Which F1 team has the best-looking car for 2023?

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Formula 1 teams have activated ‘dark mode’ in 2023. The pressing need to save weight from their latest designs has led many of them to trim back their paintwork wherever possible.

Some teams have taken it further than others. While Alfa Romeo and Haas have turned the flanks of their cars to bare carbon, Mercedes has gone to the extreme, reverting to a largely black colour scheme it previously used in 2020 and 2021.

But while the teams are all heading in the same direction in terms of colouring, they are still offering different solutions to the challenges offered by last year’s overhaul of the technical regulations. The Red Bull RB19 is a strikingly different beast to Ferrari’s SF-23 or Mercedes’ daring W14. Whether that will remain the case if Red Bull prove as quick as testing indicates they are remains to be seen.

Last year our readers named Ferrari their pick as the best-looking car of the season. Who deserves the crown this year?

Red Bull RB19

The Red Bull RB19 is a clear evolution of its dominant predecessor, with Red Bull’s usual meticulously-detailed aerodynamics work most evident around its trend-setting sidepods.

Ferrari SF-23

The need to trim back weight is evident in the growing expanses of bare carbon on Ferrari’s latest machine – a feature of most cars on the grid.

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Mercedes W14

Mercedes have gone back to black but stuck with its extremely slim sidepods. The W14 clearly stands out from the crowd, but whether the team can make its novel design a success is another matter.

Alpine A523

Esteban Ocon said Alpine’s latest design makes last year’s car look “like a toy”. Collectors can keep an eye out for the pink-liveried version which will appear for the first three races.

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McLaren MCL60

After McLaren removed a lot of paint from its car last year, new team principal Andrea Stella says the team has done a good enough job with weight-saving that it’s been able to restore more of its heritage orange colour scheme this year.

Alfa Romeo C43

Another team which has make a pronounced change to its livery in the name of improving performance. Alfa Romeo has moved closer to Red Bull’s sidepod philosophy, but also retained its novel and immediately recognisable airbox design.

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Aston Martin AMR23

Aston Martin won appreciative nods for its performance in testing, but the tidy AMR23 looks the part too.

Haas VF-23

The latest iteration of Haas’s livery is – what else – considerably darker than past versions. As usual its car bears an obvious resemblance to Ferrari’s latest machine, but with a few detail tweaks which set it apart.

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AlphaTauri AT04

Having poached Alfa Romeo’s title sponsor from last year, AlphaTauri’s dark blue and white aesthetic which was admired when it was introduced three years ago now features red highlights as well.

Williams FW45

If there was a prize for cutest sponsorship integration on an F1 car, Williams would surely get it for the airbox branding they introduced last year and retained on the FW45. This was another team which pared back its paintwork drastically last year.

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You say

Which team has the best-looking F1 car for 2023? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Which F1 team has the best-looking car for the 2023 season?

  • Williams (9%)
  • AlphaTauri (3%)
  • Haas (1%)
  • Aston Martin (26%)
  • Alfa Romeo (10%)
  • McLaren (4%)
  • Alpine (1%)
  • Mercedes (19%)
  • Ferrari (24%)
  • Red Bull (3%)

Total Voters: 222

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A RaceFans account is required in order to vote. If you do not have one, register an account here or read more about registering here. When this poll is closed the result will be displayed instead of the voting form.

Previous winners

Here are our 13 previous winners of the poll:

Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2022
2022: Ferrari F1-75
Fernando Alonso, Alpine, Bahrain International Circuit, 2021
2021: Alpine A521
Daniil Kvyat, AlphaTauri, Silverstone, 2020
2020: AlphaTauri STR01

NB: The 2020 poll was conducted before Mercedes and Williams changed their liveries.

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019
2019: Ferrari SF90
Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Circuit de Catalunya, 2018
2018: McLaren MCL33
Carlos Sainz Jnr, Toro Rosso, Melbourne, 2017
2017: Toro Rosso STR 12
Kevin Magnussen, Renault, Melbourne, 2016
2016: Renault RS16
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Melbourne, 2015
2015: Ferrari SF15-T
Valtteri Bottas, Williams, Melbourne, 2014
2014: Williams FW36
Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber, Melbourne, 2013
2013: Sauber C32
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Melbourne, 2012
2012: McLaren MP4-27
Jenson Button, McLaren, Buddh International Circuit, 2011
2011: McLaren MP4-26
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2010
2010: McLaren MP4-25

Debates and polls

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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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50 comments on “Which F1 team has the best-looking car for 2023?”

  1. FW45 and AMR23 are the 2 best looking car overall imo.

  2. Coventry Climax
    26th February 2023, 12:12

    Is there a difference then?

  3. Ferrari

  4. It’s not so much that Google need publicity (I suspect its used in whatever form by most people on earth at some point during the week). But I think we’ll remember the McLaren ‘Chrome’ wheels long after they’re gone. I don’t know what Google pays McLaren but at least one of them is doing well out of that idea, probably bot of them.

    Perhaps it’s my age, but I’m always happy when Ferrari embrace the black or yellow accents.

  5. 1. Alpha Tauri – best looking nose, all around shape and livery
    2. Aston Martin
    3. Williams
    4. —-

  6. AllTheCoolNamesWereTaken
    26th February 2023, 13:10

    I commented on last year’s poll stating that not one of the previous winners had won a championship. 12 months later, that still holds true.

    Of the 13 previous poll winners, five never won a race. Of those five, four never scored a podium.

    So far, things are looking good for Aston Martin in this year’s poll. Which, I guess, is bad news for Alonso’s championship hopes.

    1. Why is it bad? If they are top 3 team this win that will be an incredible achievement. Strange analysis.

      1. AllTheCoolNamesWereTaken
        26th February 2023, 14:02

        You are taking my “analysis” way more seriously than I intended.

        I simply think it’s a fun little coincidence that none of the cars deemed “best-looking” by the readers of this site have ever won a championship. That’s all.

  7. 1. Ferrari
    2. Williams
    3. McLaren

    These stand out from the crowd. All the other liveries just look the same to me. All black/grey. Ferrari on top because I just love the shape of the car. A bit less than last year, but still beautiful.

  8. Alfa Romeo-Sauber

    1. You have made the correct selection. That Alpha red just pops, when shown during evening sessions.

  9. Aston, Ferrari, Alfa. Wheel to wheel poster photos coming up of Aston v Ferrari. Redhill and alpha touring the worst looking.

  10. It’s like asking which Pint of beer looks better.
    Stout, IPA or Lager?

    They all look fine to me …. let’s try a taste test ;)

    1. I tried that once, at a race. Was licking the Ferrari, to see how it tasted, and then immediately arrested.

      1. Did it taste like a dead Donkey or a Steaming Stallion?

        Actually …. I shouldn’t ask if you have ever licked a Steaming Stallion should I …. none of my business ;)

  11. It’s a bit more difficult this year than the last few years. From 2017 onwards we had a great choice of liveries, not so much now. Though I think Mercedes, Aston Martin, and Ferrari will still age well.

  12. Aston Martin, with the Alfa in second.

  13. I picked the Mercedes. Something about it reminds me of the Lotus 98T. Maybe it’s a combination of the black livery, the low sidepods, and the bulbous engine cover.

  14. I would like see Ferrari doing like Redbull and stick to their last year livery (and win the championship perhaps…).

  15. Ask me again tomorrow, and I’ll probably give you a different answer. Only thing I’m sure about is the bottom two:

    1. McLaren
    2. Ferrari
    3. Mercedes
    4. Haas
    5. Alpha Tauri
    6. Williams
    7. Alpine
    8. Alfa Romeo
    9. Aston Martin
    10. Red Bull

    1. Yes, the baseless pod is not a very pleasing thing. It is function over form, I get it, but it makes it look like part of the car is upside down.

      The worst offender in that regard is the AMR, followed closely by the McLaren. The RBR kinda hides it well.

  16. It’s always the Ferrari (maybe with an exception for 2016).

    The Red Bull is dull, but it’s iconic. Mercedes looks cool, too.

    Haas, Aston Martin and Alpine all work well as a livery.

    Red Bull II and McLaren are a bit chaotic and unbalanced, but I can see why some would like the McLaren.

    Williams and Alfa Romeo could have done more with those colours.

    1. So Red bull is dull , but Mercedes looks cools? Is that correct?

      1. I can see why to some people the black on black of Merc would look cool, compared to Blue+Yellow+Red on Black of the RBR.

        Didn’t have any intention to get involved here, but accidentally touched the report button of your comment while scrolling the page. This comment is mainly to apologise for that.

  17. You know my gut instinct was the Ferrari but having looked at them all side by side, I voted for the Aston Martin.

    My top 3 are:
    1. AM
    2. Ferrari
    3. Alfa Romeo

    Worst: Alpha Tauri. Looks a mess.

    1. Mind the McLaren is pretty messy as well. So a toss up.

  18. Pity we can’t have those colours from 8 or 10 years ago on today’s cars, and not the monstrosities of the time.

    No obvious winner this year – Ferrari have too many random black bits, Aston has Boring written down the sides. The black Merc’s dreadful. Alpine’s a nice shape but like Red Bull it’s ruined by the big extra logos, Alfa red’s nice but not enough of it. Williams then, by default. Needs a round airbox though.

  19. I went with Aston Martin, but honestly, I don’t find this grid particularly inspiring. The form of the cars has largely converged already and the random sections of black due to weight saving looks awful. Perhaps the ugliest grid since 2014…? Still, I can’t wait to see them going wheel to wheel in only a few days!

  20. Those chrome McLarens really were foul, weren’t they?

  21. 1. Pink Alpine, the blue one is much further down the ranking
    2. McLaren
    3. Aston Martin
    3. Ferrari

    Both Aston and Ferrari have too much black, all the cars have a ton of black making them blend, but from the bunch, those two get spot nr 3.

  22. I’d gotten so used to the new cars over the last few years, to the point they started looking good to me. Until I came across the picture of the Sauber C32. Damn the cars looked good back then. Much simpler and cleaner. A bit smaller as well. Plus the high noses. Todays droopy noses make the cars look like ant eaters in comparison.

  23. I have to say there are quite a few serious contenders, I only don’t like Williams and Haas – and McLaren are quite extravagant but not necessarily terrible. I gave my vote to Mercedes this time because they finally stroke the right balance with Ineos branding, the overall execution is neat and ellegant and the nose makes me think of McLaren MP4-18. Plus, the car itself has a quite unique design.

  24. I voted for Williams. Rather like the blue with the touches of lighter blues and reds. Also the Duracell airbox I think is a neat touch to incorporate brand identity into the form of the car. The Alpine’s blue/pink is nice, the McLaren is okay but too much black, much like Aston’s. Red Bull’s is beautiful but we’ve had it for so long it’s a bit boring now.

    Most of them look nice if underwhelming colour wise – they’re all quite dark or have retained brand similarity from the previous year. AlphaTauri disappoint me the most as the red touches to the livery I think ruin an otherwise nice design.

    I’d really like some inventive or unusual designs. With a lot more colour.

  25. I voted for Mercedes. Would love to see a bare carbon fibre version of this car with more sponsorship decals in future.

  26. For me top two are Alfa-Romeo and Williams. Votes for Alfa.
    Clean use of just one major color, not too busy or distracting.

  27. 1. Ferrari
    2. Red Bull

    10. Mercedes

  28. Any team not painting the halo black should be automatically disqualified from a vote like this.

    1. Nonsense, quite the opposite. Painting the Halo in the color of car body is a really bad, rookie design mistake. It would very similar to painting those front wheel brows.
      Halo is completely utilitarian item on the car, same as wheel brows. It is there not to make car look better, it is there for safety reason. Painting such ugly device as Halo (which makes car look worse without doubt) in bright, eye-catching color is totally wrong idea.

      1. that’s partly why, Mclaren, HAAS and Alpha Tauri have the worst liveries on the grid by far.

      2. *add: black colored (on uncolored) Halo part, makes it a lot less visible and eye-catching, which makes the rest of the car, main bodywork with its beautiful shapes a focal point for any viewer.
        I also believe those colored with bright colors lines at the front of those wheel brows look bad as well. Not by only by itself, they attract too much attention(to this utterly ugly item) and distract attention from the rest, main part – body of the car. Some of them might actually do that deliberately to attract attention there to make sponsors logo(they put at the top of those brows) more visible, but I’m not sure about that.

  29. Ok, this is of course totally subjective, but here’s my take.

    If we are talking about best looking car, as in shape, I would say it’s tight between RedBull, AstonMartin, and AlphaTauri. In my eyes they all have clean lines and shapes that look purposeful. That looks good to me, on a racing car. The worst would be Williams, Ferrari, and particularly AlfaRomeo. The latter looks like it was designed by committee. It has so many busy and crocked lines that doesn’t really seem to belong together, and a myriad of little details that looks like they where after-thoughts. I appreciate the engineering, it just doesn’t look good. The shapes of the Ferrari just doesn’t please my eyes either, I think it’s that awkward tail-end of the sidepods that’s worst.

    But, if we are talking about best looking car, as in livery, it’s a bit different.
    – RedBull works, and they certainly have their identity, but it has become somewhat boring now. They need something fresh.
    – Same for Ferrari, yes they are red, we know. The only thing they could really do to stand out is to actually paint the entire car in their scarlet, that would be something these days! As it stands, meh.
    – Mercedes don’t really have a livery in my eyes. It’s not as bad as I first thought, as they have actually covered up the carbon weave with a thin layer of black paint on a fairly large portion of the bodywork. But it’s just black. Not exactly popping.
    – Alpine is one of the stronger ones, I don’t mind the pink and I think it goes well together with the blue. It’s a nice combination of their brand color and a prominent main sponsor. Solid as a livery, but it only works in certain angles. Look at it from the wrong angle, and it’s just a bare carbon shell with some stickers on it. Too much weight-saving on the paint for my liking.
    – McLaren looks to be one of the most recognizable of the bunch this year, thanks to the papaya. But that is all it has going for it. Again too much carbon and too little paint. But above all, it’s just machine-gunned with random logos, and especially the google colors do not go well together with the team colors. It looks sad, really.
    – AlfaRomeo is simply too dark. They will be confused for a lot of things when the lighting isn’t perfect. And when it is perfect, and the viewing angle is unfortunate, it will be mistaken for a Ferrari instead.
    – AstonMartin is good, a clean look with probably the best paint coverage of the grid too. But I whish they would be braver with the saturation of that green. Their car should always be green, not only when the lighting is perfect. They will probably be mistaken for being a Mercedes whenever the sun isn’t shining on it.
    – Haas just looks like a cheap racing car. Relatively speaking, I guess it kind of is. But still.
    – AlphaTauri is one of the better ones. Representing their own brand over the entire car helps a lot. But I don’t know, it’s not as striking as a couple of years ago somehow.
    – Williams is a bit weird. They hope for sponsors to fill the gaps I suppose, because why not use the space for their own branding while they have the space for it? It strongly looks like a livery design by someone who just needed to fill the space with “something interesting”, but didn’t have anything interesting available.

    Finally, if we are talking about best looking car, as in everything considered, I am apparently with the crowd this time. AstonMartin it is. If only the green would show through even when the car is in the shadow it would actually look full-on good. This is not the year for a good looking grid.

  30. Best looking car: Aston Martin/Ferrari
    Best livery: Mercedes/Aston Martin

  31. This article just reminded me how long I have been visiting the F1Fanatic/RaceFans site.
    McLaren MP4-27 has to be my most favourite F1 car in last 10-15 years. Williams FW36 was an overall beautiful car except for the nose-tip. Toro Rosso STR 12 would be my next favourite.

    This year voted for the AlphaTauri AT04. That Ferrari red seems to automatically demand your vote, though.

  32. Underneath the picture of the Haas car the text says:

    As usual its car bears an obvious resemblance to Ferrari’s latest machine, but with a few detail tweaks which set it apart.

    But this year it seems to me the Ferrari is the car it resembles the least in terms of lines and shapes. Only the suspension (struts and stuff obviously look like Ferrari, as they ARE Ferrari) and the air intake over the engine look like the Ferrari ?!?

  33. This year’s grid is on par with the most boring looking grids of the “Gray and White”-era.
    Williams: White
    Sauber: Gray
    Mercedes: Gray
    McLaren: Anything but direct sunlight => here’s some Gray for your eyeballs
    Lotus: Black
    FIndia: Black.

    These modern F1 cars are fat, long, and heavy.

    FIA should really push the engineers and reduce the weight to 900kg. But more importantly, start reducing car sizes gradually every year… Total length, wheelbase, and track width.

  34. Coventry Climax
    27th February 2023, 12:18

    Williams, head and shoulders.
    I like the blue and I like the absence of loud, christmas tree-like and distracting company logo’s.
    It’s the one car that, for that reason, actually looks different.
    It compares to the spirit and subdued style of british racing green, not needing wild and loud colors to just try and appear fast, like is usual in Italian cars.

    Whenever there’s a commercial on TV or radio, I turn down the sound, fetch a drink and/or bite and/or skip forward.
    Why would it be any different for liveries?

    When I see those weekend racing cyclists for example, all dressed up in company logo clothes they paid big money for to be able to provide free advertisement, instead of being paid to wear it and do the advertising, I consistently and inevitably draw unfavorable conclusions regarding the mental state of mankind.

    This poll, basically, is about which colors people favor, which is rather pointless.
    Generally, Ferrari fans will like the red ones best, McLaren fans the papaya etc. Obviously, it’s harder to identify with the multicolored ones.

    In the end though, it’s about performance. Invariably, by the beginning of the next season, suddenly the colors that performed best the past year, have the most fans.
    That’s how the human mind works; it’s safest to belong to the biggest group and the winning group, and frightening and unfortunately frequently downright dangerous to stand out and be different.
    The funny thing is though, that it’s the few that dare to stand out and not go with the masses, that become everyone’s heroes.

    1. I totally agree with what you’re saying, but I’ll bet most newcomers to the sport will remember the Williams as ‘the car with the big AA battery over the drivers head’. Pretty clever branding by Williams. Even though you and I prefer cars that aren’t covered in other companies logos, I’m sure they wish they had a few more :)

  35. For me, it’s the Merc… But that’s because I’ve always preferred black cars (like my clothes). It’s understated, sleek and… black! Would be better without all the sponsorship etc.

    After that, the Aston and Alfa are the nicest looking IMHO.

    However… Why are we discussing the looks of these cars? They are designed to be fast, and a fast car is beautiful from that point of view. It could be covered in clashing colours, have odd appendages, and generally be fugly, but if it’s fast it’s beautiful.

  36. The Haas is a very well proportioned car that’s spoiled by the awful livery.

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