Round-Up – Formula E 2015/2016

Probably a few days late, but given the lack of (high quality) photographs from pre-season testing and potentially unfinished livery, I thought I’d wait a little longer before writing this up.

After a promising inaugural season, Formula E is back for season two, with 10 teams, 20 drivers and whole lot of excited and intrigued fans. Will the cars be faster? Will the racing be better? Most importantly, how are the liveries!

NEXTEV TCR Formula E Team

Nextev 1

Inaugural Formula E Champion Nelson Piquet Jr has stayed with the team that helped him get the number 1 sticker on his car and will be joined by the driver that raced alongside him in the last two rounds of the 2014/2015 season, Oliver Turvey.

Nextev, or Team China as they were initially known, had two very different liveries last season. One in patriotic red and yellow Chinese colours, the other in charcoal with lightning yellow highlights when Nextev joined the party. Both were nice, so I was interested to see how they would go about their next effort.

Nextev 4

Happily, the new livery is just as good, if not better than its predecessors. It’s a lovely two-tone effort; a darker charcoal colour this year, with lovely sky blue accompanying it. The design itself brings back memories of Sauber’s 2012 livery, in the way the grey nose section is designed, but unlike that abomination, this one actually looks good. The sidepods and engine cover are well designed and that is helped by the fact that these two colours match superbly.

Nextev 5

The top section of the front wing endplates makes use of chevrons, with the shade of blue used increasing in darkness. The chevrons in the three shades of blue are also used on the engine cover and it works really well. The intricate chrome pinstripes on the engine cover give a futuristic feel to the car (in a 90s futuristic film or video game kind of way) but I have to say, it looks great. Good work by Nextev, they’ve put a lot of effort into this livery.

DS Virgin Racing Formula E Team

Virgin 1

Virgin have kept Sam Bird, who participated in every round for the team last year. To partner him, Virgin have acquired the services of Jean-Eric Vergne, who impressed for large parts of last season as an Andretti driver.

The 2015/2016 livery is largely the same as last year’s. With chrome covering the sides and purple along the top of the car, it is an ok livery, but nothing about it is very exciting. The only new addition is the black area on the sidepods due to the DS Automobile sponsorship, although it would have matched the livery much better if it had been purple. Actually, it slightly bothers me that they aren’t purple!

Virgin 3

The red accents are somewhat necessary seeing as the Virgin logo is red, but seeing as almost every team has red accents (especially on the top of the front wing endplates), I wish they had used a different colour.

Not much to say about this one. The purple used is rather dull and looks almost as though it was designed by Ron Dennis.

Venturi Formula E Team

Venturi 1

Stéphane Sarrazin stays with Venturi while Jacques Villeneuve comes in out of nowhere and replaces Nick Heidfeld.

Venturi’s livery is also very much like last season’s. In fact, minus the fact that the black is now matte rather than glossy, it is identical. It is a low key livery with red lines to accent the plain nature of the mostly black design, which in fact looks like dark grey with the matte finish. The main red line runs from the tip of the nose, along the side of the cockpit to the sidepod, where it widens and runs vertically down the sidepod. The chequered flag design on the engine cover remains and although it’s kind of tacky, it doesn’t look half bad on the car.

Venturi 3

A rather plain livery, but not ugly by any means!

Dragon Racing

Dragon 3

Loïc Duval and Jérôme d’Ambrosio both return for a second season at Dragon Racing. Their 2015/2016 livery is thankfully drastically different to their first effort, which was forgettable in a McLaren sort of way.

The new livery has swapped out the chrome silver for a lovely chrome red, which as I’ve mentioned before, is quite a beautiful colour. It is separated by matte black stripes (can you see the theme this season?) along the entire length of the car. I feel as though the black stripe closest to the bottom of the car isn’t entirely necessary and probably should have been left out. It squeezes the McAfee logo too tightly and doesn’t bring any positives to the livery for me.

Dragon 1

The livery would look like an inverse Venturi livery if it wasn’t for a few differences. The red chrome has an interesting effect, with the sun’s reflection on the road creating a luminous halo around the car.

A lovely colour and a nice overall livery, although not quite perfect.

Renault e.Dams

Renault 1

e.Dams has an unchanged line-up for the new season, with the positive news that Renault is investing more heavily in Formula E.

With the extra investment comes an extra Mild Seven Renault looking livery. In fact, it has a number of (Formula 1) influences, and gives off the feeling of an early 2000s Renault F1 livery, thanks to the yellow top section, whilst using a 2001 Prost shade of blue. The new darker blue is a huge improvement and really is a stunning colour, as Alain Prost would know well!

Renault 5

The top of the car, from the nose to ‘exhaust’, is coloured in Renault yellow. It is rather basic, but it follows the contours of the car nicely and contrasts the blue well. This section is also bordered by a thin strip of white which adds a layer of complexity, keeping it from looking like a very basic lower category, Sauberish livery.

Very pleased with this livery, especially the move from the ‘ocean’ blue to the new, deeper, sexy blue. Not only because it’s a lovely colour, but because they no longer clash with the Amlin sponsored cars, which use a similar shade of blue.

Trulli Formula E Team

Trulli 1

The 2015/2016 season is looking incredibly shaky for Trulli, with the team not completing a single timed lap in testing and then failing to take part at the season opener in Beijing. Trulli himself has stepped away from driving responsibilities, with Tonio Liuzzi and Salvador Durán racing for the team in season two.

There are precious few images available of the new car as a consequence of the aforementioned circumstances. Therefore, it will be tricky to give an accurate review of the livery. However, from what I understand (or see), the team is retaining the same livery used in season one, which was actually a lovely looking livery, albeit not exactly what I was expecting a Trulli livery to look like.

Trulli 2

The livery is mainly sky blue, with the rest of the car split quite evenly between royal and navy blue, white and green. The design is intricate and looks as though plenty of effort has been put into making it look good. A two tone design sweeps from the start of the sidepod to the nose of the car, gradually getting lighter the closer it gets to the tip of the nose. White and green accents accompany this design, with the green line flowing all the way to the rear of the car beneath the sidepod, fading to white in the process. The sidepod itself is navy blue with an interesting set of sponsors which are placed well.

Trulli 3

The engine cover is a nice green colour, which gradually fades to white as it reaches the rear of the car. The use of green as an accent colour is a welcome change from the red used on most of the other liveries.

Overall, the Trulli livery has to be one of the best designed and most pleasing to look at on the grid.

ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport


Speaking of original liveries, ABT have only slightly altered their unique livery from last season, which in 2015/2016 will once again be driven by Lucas Di Grassi and Daniel Abt.

I can’t recall another racing livery in a green yellow and red combination off the top of my head. For this reason alone, the ABT team deserves a big ‘thumbs up’. The colour combination works surprisingly well, despite each colour getting reasonable even coverage on the car.

The front of the car is mostly red, meeting with the yellow section just below the mirrors, in a diagonal design that ends at the front suspension. A yellow line runs into the red section along the top of the nose, but cuts off awkwardly above the VW logo. It seems strange how the line turns at 90 degree angles, when it would have been far more aesthetically pleasing to simply wrap around the front of the nosecone in a more traditional way.

Audi Sport ABT driver Lucas Di Grassi of Brazil competes in the qualifying session during the Formula E Championship race in Beijing

The green rear section meets with the yellow with an unnecessary spray painted effect. It would have looked much nicer with regular sharp edges and would have made the livery look more uniform and complete. This is accentuated by the sharp Shaffler logo being surrounded by a soft green design.

I am also confused by the matte black section directly in front of the cockpit and the carbon fibre mirrors. Surely red or yellow would have sufficed. Unfortunately it looks like a sponsors requirement has further brought down the livery.

The overall livery looks great from a distance, but the closer you get and the harder you look, the more flaws you begin to notice. I want to say it’s a great livery, but my nit-picky nature means I’ll have to settle for just good.

Mahindra Racing Formula E Team

Mahindra 1

Bruno Senna returns for another season with Mahindra Racing, whilst Nick Heidfeld joins the team after a luckless season with Venturi.

Mahindra have kept the same colour scheme for the new season and have made a few changes when compared to the old livery. The most striking difference is the use of a brighter, more vibrant red colour. This helps the car to stand out on track, as the field is saturated with red as a secondary or highlight colour. Red stays on the sidepod, but features on less of the car than last season. The engine cover is now white and black, with only a small amount of red next to the roll-hoop.

Mahindra 3

The black section running along the side of the nose, from the tip to the start of the sidepod, is reminiscent of the old BAR F1 liveries. Below is an angled white area which adds some edginess to the livery, which looks fine from front on, but from the side, clashes with the sweeping nature of the black section above it.

The white lines separating the (black and red sections on the) top and side of the nose cone widen suddenly from the front suspension all the way to the cockpit. Whilst it’s a nice touch, I wish widened area was a little less exaggerated, perhaps getting wider at a constant rate rather than so suddenly. The Indian flag colours on the wheels are a nice touch, although they don’t really belong on this livery.

Mahindra 4

A very nice livery despite the commonality of the colour combination used.

Amlin Andretti Formula E

Andretti 1

Amlin have moved their sponsorship from Aguri to Andretti for the new season. After a total of 8 different drivers piloting the team’s cars last season, Andretti have settled for Robin Frijns and Simona de Silvestro for the 2015/2016 season, but we’ll see how long that lasts.

Andretti 4

Due to Amlin’s sponsorship, Andretti’s new livery looks almost identical to Aguri’s livery from last season. That is sure to confuse a lot of people. On the other hand, it’s good to see a sponsor invest as much in a team as to dictate the team’s livery.

The new livery is a big step up from last season’s rather generic looking livery (and wasn’t that one off orange livery in London interesting), as well as an improvement on last season’s Amlin Aguri livery. This effort takes away the unneeded white stripes and leaves only orange accents. The orange lines are cleverly placed along the car’s edges, making the most of their limited use.

Andretti 5

The blue remains a shiny chrome version, but there is a big addition in the tessellating triangular design in multiple shades of blue, which is placed in front of the sidepods, on the engine cover and very rear of the sidepods. This helps to add some complexity to what would otherwise been a very simple livery.

Team Aguri

Aguri 1

Aguri has secured António Félix da Costa for the new season, as well as newcomer and current GP2 driver, Nathanaël Berthon.

As mentioned above, Amlin jumped ship and therefore, Aguri has been left without a major sponsor. This usually goes one of two ways; a boring plain livery, or an exciting use of a blank canvas. Thankfully, Aguri went with the latter.

Aguri 2

Rather than recycle an old Super Aguri livery, Team Aguri have gone for something new and original. Looking more an A1GP Team GBR livery than anything, the design uses mostly straight lines on what is, now that I think about it, a chasis with few curves. These straight lines remind me of the current Lotus F1 livery, which I’m not very fond of, but this is not nearly as disappointing in my opinion. The front of the nose is navy and red, with the two split by a thin white line. The rest of the nose up to the cockpit and along the sidepods is white.

Aguri 3

The area behind the roll-hoop navy blue, with even sections of white and red under that. The white section features a Dutch flag single thin red and blue stripes which also extend all the way to the rear, adding some intricacy to what would have otherwise been a very simple livery. In fact, the livery could have used a couple more thing red and blue stripes, as the large white areas along the side and in front of the cockpit look quite empty.

A decent effort, thankfully original and not so boring, but could have filled the car a little more.

Other comments

My biggest gripe with this season’s liveries is the series’ sponsors which feature on all the cars. The Michelin logos are not so bad, as they feature on the wing endplates which are quite out of the way, although they are quite large. I understand the marketing reasons behind them, but the Julius Bär and #FanBoost (can’t believe they are still running this stupid idea by the way) logos beside the cockpit of every car look terrible. At the very least, they could have colour matched the logos for each team, but instead, it sticks out like a true eyesore. It’s even worse with the chunky DHL and Julius Bär logos on the tip of the nose.

This would have been a nice, albeit unlikely solution. The logo clashes worst on the blue cars (apart from Renault e.Dams) as it adds a different blue colour.

Secondly, the font and background used for team numbers’ is also awful. They stick out unnecessarily and don’t match at all on any of the cars (which is inexcusable, unlike the Julius Bär logos). I don’t see the need for a blanket number template on these cars when they could easily design their own to a higher standard and as a better match for each individual livery. Why on Earth have they not let them at least change the colours? Why is a background even needed?

The simplest possible number and yet it looks so much better. Imagine the teams had the freedom to make their own awesome number designs.

Then there’s the pointless little ‘e’ in front of the rear wheel. Why?

Well that was an unfortunately sour end to the post. Looking forward to the coming races and the inevitable livery change!

Livery Updates – Manor, Prodrive and Nissan

Formula 1 – Manor Marussia

Alex Rossi posing with his Manor Marussia car in the COTA pit lane.
Alex Rossi posing with his Manor Marussia car in the COTA pit lane.

First up Manor Marussia. Just a couple of minor and yet instantly recognisable changes. The rear wing endplate now has a super patriotic American flag on it, which is has been added for Alex Rossi’s home Grand Prix. He is the first American to race at home since Scott Speed. The best part is that it suits the car just fine. The colours match and that’s important. Another addition is that of sponsor Not the classiest logo to appear on an F1 car, but props to them for adjusting the colour of their logo to match the Manor livery as well.

The Manor livery is the empty livery it once was and every single one of the new sponsors matches the colour scheme. This makes me very happy!

V8 Supercars – Prodrive

The #6 Falcon in Back to the Future Colours
The #6 Falcon in Back to the Future Colours

Prodrive unveiled a new livery for the #6 car as a nod to the Back to the Future series, most likely thanks to its Pepsi sponsorship. The livery mocks the look of the DMC DeLorean made so famous by the series, with a distinctive silver colour, as well as some extra decals to give the livery an extra feel of Doc Brown’s time travelling machine.

Doesn't look bad at all front on, but from the side it's a tad too messy.
Doesn’t look bad at all front on, but from the side it’s a tad too messy.

Pepsi have cleverly used the Pepsi Perfect logos, which was the version of Pepsi used in the “future” in the movie. It’s a nice touch which gives the car some authenticity. Overall, the livery is a little bit all over the place, with a few too many colours and the extra decals cluttering it a bit, but I don’t think it was meant to be taken too seriously, so good on Prodrive for making this. Also, if you haven’t checked out their “unveiling” video, go watch it!


The #99 Nissan.
The #99 Nissan.

James Moffat and Taz Douglas’ Nissan also has a new main sponsor. Faresin, which is a maker of industrial farming equipment, adds another green livery to the field. Unfortunately, it looks like just another Nissan livery. Nissan have changed sponsors so many times this year and each of the liveries have been quite similar to each other. This follows that trend and puts up a livery, that if you changed the green to blue and put Carsales on the side, I would not think twice about calling Todd Kelly’s name upon seeing it.

This livery just doesn't feel right.
This livery just doesn’t feel right.

A great opportunity to make a unique and stand out green blue and yellow livery has been missed here. I guess Nissan will stick to their cookie cutter white, black + sponsor colour designs. This livery is very much a nagger.

Livery of the Day – Simtek S941

Roland Ratzenberger
Roland Ratzenberger at the Brazilian GP.

Throughout its history Formula 1 has had a plethora of short lived teams, but few experienced such tragic events as Simtek did in their short history. For their debut season, Simtek brought Australian David Brabham back into F1 after a 3 year absence, as well as a new face in Austrian Roland Ratzenberger, who would make is debut at the ripe old age of 33.

David Brabham - Interesting rear wing on this version of the car.
David Brabham at the Pacific GP – Interesting rear wing on this version of the car. Due to a loophole in the regulations, in 1993 and early 1994, teams ran an extra plane on the top of the rear wing for extra downforce. Unattractive, albeit useful. Thanks to midgrid for that interesting piece of information. Here’s another angle of the car.

Unfortunately, things quickly went sour for the team, with Ratzenberger failing to qualify for the opening race of the season. Both cars started the second Grand Prix with Ratzenberger finishing a decent 11th as the final car still running. Then, in only his 3rd race weekend, Roland Ratzenberger was killed in qualifying for the tragic San Marino Grand Prix. It was a catastrophic blow for the team and the sport and it would only get worse, knowing the events that were still to take place that weekend.

Roland Ratzenberger
Roland Ratzenberger

The rest of the season was predictably mediocre for the team; switching drivers no less than 5 times for the second car (Andrea Montermini for one race, Jean-Marc Gounon for a bunch, Domenico Schiattarella for one, Taki Inoue for Suzuka and then back to Schiattarella for the finale), scraping through qualifying, and usually finishing last or there abouts of the cars still running.

Andrea Montermini - Huge shunt in qualifying for the Spanish GP.
Andrea Montermini – Huge shunt in qualifying for the Spanish GP.

While it didn’t produce the desired performances, the car did at least look quite beautiful. The chassis flowed wonderfully in the same style as the Williams and Jordan cars, but the livery is what helped it stand out from the rest.

David Brabham
David Brabham

Purple is a colour almost alien to Formula 1. Apart from the Simtek team and the recent Infiniti sponsored Red Bull liveries, I’m not sure that purple has been seen at all on another car. The shade of purple itself is very unique and pleasing to look at. The black and purple sections are simply split, but they make use of the cars natural lines perfectly, creating a pleasantly clean livery.

Jean-Marc Gounon
Jean-Marc Gounon

The MTV logo stands out a lot, as a main sponsor should. Light blue may not have been the best choice on the purple background, but it isn’t ugly and doesn’t really bring the livery down. Red is used as an accent on this livery, probably due to the Barbara sponsorship. The bright red does bring some vibrancy to the livery and works well enough, seeing as there are other red logos on the car. However, this top section, as well as other logo placement, changed as the seasons progressed.

Jack Brabham
David Brabham

From Spain onwards, Barbara moved to the sidepods. The yellow and red logo now being a lot larger threatened to throw the livery out of balance as yellow now had a bit too much car coverage and was really one colour too many. However, this left an empty space beside the airbox. Simtek chose to run a brilliant tribute to Ratzenberger in this space, with a red and white striped area, closely mimicking Roland’s helmet design.  This design stood until the last few rounds of the season, where it was replaced by Korean Air sponsorship, on a white background. The livery also looked nice with white as the third colour instead of red.

Domenico Schiattarella
Domenico Schiattarella

As the season progressed, a number of smaller sponsors joined the team, causing the car to look more and more cluttered. The Ujbrato logo on the front wing was particularly jarring, with the large yellow area clashing against the red and purple. Despite all the changes, it was still the purple colour that stood out along with the MTV logo.

Taki Inoue
Taki Inoue

Isn’t it funny how at the end of the day, it’s these short lived teams that stick in our heads with some of the most memorable liveries in the sport.

Livery Updates – V8 Supercars Bathurst Livery Changes

The trend these days seems to be for teams to come up with short term sponsorships or just special liveries for the enduros, or even just for Bathurst. I’ve decided to go through the liveries the teams will be racing in this week, and look at what’s changed.

Holden Racing Team

The HRT machines will be promoting the latest Star Wars film at Bathurst this week, with two cars in similar yet opposite colour schemes. The cars will represent either side of the force, with car #2 in ‘dark side’ colours and #22 in a ‘light side’ scheme.

#2 - Garth Tander & Warren Luff
#2 – Garth Tander & Warren Luff

The car driven by Garth Tander and Warren Luff is a mean, aggressive livery with a smooth matte black paint job, bright red flashes and different Star Wars character images on either side of the car. Usually images don’t work on racing liveries, but they definitely get away with it here, as it matches the rest of the livery perfectly. The matte black is the most impressive part of the livery and everything else supports it well.

#22 - Jack Perkins & Russell Ingall
#22 – Jack Perkins & Russell Ingall

The other car, piloted by Jack Perkins and veteran Russell Ingall in James Courtney’s absence, is in matte silver/grey. It features the same red flashes and also has character images on either side, although they don’t quite seem to work as well. The problem with this livery is that it fades from silver to black quite suddenly, and it would certainly have been better off in all silver, giving the livery a more rounded look.

Charlie Schwerkolt Racing

#18 - Lee Holdsworth & Sébastien Bourdais
#18 – Lee Holdsworth & Sébastien Bourdais

Lee Holdsworth has partnered up with Frenchman Sébastien Bourdais for this year’s enduros. Starting in Sandown, the team had a new main sponsor Preston Hire. This livery design is virtually the same as it was prior, only that now main colours are silver, black and yellow. The colour combo is great; black and yellow usually look good on race cars. Something irks me about the silver though. It looks like they’ve just placed the design decal straight over a stock road car paint job. In terms of logos, Fuchs stands out in the wrong way as it doesn’t suit the livery at all. Oh and Hog’s Breath…I’ve been over that before.

Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport

#222 - Nick Percat & Oliver Gavin
#222 – Nick Percat & Oliver Gavin

The #222 driven by Nick Percat and Oliver Gavin also has some slight modifications. OPS Gateway replaced Repair Management Australia as the car’s main sponsor for Sandown and with it, a somewhat different livery. It’s an interesting design, mainly in white with a large chunk of black on the sides. It is complimented by some blue lightning bolts surrounding the OPS logo on the black sections and some neon red sections on the front, rear and wing. A nice livery but not exactly ground breaking, nor unique or a stand out.

Erebus Motorsport

Both Erebus cars are also in different liveries this weekend. After seemingly switching sponsors race by race throughout the season so far and awkwardly patching their logos on top of the standard silver and black designs, it’s a relief to see them have liveries tailor made to their sponsors.

#4 - Ash Walsh & Jack Le Brocq
#4 – Ash Walsh & Jack Le Brocq

Ash Walsh is partnered by Matt Le Brocq for the enduros and together they will drive a rather striking car at Bathurst. Pink liveries are hard to get right, but the Wendy’s sponsored machine is very well designed. Being a chain of stores that sell mainly ice cream, the hot pink is complimented cleverly with splashes of what I would call ice cream splashes on the hood and behind the wheel arches. The use of off white for the ice cream component of the livery matches the hot pink really well and thankfully the secondary, lighter pink colour is only used minimally as possible.

#9 - Will Davison & Alex Davison
#9 – Will Davison & Alex Davison

The #9 machine is driven by brothers Will and Alex Davison. This car is less of a stand out, but looks great in its own right. It’s a clean and simple design, with gold and red lines running along the edges of the car and breaking up the mainly black livery. The Penrite logo looks like it was made for a race car and looks great, especially on the bonnet. I must take away points for the sponsors on the side skirts, which are a little jarring with their chunky borders (nit-picking, I know), but on the other hand, the honeycomb grille painted in gold is a very nice touch.

Prodrive Racing Australia

#200 - Renee Gracie & Simona de Silvestro
#200 – Renee Gracie & Simona de Silvestro

For the Bathurst 1000, Prodrive will have a much publicised 3rd entry (or 5th, depending on how you look at it), driven by the all-female team of Renee Gracie and Simona de Silvestro. The livery, sponsored by Harvey Norman and HP, is a clean red and white effort, with silver dividing the two. The bright red used it very nice, but I’m not sure silver was the way to go. It seems to get lost depending on what angle you view the car from and perhaps charcoal would have been a better option, or perhaps a simple black. Chrome silver would have also been nice and although it would have had the same viewing angle problems, it could have been forgiven as it is a much more striking colour. Not sure how I feel about designs on the edge of the bonnet.

Nissan Motorsport

Four cars and four new liveries for Nissan.

#7 - Todd Kelly & Alex Buncombe
#7 – Todd Kelly & Alex Buncombe

Todd Kelly has had a number of different sponsors this season, but for Bathurst and beyond, his car, co-driven by Brit Alex Buncombe, is sponsored by Carsales. The design is quite similar to other Nissan liveries, but has some minor differences. The black, blue and white combo works very well, a shame it isn’t used more often. There’s not much to say about the design other than it is complex, yet quite attractive. A tough livery to describe. Props to Nissan for having every single sponsor on the car match the livery (apart from their own, but it’s on the windscreen so I’ll let it slide).

#15 - Rick Kelly & David Russell
#15 – Rick Kelly & David Russell

The #15, driven by Rick Kelly and David Russell isn’t too different to the usual car. Much like HRT, they have gone with matte black, which is a nice effect. For Bathurst, Jack Daniel’s have decided to promote their Zero Sugar product and with that, flashes of red are added to the usual black and white colour combination. It adds a touch of colour whilst still unmistakably being a Jack Daniels livery.

#23 - Michael Caruso & Dean Fiore
#23 – Michael Caruso & Dean Fiore

Much like last year, Michael Caruso will be sporting a retro themed livery. Partnered once again by Dean Fiore, the livery is a throwback to the 1990 Nissan in which Jim Richards won the championship. The livery itself is simple, but quite beautiful. The only real difference between the new and original liveries is that they have used chevrons rather than straight lines on the side in the transition from red to white to blue. Despite the huge difference in shape between the two cars, the livery works extremely well on both. Good to see a big number on the front door too. Great looking livery.

#99 - James Moffat & Taz Douglas
#99 – James Moffat & Taz Douglas

The #99 car driven by James Moffat and Taz Douglas also has a new livery. Sponsored by Mack for the enduros, the livery has changed since Sandown, with the red lines being removed, giving a design more unique to Mack, but one that isn’t very memorable. The livery is mainly white, with the black and silver on the side. Plenty of potential here but it doesn’t look like they’ve got the most out of it. It still looks like a semi blank canvas with work to do. The Mack logo, however, does look very good on the side of the car. Would like to see them tinker with this livery again before the Gold Coast 500.

Overall, I’m very happy to see Nissan make use of both complex and simple liveries.

DJR Team Penske

#17 Scott Pye & Marcos Ambrose
#17 Scott Pye & Marcos Ambrose

For the enduros, the Scott Pye/Marcos Ambrose machine was unveiled in a bright green Xbox sponsored livery. It brings back memories of the Xbox One Racing entry in the 2013 Bathurst 1000 as well as the car driven by Ambrose in the final round of last year’s championship. This time around the green is not metallic and is a much brighter shade of green. The design is simple, but uses the shape of the FG X Falcon well. A pleasing livery, but I’m not sure The Bottle-O is very happy about it!

Novocastrian Motorsport

#62 - Aaren Russell & Drew Russell
#62 – Aaren Russell & Drew Russell

Last but not least is Novocastrien Motorpsort. The second set of brothers in the field, Aaren and Drew Russell, will be at the wheel of the #62. The team, which is coming up from the Dunlop Series for the Bathurst 1000, will be racing in a VF Commodore. The livery is based on their Dunlop Series car, and is mainly royal blue and sponsored by Plus Fitness. Unfortunately, it does have the distinct look of a car from a lower category. The design is too simple and the sponsors all over the car seem to fighting for attention, rather than singing in harmony. However, it isn’t a disaster. The design on the roof and bonnet works well and the orange tinted headlights are a very nice touch. Shame about the design on the side, which looks like it was made in 5 minutes and brings the overall look of the livery down. As a small team with a small budget, I imagine their priorities were elsewhere, and that’s fair enough if you ask me.

Liveries of the Day – Team Penske 2015

It’s fun to look at beautiful liveries, it’s even interesting to pick apart awful liveries, but there’s something in between that doesn’t quite fit in either. I’m not talking about mediocre liveries, I’m talking about the “naggers”, the liveries that annoy you. A perfect example of this, are the liveries on the Team Penske machines in IndyCar this year.

What’s wrong with them you ask? On their own, they actually aren’t bad at all, in fact, they suit the car very nicely when you see it from above. It’s the fact that they’ve used the exact same livery on each car, with the colours swapped around, that grinds my gears. This is common in football (soccer), where the kit manufacturer has some cookie cutter template designs and the team just puts its colours and logos on it. Most football fans will tell you they hate this too. Why? Because a team deserves its own unique design and identity, and sharing a design with another team entirely contradicts that. Same goes for Team Penske.

Penske 3

Putting the same design on each car gives the impression that the team is being lazy. It looks lazy that each car doesn’t have its own identity. However, I have to cut Penske some slack. Every car is sponsored by Verizon, so there’s no real need to change up the design. In fact, it’s probably in Verizon’s best interests to keep the design static on each car. Secondly, it seems as though the colours on the cars are changed to match each driver’s helmet. It’s actually a cool idea and one I have to give Penske kudos for.

The livery design itself is quite basic. A half and half design, with a third colour splitting the two in the middle. The middle line wraps around the nose cone very nicely, but the squiggle on the sidepod doesn’t really look special unless you are looking at it from the top. The design works best in my opinion, on Power and Castroneves’ cars, with the white top and black bottom split with a strong red. Pagenaud’s yellow and white split by blue doesn’t quite work for me, and neither does Castroneves’ Indy 500 effort, with the red and yellow. If all the colour combinations worked well, maybe I wouldn’t be annoyed by the liveries at all. Props to the reflective burgundy used on Montoya’s car on one or two occasions though. Lovely colour!

At the end of the day, these liveries still somewhat annoy me, but not really for the same reasons that I had initially. Now, I’m more annoyed that the design itself lacks any real excitement, hit and miss colour combos and that each driver’s identity could have been put onto the car in a similar but more interesting fashion.

The best part of this blog is that I come into a post with an idea in my head and quite often, by the time I’ve done all of my research, my thoughts have changed considerably. I came into this with a deep seeded annoyance with the Team Penske liveries and after doing just a little bit of looking around, the annoyance has almost completely dissipated. How about that for a life tip: Do your research before you put your foot in it!