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Five memorable Formula 1 car launches

With the first car launch of the 2021 Formula 1 season around the corner, we took a trip down memory lane to relive some of the more memorable reveals throughout the years.

As teams prepare to reveal their 2021 challengers ahead of the upcoming Formula 1 season, we've picked out five of the most memorable car launches in the sport's history.

1997 McLaren MP4/12

First up, we have the McLaren launch ahead of the 1997 season. The Woking-based team pulled out all the stops with this one and it's really something. Featuring Davina McCall, the Spice Girls and a couple of uncomfortable looking drivers, this won't be long forgotten.


1999 BAR 01

Two years later, the BAR team, which would eventually become Mercedes, came up with a bizarre livery concept for the 1999 season. In a bid to increase their sponsorship potential, they revealed two very different looking cars to the viewing public. Not only that, but drivers Jacques Villeneuve and Riccardo Zonta were also sporting different overalls. However, try as they might, the FIA ruled that both cars had to look substantially similar, which led to a hideous looking half-and-half design.


#F1 :1999 BAR 01 with the ‘zip’ livery. https://t.co/SDOJ7aeKw8 pic.twitter.com/ldkNBYWPTp — theUsher13 (@theJudge13Twts) August 16, 2018

2001 Benetton B201

The team, who were notorious for their elaborate car launches, went big on what was their last one with Renault set to buy the team the following year. Venice was the venue with a reported $500,000 dollars spent on the event.


Mild Seven Benetton Renault Sport 🇮🇹 2001 #F1 launch 7. Giancarlo Fisichella 🇮🇹 8. Jenson Button 🇬🇧 Test: Fernando Alonso 🇪🇸 Mark Webber 🇦🇺 Benetton B201 Renault RS21 Michelin Ⓜ️ The last year of the Benetton name for the Enstone-based team pic.twitter.com/ui8syoInX7 — F1 in the 2000s (@CrystalRacing) February 25, 2019

2002 Jordan EJ 12

When DHL came on board as the title sponsor for Jordan, the charismatic Eddie Jordan made sure everyone knew about it when they launched the EJ 12 2002 challenger. During the Q&A segment at DHL's main hangar in Brussels, the presentation was interrupted by a DHL-liveried Airbus A300 depositing that year's car. As you do.

2007 Honda RA107

While they are to be applauded for their intentions, this one makes the list. Designed to highlight the issue of climate change, Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello pulled the sheet off a sponsor-less Earth-inspired Honda. Sadly, their noble idea didn't translate to points with the team scoring just six for the season.


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