Guide to the 2017 Formula One cars

A view of the Mercedes-AMG 2017 during the Mercedes-AMG 2017 Car Launch at Silverstone, Towcester.

With the first Formula One race of the season in Melbourne coming at the end of March, this month often marks the time when the teams unveil their cars.

For fans and drivers alike, 2017 is set to be one of the most exciting seasons in years, as the cars have been given more aggressive styling.

The front wing is wider and has a more curved design to help produce more downforce; the rear wing is lower and wider, with the diffuser slightly higher; and the tyres are also wider, offering more grip.

This means that the cars will be faster through the corners, which should reduce lap times.

Before the first pre-season test in Barcelona on February 27, teams are showing off their new chassis for the season and displaying their different interpretations of the new regulations.


As the team that finished tenth in the standings last season, Sauber are seen as having the most work to do over the winter break.

The Swiss team's C36 was the first to break cover, sporting a 90s-inspired livery to celebrate the team's 25th anniversary and, to the delight of some in the Formula One community, a shark fin on the engine cover to aid air flow over the lower rear wing.

Guide to the 2017 Formula One cars - Sauber C36

Guide to the 2017 Formula One cars - Sauber C36

We like the look of this, but with the reputation in recent seasons of being a clear backmarker, the Swiss team will hope to change their fortunes with this Ferrari-powered effort and Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein at the wheel.


Despite the possibly wacky colour layout, the R.S.17 looks the part. The contrasting yellow and black paintwork works well and accentuates the important pieces of bodywork.

It also a very aggressive-looking thing from the French factory outfit, which is looking to bring back the glory days of the mid-2000s, where they won back-to-back drivers' and constructors' titles.

Guide to the 2017 Formula One cars - Renault R.S.17

Guide to the 2017 Formula One cars - Renault R.S.17

Again displaying the shark fin concept, the Renault is a superb-looking machine and with the experienced Nico Hulkenburg and Jolyon Palmer in control, Renault hopes the R.S.17 is a 'top-five' car.

Force India

The Silverstone-based team is seen as one of the sport's overachievers, as they finished ahead of Williams, Toro Rosso and McLaren last season in the constructors' standings to reach fourth place.

This means there is more pressure on Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon to perform this season in the VJM10. Bringing back design elements that weren't exactly popular with fans, such as the stepped nose and the extended nose element, this is certainly the most outlandish take on the regulations than we have seen so far.

Guide to the 2017 Formula One cars - Force India VJM10

Guide to the 2017 Formula One cars -  Force India VJM10

But with the ever-reliable Mercedes power unit under the skin, it is believed that the VJM10 will continue to take the challenge to the perennial front runners of Red Bull, Ferrari and defending champions Mercedes-AMG.


The constructors' champions of the last three years return with the W08 – a car that many expect to be the one to beat, thanks to its significant engine advantage.

With the new chassis, Mercedes hopes to maintain their dominance and they are the first team to not go for the extended engine cover concept. Many believe, this new car will take Lewis Hamilton to his fourth world drivers' title, and judging by looks alone, the W08 could be great.

Guide to the 2017 Formula One cars - Mercedes W08

Guide to the 2017 Formula One cars - Mercedes W08

With the Briton saying the new model feels just like last year's championship-winning effort, this could be the car you see at the front in Melbourne.


Scuderia Ferrari is the oldest team in Formula One – having competed in every season since the championship's inception in 1950 – but hasn't won a world title of any kind since 2008.

Having not won a race since the 2015 Singapore Grand Prix, Ferrari aims to get back to the top of the rostrum with the SF70H, commemorating the brand's 70th anniversary. It too has the shark fin of many of the other entries but, in an innovative step, it also has a t-bar protruding from the rear wing.

With what is possibly the most iconic livery in motor racing, it is hoped that the Tifosi – Ferrari's massive fan base – will have something to cheer about this season, as former world champions Sebastien Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen look to bring the glory days back to Maranello.


For committed F1 fans, McLaren is a firm favourite, but with the recent struggles following its switch from Mercedes to Honda power units in 2015, it has been well off the pace for the last two seasons.

With the striking MCL32, McLaren-Honda is looking back to its roots with the papaya orange colouring, and also to the future with its truly stunning bodywork. It includes many more aerodynamic gills on the nose and – as is the norm – the extended bodywork on the engine cover.
With what is possibly the stand-out car of the field, the duo of two-time champion Fernando Alonso and rookie Stoffel Vandoorne are looking to put this McLaren at the sharp-end of races for the first time in a while.

In the team's 40th season in Formula One, Williams is looking to maintain its top five status in the constructors' with its new chassis – the FW40.

Keeping the superior Mercedes power unit, the Williams is also keeping similar design elements from last year, with an almost identical front nose and the now regular and truly beautiful Martini livery.

Guide to the 2017 Formula One Cars - Williams

Guide to the 2017 Formula One Cars - Williams

After dropping down behind Force India last season, the Williams drivers of Felipe Massa and rookie Lance Stroll will be hoping to take the Oxfordshire-based team back towards the podium, after what could be considered a disappointing 2016 season.

Toro Rosso

As the junior team to Red Bull, the Italy-based Toro Rosso has now been on the grid since 2006, and in that time has become a solid midfield runner.

For 2017 however, it is looking to challenge their older F1 siblings with the truly stunning STR12. Changing to silver detailing from its traditional gold, the new chassis looks both aggressive and simple at the same time.

Guide to the 2017 Formula One cars - Toro Rosso

Guide to the 2017 Formula One cars - Toro Rosso

In what is arguably the best livery in the paddock, Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat will be looking to get into the podium fight more often as the team looks to progress even further in 2017.

Red Bull

For the team's 13th chassis, Red Bull – who is known for its excellent aerodynamic understanding – has pulled out all the stops with the RB13.

In the now standard and unique matte paintwork, Red Bull has gone for a novel nose design, which does resemble a vacuum cleaner, and the common shark fin concept.

Guide to the 2017 Formula One Cars - Red Bull

Guide to the 2017 Formula One Cars - Red Bull

The pairing of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen is seen as the most-balanced pairing in the paddock, and for good reason, as the ever-dependable Red Bull design team has cooked up another superb looking challenger for this season.


Following on from an undulating debut season, the American Haas outfit is looking to improve on their eighth place finish in the constructors' with the VF-17.

Having gained help from Ferrari for the first season, 2017 will be the first opportunity to see how Haas copes on its own, and with its altered livery, its work over the winter looks promising. Despite the simplified look, the VF-17 has some interesting fins and detailing around the central structure to hopefully aid air flow over the car.

Guide to the 2017 Formula One cars - Haas

Guide to the 2017 Formula One cars - Haas

With Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean, the team from North Carolina is hoping to establish itself on the Formula One scene with a much-improved sophomore season.

Written by Jack Healy