The new Formula 1 season is upon us! F1 2020 cars have been unveiled (well, mostly) for the new campaign, which starts in Australia on March 15.
And which car is the best looking on the grid this year? We review all 10 teams in Racing Edge's F1 2020 Car Power Rankings.
We start our 2020 F1 Car Power Rankings with Renault. The French team released teaser images of its new R.S.20 car during a launch event at their Paris store on the Champs Elysees. The actual car was then showcased during pre-season testing in Barcelona.
Team principal Cyril Abiteboul said it would have been a waste of money to build a ‘fake’ car purely for launch purposes. And that the team should instead be judged on the car that starts in Melbourne. A fair point, given a lot of changes are made to F1 cars between launches and first practise in Australia.
Renault was up against it to deliver a car on schedule last season, so how their F1 2020 car looks probably isn’t the most crucial aspect. The black livery gives a classic yet unexciting look. The nose is among the skinniest of the 2020 cars.
Renault finished fifth in the F1 Constructors’ championship standings last year, having relinquished the coveted ‘best of the rest’ fourth spot to McLaren. Drivers Esteban Ocon and Daniel Ricciardo will be hoping for better this year.
Renault 2020 F1 car verdict: Solid yet uninspiring.
9. Red Bull
Red Bull’s new RB16 comes in at number nine in Racing Edge’s 2020 F1 Car Power Rankings.
Full marks to Red Bull for being the second team to launch the actual physical version of their 2020 F1 car (after Ferrari). The new car was run in a filming day shakedown session at Silverstone, and driven by Max Verstappen. It features a new-look nose designed to maximise aerodynamics.
Where’s the imagination? Red Bull usually rocks quirky camouflage liveries during testing. Yet its new 2020 F1 car was dressed in full race livery, which remains unchanged from last season.
Red Bull, which finished third in the standings last season, is into the second year of its new partnership with Honda. Verstappen and Alex Albon will be hoping to break into the top two this season at the expense of Ferrari or Mercedes.
Red Bull 2020 F1 car verdict: Same, same but different.
Williams released images online of their new 2020 F1 car before sending it for a shakedown in Barcelona. The FW43 features “no fundamental concept changes” to last season’s car as the British team looks to recover from a nightmare year.
Williams finished bottom of the pile last season winning just one solitary point. Their 2019 car was late to be launched due to chassis issues. The team also missed the first two-and-a-half days of pre-season testing this time last year.
The 2020 F1 car FW43 includes a fresher look with a mainly red and white livery, with snippets of light blue. Drivers George Russell and Nicholas Latifi will be hoping for better fortunes this time around.
Williams 2020 F1 car verdict: New year, new me.
7. Racing Point
Any car photographed next to a lake surrounded by big, beautiful mountains is going to shine. Say hello to Racing Point’s new 2020 F1 car – the RP20.
Racing Point welcomes a new title sponsor this season – BWT. But while we will no longer see the Sport Pesa name branded on the RP20, the car remains wrapped in that beautiful, standout pink livery. While it's not *that* different from 2019, it still remains one of the most striking cars on the grid.
With renewed investment from Lawrence Stroll, the team is hoping to challenge for the ‘best of the rest’ midfield spot behind the top three this year. This is the last season the team will be known as Racing Point, as they will become the Aston Martin works team from 2021.
Racing Point 2020 F1 car verdict: Pretty in pink.
6. Alfa Romeo
Alfa Romeo’s new 2020 F1 car took to the track on Valentine’s Day as the team launched a special shakedown livery for the second year running.
While the snakeskin concept livery was excellent, the team later ‘shed its skin’ on the opening day of testing to reveal their actual 2020 livery – the final team to do so.
The new C39 consists of the iconic Alfa Romeo scarlet combined with pearly white in a strong design. With fundamental design changes from last season’s car, technical director of Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN Jan Monchaux describes the team’s 2020 F1 car as a “brand new beast.”
Kimi Raikkonen got behind the wheel during the initial shakedown at the Ferrari-owned Fiorano circuit near Maranello, Italy. Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi will pilot the car this season.
Alfa Romeo 2020 F1 car verdict: Ready to pounce.
Is that a little bit of *red* on Mercedes’ new 2020 F1 car? Why, yes, it is! The new accent colour is featured thanks to a deal with the team’s new principal partner, INEOS.
Mercedes launched its new 2020 F1 livery on Lewis Hamilton’s championship-winning 2019 car at London’s Royal Automobile Club. The team ran its new model at a shakedown and filming day at Silverstone before sending it off for testing in Spain.
The Mercedes 2020 F1 car features the same classic silver and green colour scheme since its return to Formula 1 as a works team in 2010. While there aren't any drastic cosmetic changes, it remains one of the best-looking liveries on the grid.
Mercedes 2020 F1 car verdict: Classy as always.
Live music is a fun way to reveal a new Formula 1 car. McLaren did it in 1997 with the Spice Girls. Although, Ferrari went for the more *ahem* sophisticated approach for its 2020 F1 car launch in Reggio Emilia – a live orchestra with choir and ballet dancers.
Full marks for extravagance but let’s be honest, it felt more like a Lord of The Rings film concert than car launch. Nevertheless, you’ll be surprised to learn this season’s model – the SF1000 – is mostly red with black undertones.
The SF1000 – Ferrari will celebrate its 1,000th Formula 1 Championship event this season – features a new aerodynamics concept and new engine. But it is largely based on last season’s SF90, ahead of the upcoming regulation upheaval in 2021. Team Principal Mattia Binotto believes more “extreme” concepts were used on the 2020 model as they try to break Mercedes’ six-year hold on the driver and constructors’ championships.
Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc will be aiming to deliver Ferrari a first driver’s championship since 2007 and first manufacturers’ title since 2008.
Ferrari 2020 F1 car verdict: All or nothing.
The McLaren MCL35 was the third physical car to be launched and goes in at number three in our 2020 F1 Car Power Rankings.
McLaren’s launch was less eccentric than Ferrari’s night at the opera, but the impact was strong. The papaya/blue matte finish is stunning. With re-worked sidepods and front nose, there are clear developments on this 2020 F1 car.
After finishing fourth in the constructor standings last season, McLaren is hoping to bridge the gap to the top three of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull. The team says it needs radical developments to catch the frontrunners but isn’t resting on its laurels. There is an element of caution and realism, given the team’s recent history and struggles. But with young drivers Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris at the helm, this is a real opportunity for McLaren to grow again.
McLaren F1 2020 car verdict: Dare to dream!
2. Alpha Tauri
Coming in at number two in our 2020 F1 Car Power Rankings is the beautiful new Alpha Tauri AT01. This is the rebranded Toro Rosso for the 2020 season.
The rebrand also comes with a new name (it’s Red Bull’s clothing brand) and a striking navy and white matte livery. The AT01 was launched during a fashion-show themed event at Red Bull’s Hangar-7 facility in Austria.
Known as Toro Rosso since 2006 (Italian for ‘Red Bull’), the team is Red Bull’s feeder team. The new AT01 will continue to be powered by a Honda engine, given the partnership with Red Bull.
The car is dazzling and will be driven by Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly this season.
Alpha Tauri 2020 F1 car verdict: An exceptional debut.
Haas was the first team to release images of its new 2020 F1 car – the VF-20. The car, set to be driven by Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen this season, sees a return to the team’s traditional base colours of grey, black and red. Haas describes it as a “contemporary restyling of a familiar theme.”
Haas suffered a difficult season in 2019, after finishing fifth in the Constructors’ standings the previous year. They are hoping the new season and their new 2020 F1 car bring better fortune.
Founder of Haas Automation and chairman of Haas F1 Team Gene Haas said: “I’m pleased to see the car return to the more familiar Haas Automation colours, it’s certainly a livery that people identify with.”
We love the VF-20 – dressed in Racing Edge colours! It’s sleek, stylish and channels the identity of the Haas team.
Haas 2020 F1 car verdict: Terrific colour choice.