Livery Launch – Freightliner Racing

Freightliner Racing

Another day another launch, this time for Freightliner Racing. Fabian Coulthard has departed the team and in his place has come the reliable Tim Slade.

The immediate issue I saw in last years livery, the first for new sponsor Freightliner, was that it was basically interchangeable with previous sponsor Lockwood. That will naturally happen when the new sponsor has the same colours as the old one, but not enough was done to distinguish the new from the old.

The 2016 has changed a little more, with significantly less black, with red the clear main colour. A wavy flame design was preferred to the straight edges of 2015, and thankfully they aren’t the cheesy “pimp my ride” kind. In fact, they are quite attractive. Unfortunately, there’s at least one gap that needs to be filled, with the rear quarter panel looking empty, with a lot of plain red around the area.

Not a ground breaking livery, but definitely easy on the eye!

Livery Launch – Nissan Motorsport & Super Black Racing

Super Black Racing won’t be so black in their second season. Many were disappointed that Heimgartner wasn’t kept on for a second crack, but there is no saying if the team will be any more competitive regardless.


The team have Ice Break on board for 2016, who were sponsoring Jack Le Brocq’s car in the Dunlop series last year. The main colour is a tricky one. In some lighting it looks like an appetising golden brown, whereas in other lighting it looks more like a brown streak. The dark brown “real coffee, ice cold” tagline doesn’t look so nice in dark brown, on light brown background. However, there isn’t much choice regarding the main colour, given Ice Break’s branding and thankfully, SBR have chosen neutral colours to go with it.

The red highlights aren’t bad and add some vibrancy to the livery. It may well have looked a little better without, but it certainly doesn’t make it ugly. The Kiwi on the rear quarter panel, where the Falcon would usually be, is a great touch. The overall design is modern and unique; certainly a positive in my book.

Nissan 1

Nissan have produced a far more predictable livery for Michael Caruso this year. Identical colours to last season and a very similar design.

Nissan 2

It’s a complex design and that isn’t at all a bad thing. I would have preferred a little more consistency with the sizing of all the lines; the thick line behind the rear wheel arch puts me off slightly and would have been nicer if it was thin like the one on the rear door.

The thin line is coloured in gradient from red to black which is a nice touch, and wraps around the Nissan and Nismo logos nicely. Kudos to Nissan for actually getting the cars in the sunlight for their reveal!

Two nice cars and hopefully they can challenge higher up the order this year.


Livery Mockups – 2016 Formula 1 Field

The 2016 season is getting ever closer and one of the most exciting parts of the season, the launches, are just around the corner. I started a small tradition last year by making some livery mock ups (pre-blog), keeping in mind what I’d like to see but also what the team would realistically allow. This means, restraining my creativity to the team’s traditions and most importantly, sponsors. Here’s what I’ve created, in alphabetical order. Shout out to my peeps over at International Motorsport Graphics (IMG) and Pieczar especially for the beautiful template.



2016 Ferrari

This was the easiest livery to predict. Ferrari didn’t do much wrong with their livery last season and that was helped by having arguably the best looking chasis in the field. However, I’ve made a couple of changes. The first is the universally disliked Scuderia Ferrari logo. Phillip Morris inspired or not, it just doesn’t look good. I’ve taken the lettering from it and tucked it away next to the air box with the Ferrari logo underneath it. The second is the return of a deeper, metallic red (I wish I could better accentuate the metallic paint). They’ve been using a flat, bright red for a number of years now and a return to that 2008 shade or one similar would be fantastic. A third change is the removal of most of the white. Most notable behind the Santander logo (wishful thinking, I know), it’s a look Ferrari haven’t really had since the early 90s. Would love to see something like this. Possible? Yes. Likely? Probably not while Santander are around.

Force India

2016 Force India

The 2015 Force India was revealed to a chorus of groans, with another load of dull colours unleashed into the F1 world. What I’ve done with this is bring back Force India’s traditional, vibrant colours. Black is still the main colour, but rather than drab silver, orange takes up most of the sidepod and bright green compliments the other two colours. I’ve also de-cluttered the engine cover. I’d be happy to see this on the grid!


2016 Haas

Unfortunately, I feel as though a lot of people will be disappointed with Haas’ first livery. Despite rumours of a Ferrari yellow livery, all official pictures and video released by the team point to a white, red and black colour scheme. With no word on the team’s sponsors, I’ve turned to the drivers’ personal sponsors for some inspiration. Now that I mention it, I don’t see Total fuelling Ferrari engines, but it’s better than a blank space. Either way, the shade of red chosen by Haas is lovely and importantly, different to Ferrari. The black is somewhat inspired by the later BAR/Honda liveries. It will be interesting to see which sponsors will be announced and I’ll be pleasantly surprised if there is any yellow on the car.


2016 Manor

Until a few days ago, I had created a weird blue and orange livery, based on the colours on Flex-Box’s website. Since then, Manor released a new official logo which is straight black and white and has inspired me to start fresh. There’s been no word on whether or not any of Manor’s sponsors from 2015 will carry on to 2016 (apart from Airbnb), but it certainly helps get a livery started! I’ve decided to create a mostly plain black and white livery to match their new logo. It does slightly remind me of the West McLarens, but there’s no grey so I’ll let myself off. The black and white diagonal stripey bits are also based on the new logo and add some texture to the very basic colours. I’ve also included orange (as mentioned above, Flex-Box has orange in their logo on their website), to add some vibrancy and it pops on the black. It also creates a bit of a 60s BRM feel. Whatever happens, I do hope they move away from the red white and black, as not only is it getting old, but I’d hate to see Manor and Haas produce similar liveries.


2016 McLaren Plain

The 2015 livery disappointed me on a number of levels. The first livery was boring and the level of disappointment was heightened by the expectation of the exciting new Honda partnership. Despite this, I thought the sparkly black that was used was unique and attractive. Later in the season, everyone was happy to see McLaren acknowledge the fact that people were disappointed and create something new. It was a decent livery, but unfortunately the sparkly black was gone, and the hideous bordering of the red sections remained.

I tried for days to create something with McLaren’s black and I couldn’t make anything I liked. I finally succumbed to my heart and reverted back to my prediction from the start of last season and went with Honda white. Suddenly, my creative juices were flowing, but knowing McLaren and a certain Mr. Dennis, I made sure to restrain myself. I decided on a very simple design, which retains McLaren’s orangey-red, but on a white background instead of black. The red lines flow from end to end and make a blank canvas a little more interesting. I’ve also added a couple of semi-realistic main sponsors, in Aegon and MasterCard (boring industries lol) just to see what the McLaren might look like with a full sidepod.


2016 Mercedes

If there’s any team I struggled on more than McLaren, it was Mercedes. I have to give credit to Mercedes; it was terribly difficult to create anything attractive with the silver and turquoise, so they’ve done well to not produce any awful liveries the last few years. That said, I’ve had to go for something quite unrealistic, both in terms of colour and design, in order to make something I considered semi-attractive.

A lot of black on this and I’d be happy to see more of a third colour to break up the other two on the real car. The swooping design may be a bit much for the usually classy Mercedes, but I’m hoping a more metallic silver at least could make for an exciting change for 2016.

Red Bull

2016 Red Bull

This would have to be one of the most ambitious of the lot, but for good reason. Infiniti are gone, as are Renault (well, at least by name), therefore, two big colour components, the large areas of purple and Total red, may be off the car.

The big changes I’ve made are the Red Bull logo going back on the sidepod and the Red Bull can design on the engine cover, with the double bulls as opposed to the one big single bull. Another big change is green as the highlight colour. With Tag Heuer coming on board, I’ve taken the liberty of using their green to border some of the silver sections from the blue. The more I look at this one, the more Sauber Petronas I see. Whatever happens, a break from the usual would be great. That said, last season’s livery was the biggest change in years.


2016 Renault

Renault is back as a constructor and I’m sure I’m not the only one happy about it! Most fantasy liveries so far have been yellow and black (and white), but I have a feeling that they will follow in the footsteps of the Formula E team and go with yellow and blue. The blue used by the Renault eDams is beautiful and I’d be stoked if the F1 team used something similar. I’ve gone with four main colours, which is risky, but I feel as though it’s not overwhelming. Regrettably, I’ve added a bit of red for PDVSA (yes, I believe Maldonado will stay) and Total, and while they do throw out the balance, I have to remain realistic. It does give off a bit of a Mild Seven feel though, doesn’t it.


2016 Sauber

Sauber were spoilt with two colours that were not only great individually, but beautiful together. Unfortunately, they slapped us in the face with a boring, uninspired livery which disappointed me immensely. I’ve tried my best to make up for their mistakes with this effort for 2016. I’ve made it completely two tone, getting completely rid of the white and making the most of the great colour combination, with the top half blue and the bottom half yellow. The spikes have a bit of a GP2 vibe, but I feel as though the horizontal yellow lines give some F1 style class, creating a nice balance. Please Sauber, don’t let us down this year!

Toro Rosso

2016 Toro Rosso

This is very similar to my mockup from last season, but with even more justification. Cepsa and their loud red rear wings are gone and my hope for a simple livery grows. I’ve banished red and gold from my livery entirely and this creates, what I feel, a beautifully simple livery. The complicated, dated bull is gone and replaced with a simple, clean one. The Red Bull logo too is less obnoxious in its outlined state. The subtle pinstripes add some depth and the rear wing now contains an outline of the Red Bull can design. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that we’ll ever see anything like this, but it’s not impossible.


2016 Williams

Last but not least, Williams. The introduction of the Martini livery was loved by all and still looks good. However, next season could be a chance to change it up a bit. I’ve gone with the Martini stripe along the entire side of the car. It’s something I don’t entirely believe is better than what they currently have, but it’s different. Three years with an identical livery is too long in my opinion. Small changes year by year (like Sauber and Jordan in the 1990s and 2000s) allow for a team and sponsor to be refreshed and re-loved for another couple of years.

Well these are my thoughts, hopes and expectations for the coming season. Let’s see just how happy or disappointed we will be come February.

Livery Launch – Erebus Motorsport

New season, new drivers for Erebus. Prodrive outcast David Reynolds had a fantastic season in 2015 but still found himself out of the championship’s top team. Fortunately, Betty Klimenko picked him up and he’ll be driving for Erebus in 2016. Erebus’ second driver choice was somewhat out of the blue, with Aaren Russell in the car next season. He contested the Dunlop series last season, finishing up in 11th overall as well as finishing on the lead lap at the Bathurst 1000.

Erebus pulled another surprise on us, announcing that they will be running Holdens in 2016. A shame if you ask me, with the variety of makes decreasing to four and the saturation of Holdens in the field increasing by two.

We’ve only really been teased with photoshopped images of Erebus’ new liveries, but it’s better than nothing! Penrite will stay as main sponsor to Reynolds’ #9 machine. The mainly black car looks classy, as a black car should. The front has a bit of Super Cheap Auto to it, with the red taking up most of the bumper and yellow on the splitter and just under the bonnet.

Erebus 1

I’m very happy to see that the red and yellow sections on the side run with the natural lines of the car. It pleases me aesthetically and frames the Penrite logo perfectly. There’s not much else to go on, but the black and yellow rims look great too.

Plus Fitness will follow Aaren Russell to Erebus and dictate the majority of the livery on the #4 car. Blue and orange are often a great combination and it’s nice here too. The design however, much like on the Bathurst livery that I wrote about toward the end of last year, looks a little less unique than the Penrite one. The white and orange sections are positioned well and also do a good job framing the main sponsor.Erebus 2

Interestingly, Penrite has sponsored the rear quarter of this car, and that’s what brings the livery down. It may have been fine if it weren’t for the red bits right next to the orange, but this makes it look like one too many colours were used. Perhaps simple, plain black would have been a better option here. That and the yellow on the rims make the livery look a bit disorganised. However, the HP logo on the front fits in superbly and makes the front look lovely.

Big changes for 2016 at Erebus. Let’s see if this will translate to better performances.

Livery Launch – Red Bull Racing Australia 2016


They’re starting nice and early this year, with Red Bull Racing Australia revealing their new driver and livery today in a laugh and tyre smoke filled video featuring all three of the team’s drivers.

At first glance, the livery is very different to the 2015 car, with a the whole side of the car in a lighter shade of blue, which fades out back to the usual navy blue via polka dots. The rear wing too is in this new colour. However, on close inspection, not much has really changed.

RBRA 1 compare
The new 2016 livery (top) and the 2015 livery (bottom).

Apart from the lighter blue on the side, the car is virtually the same. Apart from that, a similar fade on the red sections and less a couple of lightning bolts, the design is virtually unchanged. The giant Red Bull logo and the red on the splitter and skirts act as a template, within which some changes have been made.


From a sponsorship perspective, Toshiba seems to have left the part and despite becoming the livery dictating sponsor on Lowndes’ car, Caltex have also kept their logo on the two main Red Bull machines.


This is by no means a bad livery, and it’s refreshing to see a slight shake up in the predictable Red Bull livery. It’s a livery that unfortunately won’t see much variation throughout its existence, so when a change like this are made, we certainly have to make the most of it.

Just as a side note, I’ve added a side by side comparison to the 2016 Bottle-O livery launch article, and I will try to do this for all future launches.


Livery of the Day – March 751


The colour orange has been used sparingly in Formula 1, but more often than not, it’s provided some iconic liveries. McLaren in the 70s and their throwback test liveries, the Orange Arrows at the turn of the century, even the short lived Spyker team. I couldn’t pick a favourite orange car, but one that I remember very fondly is the 1975 March 751. I’ll include the 761 too!

March 1

There is just a great combination about the 751 of things that make this car memorable to me. The strong, bright Orange colour, a great looking sponsor in Beta Tools and two memorable drivers in Vittorio Brambilla and Lella Lombardi. Say any of those things out loud and they just roll of the tongue too. Just saying Vittorio Brambilla the Monza Gorilla is good fun. The March team did have some very distinctive liveries, but I can’t think of March without thinking of Beta, and the unique shape of that chasis.

March 2

So…liveries! This is a situation where simplicity is king. What makes this livery stand out is the vibrant orange colour used (which Brambilla’s helmet is so painfully close to matching perfectly) and the wonderful match the black Beta logo is for it. It is a very simple logo, but one that stands out perfectly on the orange background. The Italian flag design in front of the cockpit is very patriotic, but is probably my least favourite element of the livery. The spanner incorporated into it, however, looks great and makes the Beta logo look so complete.

March 4


The unpainted metal finish on the rear wing is a great design/cost cutting decision in my opinion. An orange wing may well have tipped the livery toward boring, but it breaks up the monotony well and adds a bit of contrast in an equally simple and effective way. Perhaps a black wing could have looked a little bit nicer, and matched the Beta logo better, but the unpainted wing is still a great look and something so unique to the cars of the mid 20th century, making it nostalgic and timeless. Nostalgic too are the numbers. The classic white circle on the front and white square on the side are fantastic and it was nice to see them return through Williams and especially Mercedes a few years ago.

March 3

However, the car wasn’t just good looking, it had a bit of pace too. Although it was terribly unreliable, in the hands of Brambilla (when he finished) it was mostly in the points and he even took it to the top step of the podium, scoring the sole win of his career in atrocious conditions in Austria. Lombardi too scored points that season (well half of one), the only woman to do so in the sport.