Livery Launches – Preston Hire Racing, Prodrive, GRM and LDM

I’ve been a little busy, so here are four new liveries that I’ve missed!

Preston Hire Racing

This is the new Preston Hire Racing (Charlie Schwerkolt Racing) livery. A whole lot more yellow as it was kinda of dull and grey last season. Nice and bright, with plenty of edges to complicate the livery without causing it to be too messy. Fuchs sticks out like a sore thumb with colours that don’t suit the livery at all, but that can’t exactly be avoided. I like it and it will stand out, but hopefully we don’t get it mixed up with the next one.

Prodrive

Supercheap Auto have left Holden and jumped on the Prodrive bandwagon. The new livery is not unlike the 2015 one, being mainly yellow, but with much less red and black as the new secondary colour. It has a nice edgy tear effect and the colours allow for the rest of the sponsors to fit in well with the colour scheme. I have to say I’m a little disappointed that there’s no purple on the car.

LDM

Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport is one of the few teams running the same livery on both cars. Funnily enough, it does bare a resemblance to the other team doing this, HRT. A lovely shade of orange, complemented with blue black and silver. The SP Tools logo is massive on the side of the car, so they’d be happy about that. Solid design nice, but perhaps Coca Cola could have been white on the orange background.

Volvo

Lastly, Volvo. What a fantastic livery. They’ve added a bunch more white, and it’s helped to turn the design up a notch. Last season’s livery was nice, but it didn’t have that wow factor. This one does. The design is simple, follows the cars natural lines for the most part and the white is used cleverly to make for an attractive design. All the colours match and just make for an all round pleasing livery to look at. I wish the outline of the white was even along all of the car, but as I haven’t seen the livery from many angles, it might not be a problem anyway.

Four new liveries, four big ticks!

Livery Launches – Preston Hire Racing, Prodrive, GRM and LDM

Livery Launch – Haas VF-16 & Manor MRT05

After much hype and expectation, Haas unveiled their first ever F1 car, the VF-16, online yesterday.

Haas 1

Here it is! The colours are more or less what we expected. Their NASCAR machine is mostly red and black, as is really their entire brand, so there’s no real surprise in the colour scheme. A very light silver is used as the main colour, which is complemented by red and black. The side of the car is split half way up the sidepod, with the smaller section in black. This is a nice touch and works with the Haas logo very well.

Other aspects of the livery aren’t so strong. The block section on the top of the nose and cockpit probably should have been extended to the edges of the cars natural curves because as it is, it makes the nose look super skinny and kind of awkward. The red section on the nose isn’t bad, but there’s nothing natural about it.

Haas 2

The rear feels a lot more organic, with the red line following the black curve all the way to the edge of the car giving a minimal, but important splash of colour. I wish the front of the car followed the same principal, to not only give the impression of a completely coherent livery, but also because it would have just looked better. I guess more colour than grey is a good thing though.

Can’t complain too much about this one. It’s yet another grey livery with some very common colours, but at least it’s somewhat attractive. At least from the side view it looks quite nice, as the intersection of the red and silver is hidden! On the other hand, Manor have produced something entirely different.

Manor 1

I don’t know how, but I’ve managed to fluke the new Manor colour scheme with my original mockup design! Everything else about the design is way off, but how bizarre. Either way, my favourite colour combination (not navy, but close!) is finally on the grid. And thank God for Manor, for bringing some colour to the grid!

The design itself is way simple. Metallic blue along the sides, with metallic orange on the top, split by a thin layer of white. There is a great little bit of intricacy with the barely visible Manor logo on the engine cover. I wish the front wing endplate was black to match the rear wing endplate though, or no black at all. It seems to dsrupt the livery toward the back.

Manor 2

For some reason I had a much lighter shade of blue in mind after seeing their new logo, but I guess that being metallic, it will look a lot lighter out in the sun and judging from the picture above, it is.

With Toro Rosso and Renault using testing liveries and Williams, Force India and Sauber not making any changes of note (yet, hopefully), I guess we’ll have to wait until round 1 in Melbourne for a nice big round up!

 

 

Livery Launch – Haas VF-16 & Manor MRT05

Livery Launch – Mercedes W07

Mercedes said they new livery would have more turquoise and less black! However, it looks as though they haven’t quite lived up to their promises. Not sure why I get my hopes up every year!

Mercedes 1

So basically, IF this is indeed the livery that will be seen in Melbourne, it is almost identical to last season’s effort. The same black sections as last year (that smokey black area on the engine cover is as dated as the bulls on the Toro Rosso), with a bit more turquoise added below the cockpit. This area, along with the turquoise on the sidepods, has a weird soft or blurred edge, which I don’t like. I guess it fits better with the overall theme, but it isn’t one I’m a fan of.

Mercedes 2

Whatever charm this colour combination and livery design initially had has long since faded. We need something interesting from Mercedes, something fresh, something new and this livery doesn’t hit the mark.

Also, I just realised where this livery got its inspiration from. Looks like they’ve been working very closely with Puma!

Mercedes Puma

 

 

Livery Launch – Mercedes W07

Livery Launch – McLaren MP4-31

Looks like someone at McLaren is getting fired because F1 Fanatic has got their hands on launch pictures of the new car a day early! Either way, let’s have a look at their latest disappointment.

McLaren

Looks like the grey era is here to stay for a little while at least, as McLaren still haven’t found a company stupid enough to pay the crazy money Ron is asking for, to have their logos on a backmarker.  They grey itself is metallic and dark enough to not be ugly, but at this point, damn do I miss the sparkly black used at the beginning of 2015.

So that’s what it is really, a dark grey car. For the most part it’s quite boring, as there isn’t a whole lot of work put into any creativity. There are the red bits on top of the sidepods, which actually look nice from the top view, but they still have black, faux shiny border which I entirely dislike. Not that there’s a whole lot of creativity in that anyway, it’s just the graphical part from the logo put onto the car.

McLaren 3

The only other red bit on lining the top of the engine cover, from the airbox to above the Mobil 1 logo. That is a piece of subtle design that I actually like. If similar lines were placed on front of the cockpit and maybe on the front and rear wing endplates, it could have made the livery a bit more interesting whilst staying classy, without making it too exciting and giving Ron a heart attack.

What they’ve done well is the logo placements. The car is not too crowded, every logo looks like it belongs where it’s been placed and everything is uniform. The Richard Mille logo especially is neat. The number on the front isn’t so bad either and it certainly looks better without the red stripes from last year.

McLaren 2

Overall, this is a very plain livery, and makes me wonder if they do plan to change it before the start of the season. Unlikely, but if we yell about it loud enough, maybe they’ll change it after a few rounds like last year.

Livery Launch – McLaren MP4-31

Livery Launch – Ferrari SF16-H

Another day another launch, this time from the red team.

Ferrari 2

This SHOULD have been the best livery on the grid. Unfortunately, for me, it’s probably the biggest nagger on the grid. Let me explain.

By all means, this not a bad livery. However, there are just a couple of things that are bugging the hell out of me. To me, it looks like designer made two different liveries, one partially black and one partially white, and simply copied both onto the car. They don’t compliment each other the way they should. The wavy (did it HAVE to be wavy?) black section bordering the white on the cockpit/engine cover area looks strange, especially the way it overlaps both the red and white near the exhaust. Honestly, despite this, the top section does look good, but it just clashes with the bottom section.

The black section on the bottom, that spreads from the nose all the way to the rear is just fine, but the white on top of it puts me off. The way it juts away from the black under the Ferrari and Santander logos, rather than following the curve of the black is strange and the pinstripe on top of that is unnecessary and adds clutter to what is already a very full car. Also, the top section doesn’t have a pinstripe, so there goes any real continuity in that part of the design.

Ferrari 1

The sponsorship logo placements are also a little off. Kaspersky is squished on the nose, as is Weichai below Santander. Along with that, the Scuderia logo on the engine cover is too big; a little smaller and it wouldn’t have to run onto the red or black sections.

That was a whole lot of negativity, so lets look at what they did right. The large white section on the engine cover, a throwback it seems to the 70s, is fantastic. I always said Ferrari needs to lose the white, but they’ve proved me wrong by adding more. It’s excellent and I wish it carried all the way along, rather than stopping at the ‘fin’, if you can still call it that. The Italian flag on the airbox is great too. Similarly, the extended Italian flag on the front wing endplates and barge boards are great little bits of detail. The Santander logo is surrounded by minimal white again on the rear wing which is great too.

Unfortunately, that’s about where the positives stop for me. The more I look at this livery, the more I pick it apart. I hope it grows on me, but I have a feeling I’ll only get used to it, rather than begin to enjoy looking at it. I don’t hate it, it’s just a livery that annoys me.

Livery Launch – Ferrari SF16-H

Livery Launch – Red Bull RB12

Red Bull launched the livery that will eventually adorn the RB12 today (presented on the RB11 today), which will be driven by Daniil Kvyat and the ever smiling Daniel Ricciardo, and boy have they gone for something different.

Red Bull 5

By something different, I mean within the limitations of the Red Bull branding. First and foremost, the paint over the entire car is matte. This is very bold and as far as I can recall, a first for the sport. I usually stuck to metallic or gloss paint in Need for Speed Underground 2, so matte paint doesn’t have me drooling or anything, but it’s definitely interesting and I wonder if there are any aerodynamic disadvantages to using it.

As for the colour, I’m not sure it is so much darker as it is less blue, perhaps a touch closer to purple on the hue scale. I also think that the fact it isn’t glossy makes it look a lot darker than it is. Another glaring change is the lack of white on the car, with the Red Bull logo as well as the bull on the engine cover void of their usual white bordering. Interestingly, the bull is outlined in yellow, where I feel no border at all would have created some pleasing uniformity in the design.

Red Bull 4

The red itself looks a little washed out in some pictures, but in others it really pops and that’s where I feel the artificial lighting lets down the reveal. Perhaps an outdoor launch would have been a better idea. Check out the quite intricate design on the front wing. A very nice touch. Actually, it could just be the Red Bull logo but only viewable from the front. Who knows!

There is a single red stripe leading from just in front of the sidepods, ending just about at the front suspension. This is a simple piece of design that serves to fill a blank space, but it certainly holds an eye catching purpose.

Red Bull 3

Last year’s livery was cluttered, messy and looked to be trying too hard, with too many colours. This year’s livery is the opposite. Clean and classy, whilst remaining interesting and almost eerily menacing. I have a feeling this will look damn good in natural light and I look forward to further high resolution pictures. This livery certainly won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but it gets a big tick from me, at least for a change in the right direction.

It is noteworthy that the drivers’ also seem to be using matte paint for their helmets. KvyatRicciardo

Livery Launch – Red Bull RB12

Livery Launch – Holden Racing Team

HRT is the latest team to unveil their 2016 livery.

HRT 1

HRT have gone with a very bright red, if not orange for the 2016 season. It immediately threw me back to the livery which adorned the HSV Dealer Team when they were sponsored by Toll. When you think about it, they are very, very similar. It has the orange sides, with the lion decal in black spreading across to the rear, as well as a black bonnet. An almost identical design in fact, to the car in which Rick Kelly won the championship, but for a darker shade of orange.

HRT 2

That said, it’s the usual Holden livery. However, it is definitely on of the better versions. In fact it looks pretty damn nice, apart from the green numbers. Whether it’s just for a vibrant contrast or a request from sponsor Monster, I’m not sure what they were thinking keeping it on the car. Perhaps it will grow on me.

Livery Launch – Holden Racing Team

Livery of the Day – Minardi M189

It’s been tough to find time between reveals and launches, but here’s to my first request. Thanks to Ed for requesting the beautiful 1989 Minardi.

Minardi 2

1988 was another struggle for Minardi, managing just a single point. Drivers Pierluigi Martini and Luis Pérez-Sala were kept on for 1989 and their fortunes improved ever so slightly, scoring 6 points as a team, with Martini getting 5 of those points in 3 seperate races. The M189 didn’t debut until the 4th round of the championship in Mexico, and was used until round 2 of 1990, but this was common well into the 2000s. The chasis wasn’t the prettiest, but the livery on the other hand, something quite special.

Minardi 1

Black and yellow were Minardi’s signature colours right from the beginning. White was introduced for the first time in 1989 and it proved to be an inspired decision. It added an extra layer of depth to the livery, where the black and yellow designs looked quite basic, and created a very powerful colour combination. The bright yellow and white, broken up by the strong black work so well together.

Minardi 3

The design, despite being simple, is unique and memorable. The main colours, starting and ending with yellow at the nose and rear, alternate in almost equal diagonal sections. The sections are perfectly diagonal when looking from side on and makes for a cool effect when viewing from other angles. Williams used this effect with their infamous Compaq/HP liveries.

Minardi 4

One of the issues with this livery is the amount of sponsors that it needed to accommodate. Usually this results in a messy, cluttered livery, but Minardi pulled one out of the bag with this. While it’s not perfect (and it very rarely is), they’ve done well to stick so many logos on the car without it turning out ugly. They’ve used the design to their advantage and whilst the main logos are as you would expect, many of the minor and technical sponsors are placed diagonally, in a style that is unorthodox, but matches the lines of the design perfectly. It’s clever thinking and in a way, allows the livery to breathe despite the number of logos on the car.

Minardi 6

There are some other nice little touches that make this car beautiful. The main coloured sections are split by thin stripes of the alternating third colour, something that is a great little bit of detail. The yellow stripes above and below Pirelli on the rear wing endplates, along with the nice big number also look great. Along with that, how great a match is Martini’s helmet with this car? The shots with him at the wheel are lovely (as they are all).

Minardi 5

Whilst at some points during the season the livery did lose its charm due to the variety of colours brought along by race by race sponsors, at its best, it was a fantastic livery, and clearly one that lives fondly in the memories of F1 fans around the world.

 

Livery of the Day – Minardi M189

Livery Launch – CoolDrive Commodore & DJR Team Penske Falcons

Two new V8 liveries were released recently (although I’m a bit late on the #21 machine) and both look great if you ask me.

Cooldrive 1

The CoolDrive Commodore livery was released recently and what an improvement it is. Last year’s car was a little bit generic and when your car is usually only seen in the pack, it does your sponsors no favours. That said, a lot more blue on the car this season makes the car look fuller and little bit more unique. The CoolDrive logo, especially the non worded part, looks really good on the car and is almost used as the design all on its own, with the other areas supplementary, which is a credit to the main sponsor.

Fabian Coulthard will join Scott Pye as DJR Team Penske expand to two cars for 2016.

DJR Penske 1

The livery, although beautiful, isn’t ground breaking. It’s an almost identical design to last season, which alternated colours depending on the sponsor. Shell is back with the team, but who knows how many rounds it will last this season.

The livery design is more solid this season, with less spikey bits and a classier look overall. Some may consider it a little more boring, but I think I prefer it. It’s a strong colour combination and a good looking car all round.

Two great looking cars. Lovely that the Shell livery is back and even better to see an improved CoolDrive design.

Livery Launch – CoolDrive Commodore & DJR Team Penske Falcons

Livery Launch – Renault RS16

Well sort of. Shortly after the reveal, it was made clear that the livery will change come Melbourne, so it looks like this is just a testing livery. Great news that Kevin Magnussen will be joining rookie Jolyon Palmer for 2016 though!

Renault 1

What can I say, another black livery, but I can’t say I’m disappointed. It’s black done right. Simplistic and classy, as opposed to tacky and cluttered, like the Lotus and Force India liveries last season. It’s very simple but has some superb touches, including a matte honeycomb pattern on the rear of the engine cover and sidepods and the minimal yellow on the turning vane and the inside of the front and rear wing end plates. The rear wing especially looks brilliant.

Renault 2

The black rims are also great and all these little touches achieve is to make a plain car look interesting and sophisticated. All the sponsors are colour coordinated too which is great, but I’m not sure why Jack Jones is so low on the turning vane.

Renault 3

This is a livery that the more I look at, the more I like. I was initially like a lot of others, thinking that this was an anticlimax of sorts, but it really has a lot of charm. I look forward to seeing it in natural light during testing and I now hope that it doesn’t change too much come Melbourne. Inevitably, it’s likely that they will add some more yellow and probably some Infiniti purple too, so perhaps this will be one of those “remember that cool testing livery?” designs.

Livery Launch – Renault RS16