Livery of the Day – Arrows A19

Arrows Grand Prix had a tremendous reputation for their impressive liveries, at least in my book. More often than not, their cars were a pleasure to look at, showed off their sponsors well and stood out from the crowd.

Arrows kept a hold of the well-funded Brazilian Pedro Diniz and brought in Finn Mika Salo for the 1998 season. The 1997 livery was a beauty, so it was interesting that they decided to change it entirely, despite having almost exactly the same sponsors on the car the next season. While it’s a bit of a shame that blue and white livery had not lasted more than a season, what followed it was just as easy on the eye.


It’s uncommon in Formula 1 for a team to change its main colour without the arrival or departure of a main sponsor. However, that is what Arrows decided to do, going with a completely two tone livery (spare a small bit of red on the nose for a sponsor, as well a miniscule amount on the Bridgestone logo). The main colour was jet black, with the secondary colour, white, shown through the sponsor logos. To put up such a plain car is a big risk. It can often look empty, uninspired and boring. However, it was none of those things and it looks all class.arrows3

What’s important in this livery is that all the sponsors’ logos work well together. All are mostly lettering, but are placed perfectly on the car and being all in white makes the car brilliantly uniform. Danka, Zepter and Parmalat, despite all being the same colour are easily differentiated and stand out superbly on the car. Apart from the logo placement, there’s no real ‘design’ to speak of. It’s almost unfair that this livery, whether through laziness, cuts in the budget, or perhaps a stroke of genius, looks as good as it does.

What did break up the monotony were the drivers’ helmets; especially Salo’s. The bright sky blue on his helmet was a massive contrast to the jet black of the car and it looked superb poking out of the cockpit. Actually, kudos to Salo, as his helmet looked great in almost every car his was in, especially this one and the contrasting reds of Ferrari and Toyota. A simple, bold helmet design. Something I resent the most about modern Formula 1 is the busy helmet liveries.


It’s funny how an all-white car can be perceived as plain and boring, but an all-black car is striking and classy. I’m surprised this route hasn’t been taken by more teams, especially considering how fondly remembered this and the 2007 Honda winter testing livery are.

Livery of the Day – #83 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet

I still haven’t fully wrapped my head around IndyCar sponsorship. It seems the cars change liveries from race to race, which makes it a little hard to keep track, but also keeps things interesting I suppose.

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Each Chip Ganassi car has a different livery, but today I’m going to focus on the #83, driven by Charlie Kimball. Specifically, the NovoLog FlexPen sponsored livery. I have an affinity for the colour combination of blue and orange, so it’s no surprise that I speak of this livery with great positivity.

This livery was originally created in 2012, albeit with the blue and orange in inverted positions, and has barely changed since. When the livery looks good and the sponsor is happy, why change it? The shade of orange is bright and strong, the blue deep, but vibrant. The orange and blue areas are placed with the curves of the car in mind, and split pleasantly by thin white lines. Nothing is out of place on this car. I question the use of a picture on any car, and the “FlexPen” featured on the front wing endplates on this livery is no exception. It doesn’t look fantastic, but at least it’s colour coordinated and unobtrusive.

In my opinion, the livery looks better in majority blue than it did in majority orange. While orange is quite possibly my favourite colour (especially strong, blood orange), I prefer this shade not to be used as the main colour. Blue, however, is perfect as a main colour. Perhaps my bias is now showing (see my Prost post).

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While this is a fantastic livery, I do hope they change it up a little bit soon. Perhaps the constant livery changes mid-season livery changes allow for a greater longevity for liveries in this championship, unlike in Formula 1. Perhaps that could have helped Toyota F1. Boy did I get tired of that livery quickly. However, that is a story for another day.

Livery of the Day – Stewart SF01

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Stewart Grand Prix joined the F1 scene in 1997 with big backing from Ford Motor Company and two exciting young drivers in Rubens Barrichello and Jan Magnussen. On top of this, Stewart had great sponsorship from HSBC and the Malaysian government. It was a promising foundation, but unreliability would mean little success in their first year.

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With backing from companies in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Japan and the USA, and drivers from Brazil and Denmark, the livery would prove to be distinctly Scottish. With tartan stripes on a white background, it’s something you would have never thought would be on a racing car.

The tartan is ever so slightly asymmetrical, swooping from the front wing around the nose, across the barge boards and over the sidepods to the rear, as if gift wrapping the car. It is a design that albeit patriotic to Jackie and Paul Stewart’s Scottish heritage, is respectful and humble.

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All the sponsors fit in well to the white, blue and red colour scheme and makes sure that the majority white doesn’t look plain or empty. The black text of HSBC, Havoline, Bridgestone and the #22 do this no harm and in fact compliment the colour scheme. Not even the drivers’ helmets disrupt it! No space on the car is left empty and yet, the livery doesn’t look at all messy or crammed. Every sponsor has its place and looks like it belongs.

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This livery is colour coordinated brilliantly and the tartan design is something we may never see in the sport again. A truly unique livery.

Update – Manor unveil new sponsor

Manor have surprised us today with a new sponsor and a coinciding updated livery.

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Flex-Box are in the shipping container business and have decided to put their advertising money to use on the Manor’s sidepods. Adding a fourth colour to any livery is very risky, but Manor have done well, seemingly replacing the white sidepods with blue. Upon closer inspection, the design has changed slightly toward the rear. There is now a diagonal black area separating the blue and red from the rear of the car, instead of the black stripe splitting the red and white along the sidepod.

The Flex-Box logo itself matches well, as it is red and white, although the large blue area will take some getting used to. The blue area is cut off by white just before the front of the sidepods, which is a great way to split the new area and the old white area. This will be seen much more obviously in other angles.

The only thing that doesn’t quite work now is the rear wing endplate. I feel it would work much better in plain black, especially since the diagonal black area has been added to the rear of the car. It would much more seamlessly with the rest of the car that way. Alternatively, if all black areas were replaced with white, the livery would have one less colour, would be a little less complex and could be easier on the eye. Here’s a quick mock-up of how it would look.

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Very glad to see more colour on the grid and hopefully these extra dollars can get Manor kicking on a competitive 2016 car.

Livery of the Day – Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW

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The Kiefer Racing bikes ridden by Kent, Vazquez and Ono this year have taken after the naming rights sponsor Leopard Natural Power Drink. It brings with it a colour not often used in Motorsports.

The sky blue, black and white machines bring something unique to the Moto3 grid this season. In a championship where super close racing is commonplace, where 1st to 15th can be mere seconds apart at the chequered flag, being able to stand out in the crowd of bikes is important. The Leopard bikes grab your attention, not by choosing an obnoxiously vibrant colour, but by selecting one that is different.

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The livery itself is supremely colour coordinated. Apart from Dunlop (which is yellow on all Moto3 bikes), every sponsor is black or white. It makes the livery extremely neat and tidy and allows the livery to flow beautifully.

The livery’s design is rather simple. A tricolour series of stripes running from the front wheel to the exhaust, with the bottom half separated almost equally between sky blue for Leopard, black for Anonimo and white for Came. The rims too are coloured sky blue and add to the overall theme of the livery.

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I’m usually very critical of sponsors taking over drivers/riders helmets (such as Red Bull removing all originality from their sponsored driver’s helmets), but I’m being lenient in this situation. Having all three riders in a standardised helmet design is a big no-no, but I’ll let it slide for their first season. It is great for the team and sponsor and I’m slightly ashamed to say that it works really well.

Overall, it’s a lovely livery. Uniform sponsors, great use of colour and a classy design, all tied together by the unique sky blue.