Gallery: Top testing-only Formula 1 liveries

Formula 1 teams often ran unique one-off testing liveries before, but this tradition has almost died in recent years. Here are some of the best testing-only liveries from the last three decades.

Jordan 1991

Jordan 1991
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Ahead of its first year in Formula 1, Jordan ran an all-black livery in testing, with golden sponsor logos.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Jordan 1991

Jordan 1991
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Of course, the team would go on to adopt the iconic 7UP green and blue livery.

Photo by: Sutton Images

McLaren 1997

McLaren 1997
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McLaren ran its traditional papaya orange colour on its 1997 test car.

Photo by: Sutton Images

McLaren 1997

McLaren 1997
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But when the season started, the team reverted to its black-and-white livery - part of its deal with title sponsor and cigarette maker West.

Photo by: LAT Images

Ferrari 1998

Ferrari 1998
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During the December of 1997, Michael Schumacher tested next year's Ferrari, which was clad in black and bereft of sponsor logos.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Ferrari 1998

Ferrari 1998
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Needless to say, the Ferrari raced in 1998 was painted red, with a touch of white on the rear wing

Photo by: LAT Images

BMW 1999

BMW 1999
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Ahead of its debut in Formula 1, BMW tested out its engine in a 1998-spec Williams. The car was painted in white colour, with pink and blue stripes adding to a simple, yet clever design.

Photo by: BMW AG

BMW 1999

BMW 1999
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For further tests in 1999, BMW went for a blue-and-white livery, with former being the predominant colour on the car.

Photo by: LAT Images

BMW 2000

BMW 2000
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Blue and white remained the colour of choice for BMW when it debuted in F1 in 2002 in partnership with Williams, however, the livery was significantly different to what appeared in the test sessions.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Toyota 2001

Toyota 2001
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Toyota made it clear from the very beginning that they would race with a red-and-white colour scheme, as evident from the testing livery used in 2001.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Toyota 2002

Toyota 2002
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The race livery, when revealed, was much better than the one used in testing, despite using the same two colours.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Prost 2001

Prost 2001
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Alain Prost's F1 team completed the 2001 pre-season tests in an all-blue colour scheme.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Prost 2001

Prost 2001
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The livery was virtually unchanged when the season began, save for reddish sidepods and the addition of sponsor stickers.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Renault 2002

Renault 2002
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The Renault R202 was painted in yellow and white for the 2002 pre-season testing season. The combination of those colours wouldn't be seen on Renault's race cars again until 2007.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Renault 2002

Renault 2002
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Renault's test livery was largely forgotten when the French manufacturer rolled down the race trim. Primary sponsor Mild Seven's blue shade complimented the corporate yellow of Renault, making the livery one of the best of the decade.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Sauber 2003

Sauber 2003
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Sauber's 2002 testing livery was fairly straightforward - a mostly metallic blue design with a white nose cone and some touches of yellow and green.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Sauber 2003

Sauber 2003
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Fortunately, Sauber didn't decide to race with the test livery as what they came up with later was far superior. While metallic blue remained the primary shade, the increased use of green for sponsor Petronas gave it a more colourful look.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Jordan 2003

Jordan 2003
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The 2003 Jordan was tested without any paint or stickers on - and surprisingly the carbon fibre feel made it quite a looker.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Jordan 2003

Jordan 2003
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But once the season started, the team returned to its traditional yellow colour scheme, with black paint on both front and rear wing.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Minardi 2003

Minardi 2003
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Minardi also ran an all-black testing livery in 2003, albeit one with some sponsorship stickers.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Minardi 2003

Minardi 2003
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Black was reduced to the secondary colour when the actual race livery broke cover, with white becoming the primary shade. There were some red stripes for added touch.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Honda 2004

Honda 2004
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Honda, too, ran a black livery in testing but with all sponsor stickers on. As such, it looked rather different from some of the previous all-black liveries we've seen.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Honda 2004

Honda 2004
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The 2004 Honda race car used a range of colours, including white, red, grey and black.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Red Bull 2004

Red Bull 2004
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When Red Bull announced that it would enter F1 as a full-blown constructor, it turned up in testing with a car painted like a Red Bull energy drink can.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Red Bull 2005

Red Bull 2005
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The race livery, however, was significantly different, with a new shade of blue becoming the primarily colour and grey used on a limited scale.

Photo by: Sutton Images

McLaren 2006

McLaren 2006
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McLaren's papaya orange colour returned after nearly a decade in the 2006 test car.

Photo by: Sutton Images

McLaren 2006

McLaren 2006
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The race livery was a departure from the one used in the previous two years. Silver became the primary colour, black stayed on and red was the new addition.

Photo by: McLaren

Jordam 2005

Jordam 2005
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Jordan ran a bare yellow and black livery during the pre-season of 2005, the last year of its F1 stint.

Photo by: Sutton Images

BMW 2006

BMW 2006
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BMW again used a white testing livery when it ended its partnership with Williams and took over the Sauber team instead.

Photo by: Sutton Images

BMW 2006

BMW 2006
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White remained as the main colour on the race livery, but the shiny blue shade really set the car apart from the rest of the field.

Williams 2006

Williams 2006
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A car painted entirely in one car does look spectacular - as the Williams 2006 test car attests. Painted in metallic blue and completed with white sponsorship stickers, the test livery of FW28 was indeed quite a looker.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Williams 2006

Williams 2006
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Williams found a way to fuse metallic blue with white when it unveiled its race livery.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Ferrari 2006

Ferrari 2006
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Michael Schumacher briefly tested a sponsor-free Ferrari in 2006; the car primarily clad in company's famous red shade, but with a white front wing and a black rear wing.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Ferrari 2006

Ferrari 2006
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Ferrari, however, turned up to the official tests with its familiar colour scheme - and all sponsor stickers on.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Super Aguri 2006

Super Aguri 2006
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An almost all-white car with black rear wing - that's the colour scheme Super Aguri adopted for 2006 pre-season tests.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Super Aguri 2006

Super Aguri 2006
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Super Aguri's race livery was a lot more vibrant and artistic, with good use of the red colour.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Renault 2007

Renault 2007
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Ahead of an all-new livery in 2007, Renault introduced a black-and-yellow colour scheme for pre-season testing.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Renault 2007

Renault 2007
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For the race livery, Renault dropped the blue colour and made more extensive use of yellow. Orange and black shades were also used, the former for major sponsor ING.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Spyker 2007

Spyker 2007
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Spyker wanted an orange livery for 2007 pre-season. However, the car looked more red than orange in daylight.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Spyker 2007

Spyker 2007
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As a consequence, Spyker's race design was vastly different, with a new shade of orange combined with dark grey.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Honda 2007

Honda 2007
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Another all-black car, but with a shiny body and white sponsorship stickers - the 2007 Honda test livery was simple yet beautiful.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Honda 2007

Honda 2007
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Of course, Honda adopted its infamous Earth livery when the 2007 season began - one that carried almost zero sponsorship.

Honda 2008

Honda 2008
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In contrast to 2007 pre-season testing, Honda turned up to next year's sessions with an all-white and sponsorship-free design.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Honda 2008

Honda 2008
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Honda adopted a far more eye-pleasing design for its 2008 race car compared to what was used the previous year. White became the primary colour, while green and blue shades stayed on to promote Honda's greenery message.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Force India 2008

Force India 2008
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After buying Skyper, Vijay Mallya's Force India team took part in the 2008 pre-season tests with a white and red livery.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Force India 2008

Force India 2008
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Team's race livery - a mixture of white, red and golden - was also impressive, but some felt the testing design scheme was better.

Photo by: Sutton Images

HRT 2012

HRT 2012
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Another bare white car for testing - this time from F1 minnow and now-defunct HRT squad.

Photo by: Sutton Images

HRT 2012

HRT 2012
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For a team as small as HRT, the designers did a fantastic job with the race livery, especially considering how few sponsors they had to place on the car.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Pirelli 2012

Pirelli 2012
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When Pirelli bought an old F1 car to test its range of tyres, it came up with a matte black livery and placed some yellow company stickers on it.

Photo by: Pirelli

Red Bull 2015

Red Bull 2015
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Red Bull gathered a lot of attention in 2005 pre-season testing when, in a clever attempt to hide its aero secrets, it introduced a camo livery for the RB11.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Red Bull 2015

Red Bull 2015
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The camo livery was never going to be used beyond pre-season testing. Hence, at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, it went back to its original colour scheme.

Photo by: Sutton Images
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Series Formula 1
Article type Top List
Tags design