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Is Ferrari's Monza Special The Best Ever One-Off F1 Livery?

Is Ferrari's Monza Special The Best Ever One-Off F1 Livery?
Eoin Harrington
By Eoin Harrington
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Ferrari have released a belter of a one-off livery for F1's visit to their home race in Monza this weekend.

The new design for the Scuderia incorporates some of the team's original colours of bright yellow, to celebrate 100 years of racing at the iconic Italian track.

But is it the best one-off livery in F1 history? We've compared it to some of the best to have come before.

Remembering the best one-off F1 liveries

Scuderia Ferrari - 2022 Italian Grand Prix

Ferrari are the latest team to bring out a special one-off livery for an F1 race. The Scuderia's special design will be used for their home race at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza this weekend, a race where they are sure to enjoy their traditional vociferous support.

Given the legendary status of Ferrari's fanbase (the "Tifosi), it would be hard for the team to dump their iconic red colour scheme for the race at Monza, but they have managed to incorporate some striking yellow into the design, on the engine cover, rear and front wings, and the halo.

The decision to use yellow comes from team founder Enzo Ferrari's attachment to the colour. The Ferrari statement on the livery says that Enzo originally wanted to use yellow on the team's cars, before being overruled:

Early in the 20th century, the then International Association of Recognised Automobile Clubs set red as the official colour of Italian racing cars and so, when Enzo Ferrari established the Scuderia, under whose banner he entered Alfa Romeos, he had to go along with it.

Yellow is therefore very much the second colour for the Maranello marque and the founder immediately chose it as part of the emblem.

We have to say we're big fans of the design from Ferrari. The retro logo across the rear wing, in particular, is stunning.

The revelation on Enzo Ferrari, however, has us wondering about an alternate F1 history, where the Scuderia raced in a yellow livery all along.


Alpine F1 - 2022 Bahrain and Saudi Arabian Grands Prix

Ferrari are not the first to use a special livery in 2022. Alpine announced a title partnership with Austrian water treatment company BWT ahead of the season outset. BWT were already known in F1 circles for their previous sponsorship of Force India/Racing Point, which led to some rather striking pink paint jobs.

Alpine have retained their signature royal blue look for 2022 - but with bright pink sidepods. Alongside their regular season livery, they revealed a special all-pink design that they used for the opening races in Sakhir and Jeddah.

We're big fans of the striking pink look, and it really made Alpine stand out against the sea of blue and navy liveries at the opening races.


The hard racing on show from their two drivers in Jeddah, in particular, had the new paint job in the spotlight.

Red Bull Racing - 2021 Turkish Grand Prix

Red Bull were locked in a title battle for the ages in 2021, with their lead driver Max Verstappen taking the fight to perennial record breaker Lewis Hamilton. He would ultimately take the title at a breathtaking finale in Abu Dhabi.

The Turkish GP fell on the weekend that was originally scheduled to see F1 visit Japan, home country of Red Bull's engine supplier Honda. To thank Honda for their service to the team, Red Bull brought out a special livery in the Japanese racing colours of white and red.

Red Bull could not take the race win in Istanbul, but Verstappen and teammate Sergio Perez did take the other two podium spots. Red Bull's greatest contribution to the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, however, will surely be remembered for the stunning look of their one-off livery.

Mercedes - 2019 German Grand Prix

The last time a team ran a special livery to mark a home race, it didn't go so well.

The 2019 German Grand Prix marked 125 years of Mercedes' participation in motorsport, and they decided to celebrate the occasion at their home grand prix with a retro livery.

The team decided to run a "scratched" design which gradually transitioned from the regular 2019 livery into a plain white nose and wing at the front of the car, to symbolise the team's progression from their all-white livery roots into the famed "Silver Arrows".

It's unfortunate, though, that the car is best remembered for being a part of Mercedes' most gaffe-filled weekend in recent memory. Lewis Hamilton went off track twice and spent a full minute in the pitlane after hitting the wall, ultimately finishing ninth after starting in first, while teammate Valtteri Bottas retired after crashing out.

Red Bull's attempt at a one-off white livery brought them a tad more luck in 2021.

McLaren - 2021 Monaco Grand Prix

Red Bull were not the only team to run a special livery last year - and McLaren's effort from Monaco was a bit of a beauty itself.


McLaren and Gulf Oil have long worked together, with the latest partnership between them announced in July of 2020. To mark the return of Monaco to the calendar after a year out, McLaren opted to run the iconic race in a livery inspired by both their original racing colours and the traditional Gulf livery.

The result was a stunning bright blue and orange look, which really popped out on track.

This one didn't quite turn out to be a one-off, as McLaren have ultimately adopted a similar look for 2022. Nonetheless, it somehow looked even better than the look they rocked for the rest of the season - and was arguably the best looking car of 2021.

It would also be remembered fondly for Lando Norris taking third place in the car.

Ferrari - 2020 Tuscan Grand Prix

This one got much more of a mixed response - though that may have been something to do with the circumstances in which Ferrari brought it out.

To celebrate their 1000th race in Formula One, Ferrari launched a special livery in their original colours of burgundy and yellow. The Grand Prix on home soil in Tuscany should have marked a special occasion in Ferrari history.

However, in the midst of a shocking, winless season, and against the backdrop of four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel's departure, it seemed ludicrous for Ferrari to be celebrating.

This season has seen Ferrari falter and stumble out of the title battle with Red Bull, so they will hope that their latest special livery gets a slightly better reception and dose of luck.

Ferrari - 1964 US and Mexican Grands Prix

Another slight cheat here, as it was used for two races, but Ferrari's livery for the 1964 US and Mexican Grands Prix was one that would be scarcely believable today.

As Will Buxton famously said on Drive to Survive - "ask a child to draw a racing car and they will colour it in red." Ferrari cars are painted red, and that's just a generally accepted fact - that is, except for the final two rounds of the 1964 championship.

In true Enzo Ferrari fashion, he had been embroiled in a scrap with the Automobile Club d'Italia since the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. Having surrendered the entry licence for the Ferrari team, Enzo's cars were entered in blue and white rather than the iconic red with which the Scuderia are synonymous.

It remains the only time in F1 history that Ferrari have raced in a colour other than red.

McLaren - 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso made his return to Formula 1 last year with Alpine after a two-year absence - and the end of his first spell in the sport saw a special livery to celebrate his career.

Most of the F1 paddock assumed that Alonso was retiring from the sport when he announced his departure from McLaren at the end of 2018 - though Sebastian Vettel correctly predicted at the time that the Spaniard would be back (Vettel has since retired himself).

To mark the career of the two-time world champion, McLaren painted the backend of the car in the colours of Alonso's crash helmet.

Jordan Grand Prix - 1994 French Grand Prix

So, we might be biased here, but the small addition to the Jordan cars for the 1994 French Grand Prix was an excellent touch.

The race at Magny-Cours was the first GP since the beginning of USA '94 - and Eddie Jordan made the choice to replace the "Visit Ireland" sponsorship with a marked message to the country that Ireland famously defeated at that World Cup.

Red Bull - multiple testing liveries

Red Bull themselves are the masters of a one-off livery, to the point that we're not even sure if last year's effort from Turkey is even their best one-off livery.

There was a time when Red Bull would arrive to testing every year in a new "dazzle camo" look. The livery was intended to obscure elements of the car that other teams could possibly have copied or taken inspiration from. The 2015 effort was the classic, but more colourful liveries followed in the years to come.

Red Bull also ran special race liveries to celebrate the releases of Superman Returns and Star Wars - Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, so they are undoubtedly the kings of a special F1 livery.

The new Ferrari is a beauty, but we have to say it's hard to beat Red Bull when it comes to special paint jobs.

SEE ALSO: What Zandvoort Taught Us About Mercedes' Chances Of A 2022 Race Win


Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Dutch Grand Prix

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