With Valentine’s Day upon us it’s only right to look at the colours we associate with a day of love and romance, and by that, it has to be the red of hearts and roses. As Formula One fans, the colour red is synonymous with the sport, thanks to a certain Italian team, but here’s a selection of them, and some other cars from F1 history, that suit the Valentine theme.

1961 Ferrari 156

Image: f1-photo.com

Phil Hill’s championship-winning car from the Scuderia was low, sleek, and had the nickname “sharknose” due to the flared vents at the front. 

1976 Brabham BT44

Image: f1-photo.com

Brabham’s Martini sponsorship turned from white to Rosso red after the signing of Alfa Romeo as the team’s engine supplier. 

1967 McLaren M5A

Image: f1-photo.com

Before the Mercedes and West silver, Marlboro white and red and even the traditional papaya orange, Bruce McLaren ran his team in this red number as he searched for an identity.

1970 Lotus 49

Image: f1-photo.com

Lotus were one of the first teams to sell their livery in search of a budget, turning from British Racing Green to the red, white and gold of Gold Leaf tobacco. We’ll let them off because it still looks absolutely fantastic. 

1979 Ferrari 312T4

Image: f1-photo.com

Can you imagine what it felt like to see a scarlet red Ferrari driven by Gilles Villeneuve in your mirrors?

1971 March 711

Image: f1-photo.com

Affectionately known as the “tea tray” due the almost humorous angle of the front wing, it’s on-track speed was still pretty good – Ronnie Peterson finished runner-up in the championship. 

1998 Williams FW20

Image: f1-photo.com

Rothmans turned to Winfield after Jacques Villeneuve won the title in 1997, but as Murray Walker often remarked, the livery was akin to loading all the sponsors into a cannon and firing it at the car. 

1979 Alfa Romeo 177

Image: f1-photo.com

Alfa Romeo’s fledgeling return as an F1 constructor in the late ’70s saw this big and bold effort. And that’s just the aerodynamics. 

1992 Ferrari F92AT

Image: f1-photo.com

Ferrari in the early 1990s had the tendency to implode at a moment’s notice, mainly due to the series of uncompetitive cars they produced. But the red-with-black-wings scheme meant they looked great whilst going slow. 

1990 Life F190

Image: Wikipedia Commons

Labelled as “the worst Grand Prix car ever”, the Life 190 would either break or be up to 40mph slower than everyone else. At the 1990 British Grand Prix, the car managed to be 19 seconds slower than it’s nearest rival. Maybe they painted it red like a traffic cone?

1994 Larrousse LH94

Image: f1-photo.com

The French backmarker’s search for funding saw a strange, multi-livery setup for 1994, in which this red and white Kronenbourg number would be sported in countries where alcohol could be advertised, and a green and blue one for where it was banned. 


2012 Marussia MR01

Image: f1-photo.com

It’s amazing that it took until 2012 until we got a dayglo red and black stripe livery, but Marussia went with it, it looked great. 

2007 Ferrari F2007

Image: f1-photo.com

Ferrari mixed it up a bit after the loss of Vodafone to McLaren, by reverting to a more metallic, scarlet-based livery with new Marlboro logos, which bucked the trend by being a great looking and competitive Ferrari F1 car. 

1977 Lotus 78

Image: f1-photo.com

A unique one-off for the British marque on Japanese soil, as John Player Special black-and-gold was replaced by the red hue of parent company Imperial Tobacco. 

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