Monday, June 29, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Looking Cars of the 00’s

At FormulaSpy, we like to think that we recognise good looking cars when we see one, whether it's through a beautiful livery or sophisticated bodywork. So for this week's Top Ten Tuesday, we have a very subjective countdown of the best looking Formula One cars of the 2000's. Let us know what you think!

10: Spyker F8-VII (2007)

The team from Silverstone was in a transitional period in the mid-naughties, the gradual decline of the Jordan Grand Prix name resulted in a purchase by the Midland Group for 2006, before being swiftly sold to Spyker Cars for the 2007 season. For their only season in the sport they opted for a predominantly orange body with dark-silver detailing over the front wing, the sides of the nosecone, the barge boards and on the front of the sidepods. This detailing along the length of the car certainly made it look faster than it was.


The team scored one point all year, but produced a cult hero in the form of Markus Winklehock, who profited from a wet-weather tyre gamble to lead his home race by 30 seconds on Lap 2 at the Nurburgring before being overtaken almost everybody at a race restart.

9: Jaguar R1 (2000)


After Ford's buyout of the Stewart Grand Prix team, it was revealed that they would be racing under the Jaguar name for 2000. Over the winter, they revealed their car with the stunning "Jaguar Racing Green", a slightly lighter shade than the traditional "Racing Green" made famous by their classic sports cars. The reasons are believed to have been for weight-saving and for better television coverage. The car, however, wasn't quick. It scored 4 points all year and set the theme for an underachieving five-year stint from Ford.

8: Brawn BGP 001 (2009)


The tale of the team lead by Ross Brawn is well documented, from contending with an insecure future and job redundancies to winning the World Championship. The fact that the team was assembled in such a short space of time showed, as the BGP 001 appeared at the first race with one of the simplest liveries ever seen. The car was completely covered in white paint, with the only detailing coming from fluorescent stripes running over the top of the nosecone and over the sidepods. It was completely sponsor-less, and coupled with the fact that it was one of the chunkier-looking cars on the grid, gave it the image of a pure racing machine.

7: Ferrari F2002 (2002) 

rsz_f2002-schu-ferr-spaf-2002Scuderia Ferrari S.p.A./Ercole Colombo

Ferrari's world-beater in 2002 made it into the history books as one of the winningest cars over a single season. Despite being similar to the handsome F2001, the sponsorship from Vodafone gave the following car much neater detailing, replacing a cluster of sponsors jotted sporadically across the sides of the car in previous years. It became one of the most iconic liveries in Ferrari's history, seeing the majority of the 'Schumacher era' of dominance.

6: Renault R26 (2006)


The blue and yellow liveried Renault's became synonymous with mid-naughties Formula One, introducing the colour scheme at the start of their Formula One rebirth in 2002. Despite these colours being consistent from 2002-2006, the evolution of their Formula One cars show how the shape and design of a race car can change it's looks. From a fairly boxy debut car to sleek, radical machine; the R26's winglets, skinny sidepods and nosecone complimented the arrow-like yellow detailing.

5: Jordan EJ11 (2001)

This was Jordan's final car which illustrated the rock and roll attitude with which we all became familiar in the late-nineties. The EJ11 featured a much higher dart-like nose to the car, resulting in the introduction of a shark illustration, replacing the hornet used on previous cars. The bold yellow and black livery is still fondly remembered colour combinations in Formula One history, with it's striking appearance winning them many admirers. Future livery designs appeared to lose their 'edginess', opting instead for safer design which may have been more likely to attract sponsors.

4: McLaren MP4/15 (2000)


A car with a livery which many will associate with the classic Hakkinen vs Schumacher days, this design is very similar to the one which took three championship titles in 1998 & 1999. The stealthy 'Silver Arrows' certainly had a look of a serious, clinical, no-nonsense machine, commanding authority on the race track as they frequently locked-out the front row of the grid. The legendary colour scheme would gradually make the transition into the chrome designed cars which are seen today.

3: Prost AP04 (2001)

Some of you may need to cast your minds back a little while (or at least refer to google) because the Prost team were only in existence for around five seasons and barely graced 21st century, yet it's their final entrant that makes it into our top three. The dark blue livery can be dated back to the team's previous guise as Ligier, but the inherited colour scheme evolved into a glistening metallic blue by 2001, paired with red detailing on the nose tip and barge boards. Despite the team's lack of success, the car stood out because it had a look of elegance, sophistication and professionalism against a field cluttered with sponsor-shod vehicles. That then may be the reason the team folded after running out of money before the 2002 season.

2: BMW F1.2008 (2008)


The BMW name was ever-present throughout this decade, starting off as an engine supplier for Williams before forming their own entry from the Sauber team. The white and dark blue colour combination was present from the 2000-entry Williams to the final BMW attempt in 2009, with most of the sterile car colour schemes never really standing out in an F1 grid. However, with the radicalisation of the aerodynamics in Formula One, the majority of the cars in 2008 managed to look incredibly fast whilst standing still. The BMW F1.2008 was a fine example of this; the curvy front wings, the fins on the nose cone and the swooping bodywork of the sidepods made the normally-cold livery look beautifully designed. The extra pieces of bodywork allowed for a simple livery, because a cluttered paint scheme mixed with an array of multi-angled car parts would've been a complete overkill. To top it off nicely, the car actually was fast, taking one victory and multiple podiums in their most successful season in the sport.

1: Arrows A21 (2000)

Here we are then! The world's most subjective top ten comes to an end, being topped by the (in my opinion) gorgeous Arrows A21. This team saw a wide range of sponsor-driven colour schemes in it's time, but at the turn of the century, Arrows unveiled their best yet. With backing from network provider Orange, the produced a predominantly, eh, orange car with a black stripe spanning across a central section of the nosecone and down either side of the body of the car and along the sidepods. Another black stripe was placed across the lower section of the rollover hoop to complete the livery. The orange and black complimented each other beautifully. The car itself was one of their better efforts from their later years, scoring a handful of points to give them their best constructors finish in three years.

So there we have it, in anticipation of some counter-opinions please feel free to suggest cars you think may have been wrongfully omitted from the list. What's your top ten?

The post Top Ten Tuesday: Best Looking Cars of the 00's appeared first on FormulaSpy.

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