Now that we’ve seen every 2022 F1 livery, it’s time for my 2nd annual power rankings ahead of this weekend’s opening Grand Prix. Of note, I am not taking the actual technical car designs into account at all. The new regulations have inspired a variety of solutions, some of which are prettier are than others, but that’s out of scope for this exercise. Also, last year I tried to use on-track shots as much as possible to best reflect how the cars look in representative lighting. This year, I’m judging from launch photos where possible, to allow each team’s livery to be shown in what they felt was the most beneficial way.
Cars are ranked from 10th to 1st, separated into tiers marked by GIFs.
Now let’s get to it.
On its own, this is good. The blue is a nice blue. The pink is eye-catching, especially when used as the main color in the Bahrain/Saudi edition. But if you didn’t know this was the Alpine car it would be difficult to tell! The 2021 car used a great color scheme that, while very different from the Renault before it, matched Alpine’s brand image very well. There’s obviously sponsor dollars in play here, but losing what little recognizability you have can’t be anything but a miss.
Dear Ferrari, when you have the world’s most famous color scheme, don’t try too hard. For the second year in a row, it pains me to rank the red car this low. But that’s just it, Ferrari keeps adding touches of color that, in my opinion, hurt more than help the overall appearance of their entry. The black details detract from the overall look, but at least they got rid of the hideous neon green engine cover sponsor spot from last year.
The 2022 Williams incorporates an interesting design pattern much better than last year’s “Create a Car” feel. I do wish the team itself was more prominently featured, especially considering the relative lack of sponsor placement. But overall I like the look and I expect it to climb my future rankings if it’s used as the design language basis moving forward.
Of all the teams so far, Haas has made it the most clear whose car is on the track. That scores points in my book, but the overall design is pretty basic so this is their ceiling.
6. Alpha Tauri
The Alpha Tauri looks good. It incorporates the team branding well and uses the sidepod design to its benefit. It also fixed last year’s issue of just looking like a dark car in the head-on view. But, the overall color scheme is pretty average so it can’t rise above the middle of the pack.
5. Aston Martin
The Aston Martin is another good-looking car. It looks lighter than last year’s entry and closer to the British Racing Green it ought to be. I also quite like the fluorescent details although they may not be everyone’s cup of tea. It belongs in the top half and an argument could be made for it to be even higher.
The next tier consists of iconic liveries from iconic teams. McLaren’s papaya is a great base, and they incorporate their many sponsors rather well. The Gulf-esque trim is also nice, but using it for the number color over a papaya background provides inexcusably little contrast. Also, for newer fans it could be difficult to tell this is a McLaren. But like the Ferrari, the color scheme is so iconic that it’s much more forgivable than on say, the Alpine.
3. Red Bull
Now that is a colorful and unmistakable racecar. If I’m being picky, the yellow nose feels more naked than previous iterations due to the new car’s design. But my top pick from last year is certainly worthy of another podium.
The Silver Arrows are back! Mercedes provides a great example of how to incorporate branding into a design. The pops of color work well, and this is a great package overall. In another year, this could have been the top dog.
Just, wow. As soon as I saw the 2022 Alfa Romeo, I loved it. This is everything a livery should be. It’s immediately striking and there’s no question what car it is. The script Alfa Romeo and colorful wheel covers are perfect touches that put it over the top.
Overall, this year’s field is better-looking than in 2021. Outside of the top and bottom picks, there’s not much separating the rest of the pack.
All photos used are courtesy of Formula 1, Alpha Tauri, and Haas