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
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.
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.
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 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!
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
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.
A rather plain livery, but not ugly by any means!
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
A very nice livery despite the commonality of the colour combination used.
Amlin Andretti Formula E
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!