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Formula 1

Ranking every F1 team's 2024 launch from worst to best

9 min read

After more than four weeks of teases, livery reveals and car launches, Formula 1 teams have more or less shown us everything they want to before pre-season testing begins next week.

But which team did the best job of its car launch? Who created something worthwhile? And whose offering did we end up wishing we'd skipped?

We asked our writers to rank every team's launch (including its 'event', what it released to media, and what it produced for social media) from worst to best:

10 - RB

The first car launch for Red Bull's rebranded second team RB didn't exactly go down well with our panel. The timings for the Las Vegas event weren't widely advertised in advance, nor was the event streamed anywhere. Instead, images of the car and later pictures from the launch event were dumped at a time that suited very few F1 fans or media.

"This was not a launch for fans or media and a limp way to start a new era," was Scott Mitchell-Malm's verdict.

Josh Suttill called it a "woeful first launch" for RB's new identity and said "you couldn't have designed a more alienating method of delivering a new look".

Edd Straw's cutting review read: "It was poorly communicated, offered nothing to fans and didn’t make it clear there would be little for those in Europe who made the effort to be around when it was happening.

"Sums up a team only interested in serving those it sees as bringing in big money and that appears more of an afterthought than ever for Red Bull."

Ben Anderson lambasted the "shambolic" timings and the Visa Cash App RB name and said everything but the car "can get in the bin".

The car itself was free from ridicule, instead drawing praise and creating what Suttill described as "a big missed opportunity to show off a really nice looking car".

9 - Williams

Williams is the only F1 team yet to properly show its 2024 car and suffers here in our ranking because of it.

"The absence of anything approaching a 2024 car harpoons the Williams ranking despite a good effort level in other areas," Edd Straw explains.

Or as Suttill put it "didn't promise much, didn't deliver much".

Mitchell-Malm was satisfied with Williams at least putting on media sessions and producing content with the drivers and team boss James Vowles for fans.

"OK, it didn't launch a car, but did launch its 'season' and show its livery - and made drivers and the team boss available plus produced content for fans," he said.

"Good in the circumstances."

8 - Haas

Haas showed the first (sort of) real 2024 F1 car by releasing renders of an early version of its new challenger, the VF-24, on February 2.

Just over a week later, there was content released from its Silverstone shakedown.

"A bit of 'did the bare minimum' about this but early renders were nice and Haas produced some assets from the shakedown too," Mitchell-Malm said. "So we have at least seen the car." 

Straw said it was "ultimately a low-key launch for a team expecting to have a low-key start to the season" while Anderson called it "as basic as it gets" and joked it was a consequence of "Gene Haas obviously tightening the belt still".

Suttill felt that McLaren's mid-January livery launch stole some of Haas's usual 'first launch' thunder but has been impressed with Haas's steady drip-feeding of content throughout launch season.

7 - McLaren

McLaren had not one but two F1 launches, with a livery launch in mid-January and a proper car reveal in mid-February.

"Quite smart to go so much earlier than everyone else - but it was only a livery," Anderson remarked.

"And then they disguised the real car too! Thumbs down for that - though I also admire their good old-fashioned sense of F1 paranoia!"

Mitchell-Malm labelled it a "much more streamlined launch compared to previous years", which meant there was "less for fans and media to go on".

He pointed out that McLaren in particular "disguised" the assets it did provide although complemented it for giving media access to key figures at both launches.

Suttill found "two launches to be one too many" but understood why it couldn't show its 2024 car in mid-January.

6 - Aston Martin

"The Aston Martin launch was good from a media perspective given team boss Mike Krack, technical director Mike Fallows and the drivers were put up to speak. However, the 86-second launch video didn’t give fans too much to get into," was Straw's summary of Aston's brief virtual launch.

Anderson said that "the car looked decent, but the whole thing almost got overshadowed by the star driver putting himself on the market for a drive with the engine builder!"

That's in reference to Fernando Alonso partly using his launch media session to sell himself to Mercedes as an option to replace Lewis Hamilton after 2024, while Aston openly said it wants Alonso to stay.

For Suttill, this is what "elevated the launch beyond the basic video reveal".

5 - Mercedes

The Mercedes launch was a brief, 10-minute affair where the car was immediately shown, almost nonchalantly, with Toto Wolff, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell standing over it.

All three gave some brief words and then that was it for the launch of the W15 bar some footage and images that emerged from its shakedown at Silverstone later in the day.

"A quiet reveal for a team determined to let its on-track performance do the talking after two chastening years," was Straw's take.

Suttill wasn't bowled over, saying "it all felt a bit flat and melancholy to me".

"I appreciated that it got on with it but there was no fizz or sparkle. Too much is suffocating but none at a launch just feels a bit sombre," he added.

That didn't particularly bother Anderson, who was just pleased to see an interesting car. "That's the most important thing!"

Mitchell-Malm summarised: "Slightly outdated renders were made up for by a real car. Plenty of assets of it on track too.

"Just a shame we didn't get to speak to anyone ourselves - although mitigated by the typically high-quality press pack with good team personnel insight."

4 - Ferrari

Ferrari dropped a brief launch video before putting on, in the words of Straw, "comprehensive media sessions meaning there was plenty from the technical team, Fred Vasseur and drivers to get your teeth into".

Ferrari's launch last year - which included elements of the Fiorano shakedown - topped our 2023 ranking, and as a result Mitchell-Malm called the 2024 event "a step down from last year in the sense that whatever event happened at Fiorano was a 'closed set' as it were".

"It was a shame nothing was streamed for fans but selfishly the scales are tipped in Ferrari's favour among the 'no on-site event' launches with great access to senior figures. Shakedown assets followed, too."

Anderson actually enjoyed the year-on-year disparity, saying: "Love the contrast between 2023's almost bombastic, showy launch - with grandstands full of fans on a real circuit - with 2024's perfunctory one-minute video clip. 

"No-nonsense Fred is properly running the show now."

Suttill said Ferrari's great livery -  "the use of yellow is really clever and makes the SF-24 a modern classic, visually at least" - earned it bonus points.

3 - Sauber

Sauber held the first in-season launch with a physical car on February 5, revealing its striking new Stake identity that you just couldn't miss.

"An excellent launch event with a good live presentation for fans to watch, as well as plenty of media access to key team personnel," Straw reflected.

"The only downside is that the launch car wasn’t quite the genuine article, instead a show car largely dressed up to look like the 2024 machine."

Mitchell-Malm called it a "proper event and well organised" but so too couldn't place it any higher because the team didn't show a real car.

Suttill went a step further, placing it at number one in his rankings with the following justification: "The awful industry term 'creating a buzz' is overused but it's something Sauber genuinely managed to do with the first car sporting the Stake colours.

"The livery is the best on the grid and there were genuinely insightful interviews from technical director James Key during the launch in a digestible and engaging form.

"The London crypt was an odd setting but will likely be memorable for years to come - probably the only launch on this list that will be."

2 - Red Bull

Red Bull makes great year-on-year gains, climbing from last in our launch rankings last year to second in 2024.

The team was celebrating 20 years of Red Bull with a launch event at Milton Keynes.

The livery may have been the same as always but the car was very different - with Mercedes cues that got everybody talking.

"A pleasant surprise that Red Bull showed a real - mostly real? - car for a change and put on a proper event, having taken the mick for a while with fake launches of clearly inauthentic cars," Mitchell-Malm said.

Anderson rated it "10/10 because we got to see a real car and we never get to see a real car at Red Bull's launches".

Straw, who attended, praised the event, saying "a big effort was made by Red Bull with a well-produced show for fans to watch and the genuine car, albeit with some key areas not as they will be come Bahrain".

Suttill was also delighted with some "genuinely exciting technical innovations and a presentation that didn't overstay its welcome".

The investigation into Christian Horner was unavoidably a factor in Red Bull's launch. While it wasn't addressed in the live-streamed launch, he did face questions from the media about it - here's how he handled it.

1 - Alpine

Alpine takes the top spot in our rankings with a stripped-back, well-executed launch event.

Mitchell-Malm felt it was "a great blend of everything we need from a launch. A bit of a show but nothing as ostentatious as last year".

"Lovely incorporation of another major racing programme [the WEC launch]. Real car on show, senior people speaking, well-handled in advance from a media point of view too. Worked for everyone."

The launch was "a vast improvement from last year’s disorganised" one, according to Straw. "This put 'Team Enstone' front and centre, revealed a genuine car, integrated the World Endurance Championship project and made good use of technical director Matt Harman."

Anderson enjoyed Harman's "only the steering wheel is the same" quip, believing it was one of the best quotes of launch season.

But Suttill wasn't quite as impressed.

"All of the flamboyance of the 2023 launch was scrapped and so too some of the fun," said Suttill.

"More serious is probably what Alpine needs to convey so it's understandable but not particularly exciting.

"The alternative pink livery was a letdown and with hindsight, the social teases of a pink-er livery were frustratingly misleading."

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