.
Some might even say it's starting to look rather plain. We won't go that far, but it no longer has the same impact it once did.
Special Award: Miss Consistency.
More images are available on the Williams website.
Sauber had an attractive car in 2015 and, like many of their rivals, they haven't made many changes ahead of the coming season.
The bold blue that covers most of the car is perfectly complemented by the yellow on the sidepods, nose and—new for 2016—wing mirrors. The look is especially striking when Marcus Ericsson's helmet is added to the picture, so we've chosen him for the slide image.
The white wings might be a bit bland for some, but we think they set off the rest of the car beautifully. Another fine job by Sauber.
More images are available on the Sauber website.
Manor's 2016 livery is an evolution of the colour scheme they used toward the end of last season.
The blue that dominates the lower areas of the chassis goes together beautifully with the red and white on top, and the use of black on the wings and rear end sets everything off nicely. There's also a cleverly painted feature on the engine cover—a discreet team logo, spotted by Craig Scarborough during testing.
It has been pointed out by many fans, including Satria Piyambakan on Twitter, that the Manor's livery bears a striking resemblance to an Indonesian bus—perhaps a nod to well-funded driver Rio Haryanto. However, it's also similar to both the flag of the team's home country and the 1983 Spirit 201C.
But wherever the inspiration came from, it's one of the best liveries we've seen for years.
Special Award: Miss Congeniality.
More images are available on the Manor website.
1. Red Bull
Red Bull are no longer sponsored by Infiniti, so they no longer need to use purple in their liveries. The switch back to a more traditional blue is itself enough to make the car look better, but what really makes the RB12 stand out is its matte paint.
The bright reds and yellows look much stronger with the new finish, leaping out at the viewer regardless of which angle the car is seen from, and the removal of the white surround from the "Red Bull" writing—see last year's car for the difference—lets the red and blue clash in a quite lovely way on the front and rear wings.
It's just so very different to all the other cars, and in this case different is very, very good.
So even if they don't win any races this year, Red Bull will still have an award to smile about.
Special Award: Miss B/R F1 2016.
More images are available on the Red Bull website.