Livery of the Day – Minardi PS03

Minardi 1

It’s with a heavy heart that I write about the Minardi’s 2003 season livery, Justin Wilson’s first car in his only season in Formula 1.

Minardi’s decline (not that there were many good times) was reaching its trough as it entered the 2003 season. It was Paul Stoddart’s third year in charge and after the success story that was bringing fellow Australian Mark Webber into the Formula 1 world, he decided to introduce another fresh face in Justin Wilson, to drive alongside experienced campaigner Jos Verstappen.

In terms of results, Minardi faired just as poorly as the season before, this time minus a freak 5th place result. They finished the season rock bottom with 0 points, below next best Jordan, which scored 13 points, thanks mainly to the chaos that was Interlagos. The highlight of Minardi’s season would have been Verstappen’s provision pole during Friday qualifying on a drying track at Magny-Cours. The success was short lived and the car overall was poor, but it stuck to the Minardi roots, which was a mainly black livery.

Minardi 2

The livery went through a couple of phases. It started off not looking too dissimilar to the 2002 car, mainly black with European Aviation on the sidepods, and a pleasing area of white on the side of the nosecone featuring the Trust logo, which was bordered by red on one side. There was also a slice of red on the bottom rear side of the sidepod, which was bordered by white on one side, a reversed colour scheme to the other red and white area. If that was all, it would have been a basic but pleasing design. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.

Black, red and white go together just fine. Adding green makes it a little trickier. Sponsorship from Superfund brought a large portion of green to the barge boards, the front of the sidepods and beside the airbox. It still could have looked nice, if the placement was thought out a little better. However, it got worse. Gazprom logos added another colour, light blue, to the engine cover and front wings. By this stage, the amount of different colours, colours which didn’t match at all, made the livery rather unsightly.

Minardi 4

Fortunately, this wasn’t the livery’s final form. Later in the season, Trust bumped up its sponsorship, and as a result, the sidepods were coloured almost entirely in white, with a small black section bordered by red on the bottom rear, similar to the previous design. It changed the livery dramatically. The Superfund green matched much better with the mainly white car, especially  when directly on the white. The best news was that Gazprom was no longer on the car; their spots on the car replaced by Muermans. By this point of the season, Justin Wilson was just about off to Jaguar, with his replacement Nicolas Kiesa waiting in the wings.

Minardi 5

Overall, it was a car that, by mid-season, was actually quite attractive. With white and black now sharing responsibilities as main colours, and light blue gone, the black, red and green didn’t seem to clash so poorly. Unfortunately for Minardi, results and liveries were still heading downhill.

RIP Justin Wilson. You will be missed, but not forgotten.

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Livery of the Day – Minardi PS03

Liveries of the Day – Garry Rogers Motorsport VE & VF Commodores, 2012 & 2013

GRM 1

Let’s start with the 2012 machine. Driven full time by Michael Caruso and Frenchman Alex Premat, this proved a rather fruitless season for GRM. Caruso had a few good top 10 results, but was ultimately unable to reach the podium, whilst Premat struggled to get to grips with the V8s; his best result of the season a 13th at Symmons Plains.

The livery, however, was far more memorable than the results. In 2012, the commodore was painted in an intriguing shade of bronze-silver. This is one of those colours that I imagine was stumbled upon by accident by the design guys when messing about before the ‘eureka’ moment of “Hey, this actually works pretty well!” It’s an interesting and unique colour that stands out in my memory, and for the right reasons.

GRM 2

The bright red contrasts the base colour well, whether it is split by white or directly beside the bronze-silver. The actual livery design isn’t exactly ground breaking, but it is a very pleasing touring car design. Red, black and white are a gimme combination and the sweeping oval shape over the side, along with the solid red block across the hood and roof work well with the shape of the car.

GRM 3

However, there are a couple of things that irk me about this livery. The Fujitsu logo is tilted awkwardly diagonally. Perhaps this allows for the logo to be as large as possible on the car, but it should be straight, parallel to the window frame. I was also going to say that the blue that Valvoline brings to the car was one colour too many and that maybe it should have just been in white, but the blue headlights actually work really well and give the car an extra menacing look. Then James Hinchcliffe partnered Caruso on the Gold Coast and brought with him Go Daddy sponsorship. To put it simply, that really pushed it over the edge. Six colours on a car is incredibly tough to pull off, especially when electric green is involved.

GRM 4

2013 brought a new car and a new driver. Wonder kid Scott McLaughlin was to partner Premat this time around, and with his arrival came great success. McLaughlin won 2 races in his rookie season and Premat even finished the first race of the season in a personal best of 4th.

GRM 5

The reason I combined these two liveries into one post is because, even though they look so different, they are really the same livery with the colours swapped around. In 2013, the main colour was red, with oval design consisting of black, silver and this time a colour closer to gold than bronze. Whilst the regular livery was nice, it was the deep red version (which I believe was only used in the enduros, but I could be wrong) which really stood out to me.

GRM 6

I would have to describe the colour used in this special livery as reflective crimson. It is an absolutely stunning shade of red and I can’t believe it hasn’t been used more often in motorsport. The reflective nature of it just enhances the livery, adding another dimension of beauty and complexity, especially in natural light. The silver parts are also reflective, effectively chrome, which pop out really nicely to add some bright contrast to the deep red.

On top of this, they corrected the Fujitsu logo for 2013! It runs parallel to the window frame and it looks infinitely better than the year before.

GRM 7

So, a pair of memorable liveries from GRM. These proved to be the last liveries of their Commodore era, although the striking liveries were to continue, with the bright blue Volvo machines the following year.

Liveries of the Day – Garry Rogers Motorsport VE & VF Commodores, 2012 & 2013

Livery of the Day – 2011 Rizla Suzuki GSV-R

For me, MotoGP is fun to watch. The last couple of years I’ve tried my best to watch every race, simply because the racing is usually super exciting (especially Moto3 most weekends!). I don’t know a hell of a lot about its history and I don’t pretend to be an expert, but growing up watching a race from time to time, only a few things stuck with me. One of those things was the light blue Rizla Suzuki bikes, helped perhaps by the Australian media, thanks to Chris Vermeulen riding for them for a number of years. For years I had no idea what Rizla was, but I couldn’t separate the name from Suzuki.

suzuki 1

For 2011, Suzuki kept Alvaro Bautista on after a decent first MotoGP season, whilst John Hopkins attended 3 race weekends. Rizla continued their sponsorship of the team and therefore, the bikes were once again that familiar shade of blue.

Suzuki 2

Over the years, the Rizla Suzuki team’s liveries had barely changed from plain light blue, apart from a small flash of yellow. The 2011 livery broke the mould, with a large black spike design along the edges of the bike. It was something very different, but as the majority of the bike was still in light blue, there was no denying it was a Rizla Suzuki. It’s a lovely design which doesn’t crowd the bike at all and is very aesthetically pleasing. Whilst the black spikes cover a large part of the bike, they remain quite subtle and allow the light blue to dominate the livery.

Suzuki 3

After moving to the CRT category in 2012 and a having year’s break in 2014, Suzuki are back in 2015, albeit minus Rizla. It’s just not the same!

Livery of the Day – 2011 Rizla Suzuki GSV-R