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Here we are! Number one on our countdown, the most iconic livery of the 1990’s is the yellow and blue, camel and canon sponsored Williams FW14b, specifically, ‘Red 5’. In the hands of Nigel Mansell ‘Red 5’ rocketed to 9 victories and the world drivers and constructors title.
1) Canon Williams Renault FW14b
The FW14b is maybe not the most obvious choice for a number one of this list and sure, there were cars that were probably prettier. Cars like the Jordan 191, the Ferrari F412 T2 and Arrows A19 were better looking cars but we’re talking iconic, not just eye catching and what’s more iconic that ‘our Nige’ in ‘Red 5’?
Reader’s of a certain age will fondly remember the iconic scenes on Silverstone ’92 with Nigel winning and the crowd breaking ranks and flooding the circuit, so much so that Mansell had to abandon his car and get a lift back to the pits.
1992 was a season of iconic moments with Silverstone just one of many that included the comeback drive in Hungary to win the championship, the sheer domination he showed in qualifying all year and the video above, Mansell vs Senna around the streets of Monaco.
The year was a Williams white wash and even the might of Senna and Mclaren couldn’t stop the domination of the yellow and blue cars. The Adrian Newey designed active suspension car was in a class of it’s own, so much so that when the new car was ready (The Williams FW15) it was held back until 1993. There simply was no need for it!
So, there you have it. The most iconic Formula 1 livery of the 1990’s, the Williams Renault FW14b, ‘Red 5’.
The second entry on our countdown for a 1998 season machine may well be a controversial choice in itself as the new narrow track regulations that made the cars seem smaller and in the eyes of some, less aggressive did not go down well with some fans. Also, it means the Jordan 191 (a regular in these kind of lists is not going to be listed. Too obvious).
2) Benson & Hedges Jordan Mugen Honda 198, 1998
The 1998 car from Jordan was their second to feature the distinctive nose art. Previously they ran a snake, later a shark but the stand out creature for us is the hornet from the this, the car to take Jordan F1’s first GP win, in the hands on Damon Hill.
The bright yellow bodywork combines with jet black accents and the aforementioned nose art stood out as typically ‘Jordan’, going against the growing trend of the overly corporate F1 world.
The car itself proved a success too. After a difficult start to the season the car and Damon came good, winning in Belgium after Michael Schumacher and David Coulthard’s now famous crash at Spa. Hill had one more season with Jordan then headed for retirement whilst Hills 1998 teammate, Ralf Schumacher headed to Williams to enjoy the most successful period of his career, winning 6 grand prix.
The Jordan 198 is on display at the Donnington grand prix museum and is a rare example of a modern era F1 car with significant historical prominence on display and outside of team ownership.
Here’s Damon Hill and Ralf Schumacher finishing first and second in that famous race in the rain, at Spa!
In 1992 the world was a fast moving, technologically evolving place. CD’s were becoming more widespread, the internet became available to the average household (although it would be some years before it was commonplace) and Formula 1 was full of wide track, technologically advanced machines, bristling with the latest computer technology including ABS, active suspension, traction control and more! Benetton F1‘s green and yellow charger for ’92 signalled the rise of Benetton as a real F1 force and Michael Schumacher as a star of the future.
3) Camel Benetton Ford B192 1992
Nigel Mansell and the legendary Williams FW14b walked the championship with Mansell winning 9 races on his way to the title but behind them Benetton and Mclaren fought for second in the title race with the customer and works Ford engines.
Michael Schumacher won a brilliantly exciting Belgian Grand prix at Spa as Mansell’s Williams faltered, the revolutionary high-nose Benetton taking a commanding win in the soon-to-be legends hands. Partnered by future commentator and F1 journeyman, Martin Brundle, Benetton’s B192 was a confident step forward over previous designs. Brundle had a great year, coming off the back of a hugely successful sportscar campaign, the man to run Senna closest in F3 achieved a handful of podiums and nearly won in Belgium.
The car was a vision of 90’s brilliance! Green, yellow, tobacco advertising and typical Benetton flair! The big fat slicks, large, scooping front wing and a (at the time) unique high nose marked the car as a classic.
1996; The spice girls, Oasis vs, Blur, Euro 96… that Paul Gascoigne goal and of course in the world of F1, Damon Hill. After years of near misses, Hill made it good in ’96 with this vision in blue and white!
4) Rothmans Williams Renault FW18 1996
Back in 1996 the F1 field was full of bright, colourful machines, adorned with a vast array of sponsors (unlike the monochrome, largely blank bilboards of today…We’re looking at you, McLaren) and the pick of the bunch was the Williams FW18.
Decked out in classic Rothmans colours, the FW18 was as fast as it was beautiful and carried Damon Hill & Jacques Villeneuve to the drivers and constructors world titles, with Hill taking 8 wins to Villeneuve’s 4. Another Adrian Newey design, the FW18 pushed the boundaries of aerodynamics and the regulations with their unique take on ‘high cockpit sides’.
In contrast to the Williams, the 1996 field was awash with ugly, bloated cars, struggling to adapt to the new regulations. Just see the ’96 Ferrari F310 for comparison!
Is there anything more nostalgic than seeing Damon Hill staring out of the cockpit of the Williams en route to another pole position? (He started on the front row at every grand prix that year)!
The classic Rothmans livery would see one more season in 1997 before being replaced by another Rothmans group brand, Winfield, and the Williams cars would take on a red and yellow colour scheme.
Agree, disagree? Want to rant and shout? Head over to twitter to join the discussion.
They just don’t do liveries like they used to! To tide you over until the new season starts, we’ll be running through our top 5 iconic F1 liveries from the 90’s. Over the course of the next week we will be uploading a blog per day, detailing just why we love them!
5) West Mclaren Mercedes MP4/13 1998
It seems everyone loves the 90’s right now and you can’t move for people in round glasses, sweatshirts and high-top trainers reminiscing about East 17 and longing after an Escort Cosworth. Well, maybe not, but the 90’s revival seems like it’s here to stay, Replace the glasses, trainers and sports wear with V10 engines, big fat slick tyres and iconic liveries and we’re right there with them.
It was all change in Formula 1 for 1998 with new rules and regulations ushering in change throughout the paddock and although this one doesn’t have the slick tyres, it ticks all the boxes elsewhere. Hakkinen, Mercedes, Bridgestone, Newey, all the ingredients were there for the MP4/13 to be the car to put McLaren back on top. At the start of the season, it looked like the black and silver cars would simply dominate the championship. In the end Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard made the most of the Newey design to win 9 races on their way to the constructors and drivers world championship.
Thanks to designer Adrian Newey, the car was the class of the field, making the most of the new narrow-track regulations and the new brigestone grooved tyres, maximising the aerodynamic grip of the car. Only Michael Schumacher in the much improved Ferrari F300 was able to stop the silver and black cars making it a clean sweep!
The sleek design, low drooping nose, simple aero and the mix of silver, black and red made the mp4/13 a modern classic. The west livery ran until the 2006 season where Mclaren switched to the familiar red and chrome that would come to prominence during the era of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton.
Here’s Mika Hakkinen & David Coulthard finishing first and second in the opening round of the 1998 season in Melbourne, Australia. Commentary comes courtesy of the legendary Murray Walker!
As our winters grow colder are we beginning to see the true advantages of winter wheels and tyres?
Winter tyres and wheels are becoming more common year after year. In the countries that bare the brunt of the cold winters, winter tyres have long since become compulsory. Although conditions in the UK are milder by comparison, the winters are getting colder and Brits are beginning to ask the question “Are winter wheels and tyres becoming worth the money?”
Winter tyres are manufactured with the harshest weather conditions in mind. Experts agree that summer tyres just don’t make the cut in snowy and icy conditions or even in temperatures below 7 degrees. Continuing to use summer tyres in these conditions can drastically increase stopping distance, putting you behind the wheel of a car which could be considered unpredictable and ultimately unsafe.
According to Met Office, harsh weather conditions in the UK last from November way up until early March, making the winter period essentially one third of the year. Figures show that since 1980, the majority of the days in these months have been spent at or below 7 degrees, which could make for some treacherous roads during this part of the year.
How Do Winter Tyres Work?
Winter tyres are made up from a different type of rubber compound with much more natural rubber than summer tyres, which allows them to maintain their form and keep their grip in the colder temperatures .Summer tyres on the other hand are not made with these conditions in mind, and the harsher winter conditions causes the tyres to solidify and lose their elasticity, meaning that the tyres do not perform to a safe standard.
2010 saw the start of the winter tyre boom when the coldest winter we’ve ever seen left many motorists driving through icy, hazardous roads on tyres that were just not suited to the conditions. According to research, icy conditions could very well be held responsible for around 264,000 accidents in the winter.
Vehicle recovery services, like the AA and the RAC have been left to pick up the pieces and deal with this upswing in traffic incidents. Both companies official stances on winter tyres, speak quite clearly of their benefits. A spokesperson from AA said:
“Winter tyres are a good investment if you live in an area where you often experience heavy rain, very cold weather or snow and it is vital that you can use your car.”
Which the sole exception that:
“If you live on the edge of town and only make a local trip once a week then the expense of an extra set of wheels and tyres is difficult to justify.”
And a spokesperson from RAC said:
“Winter tyres are generally useful for people who live in remote areas. Here the weather is likely to be worse for longer and the car is more of a necessity with limited alternatives.
Ultimately it is a personal decision where people need to factor in the cost, storage and how much they’re likely to use them”
To conclude, it ultimately comes down to personal preference and circumstance as to whether winter tyres can be considered a necessity for you. However, our experience couples with the figures shows that opting for winter tyres is a decision that is becoming easier and easier to justify.
If you’ve decided on winter wheels and tyres for your vehicle, head over to www.alloywheels.com or call us on 0370 218 4987 for the best deals UK wide!