Who’s got the best-looking car in 2012?

2012 F1 season preview

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F1 teams have different solutions to the nose problem

The F1 cars of 2012 will probably not be remembered as the most attractive the sport has ever produced.

New rules have led most of the teams to add an unsightly step in the nose of their cars. Added to the oddly-proportioned front and rear wings in use since 2009, it makes from some strange-looking machines.

But as ever some cars look better than others and some teams have done better jobs of presenting their racers.

Which do you think is the best-looking car of 2012? Compare them all below and cast your vote.

Red Bull RB8

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Barcelona, 2012

McLaren MP4-27

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Jerez, 2012

Ferrari F2012

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Barcelona, 2012

Mercedes W03

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Barcelona, 2012

Lotus E20

Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Barcelona, 2012

Force India VJM05

Paul di Resta, Force India, Barcelona, 2012

Sauber C31

Sergio Perez, Sauber, Barcelona, 2012

Toro Rosso STR7

Daniel Ricciardo, Toro Rosso, Barcelona, 2012

Williams FW34

Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Jerez, 2012

Caterham CT01

Vitaly Petrov, Caterham, Barcelona, 2012

HRT F112

Narain Karthikeyan, HRT F112, Barcelona, 2012

Marussia MR01

Timo Glock, Marussia, Silvestone, 2012

Vote for the best-looking car of 2012

What's the best-looking car on the grid in 2012?

  • Marussia MR01 (5%)
  • HRT F112 (7%)
  • Caterham CT01 (2%)
  • Williams FW34 (1%)
  • Toro Rosso STR7 (3%)
  • Sauber C31 (1%)
  • Force India VJM05 (7%)
  • Lotus E20 (8%)
  • Mercedes W03 (2%)
  • Ferrari F2012 (3%)
  • McLaren MP4-27 (57%)
  • Red Bull RB8 (5%)

Total Voters: 696

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Debates and polls

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Images © Jamey Price/F1 Fanatic, McLaren/Hoch Zwei, Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo, Mercedes/Hoch Zwei, Lotus F1 Team/LAT, Force India/Sutton, Sauber F1 Team, Red Bull/Getty images, Williams/LAT, Caterham/LAT, HRT F1 Team, Marussia

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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132 comments on “Who’s got the best-looking car in 2012?”

  1. Tough decision. Though I really like the Ferrari from the side view, the nose step is just too odd for me to vote it the best looking. The Force India and the HRT are beautiful, but I thing the best overall in terms of car shape and livery is the Toro Rosso. Still the best livery on the grid and it looks aggressive and purposeful. Love it.

    1. I think they had the best livery in 2010 and earlier in 2011, but the Cepsa and Falcon sponsorship completely ruined it. :(

      1. I think the flashes of red and gold from both those sponsors make the STR. They still have my favourite livery and they are the best of the step nose brigade looks-wise. However the Macca is easily the best looking car out there because it has no step nose, and the Marussia is just fugly.

        My take on the 2012 rules is that the cars look purposeful rather than beautiful. I really like the look of the post 2009 cars, with no odd flicks and bits and high noses, and I think the RB5 was the best looking of the 09 cars and the 2010 Force India, I think it was the VJM03, is the best looking of the no refuelling cars from 2010 through to now.

        I really liked the shark fins and the outboard mirrors, both of which are now gone.

        However, back to the original question, the McLaren is easily the best looking car out there…

    2. I kind of like the ferrari as well. The angular shape has a nice futuristic look to it. The rest more round bumps just look plain ugly. The caterham is really bad looking just like the merc.

      Of course the matte looking red color of the ferrari makes the car look better than the horrible green of the gatorham…

    3. I voted for STR as well. They have one of the most seamless-looking duck-billed nose; RBR’s solution of putting an air intake also works quite well.

      The Ferrari looks reasonably purposeful, while the McLaren, while it gets kudos for the front-end not looking worse than last year’s, and the back end looking tidier, I don’t really like their flashy silver paint scheme — or their blunt-looking nose (I really liked the Sauber and Mercedes noses from last year).

  2. Tom Haxley (@)
    9th March 2012, 13:12

    Must be said the pictures do make them all look pretty good :)

    1. @welshtom I don’t agree, I think they look awful.

      It’s like when you see those toys at fairgrounds that are cheap knock-offs of the real thing – the shapes and lines just don’t look right. We’ve still got the weirdly squashed rear wings and stretched front wings, and now we’ve got these odd noses as well.

      The McLaren is marginally more pleasing to my eye, and the Marussia too. But it’s like looking at 12 pigs and saying the one with make-up on is the looker.

      1. Tom Haxley (@)
        9th March 2012, 13:31


        Haha yes I suppose. You can’t make a silk purse out a sows ear and all that.

        I voted McLaren, as I am a big fan of them anyway and it is clearly the best ;)

        The Merc looks the worst! I think after looking at them for a few weeks I am kind of used to it (and I never thought I’d say that)

        1. I thought Merc looked best in that picture Keith posted where MSC is sitting on the front left wheel. Juuuuuust hides the step.

          Voted MAC, naturally.

      2. I disagree, I dont think they are that bad, especially the McLaren and the Lotus. It baffles me that people salivate over the cars in th e 70s, and 2005-2008, and yet bemoan every aspect of these cars like they are an affront to nature itself. theyre no.

        The wings are out of proportion, but the DW12 has weird spaped sidpods and, baisic from wing, and a massive, high, barn door rear wing. Its sitll a good looking car from a lot of angles.

        These cars are sleek, thebody looks aggressive and fully aerodynamically trimmed – despite the wings. The wings are bad, but i dont think they overshadow the rest of the car. I dont understand how people like the aerodynamic appengaes littered all over thge bodies of the 2008 cars, with the unsigthly bridge wings, and yet cant see past the wings of the current formula.

        The Lotus is a looker. The Red Bull is intriguing. The McLaren looks angry. At least they provoke a response.

        1. I think for some people some things are easier to get used to, than others. If I look at road cars, I don’t like current Ferrari’s. I like the old 288 gto and the Miami Vice Testarossa.
          But with F1 my taste evolves: I like the current cars, even while I hated them when I first saw those new wings.
          I just wish it doesn’t spoil the pleasure of watching too much for all the people who can’t get used to it.
          By the way, I voted Ferrari.

        2. I totally agree with your general assessment of the current cars. The pre-2009 cars were getting uglier by every added piece of bodywork (except maybe the Mclaren “horns” on the engine cover). I actually believe the current cars would look amazing with 2 key changes:

          1) Remove the step from the nose. While a lot of people would also prefer lower noses, I like them more aggressive and generally more on the high side. I really don’t like droopy noses like the Brawn had.

          2) Make the rear wing wider. I believe the proportions would be greatly improwed by the rear wing being pre-2009 width (or slightly wider) and current height (or slightly lower but not as low as pre 2009). Possibly also make the front wing very slightly narrower. I am not sure if it would actually look better to have the front wing reach the middle of the front tire instead of outside, but I wouldn’t want to see the wing narrower than that.

          Out of the current cars I’d vote for the Toro Rosso, closely followed by the Red Bull and Lotus (all three have for me the least ugly bump and decent liveries). Mclaren has the best nose, but the car looks boring compared to the others and I really hate the livery (too much red and really really boring. they should go orange). Out of the rest Force India would be in my top 3 in terms of the car itself, but the livery totally kills it for me.

          1. That´s still not going to work for me. What should happen to make these cars attractive again is making the whole car wider along with the rear wing, perhaps keeping the same height as we have now. Make the front wing narrower and most importantly, disallow those hideous attachments running from the front nose to the front wing, directly attaching the wing to the bodywork of the car. Something like this: https://www.racefans.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/ayrtonsenna_mclarenford_interlagos_1993.jpg

            I think low noses along with a front wing attached to the actual bodywork will improve the looks of the cars by a LOT.

        3. Agree with your assessment of the newer cars.
          I like both the 05-08 and the 09-11 cars. They have different qualities which make them more beautiful. The 08 cars look like beasts, while the newer cars look like sleek missiles.

        4. come on, the cars of the 70,s were fantastic, they were all different, look at the 73,74,75,76, 77, grids and youll see, as for the modern stuff there all the same,just different paint jobs

      3. Nice analogy. In the US we have a specific expression about make-up and pigs. The underlying wisdom is so valued that when the now-President used it in reference to an opposing female candidate(‘s views), there were tears.

        The McLaren looks best The rest look like Lego modells of F1 cars. And I mean the budget sets like I had as a kid that had only rectangular pieces.

      4. When we first saw the interim BMW at the winter tests at the end of 2008, I was shocked by those wings and couldnt ever imagine myself liking them, but over time you get used to them and they seem fine to me now.

        Most of the 2009 grid were an odd looking bunch, with one or two exceptions (Brawn and Toyota looked good IMO). Even in hindsight, they remain ugly for the most part. The BMW and McLaren particularly.

        The longer cars for 2010 though were a different story; I really think they grew into their new look thanks to the refuelling ban, as a longer chassis seemed to balance the aesthetics of the wings. They were the best looking cars of this generation in 2010.

        Of the 2012 cars, the McLaren looks magnificent. I like the Lotus too, they made the step look half decent. The Ferrari is hands down the worst looking car.

      5. May I ask which you would go for, Keith?

        1. Sorry, just read McLaren.

          1. That’s alright, saved me writing another reply!

  3. The MP4-27 will kill the opposition in this poll, I’m afraid.

    It’s, by far, the prettiest car on the grid. The bulk round the back of the sidepods spoil it a bit, but the rest is just perfect.

    1. I agree, but I just wish they use the silver rims, instead of those black ones!

    2. Actually, now that I’m semi-used to the stepped noses, the McLaren one seems too much sqaured and flat. But it’s definitely the best for me, as it looks as last year’s cars (or from 2010, even). The HRT is lovely as well (they tend to produce nice but slow cars) as it’s very similar to last year’s.

    3. The MP4-27 would probably do well in a poll like this no matter what it actually looked like, as McLaren are so popular.

      I appreciate that it doesn’t have a stepped nose, but apart from that, I’m getting a little tired of the silver, and the curves of the sidepod look slightly odd.

      There is no really gorgeous car on the grid this year, but my vote goes to the Lotus. The stepped nose looks like it actually fits the car. It’s only the red Total endplates that let it down, as they clash with the black and gold colour scheme.

      1. The shape of the cars is what defines it, anyway, as the grid rarely sees changes in liveries.

        Appart from HRT, there’s hardly any massive change. I don’t like the silver and red, to be honest, but as a car, the MP4-27 is the prettiest one.

        If it was painted like the Caterham, it’d be even better, IMO. But you can’t get it all!

    4. The sidepod bulks were very different and much prettier on the version used in the final hours of testing. I don’t have a pic but I’m sure you could find one in the gallery either here or on the F1 website.

  4. Lotus just beats out the McLaren for me because of the livery and slender nose. I prefer the lower body shape of the McLaren though.

    1. I totally agree.

  5. This is actually really difficult! I love all of the cars. If you ignore the noses, we’ve actually got a very good looking set of F1 cars this year. No funky sidepods, no ghastly “blade-style” rollover hoops… All very nice really. The Red Bull and the Caterham have really grown on me, and I really love the dangerous-looking Sauber and Williams machines. They actually look scary!

    The McLaren is quite nice and a big improvement on their last two cars and the Ferrari is actually quite pretty if you ignore the very square nose-cone.

    It’s a pity I don’t really like the Toro Rosso livery this season, because they have one of my favourite cars this season. The addition of all of that gold has not done it any favours…

    The Force India, despite being probably my least favourite car last year, is surprisingly another one of my favourites. The livery has been improved and made to look a bit more “funky”, but they still could do with even less white. The shape of the car is probably its best aspect though.

    The E20 is brilliant. The stepped nose is kind of subtle and the overall shape of the car has a distinct ’90s feel to it. Well, for me it does, at least!

    As for the others; I don’t really care too much. But I certainly don’t like the Mercedes’ nose.

    Oh, now I have to vote! Um…

    1. @damonsmedley

      If you ignore the noses

      Hard to ignore them really though all things considered! They all look disproportianate to me and recent years has seen a lean to function over form from the designers. I’m not suggesting that teams score points for asthetics but I think we have now reached a pinnacle in offensive car designs ;). The HRT colours are nice and the McLaren has the better front end. I can’t see past those narrow rear wings that look to high, I guess I’m getting old!!!

    2. Nice to see you got yourself liking these cars @damonsmedley :-)

      I like te McLaren for its nose, and the rest of the car is fine. But that livery is really growing ancient by now, so I couldn’t vote for it. Not to mention it makes the car look big and fat somehow.

      I do like most of the STR and the backside of the Ferrari, and the Caterham looks interesting as well. Not a fan of the Red Bull’s slotted broken nose-look.

      In the end I voted for FI because the livery really did brighten up for me and their interpretation of the humped nose is probably the least ugly one of them.

      A thought for the Virgin Marussia as well, because they have a nose making me think back to 94/95. But their livery is not really my taste and the rest of the car is not that great looking.

  6. Pft. Anyone who doesn’t vote HRT is kidding themselves.

    I love it. E20 in a close second.

    1. Agree,

      The HRT is like a stunner of a bimbo. You know there is nothing under the skin but on looks alone the others are well beat.

      1. Agree. HRT has in my view by far the best livery. Maclaren is second but only because of no stepped nose. Other than that it’s livery is not really special. The rest is far away behind those two

      2. thats because its basically the same car as last year.

        they are very far away from the cutting edge of what the rules allow, so the new technical regulations didn’t really force them to change their design. and since the cars looked better last year, it turns out to be more pleasing to the eye than the rest of the grid, who are taking an extreme view of the regulations which results in a strange look.

    2. That’s got a lot to do with the livery surely. I voted for the Force India as I think it has the best shape, with the smoothed edges on the platypus nose moving back through the more gradual step. But again the livery is a big draw.

      Would great if we could see the cars all in plain white so we can examine the actual shape of the car rather than being drawn in by the paintwork.

    3. Well my top 3 in no order was the McLaren / Lotus and the HRT. I think the livery and air intake makes the HRT my favourite.

    4. I like the shape of the HRT, but frankly I think the livery is hideous on it. I voted for McLaren, but I also would like for them to change the livery.

    5. Better than last years carnival wagon paint job????

    6. I agree that the HRT is the prettiest of the stepped nose cars – and the livery is great. But my vote had to go to the McLaren which is definitely more elegant nose-wise.

  7. I’m starting to like the noses. (Ok , they are not unlike mine, so obviously…). Obviously the Mc Laren’s shape is quite satisfyingly clinical. It looks a bit bulky, but maybe it’s the picture. I actually like the cars post 2008. Simple, slender, longuish beasts of speed. As for this year’s breed, I’d go for Caterham. I like FI and Torro Rosso’s shapes, but the liveries just don’t do it for me. Mercedes, just like last year, gets my most ugly car vote. The greenish silvery livery just has to go.

  8. I can’t believe the Mclaren is winning this. It’s one of my least favourites; it is bloated and has absolutely zero character.

    I went for Lotus but I love RBR/STR (basically the same) and the FI too. Merc and Ferrari have really grown on me. HRT and Virgin are pretty too. The Sauber livery is hideous as is the Caterham livery (nose wise I don’t get all the complaints) and Williams is as dull as ever.

    1. I don’t think it’s pretty, but it does look aggressive. And I’d rather something a little characterless than the character being a hideous nose. Although the Force India, HRT and maybe Lotus wear there’s far better than most.

      1. It’s not just about the nose for me @matt90 . The whole shape of the Mclaren is bloated.

        1. Fair enough, although I don’t particularly see the bloated thing. Any impression of that though isn’t helped by too much bare chrome though. For example, the sides of the bulkhead look flat and rubbish in profile, largely because of the lack of a sponsor to break it up. That’s my biggest complaint with the car.

    2. Yeah, I agree – I don’t particularly like the looks of the McLaren. For me, it’s a toss up among the Red Bull, Ferrari, and Lotus, with the RB8 edging it as my favorite. (Can’t swear 100% that there’s no bias involved there. ;-) )

  9. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    9th March 2012, 13:27

    By now I reallyl tip the the Marussia as the cutest (and probably the slowest) but I don’t now why after my vote, it still looks like 0%

  10. I voted HRT, but only to be contrary. :P

  11. McLaren… by far :)

    Stricly on the livery part, i like the Force India :)

  12. I cant vote because im not a member but i would definatly vote the Mclaren. Awesome looking machine.

  13. Call me weird -but I love the way that RBR’s nose duct looks.

  14. If I had two votes, I’d have given one to HRT as well as McLaren.

  15. Force India VJM05 or HRT F112. Decided to vote Hispania

    1. I decided the other way around @huhii, but I agree with you on both being nice.

      1. I quite like the HRT as well (Even if McLaren is the best looking to me) … But I find this picture is not the best for hispania, and it would have been interesting to also have a vote for the worst looking (which is sauber to me)

    2. Your asked to vote the best-looking not the most hideous car :)

  16. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    9th March 2012, 13:38

    @keithcollantine make another poll of which one is the ugliest. I think it’s the Ferrari but who knows what’s on everybody else’s minds?

    1. @omarr-pepper I’d agree with you there. Although it sounds like the Ferrari is as slow as it is ugly so let’s not kick the Tifosi while they’re down! ;)

    2. Great idea! If the Ferrari isn’t the ugliest it is certainly one of the ugliest.

      1. Agreed!

    3. What are you talking about Ferrari-haters? ;) The F2012 is one of the best-lookers. It’s nose is a piece of art compared to Merc’s and FI’s snouts. It’s livery is clean and slick compared to RedBull’s and TR’s overpaintings. McLaren looks bloated, HRT and Marussia are GP2 cars.

    4. I’d go for Sauber, that livery is just terrible, like a crude Need For Speed livery

  17. Mercedes for me, the satin silver, the blending into the aqua and the slim nose and sidepods makes it look dainty. I hate the stupid chrome paint on the McLaren

    1. If you think that looks pretty, here is my answer. Compare: This years Mercedes W03 and last years model that had a lot in common, but for the ugly nose

  18. I think this pole should be “Which is the ugliest car” because then it’d be a closer and more interesting result!

  19. Only one answer really, has to be McLaren, the rest are horrible.

  20. Voted RB8, now with the bodywork upgrade, it really looks nice. Caterham and Force India look good too.

    I don’t like the Mclaren in this particulair picture. It has a rounded nose, but looks fat in some way.

  21. Thank god for some great liveries this year, definitely the best selection in a while, because the cars themselves are horrible.

    They really are awful, lets hope next year they fix the over sized front wing and narrow rear wings, and give the cars a nose job. Unlikely I know. :P

  22. I know this is down to personal taste but if you vote for anything other than the McLaren you’re just wrong!
    And I’m not even a McLaren Fan..

    If it’s fast and handles well too it’ll be like the super hot girl who’s actually interesting to talk to and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of Star Wars and Anchorman quotes :)

    1. @mw – Your definition of “interesting to talk to” is, er, interesting! :)

  23. McLaren by far, but of the duck-billed cars, the Lotus looks really good.

  24. Voted the MR01! It looks superb!

  25. There should be a button for ‘none of the above’. It’s a shame that the cars have turned out like this.

  26. The one which wins the championship is the most beautiful car of all.

    1. Oh so you voted for McLaren then? :-P

    2. In that case the championship was over in February I’m afraid.
      I just can’t work it out though why all of the team would not have considered the Mclaren option?
      It’s just sooooo simple & elegant solution to keep the chassis low like that.
      They should probably get a Design Award for it as well?

  27. somehow the marussia looks like a slightly updated F3000 car. could just (and probably is) be me though.

  28. McLaren is best looking car.. theres no doubt. second is Lotus(nice colors) i dun like feminine colours like red or pink, sry ferrari :))

  29. Lotus overall. Livery wise Toro Rosso.

  30. I don’t want to vote for the McLaren because I want to be different :P

    I would have voted for the Lotus because of the nostalgic Black and Gold livery. I like the red on it but the gold isn’t gold. It’s more like a beige colour which doesn’t work as well.

    So which to vote for now?

    My vote goes to the Red Bull because Adrian Newey has managed to make a stepped now pretty by inserting an airbox into the step, very clever way of disguising the ugliness.

    I will also say that I don’t really notice the stepped noses on the majority of the cars anymore now.

  31. Gotta go with Caterham, being one of two cars this year that isn’t Blue/Red/Black/White, like every other F1 car ever made…

    Plus it looks really pretty from a top-down shot.

    But, every car from 2009 onward has looked ugly as hell, so whatever.

    1. It’s green because green’s the colour British cars are supposed to race in. Practically, therefore, it’s green and gold because Team Lotus’s colours were green and gold pre-sponsorship, and that’s what Caterham are calling back to.

      British Racing Green fell out of use in the 1970s with the advent of sponsorship, as the British teams started using the corporate colours of their sponsors. I’m glad Caterham brought it back. There’s a slight irony in that as far as I know Caterham’s registration is still Malaysian, but I don’t think anybody really thinks of them as such.

  32. The HRT is a beauty and the best looking of the twelve. Mclaren comes a close second.

    Lotus, being my favourite team, have an ok ish looking car. It’s the best looking out of all the rest anyway.

  33. Oy, this is a toughie.
    Full disclosure, Ferrari Fan.
    That being said, the Caterham is so classic, I love the livery.
    As for bodywork, the ability to execute a smooth nose on the Mclaren and is impressive considering the rest of the field has simply modified a short term solution. I understand the issue, but it seems to me if executed correctly puts them an entire year ahead in development while, if the rest of the car executes as well, could be a huge stunner and sit them in the catbird seat.
    The HRT love is BAFFLING! I think the lines are good graphically (livery discussion here) but, the colorway bothers me to a huge degree, I am trying to locate what the appeal is for this.
    The Redbull and Williams mid body profiles seem to be the biggest winners/most efficient, but seeing them all in person would likely alter my opinion there.
    Looking forward to Australia!

  34. I like the Marussia best, followed by the McLaren.

    Everything with the stepped nose looks rank.

  35. I’d say that the Mclaren and Virgin cars look more pretty than the rest. The lack of stepped nose makes them look more elegant.

    With the exception of those two, I’m liking the Lotus. From the moment I saw it I was impressed. Perhaps the black covers the step in their nose. After that, I’d say that the HRT looks alright. Colour scheme helps a little, which is pretty much the only thing it has got going for it this season! Then Mercedes would round off my top 5.

    The rest need an appointment with a plastic surgeon! The definitely need a nose job!

  36. Mclaren yes yes yes

  37. A month ago, I would have gone for the Mclaren without a doubt, but the Lotus, Mercedes and Force India have really grown on me. I just think they are more interesting to look at, without being ugly. I went for the Force India in the end.

    The boxy stepped noses on the Williams, Sauber and Ferrari still look horrific to me unfortunately.

  38. fastest car is the most beautiful car. not considering speed, it has to be McLaren or HRT. Any of the platypus nose cars can’t be it! Can’t imagine a miss world or miss universe with broken nose!!

  39. Cucamest (@kevincucamest)
    9th March 2012, 17:31

    Although I’m a big Ferrari fan I voted for McLaren because they definitely have the best-looking car this year.

  40. Y’know, seeing them all together and being able to compare, the HRT and Marussia look pretty good!

  41. 1. McLaren 2. HRT 3. Lotus

    Offtopic: http://www.rallyemotion.it/robert-kubica-torna-al-volante-test-sulla-fabia-wrc/

    Guess who’s definitely and officially behind the wheel. Mr. Kubica tested his Fabia WRC near Genoa. I guess that’s a bit in contrast to recent Alguersuari’s statement that “Robert is unable to grab a glass of water with his hand”. In your face Jaime!

  42. IMO Mclaren is by far the prettiest, most exquisite design without the hideous nose of the other cars too. I thought it would sweep this and so it has.

    I also like the HRT and the Toro Rosso very much.

    Don’t know why many people like the FI. Yes the livery is not bad but the car is quite ugly.

    However the 3 ugliest cars are(in no order): Ferrari, Sauber and Caterham

  43. I looked for livery more than anything else, and I have to say, I love the Caterham livery. Really, anything in Racing Green like that gets my vote!

  44. The Force India VJM05! The Mclaren is handsome, but a little bulky in places. The HRT would look nicer if the red bits were black or dark gray.

  45. Wow I can’t believe I’m so alone in liking the Sauber. It looks ******, as an F1 car should. That’s not to say that I like the stepped noses, but all things considered. The Sauber. Something about the MP4-27 puts it in 2nd place for me, can’t put my finger on what bothers me.

    1. Ahhm ok, angry then. It looks angry.

  46. Sportiest livery – RBR
    Coolest livery – Lotus
    Best lines – McLaren
    Runnerup – Caterham
    Not bad – Force India

  47. Really surprise the Mclaren is getting so many votes. If it wasn’t for the noses the Mclaren would be one of the uglier cars I think.

  48. It’s gotta be McLaren first, then followed by Marusia.
    Everyone else with stepped noses should be disqualified for their looks, IMHO.

  49. McLaren is obviously the favourite simply because they aren’t using a stepped nose. However, I expected Marussia to have more support than it does, for the same reason.

    Of the step-nose cars, I’d say Toro Rosso looks best, followed by Force India. Although they have the extreme noses, they’re not as glaringly obvious as the Ferrari and Williams.

    In terms of the best-looking livery, HRT get my vote. It’s a very elegant design, and stands out because most of the other teams have kept their liveries fairly constant. Marussia is perhaps the only other team that has made significant revisions to their design.

  50. If you ignore the noses the Ferrari is definitely the most beautiful. McLaren obviously has the nicest nose but side view is probably the ugliest. Stepped nose will grow on everyone by mid season so Ferrari wins my vote.

    1. The bask half of the Ferrari from above or behind is absolute artwork. The steps don’t really bother me like so many others. I also think putting the number on the step was a good move. Forza Ferrari. :)

  51. Red Bull – The duct in the nose step gives it a purposeful look and the extra red bits make the livery a bit more striking.

    McLaren – The flat nose is a welcome sight and I’ve always liked the flash silver livery.

    Ferrari – Ye gads it’s ugly, particularly the chunky, square nose. And I preferred the pre-Santander all-red livery. This one reminds me of the old Vodafone livery, which wasn’t one of their best.

    Mercedes – I liked the revisions made to the livery last year that they’ve carried over. Another ugly nose job, though.

    Lotus – The red Total endplates that look good on the Red Bull are jarring and out-of-place here. Without those it would look much better (nose aside).

    Force India – A nice livery update. One of the better-looking cars too. Their logo’s a dog’s breakfast though.

    Sauber – Utterly horrendous livery – what’s the point of all the black? And the mis-matched dividing stripes between white and black? A rather basic-looking car and another ugly nose. Perhaps Ferrari told them to build something that made their car look good.

    Toro Rosso – I’ve always thought their livery looked like a dull version of the Red Bull paintjob, though the gold bits are quite nice. Generally a tidy car though (usual nose complaint applies)

    Williams – One of the worse-looking noses. Smart livery though – it’s certainly unspoiled by too many logos.

    Caterham – Nice livery as before. Pity we were wrong about the nose being a one-off…

    HRT – Good livery on the whole except the inside rear wing endplates. Car looks very basic, though.

    Marussia – Not as good as the 2010 livery, but much tidier than last year’s. The car looks slightly more refined than HRT’s, but that’s not saying much.

    1. Their logo’s a dog’s breakfast though.

      I think it’s the use of fifty-point Arial font. But there was never much that they could do with it – sponsors might be okay with the odd colour change to suit a livery, but they don’t like it when you go changing the actual logo.

  52. I’d expected more love for the Marussia. Are people just ignoring it because it’s not a top car? Or was it too often a second choice?

    Look here:


    Of the stepped-nose cars, I’d say my favourite is the Red Bull.

  53. Decide to wade into discussion.

    State that “Beauty =/= Performance”

    Look at cars.

    Beauty seems to be inversely proportional to performance.

    Wonder if it’s too late to vote for the MVR-02.

    Vote for the F112 because the picture didn’t load.

    Go to bed.

  54. it pains me to say that I voted for the red bull, i,m surprised more people didnt, of course i normally would of voted for ferrari but I just cant, i hope the old adage is incorrect here, if it looks like a **** box, it normally performs like one too

  55. I voted for the STR, but there are several near the top of my list. We were always taught to bild a race car in white to help spot leaks. I think the Williams, Sauber and even the HRT look like old school racers with new technology. I am not bothered by the step noses near as much as some. To me F1 is always on the edge of fashion in motorsport. Just look at an Indy car or any other spec open wheeler. They just look conventional and slow. The noses may look alittle different this year, but they will be refined and sweet looking in no time.

  56. Mclaren aside who wins the stepped category is really hard I love the Sauber the Williams, Caterham, Force India, Toro Rosso, Marussia and the Red Bull


    RedBulls slot makes it easy on the eye aswell and the Marussia looks like a toy but an interesting slow toy.

  57. Mclaren but among the platypus Renault.

  58. The cars with stepped nose witch look okay are HRT, Lotus and FI. HRT’s nose (although stepped) seems to be a little different from rest of them. I think they have got a good livery too. Lotus’ nose too is better integrated with the rest of chassis. So is FI’s and they have also got a decent livery. Marussia on the other hand, despite have a normal nose managed to make the car ugly with their livery!! McLaren has best of both world (although their livery does look dated now). No wonder McLaren is the clear winner here. Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder but the common and most popular opinion on beauty is rarely wrong!!

  59. I think the question should be change to “who’s the ugliest looking car in 2012?” for there would be lot’s of options or choices. With this question “Who’s got the best-looking car in 2012?”, of course that would be mclaren for they don’t have that “ugly” stepped nose and didn’t depart from the “Original F1 look”. If mclaren won’t win this question, that would be completely BS.

  60. With the proviso that, since the advent of the huge front wings and the tall, skinny rear wings, there is no good looking F1 car, the best looking car in 2012 is the McLaren, because it lacks the “hump” and has one of the better liveries.

    I do wish that they would lose the chrome and go back to the silver…not a big deal, though.

  61. I liked Lotus as the dark livery does not highlight the boxy effect the cars have this year.

  62. Considered FI/Toro Rosso/HRT. Voted for FI, because I like the livery.

  63. E20 All theway, the Mclaren sidepods make the Incredible Hulk look like Harry Potter, they are way to large to be considered appealing and that livery has run it’s course. As for the Force India, isn’t it just a Ferrari/Sauber with a attractive livery ?

  64. If they were all painted black I would find it almost impossible to tell which car came from which manufacturer. I could probably identify the McLaren from the different nose, but after that I would be lost.

    IMHO the real question is which has the best colour scheme

  65. Enzo Ferrari said it best. Una machina e bella solo quando vince.

    A race car is beautiful only when it wins.

    1. So true.

  66. The Sauber is ugly.

  67. That was too easy a vote – the noses are really not doing it for me. Would’ve preferred “who’s got the most pig-ugly car of the season?”.

  68. I personally like the Marussia. Like the HRT, it’s a really elegant looking car, and the livery is awesome in my view. HRT a really close second, with the Lotus and McLaren joint third. Interesting the two slowest cars are two of the best looking…

    Ferrari and Sauber probably the most ugly things on the grid in years – they haven’t even tried to cover up the stepped nose. The rest don’t look quite as bad, but they’re still pretty hideous.

  69. voted McLaren

    2nd: Lotus

  70. Well Mclaren is obviously the winner.

    However, among the stepped nose cars I quite like the look of the Sauber actually. It looks quite aggressive.

  71. sid_prasher (@)
    10th March 2012, 15:45

    Voting McLaren just for the smooth nose…others that i like – STR and Lotus.

    Of course it will be 1 of my fav Ferrari’s if it wins the championship but until then…

  72. i am suprised the redbull hasnt got more votes. look at that first photo, the cars stance looks fast, and the livery makes the stepped nosed hardly noticable.the livery is brilliant. the mclaren looks disgusting with hamiltons tried hard wanna-be senna yellow helmet in it.

  73. Personally I like the McLaren. They have the best looking front wing and side pods. If I had to pick a stepped nose, I would choose the Force India.

  74. The poll doesn’t seem to be working at the moment so I can’t vote or see the results, but for me personally this is the easiest choice on best looking car for ages.

    I really don’t like the stepped noses and the McLaren chrome/red livery is still my favourite out of the current field so it has to be the MP4-27.

    Overall the front and rear wing still seem out of proportion but I have got used to them and they don’t stand out as much as they did in 2009.

  75. It’s a No-Brainer to me as it has to be Mclaren, because:-
    1. It does not have the crooked nose.
    2. It had one of the best paint jobs
    3. Best graphics/sponsor layouts
    4. Nicest rear wing end plate profile
    5. It’s the fastest too which confirms the notion “If it look the fastest, then it probably is the fastest”

    Sauber would a distant 2nd. It has an interesting play on the graphics/colour use working with the body shape.

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