Round-Up – 2016 IndyCar Field

I’ve been meaning to do this since round one, but I never thought it would be so hard to find some decent high resolution IndyCar pictures! After waiting a few rounds and doing some digging, I think the time has finally come to belatedly go through the 2016 IndyCar liveries. With the Indy 500 around the corner (next week), the timing is perfect! Or perhaps the worst timing, considering there will be so many new cars and cars in altered liveries. Oh well!

Note: I’ve decided to not include the one or two off entries.

A.J Foyt Enterprises

ABC #14 Takuma Sato, #41 Jack Hawksworth

A.J Foyt Hawksworth

Looks like an unchanged livery this season for ABC cars and fair enough. It’s a pleasing sweeping design with just about equal parts of red, white and blue. How the design sweeps up from the rear, along the side of the cockpit and onto the sidepods is great use of the car’s own curves and looks organic, for lack of a better word.

★★★★☆

 

Andretti Autosport

#26 Carlos Munoz

Andretti Munoz

This is a basic, mainly red livery. The engine cover is white and this carries on past the cockpit and half way down the nose. This section is outlined by a white pinstripe but is begging for a big sponsor beneath Honda. There’s a generic looking design on the sidepod which at least fills up some space. The saving grace for this livery are the accents in the colours of the Colombian flag. These bits on the front wing end plates, mirrors, rear of the sidepod and edge of the engine cover help to spice up an otherwise ordinary livery. The white rear wing is also nicely bordered by the red end plates and the silver nose, which is across all the Andretti cars, matches well.

★★☆

 

Snapple #27 Marco Andretti

Andretti Andretti

The same design as Munos’ car, just with the yellow and blue colours of Snapple. Again, it’s kind of lacklustre, and despite not having the empty feel of Munoz’s livery, is disturbed by the variety of sponsor colours. I get a Sauber feel with this, in that the colours have great potential, but the design is too basic.

★★

 

DHL #28 Ryan Hunter-Reay

Andretty Hunter-Reay

The DHL car has always looked brilliant and although this isn’t the best design they’ve used, it does look good. The deep yellow is a fantastic colour and goes really well with the red. The sponsors all work well together, but there isn’t much else to say considering the main design is the same as the others. As you can tell by now all the Andretti livery designs are the same, which annoys me a little, but at least there’s a large variety in colours.

★★★☆

 

Andretti Herta Autosport with Curb Agajanian

#98 Alexander Rossi

Andretti Herta Rossi

Obviously the same design as the other Andretti cars, but despite having just about the fewest sponsors, it doesn’t look the emptiest! These colours wear the design very well, with the black looking very classy and the white contrasting well as you’d imagine. I like how the winglets break up the solid black along the side. The black, almost speech bubble looking design behind the Castrol logo is a bit strange, but isn’t enough stop me thinking that this is a good livery.

★★★☆

 

Chip Ganassi Racing

Gallagher #8 Max Chilton

Chip Ganassi Chilton

My type of livery this this. The top half is all white, with the bottom half all blue and is split nicely via an unbroken line, following the curves of the car from nose to exhaust. The blue seems to fade from a light to a dark shade going down the car, although that may just be the lighting in this image! There’s actually some light blue the sweeps along the split and onto the rear wing end plate that is subtly and well placed. The winglets and end plates are white which contrast well against the blue. Have to also mention that Chilton has a fantastic helmet. Clean and simple, unlike most helmets these days, and the claw marks and other accents have been painted blue tom match the car. Overall, clean, simple but well executed.

★★★★☆

 

Target #9 Scott Dixon

Chip Ganassi Dixon

Chip Ganassi and Target have had an incredibly long relationship, going back at least 25 years from my quick and very informal research. It makes sense then that this livery is a straight up throwback to the Chip Ganassi cars of the late 90s and early 2000s. Despite the cars’ evolution since then, the lightning bolt looks great on the modern IndyCar. The bright yellow, which is thinly outlined with black, goes well against the red base layer of the car and evokes instant nostalgia, even for someone who has only very recently started to watch IndyCar regularly.

The many ‘Targets’ of varying sizes placed along the side of the car are interesting, but look more strange than attractive. Part of me would prefer a regular Target logo, but another part of me appreciates the odd design choice. The sponsors are all uniform in white, which allow for the lightning bolt to stand out further. Nostalgia alone isn’t enough for me to love this livery.

★★★

 

NTT Data #10 Tony Kanaan

Chip Ganassi Kanaan 2

Big change this season in that all the red has been removed, leaving a two tone blue and white car. It’s a great evolution, keeping the main sponsor looking fresh, rather than keeping the liveries looking too similar year on year. The colours work perfectly together, with a nice white rear wing, some neat flashes on the sidepods and white nose which tops it all off well.

★★★★

 

RaceWithInsuling.com #83 Charlie Kimball

Chip Ganassi Kimball

This is a decent livery for me, but missing the wow factor. Charcoal is difficult to get right, but paired with a vibrant colour like this tennis ball green, it works well enough. The design kind of lets this one down though, with the thin grey lines over the green along the side not quite working, in my opinion. However, I think the livery may have been too plain without it, so it’s possibly the lesser of two evils. On the other hand, the grey on the top of the nose tip with the solid green on the sides looks great.

★★★☆

 

Dale Coyne Racing

Jonathan Byrd’s/Cancer Treatment Centres of America #88 Conor Daly

Dale Coyne Daly

Well there’s your wow factor! Where do I start? First up, it’s not often you see multiple shades of the same colour work so well on a livery. The dark and the light greens match and contrast beautifully. The design harks back to the Minardi M198  with its diagonal lines across the side. The diagonal design is interrupted on the engine cover, cutting sharply toward the rear wing. Here, the CTCA logo cuts over the green lines, but rather than look jarring, gives the tree a three dimensional look which actually works very well, whether intended or not. The top of the nose is covered in white and is split from the dark green by a thin line of light green. All the sponsors work well together, although I kind of wish the Jonathan Byrd’s logo was dark green rather than red. I also would like to see the wings in white or dark green but overall, I love it!

★★★★★

 

Scouting! #19 Luca Filippi

Daly Coyne Filippi

This livery has the same general (lovely) design as the one above, but with more common blue and red in place of the green, it’s missing a lot of charm. It also looks a lot emptier without the third colour to fill up some space and complete the design. However, the black wings work a lot better on this car and match nicely with the black wheel rims.

★★★★

 

Ed Carpenter Racing

Fuzzy’s #20 Ed Carpenter

Ed Carpenter Carpenter

I do like the Fuzzy’s cars of the last few years, the metallic green looking awesome on the cars and being paired well with the gold. This livery is a little more basic, with just a single sliver of gold starting at the nose, widening as it almost reaches the rear wheels. This section is outline with white and although it adds something to the car, it looks a little generic and has a Need for Speed decal look to it. Perhaps a simple, all metallic green (shimmering beautifully in the sun here) with gold winglets and end plates would have sufficed.

★★★

 

Fuzzy’s #21 Josef Newgarden

Ed Carpenter Newgarden

Mainly white here, with gold accents, which is different colour combination but works well together. In fact, the ‘white’ parts all over the car have a thick, brick like pattern in very light grey, which is quite interesting to look at. Whether a tribute to the Indianapolis Speedway or not, it sure is unique. The thin gold stripe along the side of the nose is a fantastic bit of minimalist design which adds some bold colour on top of a subtle and very unusual base design.

★★★☆

 

KVSH Racing

Hydroxycut #11  Sébastien Bourdais

USP INDYCAR: GRAND PRIX OF ST. PETERSBURG-PRACTICE S CAR USA FL
Talk about unusual designs! I’m not sure what this is meant to be, possibly a reptile with the face on the nose or some faux superhero armour? It’s probably staring me in the face but I’m not sure what it is. I don’t think it’s better than the green version from last year and certainly not as good as the designs before that either. It looks like an image printed onto the car which is most often a no-no for me. A little gimmicky and perhaps shouldn’t have been used for a second year, colour change or not.

★☆

 

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Steak ‘n Shake #15 Graham Rahal

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Rahal

A pretty basic red livery here. The sponsor logo on the engine cover fills up a lot of space which would have otherwise made the car empty. Black is used well on the rear wing and winglets. It looks a little crowded with sponsors in some areas which detracts greatly from the livery. The slogan “Home of the Original Steakburger” uses a terrible font and whilst it’s no Comic Sans, it has no place on a racing livery. Brings down the livery by at least one star. That said, the black trimming on some areas of the car, for example on the front wing elements, is a great intricate touch.

★★★

 

#16 Spencer Pigot

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Pigot

Mostly red here, with the sidepods entirely in white.  It’s a nice way of splitting the colours, but the colours here don’t lend any excitement to the livery. Perhaps a darker shade or some metallic would have got this looking better than basic. The sponsors on this one are a little neater, but again everything is matching so no complaints there. I like how black is added on the wing, especially how all three colours are used on alternating front wing elements.

★★☆

 

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

Arrow #5 James Hinchcliffe

Schmidt Peterson Hinchcliffe

There are actually a couple of liveries that feature gold on the grid but you wouldn’t really mistake them for each other because they are so different. The Arrow car uses a chrome, super reflective gold, which is night and bright. This is kept only on the ‘top’ side of the car, separated from the black on the rest of the car by a clean white line, front nose to exhaust. Black wings are a great choice here. The only thing I don’t love is the explosion or whatever that is behind the Arrow logo, which looks unusual and makes the logo a little hard to read in the middle. Perhaps it would be OK if the logo were outlined.

★★★☆

 

#7 Mikhail Aleshin

Schmidt Peterson Aleshin

No main sponsor for the Russian unfortunately. You wouldn’t know it at a glance, but this livery has an almost identical design to the #5 car, but with the colours so drastically different, it disguises that fact very well. It differs in only a couple of areas that I can see, being the coloured wing end plates and the white stripe on the nose sweeping under the nose early, as opposed to ending at the tip. Russian colours perhaps at Mikhail’s request? Either way, it’s empty without much excitement, but it is clean.

★★

 

Team Penske

Verizon #2 Juan Pablo Montoya, #12 Will Power

Penske Power

Penske’s liveries were pretty annoying last season as you may already know. They were all the same OK livery with altered colours depending on the sponsor. It’s almost the same story this year, although it’s disguised much better.

The #12 and #12 cars are all silver. McLaren’s livery this season and last is a dull charcoal colour that I can’t enjoy. This livery is silver, just a few shades lighter than the McLaren and perhaps a little more metallic, and is awesome. That’s the difference that even small choices in colour or shades of colours can make to a livery. This livery is just as basic, with just the single red line wrapping around the nose and heading toward the rear. However, it looks good! Perhaps Mercedes need to take note. Less is more.

★★★★

 

Hitachi #3 Hélio Castroneves

Penske Castroneves

Can you see the conformant design yet? The added two tone colour design of this livery keeps it well hidden. This design looks a lot like last years, with white on the top, black on the bottom and a red line splitting the two. It’s fairly simple, but it looks good. I’m not too keen on the rear wing end plate design, but perhaps it’s because it is on the inside of the end plates too, where it should really be black. The red trimming on the very front of the front wing looks great. No complaints with this, especially since the #2 and #12 are a different colour altogether.

★★★

 

Hewlett Packard/PPG/Menards #22 Simon Pagenaud

Penske Pagenaud 1

So by now it should be obvious that the designs are the same. This and the #3 are identical, but for the red swapped with an interesting turquoise colour, which brings some brightness and a change from the very common red. It’s an unusual combo, but I like it, not for that reason alone.

Penske Pagenaud 2

Pagenaud has had a number of sponsor and therefore livery changes already, with the PPG livery back to more traditional blue and white. I think this one is better, mainly due to the third colour being dark, which complements the other two colours much better.

Penske Pagenaud 3

The other livery is this incredibly bright fluoro yellow effort sponsored by Menards. Telefonica and Deustche Post eat your heart out! Thankfully, this design is a little more unique than the others, in more than just colour. Rather than a single white line like the Verizon cars, there are two pinstripes, one red and one black, following the same course along the car. There is also a second above the Menards logo on the sidepod, which is great. Did I mention the whole thing is covered in blinding yellow?? I do like it though. It’s the most unique and the best of the bunch. Also, it’s noteworthy that Pagenaud has changed his helmet colours to match the car’s livery which I’m warming to, especially since the design stays the same. Nice touch.

★★★★☆ (Based on my favourite, the Menards livery)

 

Well that took far longer to complete than I anticipated! Some great looking liveries on the grid this season and a few extra tomorrow too. Which is your favourite?

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Round-Up – 2016 IndyCar Field

Livery of the Day – Lotus 99T

Simple liveries can often be criticised for being lazy or boring (or both). Two tone liveries are even more susceptible to this criticism. Yet there have been a few over the years that have impressed, the Lotus 99T being one of them.

Lotus 6

Lots of liveries feature two main colours, but very few have strictly two colours on the car. The Lotus 99T, driven by Ayrton Senna and Satoru Nakajima in 1987, is one of the few . It achieved two victories and eight podiums overall in the capable hands of Senna and stood out of the crowd in doing so, thanks to the vibrant, warm Camel yellow.

Lotus 1

As mentioned above, very few teams have attempted to create a livery with only two colours (including the silver outlines on the Camel logos would be nitpicking!). This means that with the yellow base layer, every single logo on the car is navy blue. It makes for a great effect and helps the logos to stand out brilliantly and be easily recognisable, whilst creating as uniform a livery as is possible, without having the sponsors blend in as one.

Ayrton Senna

So the logos are all the same colour, something we can’t say about other “two-tone” liveries, which is what you may think a red and white Ferrari may be. In actual fact, there are usually a number of clashing colours on their liveries all at once, ranging in this example from the usual scarlet red, white and black for Marlboro, yellow for Shell, green for Tic Tac, purple and orange for FedEx and blue for TIM and FIAT. That helps to put into context how well Lotus had done to make sure every logo on the car was uniform in colour.

Another thing that stands out to me is the completely yellow wings. Most liveries will split the monotony up with black wings or endplates (Renault this season for example), but Lotus went for solid yellow all the way, which helps make this design so unique.

Lotus 4

So is this livery boring? It’s a valid argument. It’s entirely yellow with no real design elements to consider. However, I would argue the design is in the placement of the logos. From every angle, each logo looks perfectly thought out . From the front, the Camel logo arches beautifully in front of the cockpit, bordering the camel silhouette nicely. The arch works well too on the straight rear wing. Looking from the side profile, the Camel logo has been straightened out to fit snuggly within the lines of the of the car and the same can be said about the DeLonghi, Honda and Elf logos. Not a single logo looks out of place. The benefit of these sharp edged, rigid cars was that logos could fit so perfectly within the lines of the chasis, something livery designers don’t have the same luxury of doing these days.

Ayrton Senna (BR), Camel Team Lotus Honda 99T.
1987 Brazil or Mexico?

My one issue with this is that Senna’s helmet is so close to perfectly matching the car! Something I can’t really complain about, but my OCD kicks in when it’s close yet so far.

We now know that cigarettes are toxic killlers, but once upon a time, whether through ignorance or oblivion, their promotion lead to beautiful Formula 1 liveries such as this.

 

 

And just for fun, I made a quick mockup of what this could look like today.

Lotus 99T

Had to shuffle Camel to the sidepod due its shape and size and updated some logos to their new designs. Is it better? Ceratinly not. Ugly? Don’t think so. Should it stay in our memories and not be re-made in the future? Absolutely.

Livery of the Day – Lotus 99T