The Top 25 F1 Liveries of All Time : #22

Go on, then – how many of you saw this one coming?


This is where things start to become controversial – and where it becomes clear that this is a personal favourites list, rather than an “undisputed best ever” list. Because this livery was absolutely hated when it was launched – and continues to show up in people’s “worst ever” lists to this day. But… for some reason, and despite the fact that I myself didn’t like it at the time… I think it works pretty well. You have to get past the fact that it’s a red Williams – and the fact that it has Woody Woodpecker on the nose – but the colour scheme works well, and the sponsor names on the sidepods and monocoque are picked out nicely. The only thing that doesn’t really work is the white section at the front of the nose cone – it basically looks as if it’s been copied-and-pasted from 1997’s Rothmans car – but aside from that, it was a bold step by Williams, and while it never really succeeded, I think it’s quite an underrated effort.



14 Responses to The Top 25 F1 Liveries of All Time : #22

  1. gareth says:

    Hmmmm…..interesting. I actually quite liked the ’99 Williams (exactly as you say, once I’d gotten over it being another red Williams) and it would actually be well up there in any list I was putting together. This one’s simple but not quite enough for me, but good on you for picking it. Anything with both a kangaroo and a woodpecker on the side of it has got to be okay!

  2. Karl says:

    Very smooth design. I expect Ferrari to figure highly in this list.

  3. Fábio says:

    This one does look good. People had a hard time accepting that the Rothmans ultra-popular and distinctive scheme was abandoned for ’98.
    The radical change almost feels like a prevision of things to come in the Championship, as Williams lost their dominance.

  4. Marleen says:

    Been trying to make this comment all day but somehow my comments I make at work don’t seem to get through. Anyway. Was just saying that I still don’t like this design, it does nothing for me, except Woody Woodpecker of course. So I only like the car’s nose. There, saved.

  5. matthew says:

    the color scheme and basic design is so tastefull and concise that it almost makes you forget about how williams ran out of money and needed to cover up the entire thing in sponsor’s logos. almost makes you forget that.

  6. Aly says:

    I’ve got a 1:18 scale model of this car and the longer I’ve had it the more I’ve liked it. The yellow and white stripes over the side pods work really well but you tend to not notice them with all the massive white Winfield logos.

  7. Brady says:

    I like this one and it’s probably my 3rd fav Williams behind the 1999 and 1997 cars. Good for you for choosing this great looking car! I still like the 1999 WIlliams the best though

  8. Glen says:

    Loved this list but can’t believe this one made it in! If you have to choose a Winfield Williams, surely the 1999 design is the one! They never did look right in red to me though.

  9. Rodriggo says:

    Absolutely disagree with you here. You have to consider that this design supplanted one of the best and most recognizable, that being the Williams Rothmann design of Hill, Villeneuve which is classic.

  10. Ned Flanders says:

    I miss the red Williams’, what great liveries! Especially compared to their current boring, boring blue and white. Williams need a radical makeover ASAP, and their livery would be a good place to start

  11. Dahie says:

    The 1998 livery was certainly not my favorite, the 99 parrot suited me more. What I found interesting when I did some research on the car for a mod was, that the livery was tweaked over the course of the season. Williams removed some lines on the side of the nose, the Winfield logo on the sidepod changed and some more details. These changes improved the livery a lot for me and I like the late season variants far more than the early season version.

  12. Ned Flanders says:

    Oh I never noticed the difference. But you’re absolutely right, the 1999 design was even better (I was meant to add that on the end of my post but I forgot). In fact, I’d say the 1999 Williams is one of my favourite ever liveries full stop

  13. harry morgan says:

    they never should have changed to red for 1998, that killed Jacques Villeneuve’s career. The 1999 livery was good, but they failed to win a race, until Ralf Schumacher won at Imola in 2001 with blue and white livery.

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