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Top 10: Most memorable Formula 1 launches

This time of year in days gone by used to be a veritable smorgasbord of glittering Formula 1 launches, with sassy models, stunning backdrops and even pop stars getting in on the act of revealing a team’s new challenger. It might seem a bit passe now, but a decade or so ago it was quite the rage – check out our 10 favourites…

Top 10: Most memorable Formula 1 launches

10: BENETTON LAUNCHES IN VENICE

10: BENETTON LAUNCHES IN VENICE
1/10

Photo by: Benetton Formula

With new driver Jenson Button on board, and a speedy young tester called Fernando Alonso, Benetton took over Venice ahead of the 2001 season for the launch of its B201

9: BMW DRIVES NEW CAR THROUGH FACTORY

9: BMW DRIVES NEW CAR THROUGH FACTORY
2/10

Photo by: BMW AG

BMW wasted little time getting its 2008 car, the F1.08, in to action as it got Nick Heidfeld to drive it around its Munich Welt headquarters on launch day

8: SAUBER LAUNCHES ON ICE

8: SAUBER LAUNCHES ON ICE
3/10

Photo by: Sauber Petronas

Sauber was once renowned for being a bit quirky with its launches and back in 2003, it famously launched its C22 car in the centre of an ice rink in Zurich!

7: JORDAN’S FLYING START

7: JORDAN’S FLYING START
4/10

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Eddie Jordan liked doing things a bit different, and in 2002 he achieved just that as he revealed his new EJ12 – that was flown in on a plane – at a foggy and freezing hanger in Brussels in deference to sponsor DHL

6: McLAREN’S ASSEMBLY ROLE CALL

6: McLAREN’S ASSEMBLY ROLE CALL
5/10

Photo by: Malcolm Griffiths / Motorsport Images

McLaren left onlookers baffled when its car appeared at its 2011 launch event in bits. But it was all part of the show – as its new challenger was built in front of onlookers in Berlin to be revealed for the first time

5: RENAULT TAKES OVER PALERMO

5: RENAULT TAKES OVER PALERMO
6/10

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Flavio Briatore was no stranger to lavish launches, and in 2004 he ensured his team took over Palermo in Sicily for the launch of the R24 – and some quick demonstrations of older cars for the thousands of fans who had turned up

4: BAR SEES DOUBLE

4: BAR SEES DOUBLE
7/10

Photo by: Sutton Images

British American Racing had wanted to run its two cars in different liveries, but F1’s rules forbid it. So for its debut 1999 campaign its launch revealed a special ‘zip’ colour scheme to get around the restrictions – while the team showed off what could have been

3: JORDAN LIGHTS UP RED SQUARE

3: JORDAN LIGHTS UP RED SQUARE
8/10

Photo by: Sutton Images

Red Square in Moscow is an iconic location, and it was Jordan which became the first team to launch a Formula 1 car there as it unveiled its 2005 challenger

2: WILLIAMS SHOCKS WITH THE WALRUS NOSE

2: WILLIAMS SHOCKS WITH THE WALRUS NOSE
9/10

Photo by: BMW AG

The launch of the 2004 Williams was a fairly standard affair in terms of location, but when the covers were pulled off it at Valencia it created a huge talking point thanks to the unique walrus nose

1: McLAREN GRABS THE SPICE GIRLS

1: McLAREN GRABS THE SPICE GIRLS
10/10

Photo by: Sutton Images

Perhaps the most talked-about ever launch took place in 1997 when McLaren took over Alexandra Palace – with a show from the Spice Girls and Jamiroquai – for the launch of its new car
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Series Formula 1
Teams McLaren , Benetton , British American Racing , Jordan
Author Jonathan Noble
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