Livery Mockups – 2020 Formula 1 Field

It’s that time of year again, and whilst I’m no graphic designer, I love having a go at mocking up some realistic-ish liveries for the year ahead. I take as much from the latest news and announcements in terms of sponsorships and try to stick to a team’s ethos as much as possible, with some artistic liberties here or there.

Alfa Romeo

Starting off with Alfa Romeo this year, and something a little more adventurous than last season. I had toyed at using as much of the lovely red as possible, but it ended up looking way too much like Ferrari, so went with a split design, keeping the Sauber spirit with the navy blue on white. It’s one long swoosh from nose to tail, changing abruptly between white and blue depending on the background. The car is quite sponsor heavy in the end, but based on last season’s design, it will probably continue that way.

Alpha Tauri

We’ll be introduced to the second generation of the “Red Bull B Team” in 2020, and the second Alpha (kinda) at the same time. Alfa Tauri, Red Bull’s fashion brand, will be taking over the car, and many are predicting a black and white car based on their branding, which I ran with. It’s a colour combo that’s been pulled off well in the past, especially when black is the main colour. I’ve used simple sections of black and white, accompanied by some more complex small parts of colour, with the diagonal lines breaking up the smooth flow. The graphic logo takes over the traditional big bull on the engine cover, although it’s soul remains, faintly behind the text logo.

Ferrari

My inspiration ran a little dry when it came to Ferrari this year, but I’m optimistic for the real thing, seeing as their last couple of liveries have been increasingly modern and experimental. They’ve ditched most of the white in their livery, so I’m continuing with a dark theme, white limited to sponsors only. The wings are black, along with a large strip starting from the exhaust to just in front of the cockpit. As with the Alfa Tauri livery, I’ve added some thin lines which mimic the Mission Winnow logo and help add some complexity to the otherwise simple livery. I for one hope they ditch the matte paint in favour of gloss this year.

Haas

I was disappointed when Haas’ calamitous relationship with Rich Energy ended, without really turning the great colours and (stolen) logo into an awesome design. It looks as thought we’re headed back to traditional Haas colours, but hopefully with a little more jazz than we’ve seen in the past. I’ve gone for a very simplified camouflage paint to the car in different shades of black and grey, with a long, sharp light grey/bright red accent line through the middle. The Haas logo also has a small red outline/shadow, to help it pop further from the dark background. I think it’s keeps things interesting in a subtle way, and not too outside the box for the team to realistically run.

McLaren

If any livery was going to be way off, it would be this one. McLaren are thankfully going to keep the papaya, but to what extent, nobody knows. My thinking is they’ve created a very strong brand image with the blue triangular pattern, so expanding on this would make sense. I’ve removed the black sections and made it just papaya and blue, but with new sponsors hopping aboard left and right, there’s no saying what colour will feature alongside papaya in 2020.

Mercedes

I must have been a fan of the logo pattern on the car last year, cause I’ve used it in hope that Mercedes will run with it again in 2020. It works really well on a dark background, fading into silver. I’ve kept it subtle with the turquoise as Mercedes always have, the thin line bouncing above and below the black section along the bottom of the car. Other turquoise flashes also appear on the car in a similar fashion.

Racing Point

Everyone was happy to hear that Racing Point will be renamed Aston Martin in 2021, but what will the car look like in 2020? Not sure the level of investment they’ll put into the team this year; maybe it will just be a logo on the side, just like last year’s Red Bull, or perhaps they’ll wait it out entirely til 2021. I’ve banked on them putting in some coin straight away, and dictating the livery from next year, with the twist of BWT also keeping some pink on the car. I’ve also gone against reality to an extent using majority British racing green as opposed the neon green from their sports car liveries, which is only used sparingly as a highlight. So do dark green and pink go together? Decide for yourselves. I’m biased but I kinda dig it in a very weird way.

Red Bull

So what do you do to a livery that already works very well, for a team with strict branding, that doesn’t change it’s liveries very often? It’s very restrictive. What I’ve tried here is a neon-ish theme, with outlines only for the areas of the car normally filled with colour, apart from the text and graphic logos. It’s not much of an evolution on last season’s livery, but enough to keep it interesting year on year. As good as it has been for the last few years, it risks getting stale without some form of evolution.

Renault

For Renault, it’s more of a refinement than a major change. I love the effect the current car has in being majority black from the side and yellow from the front, so I’ve kept this theme in my design (although you can’t really tell given the angle. I’ve kept each yellow section solid, rather than having pinstripes, and have kept the colour as vibrant as possible. I’ve added some extra yellow to the airbox area, as well as the halo, which more teams should start exploit with their designs as opposed to attempting to hide, now that everyone is used to its appearance. A little unrealistically, I’ve kept it entirely two tone, including sponsor logos. A man can dream – it’s a visual effect not seen often enough due to strict branding guidelines.

Williams

Finally, a team down in the dumps, without any real hope until the regulation changes in 2021. Traditionally, Williams will keep a livery design for 5 or so years (sponsorship permitting) without much variation at all, so given Rokit is still around, I don’t see much change afoot. That said, with a couple of new sponsors in thanks to Latifi, I do predict a couple of amendments. I’ve assumed Lavazza will appear on the sidepod, so I’ve had blue fade into Lavazza’s darker blue, to act as a background to their logo. What bothered me about the livery last year was that the blue looked like it was sprayed on top of everything at the very end, and how it looked a little careless on the nose. I’ve made sure the blue fits in better with the sponsors, and have broken up the gradient with a sharp transition to white from the side to the top of the nose and cockpit section. It’s a little bare, but not too obviously so.

Looking forward to an exciting year of racing ahead, and hopefully some pretty liveries to go with it.

Livery Mockups – 2020 Formula 1 Field

Top 20 F1 Liveries of the 2010s

As we enter 2020, and before we start to think about the exciting launch period and winter testing, it’s time to reflect on the decade that was. There was plenty of disappointment in the livery world over the last 10 years, but also a lot of happy memories. As we jump into our top 20, let’s start with one that could well fit into both camps.

#20 – 2015 McLaren MP4-30

The 2010s were a tumultuous decade for McLaren fans and livery geeks alike. The decade began with success in the familiar Vodafone livery, before speed, sponsors and inspiration seemingly disappeared as the years went on. Devoid of a main backer, McLaren tried unsuccessfully to put together a coherent livery, and from 2014-2017 raced in some forgettable designs. It might be surprising then to see the 2015 livery in this list. It was widely canned by pundits (and myself initially) for being a West ripoff from years past, but it did have some redeeming features.

Well, at least one redeeming feature. McLaren was known for having spent a ludicrous amount of money developing the famous chrome used on the Vodafone livery. I’m not sure how much was spent on this one, but the sparkly black on the bottom half of this livery was just gorgeous. It’s a shame it only lasted a few rounds, because the replacement wasn’t any better, and missed a chance to have this colour across the whole car. Shame really! It wasn’t a bad livery overall, just wasn’t original.

#19 – 2014 Marussia MR03B

The Marussia and Virgin teams had some pretty distinctive liveries over the years and the MR03B was no exception. It’s a car that despite having one of the most common colour schemes in Motorsport, had its own personality, looked great yet slightly different from every angle, and all despite the lack of sponsorship on the car.

The front of the car featured smooth circular curves, the sides showed off long sweeping lines all the way to the rear, and on top, the red spiked design. Each slightly different, but all brought together well to create a uniform livery.

#18 – 2019 Mercedes F1 W10

Their on track success this decade will probably never be matched, however, Mercedes’ livery game has not quite hit the same heights. Their efforts at the start of the 2010s were quite poor, but they did steadily make progress, their last livery of the decade being their best.

They nailed the right shade of silver, a great amount of well placed turquoise, and some complementary black blended in nicely with a trendy pattern. It may be difficult to make an incredibly pretty silver livery, but if used with some creativity and nouse, and not dictated by Ron Dennis, it can work out really, really well.

#17 – 2018 Williams FW41

The Martini livery featured in various levels of Motorsport across the decades and Williams was universally hailed for bringing the iconic livery back to Formula 1. It brought with it some terrific success with the Mercedes engine being so strong in 2014, but whilst the livery held strong, the results could not. Of this stint of sponsorship with Williams, the 2018 and final version of livery was the best variation.

This year’s design refined the placement of the Martini lines from the exhaust to the nose, removed the border from the Martini logo and included the large swooping black section across the bottom of the car to break up all the white. Whilst I did get a little tired of it by the time it reached its 5th year (as is the case with most liveries that last this long) and wish it had undergone a more drastic evolution in this time, it’s attractiveness and popularity right to the end could not be denied.

#16 – 2016 Ferrari SF16-H

The 2010s may be Ferrari’s most experimental years on the livery front of all time. There were plenty of variations from barcodes to matte liveries, but the 2016 effort is the one that makes #16 on our list. It was a design that harked back to the late 70s, with the engine cover being largely white, as it was then. There was also a fair bit of black, which hadn’t really been on a Ferrari since the early 90s.

What these new white and black sections helped do was split up the livery, and distract the viewer from seeing what is essentially a moving billboard. Ferrari have never been subtle, often having 2 or more large sponsors on their sidepods, but it is far more obvious on a plain livery. Shame they had not yet removed the ‘Scuderia’ logo.

#15 – 2012 HRT F112

Anyone remember this livery? In their short life, HRT had some stinkers, but their final livery was their saving grace. It showed that you can make a pretty livery without a large array of sponsors. They went with a sadly underutilised burgundy colour and paired it with gold (a shade that I do wish was a little brighter) to make a really pleasant colour combination alongside the main colour of white.

It really shone in sunny conditions when the gold could sparkle, and the design did a good job of both following and protruding outside the natural lines of the car. KH-7 almost killed the vibe with their neon orange, but it was mostly kept hidden on the inside of the rear wing end plates. A livery that deserves to be remembered.

#14 – 2011 Virgin MVR-02

Here’s another car that didn’t get much fanfare back in the day, due to just how slow it was. Pace aside, Virgin’s first livery was great, with bold lines sweeping along along the car, being smooth but also sharp where they needed to. It made for a perfectly uniform livery and gave the Virgin team and its successor a solid identity.

I could take or leave the tribal markings, but they definitely aren’t offensive, and helped form said identity, especially early on when arriving alongside two other brand new teams. Livery aside, the aggressive shape of the nose near the suspension was awesome.

#13 – 2018 Haas VF-18

Haas have flipped and flopped liveries in their first few years of existence, but made it onto the list with their 2018 design. It was always going to be a little corporate in terms of colours, but the way they are laid out is what works so well.

The straight horizontal black and white split on the sidepod is a great look, and the way the Haas logo is placed on top of it, lining up with the H, works very well. I’ve never been a huge fan of the nose design on the Haas liveries, but it’s a small price to pay for a lovely all round effort.

#12 – 2018 Red Bull RB14

Red Bull made some strong choices toward the end of the decade, one being the inspired move to a near black, matte livery in 2016. It was a much needed change to what was a design theme that hadn’t really varied significantly in 10 years, and set a trend that was followed by none other than Ferrari in 2019.

The 2018 design set just the right levels of class and aggression, and fixed the bull’s tail that was cut off in previous versions. It’s just a super clean and sharp livery that we’ve been impressed with for a number of years now. Let’s see how it evolves in the 2020s.

#11 – 2012 Marussia MR01

Marussia again? You bet. The 2012 livery took the Marussia colour palette and turned it into something completely different to the year before. Sometimes largely ignoring the shape of the car can be beneficial, in this instance, taking straight lines and placing them diagonally across the car, creating large stripes of red and black.

The lines separating the red and black are white and grey, and on each section, only grey touches the red sections, and only white touches the black. It’s subtle intricacy that pulls together the uniformity of the design. It looked really nice from every angle, and again, Marussia pulled off a great livery with next to no sponsorship.

#10 – Racing Point RP19

Force India stunned us in 2017 with a pink livery, brought to us via BWT sponsorship. It was initially a bit of a novelty with things like bubbly water graphics, but it has been refined over the last couple of years, to what has been the best version yet in 2019. Not only is the shade of pink much nicer, but the complementary silver and bright pink are placed more thoughtfully.

SportPesa also jumped on board in 2019, and added a large chunk of royal blue, which looks incredible alongside the pink. It’s a terrific, dark contrast; not sure I’ve seen such drastically different coloured sponsors work so well together. It’s a livery that has a lot going on, but coherently and not overboard or too loud.

#9 – 2010 Williams FW32

Williams’ second livery on our list goes to this understated number from 2010. A car perhaps most famous for being driven to pole by then rookie Nico Hulkenberg is a beauty to look at in its own right. At this point, Williams had been dabbling in a few variations of blue and white liveries, but this was probably the best since HP left the party.

What pushes this over the line is the shade of blue used. It sits between two much darker liveries and in hindsight, is much more appealing to the eye than the PDVSA liveries of the next few years. It’s also a fantastic two tone livery, with all sponsors (apart from Bridgestone) in either white or blue, which is very aesthetically pleasing, as are the fast flowing lines across the car’s body.

#8 – 2017 Sauber C36

Sauber was in a midst of a crisis with next to no backing and being on the edge of dropping out of the sport, when they rocked up to Melbourne in this beauty. As with Williams above, they found a lovely shade of blue, paired it with their other staple colour of white, and finished it off with some gold trimming, celebrating their 25th year of racing.

Together it formed an incredible colour combination which quite frankly, no one expected after the lacklustre efforts the team had brought to the table earlier in the decade. Aside from the black shark fin, it was difficult to find a fault in the design which worked well in just about every way.

#7 – Alfa Romeo C38

2018 was a transition year for Sauber. Alfa Romeo came on board as a major sponsor and with it, the livery changed dramatically. It kept some of its 2017 characteristics, but the colours changed to red and white with a flash of blue. What really stood out was the shade of the deep, metallic red. It was a lovely colour and most of us wondered why they hadn’t used more of it on the car! In 2019 Alfa Romeo bought the team and changed the name, and the livery evolved again, making some subtle improvements across the car.

The red was brought forward and wisely took up more space on the car. The Alfa Romeo logo on the side was changed and looked much nicer in its new format. However, somewhat surprisingly the blue and white was kept, as was the naming of the car (C38), perhaps as a nod to the team’s history as Sauber. The white and blue I’m not too fussed about, but I hope the naming stays that way. Needless to say, the car looked fantastic, and I think you’d be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t like it.

#6 – Renault R.S.19

The decade really did finish off strong. Renault would have popped up earlier in the list if they had kept that all black livery from 2016 winter testing, but here we are. The traditional Renault colours were used as well as ever this year – a strong, cooler yellow paired with black in a livery that looked majority yellow from the front, but black from other angles.

The colours are well distributed along the car, looking sharp and edgy, proving I don’t only love curvy, sweeping lines. I love the front view of the car, but for some reason my excitement from the side doesn’t quite peak as high, which is why it isn’t higher up the list. Perhaps we’ll see a livery in the next few years that is perfect all round.

#5 – 2018 Toro Rosso STR13

Toro Rosso spent years in a drab navy and gold livery, and I despised them for it. Not only was the theme and colour palette boring, but they added new, ugly elements to it every year. I had dreams of Red Bull can and Sugar Free liveries, but year after year my hopes were dashed and my spirit crushed. I gave up on all hope of a change in direction. Then, out of nowhere in 2017, the new era of Toro Rosso was unleashed upon us and boy was it beautiful.

Out with the drab and in with the new, vibrant and invigorating shades of blue, red and silver. The blue has a subtle iridescent quality that looks purple from the right angle and right lighting, whilst the red is incredibly strong and in your face. It was also so refreshing to see Red Bull logos and Bull itself in reflective silver. Whilst the 2017 livery was a huge relief for me, the 2018 improved on it, hence why it is on the list. The placement of the lines was improved and paired with the new aero regulations, it looked awesome.

#4 – 2010 Force India VJM03

Force India moved into the new decade carrying its familiar white, green and orange livery. It was tastefully patriotic (although Indian sporting teams usually wear blue) and looked bright and vibrant on track. They’d subsequently lose their way, going for visually jarring and sometimes asymmetric designs, but luckily we had the memory of this one to look back to.

This era of car was quite curvy, so the flowing sections of green and orange, which almost looked like fluttering in the wind as they drove along, were a terrific match. The specific shades of green and orange worked very well together and with the white and helped disguise what was really a mish-mash of sponsors with no uniformity on the car. Good memories.

#3 – 2014 Caterham CT05

Caterham was another short lived name in Formula 1, but one that left a lasting impact on livery lovers. It’s incredible to think that at the start of the year, Caterham had perhaps the most disgusting F1 car of all time, and by the end, one of the prettiest. It may mostly be down to the nose, but the livery was also improved through the year.

Green is a colour infrequently used in F1, but is almost always a winner. The Jaguars of the 2000s were universally loved, as was the 1991 Jordan, but I don’t think this car gets enough credit. The shade of metallic green is just about perfect and is wonderfully displayed with the clever, minimalist design. Black is used on the rear in a big black sweeping section, whilst cleverly hiding the dong nose on the font. There’s a little on the airbox too, matching the curvature of the rear section. All the sponsors are uniform in white, completing what is one of the cleanest and most pleasing liveries to look at of the decade.

#2 – 2010 Renault R30

After a few years of ING and Renault‘s colours not really getting along, Renault were rumoured to be looking to the past for inspiration for their 2010 livery. Absolutely no one was disappointed with the result. The black and yellow bumblebee design was almost as good as it got this decade. The gradually thinning black lines were a terrific design choice, looking fantastic on the nose and sidepods.

I can even forgive Total for their red sidepods and mirrors, because as hard as they tried to ruin the livery, they failed. It’s a superbly executed livery, and criminal that it was only used for one year. Sadder still that it was succeeded by the tri-hard, phoney Lotus livery in 2011. It will also be remembered for the exploits of Kubica, in what was really his last year at full strength, and boy did he wrangle that car, snagging 3 podiums and 5 times the points of his teammate Petrov.

#1 – 2019 McLaren MCL34

I’ve firmly pushed nostalgia to the side and I think that McLaren’s 2019 livery is the best of the decade. 2018 was very close to perfect, giving the people what they wanted with the beautiful papaya orange, but the few adjustments in 2019 took it to the next level. The design adding more blue to the rear of the car was inspired. I had always contemplated adding more black, but the blue really was the right way to go and am very happy they went in that direction. That same triangular design also gave the team a stronger identity, which it had missed since losing a main sponsor earlier in the decade.

Alongside the blue there is some more black. The horizontal line along the bottom of the car works so well, especially with the tech sponsors along it in a cool, retro fashion. The halo stayed black, but with a larger black presence on the car this time, it fit in just fine. What can I say, it’s a stunner. With rumours circling of McLaren finding a major sponsor for 2020, we may sadly have to say goodbye to this livery, and perhaps even the papaya. All good things must come to an end, and in the end it’s good for F1, but we would all be rightfully sad to see it go!

So that’s my top 20 liveries of the decade. What are your thoughts? Any great liveries that I missed? Any that you think shouldn’t be in the top 20? Let me know below!

Top 20 F1 Liveries of the 2010s

Round-Up – Formula e 2019-20

We’re ready for another year of Formula e action! Some massive players have joined the game, bringing many positive things to the series, but design inspiration isn’t one of them. It’s a tale of two colour schemes: Red/Black/White and Turquoise highlights. The majority have gone with one of these options, making the conscious choice to blend into the crowd rather than stand out, which is an unbelievable marketing choice if you ask me. It also leads to one of the least exciting full grid photos, possibly even more so than the 2015 F1 field.

Few flashes of vibrant colour, just like that F1 season. Either way, let’s dissect what each team has brought to the table, and hopefully we can pick some positives so we don’t leave feeling too disillusioned. For the sake of something different, lets go in reverse alphabetical order.

TAG Heuer Porsche Formule E Team

Porsche is one of the newcomers this season, and have taken a scalp, stealing the ever competitive Lotterer from Techeetah. He’s joined by racing stalwart Neel Jani. Their driver choices have been inspired, but their livery is not. It certainly follows their identity across other racing series like WEC, but unfortunately that identity is simply boring.

★★☆

The design gives me Minardi M198 vibes, in how the livery is split into three sections, with the same colours alternating as dividers to those colours. Maybe I’m a hypocrite in liking that livery and not this one, but colour choice is such an important aspect of overall livery design, and this red, black and white combination just brings no excitement to the table, the way the yellow does on that Minardi. It is not an ugly design, but I wish they’d entered the series with a bang, as opposed to something so corporate.

ROKiT Venturi Racing

Venturi have kept the same drivers as last year, and thankfully not the same livery. Unfortunately ROKiT has come on board, and the team have joined the red/black/white brigade. However, it is probably the best of that bunch. Whilst the red piping on that flows back from the nose gives me Mahindra vibes, it is really easy on the eyes, and works wonderfully paired with the flowing white pinstripe along the side.

It’s a well thought out livery which suits the shape of the car. I think I may have preferred jet black as opposed to the unpainted carbon, which looks a little flat rather than elegant or slick.

★★★★☆

Panasonic Jaguar Racing

Jaguar have brought in James Calado to partner Mitch Evans this season, and have persisted with their turquoise and black colour scheme. They’ve turned the dial up somewhat on the turquoise, which is now the majority colour on the top side of the car. I don’t mind this, but I do have an issue with the squared off design on the nose, which ruins the flow of the car’s otherwise sleek shape.

The side of the car is virtually unchanged, limiting the turquoise to flashes on the floor and aero panels. It would have been nice to see the Jaguar itself in the same turquoise colour, but the current effect with the majority of sponsors and other decals in white works just fine. Not sure it’s an improvement, so I’ll keep their rating steady.

★★★

Nissan e.dams

Same drivers, new livery for Nissan. They’ve gone for the unusual with an asymmetrical design, perhaps following BMW’s footsteps from last season. It’s simply majority black on the right hand side, and majority red on the left (at least on the nose and top section of the car). The way the colours intersect make an interesting diamond design, but remind me more of Stade Rennais than anything to do with Nissan.

I’ve always thought of Nissan’s colours to be blue, white and red (thanks Gran Turismo), but perhaps this is what they’re embracing moving forward. They’ve also gone for a half black, half unpainted carbon effect, which may be a weight saving technique across the board, but doesn’t look that great, especially on the wheel arches. An improvement from last year, with the effect from front on really saving an otherwise average livery.

★★★☆

NIO 333 FE Team

Ma Qinghua joins Oliver Turvey at NIO, starting his Formula e career with an absolute nightmare in Saudi Arabia. The team has gone a little more traditional with the livery this year, but have continued their turquoise and white theme, adding to it a little blue this time around. This would have been incredibly useful on last year’s livery, which was in desperate need of an extra element.

I’m a fan of the clean separation of the turquoise and white from the top to the side, whilst the same can be said at the back, showing off the curves of the car between the blue and turquoise sections. Simple, clean and effective, doing well with the shapes the car provides. Thilst the red highlights for Ma work well, the Yellow ones for Turvey aren’t quite as complementary.

★★★★☆

Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team

Mercedes have entered Formula e with a driver lineup that could be competitive in any series around the world, in Vandoorne and de Vries. The biggest winner in my eyes however, is Petronas, who will receive a tonne of brand awareness via association (if anyone else’s brain works like mine), due to the similarity with the F1 livery. This is ironically unintentional given there is no place for an oil company in an electric series, but it’s funny to see the similarity between the highlight colour on both teams’ cars.

The theme is similar across both liveries, with the tessellating Silver Arrow design across much of the car and of course the base colour of silver being complemented with smokey black. This is the livery we all expected, but I don’t think can be disappointed with. It’s a great effort with enough care put into intricate details to make it a pleasure to look at in detail.

★★★★

Mahindra Racing

Mahindra have kept the same drivers, and have evolved their livery as opposed to making wholesale changes. The most striking aspect of the car is the chunky, blocky horizontal red section on the nose of the car. It’s a little disruptive to the flow of the bodywork, and the blue lines bordering it aren’t the most visually appealing.

The main change year on year is the removal of the alternating red and white stripes, which were my favourite element of last year’s livery. These have evolved to red and blue ones (such as the nose above) which aren’t as impactful and can be easily missed if not paying close attention to the car. In theory it’s a slight downgrade, but not sure why I rated it so harshly last year. Nice to see they’ve kept the Indian themed rim paint too.

★★★

GEOX Dragon

Dragon have changed their drivers with Hartley and Müller joining the team, but their livery theme has remained constant. You’d think black and white would be boring, and whilst many of the above liveries prove that theory with even more colours, this one is an exception to the rule. It’s a more or less 50/50 split between the two colours, depending on which angle you look at it from, with the red flashes providing a bit of excitement where the two other colours can’t.

The side black section looks fairly simple on its own but looks quite jagged when mixed with other sections of the car. The front is almost all black and looks super clean. The roll hoop is covered in a neat stripey design, in contrast to the remainder of the car. It’s a case of simple sections mixed with hard angles and a few intricacies to make a really nice design overall. Who would have thought the car with the least colour would be one of the best.

★★★★☆

Envision Virgin Racing

Bird and Frijns remain at Virgin, but unfortunately their almost perfect livery has evolved! To be fair very little has changed, but the main difference is silver being used instead of white on the top of the car. The contrast of the purple and white is what really put the livery on another level last season, whereas the silver really dulls this down. Also, being a matte silver, it doesn’t even stick out or sparkle from any angle, which is a shame as the pattern is really neat.

Not much to add given the rest of the livery is more or less identical. I’m still a fan of the deep purple, just wish they hadn’t made the change from white to silver!

★★★★☆

DS Techeetah

Techeetah have brought in da Costa to replace Lotterer, and with him a few minor changes to the livery. The most obvious change is the gold section on the nose being narrowed. The car loses the sharp effect of having the gold meeting the black right on the nose’s edge, which is what I enjoyed so much about it last season.

There’s now a gold pattern on the barge board as opposed to solid gold which is a nice touch, and the whole halo is gold this season, much nicer than the awkwardly cut off design from last time. Unfortunately the unnecessary complication on the nose/cockpit area brings it down a notch for me.

★★★★

BMW i Andretti Motorsport

BMW have replaced da Costa with Maximilian Günther, and have taken their livery to another level of mess. From front on, I can’t really gather any sort of coherent design. There are way too many colours that don’t really complement each other, and overlap is a way that may make a nice powerpoint theme or cover page design, but not quite a racing livery.

It’s a little clearer from the side, but the blue and purple still don’t suit each other, whilst the black also doesn’t really look like it belongs given white is already so prominent on the car. The jagged shapes don’t really work the way they do on the Dragon car either, and instead look messy instead of functional. The asymmetry just adds to the dysfunction. Perhaps I’ll like it more in a year’s time and will think I was being harsh, but I just cannot rate it any higher right now.

★☆

Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler

Not sure why every manufacturer wants red, black and white as their main colours these days, but I’m glad Schaeffler have kept some green on the car to ensure this car doesn’t entirely fade into the rest of the grid. Their driver lineup remains the same, but their livery has turned to the dark side, with black, rather than white, playing the main role.

It’s unassuming from the front, but actually has some really nice design elements on the side. The red and black stripes on the floor look great, as do the compartmental red and white sections on the sidepods. The green helps to break up the business as usual colour scheme on the engine cover. It does a decent effort complementing the template the shape of the car has provided. A nice effort in a year bombarded with red, black and white machines.

★★★★

Bonus Awards

Best Red, Black and White Livery Award – Geox Dragon and ROKiT Venturi

Two liveries with totally different philosophies, but both looks great in their own way. Dragon barelly qualifies, but there is red on the car!

Best Turquoise Livery Award – NIO 333 FE Team

It’s quite simple at the end of the day and I may have rated it too highly, but I really enjoy the clean lines and complementary colours. A big improvement on last season.

Hire a New Livery Designer Award – BMW i Andretti Motorsport

This just is not a good design. I’m free if you guys need me.

Round-Up – Formula e 2019-20

Livery of the Day – Tyrrell 012

Tyrrell had a season to forget in 1984. What had some promise, including a podium for Brundle in Detroit, turned into an exclusion from the championship, when it was discovered (ironically after said podium) their cheeky tactics were outside the rules. They had been running their cars underweight during the race, before adding lead to the water tanks to meet weight requirements in scrutineering. Despite this disappointment, they had at least one of the best looking cars on the grid.

bellof 1984 tyrrell monaco

It’s unusual to see teams run different liveries on their cars in F1. It’s often a once off, such as David Coulthard’s Red Bull in the last race of his career, but Martin Brundle and Stefan Bellof had different liveries for the whole 1984 season. Despite some sponsors being shared by both cars, the two didn’t have many other visual similarities.

bellof tyrrell 1984

Bellof’s livery looked to have significant inspiration from his own helmet design. While Maredo brought a base of black to the car, it took Bellof’s signature red and yellow lines, and placed them along the top sides of the car, from nose to engine. It may be the best helmet to car colour coordination of all time! The massive number on the nose is not my favourite part of the livery – not that it looks awful, but that the yellow, red and white lines end so abruptly above the number.

That aside, the colours on this car work really well, with the sponsor colours also blending in very well for the most part. Even the DeLonghi blue even fits in pretty well, as it’s so subtle against the black. It’s simple, uncomplicated, and objectively attractive!

On the other side of the garage, Brundle’s car had a very different approach. Yardley had a fairly rich history in Formula 1 up to this point, sponsoring both BRM and McLaren in the 70s, and had a brief (and final) stint in the sport on this car. It meant their brown aftershave bottle design was translated to an F1 car. It is surprisingly not appalling and actually quite memorable, bordering on good looking. It gives off some brown JPS Lotus vibes with the gold piping, and the black wings are a welcome relief from the almost flat brown. I always thought the nose design was a little strange, but have just realised it is meant to be a gold medal. Not sure if the design was ambiguous or if I was just clueless!

DeLonghi, which appears on both cars, works fairly well here too. It stands out a lot more on Brundle’s car and even works quite well wrapped around the front of the cockpit, but the blue rectangle could have been placed a little more thoughtfully on the side. The section near the front suspension is especially careless and would detract significantly from the livery if it wasn’t partially hidden by the tyres.

It was a doomed season for Tyrrell in the end, but at least gave us F1 and livery buffs something to talk about, even 25 years later!

Let me know what you think in the comments below! If you have any suggestions for future liveries, pop them in there too.

Livery of the Day – Tyrrell 012

Round-Up – 2019 MotoGP Field

This is my first time reviewing the full MotoGP grid, so hopefully I’m not too far out of my depth. MotoGP is always exciting to watch, especially when Marquez doesn’t take off into the distance, so thought that given I watch it most weekends, I may as well put this together.

Alma Pramac Ducati

It was a promising first race of the season for Pramac, with Miller shooting to the front of the grid before his seat failed. He’s joined by Francesco Bagnaia this season, after Petrucci’s promotion to the Ducati factory team. The bike itself is split pretty evenly between red and blue this year, divided by a diagonal white line on the sides – I’m uncertain as to how well this actually works, especially with the thinly outlined white Pramac logo on top of it.

The front doesn’t quite match the side, but looks great in its own regard – the spiked design fits the bike well. The white sections are nicely outlined with black, framing the number well. The black lines in front of the seat help the leathers match the bike in terms of design, and they are themselves nicely asymmetric with the colouring.

★★☆

Aprilia Factory Racing

It’s mainly black for Aprilia this year, supported by the classic Italian red, white and green. The fluro yellow might be one colour too many though, and it clashes pretty hard with the green on the bike and leathers.

The front of the bike is laid out well; the matte black helps of the number to stick out, and the red, white and green distributed well next to the windscreen only. A similar design is used to great effect on the tail of the bike too.

★★★

LCR Honda Idemitsu

The two LCR bikes are painted in separate designs, with Idemitsu clearly the major sponsor on Nakagami’s bike. The colours are distributed fairly evenly on the bike, mainly white on the side to show of the main sponsor, with a nice shade of red the other main colour on the bike. Black with gold piping is also used wisely, most prominently on the front and on the side sweeping to the tail.

I’m not the biggest fan of the design on the front. While it suits the shape of the windscreen, the shape of the white section is just a little off putting. Similarly, the way the number overlaps the gold lines is a little annoying, where it could have been smaller, or lines made a wider to avoid the issue.

★★★★

LCR Honda Castrol

Only some subtle changes for Crutchlow in 2019, with Givi still the main sponsor. The Italian colours feature again here, this time with a large red section for the main sponsor, with the smaller green sections seemingly placed for Castrol.

I like the green stripe that leads toward the tail; it’s adjacent to the Givi section but works very well given the forced separation of the two panels. The front is nicer here than the Idemitsu machine, but the number still overlaps the linework.

★★★☆

Mission Winnow Ducati

A fairly big change for 2019, with Ducati moving quite close to 100% red on their bikes, apart from two white lines which frame the Mission Winnow logo, and some cleverly placed black sections on mainly the underside.

It isn’t just plain red though, there’s an interesting pattern of different shades of red behind the Mission Winnow logo. Lenovo looks to have requested grey for their logo to sit on top of. Some other subtle touches include a tiny Italian flag under the NetApp logo, whilst rims are piped with the red, which looks fantastic.

★★★☆

Reale Avintia Racing

The Avintia team bring a fluorescent yellow onto the bike to accompany the white and blue this season. It’s a clean livery, with each sponsor given an appropriate amount of space and framing, although it ends up looking quite full with little room to spare.

The colour combination works just fine although I have some slight continuity issues, with the yellow lines directly against the other colours in most sections, whilst leave a tiny space of blue along the top section of the bike. Nothing super memorable about the design, apart from the suitcase handle winglets!

★★★

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

After succeeding in pretty much every other level of Motorsport, you’d think Red Bull KTM are due to break through any year now. That said, even with a lot of KTM orange on the bike, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t feel this is unmistakably a Red Bull livery.

Navy blue and orange are a combination I’ve loved since my childhood, but the contrast of the orange, red and yellow is a bit too much, and fight for superiority rather than work in harmony. It’s essentially two different liveries on the one bike and ends up more disappointing than impressive. Not to say I entirely dislike it, but it could have looked a lot nicer if they favoured one style over the other.

★★

Red Bull KTM Tech 3

Now the Tech 3 livery takes the above issues and laughs at them. Subtract the red and yellow, replace with the Toro Rosso silver, and boom, a beautiful livery. The lovely blue colour complements the orange perfectly, whilst the silver works harmoniously with both.

Rather than 4 or 5 main colours, they’ve nailed just the 3. Colours aside, the designs of both the Red Bull KTMs is identical, yet this one is miles ahead in the looks department. Thank goodness for the Red Bull/Toro Rosso rebrand.

★★★★★

Repsol Honda Team

Marquez continues to dominate, winning all but one race he’s finished, whilst Lorenzo, who looked to have turned a corner last year, is yet to finish in the top 10 as I write this article. Thanks to Repsol backing, the factory Honda team livery hasn’t changed substantially since 1994, which is an incredible 25 year stretch of continuity.

That in mind, there isn’t much to talk about! The Repsol logo and colours are still proudly emblazoned across the whole bike, although the main design is not as circular as it used to be. The front of the bike is one of the cleanest though, which I am a fan of.

★★★★

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

Yamaha have made a slight change of livery direction. Monster has beefed up it’s sponsorship to take over almost the entire side of the bike and in turn, just about making black the main colour. It’s a cool, aggressive look, giving the design a negative space look, exaggerated by the blue pinstripes broken up by the Monster logo.

The pattern continues on the front where the Monster logos look a little messier crammed amongst the rider numbers and other design elements. The chrome strip diving the main sponsor and the rest on the side is a neat touch.

★★★★☆

Petronas Yamaha SRT

After years in Formula 1 and other car/bike categories, Petronas has joined the MotoGP field with Yamaha SRT. It’s refreshing that they haven’t followed Red Bull in a strict branding policy across all categories, going with a blend of turquoise, black and silver on this effort.

I can’t say I’m in love as for some reason, my first connection to the spray paint style gradients was those custom airbrushed trucker caps you’d find at tourist markets on holidays. OK, definitely a bit of a stretch, but despite my weird association, I can’t entirely dislike the livery. What it does do, is help me appreciate that silver and turquoise work better together than I gave it credit for (in F1), the black combo not looking quite as amazing as I’d imagined.

★★☆

Team SUZUKI ECSTAR

Suzuki are sticking with their royal blue and flashes of fluro yellow and white. It just sends me generic vibes, not just with the fairly standard shade of blue, but also the approach of the secondary colours, placed without a whole lot of ingenuity.

It ends up looking like a cookie cutter livery and makes it hard for them to stick out of the pack, especially when squads like Yamaha have owned a similar shade of blue for many years. I’d much sooner associate the Rizla Cyan colour with Suzuki than the current colour combination.

★★

Bonus Awards

Best Looker Award – Red Bull KTM Tech 3

The Toro Rosso Formula 1 livery is beautiful, and switching the red to orange doesn’t change that fact. Lovely design.

Least Attractive Award – Suzuki / Red Bull KTM

It’s not that Suzuki is ugly, it’s just a little boring and lacks a unique touch. KTM on the other hand is torn between two liveries and suffers for it.

So which was your favourite? Vote below! Don’t hesitate to leave a comment – let me know if there are any liveries you’d like me to review.

Round-Up – 2019 MotoGP Field

Round-Up – 2019 IndyCar Field

Not a whole lot of excitement on the livery front for IndyCar this season. Most of the cars haven’t changed! Let’s look into them anyway – in reverse alphabetical order for a change!

Team Penske #2 Josef Newgarden

No change for Penske’s overall team design, or for Newgarden’s car in 2019. They’re not the most inspiring or exciting colours, but I’ve grown to be content with the simple design.

It’s been the same for a number of years which is slightly frustrating, but the aging effect would be more prominent on a more complicated livery.

★★★

Team Penske #12 Will Power

There isn’t a whole lot to say for any of the Penske liveries – Power’s is also the same.

I think this has solidified the #12 as my pick of the Penske bunch, I guess I’ve got a new thing for silver cars of late.


★★★★

Team Penske #22 Simon Pagenaud

See above! I still like the thin red and black lines in parallel along the car, as opposed to the thick ones on the #2 & #12.

A little indifferent to the fluro yellow at this stage, but it definitely stands out of the pack.

★★★☆

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing #15 Graham Rahal

Graham Rahal ran in a fun design at St Pete, using those same black, white and red colours as the #2 to a much greater effect. It reminds me a bit of the Team Mugen Super Formula livery from a couple of years ago, in how the red Total stripe wraps across the side and top of the sidepods.

It looks fantastic from the top view; the thick Total stripe curving beautifully all the way to the exhaust. Keeping the black on the cockpit side of the red line and away from the white is a great choice, as is the red directly in front of the cockpit, which wraps the section up perfectly.

★★★★★

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing #30 Takuma Sato

There’s a bit of a theme this season in lack of change, and the same almost goes Sato’s #30. This was one of my five star liveries last season, and the only difference is the nose, where the metallic blue extends further and is bordered by white instead of navy blue in front of the cockpit.

Not sure if it’s the change above, but I’m not quite as in love with this as last season, but it’s still a great looker. Great to see Taku back on the top step of the podium again this week too!

★★★★☆

Meyer Shank Racing with Arrow Schmidt Peterson #60 Jack Harvey

There have been some slight alterations to the colours of the Schmidt Peterson cars – the purple on Harvey’s car appears to be slightly lighter and less metallic. This works wonders, because last year’s effort was just too dark, with the already dark shade of purple only have black for light to reflect off.

It looks very different because of this, despite the design being the same. It’s opened up the car nicely and is therefore, a lovely improvement.

★★★☆

Harding Steinbrenner Racing #88 Colton Herta

Harding has teamed up with George Steinbrenner for 2019 (who’s family has a long legacy in baseball) and at 22, young George is blazing a trail in Motorsport as the youngest team owner in IndyCar. Last year’s Harding car was already a good looker, and despite changing colours, has remained so.

They’ve gone with black, white and sky blue accents which is terrific. The white, feathery design on top of the sidepods has evolved and almost looks like a Kiwi silver fern design. It’s almost regal from the top view, and the pinstripes along the side of the nose and rear really top it off. The blue on the usually unpainted suspension is also a neat touch.

★★★★★

Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa #20 Ed Jones

I’m slightly confused by the lack of change on the Ed Carpenter machines. Whilst they weren’t ugly, there was absolutely nothing spectacular about these liveries last season, and I’d even compared them to the messy mid 2000’s Minardis.

Ed Carpenter Racing #21 Spencer Pigot

Nostalgia aspect aside, there’s not much to love about this livery. It’s very simple, but not in the most aesthetic way. However, black is probably the correct choice given the multicoloured sponsor logos, but I’m sure a little more red and blue rather than white could have given some more personality to the livery.

★★

Dragonspeed #81 Ben Hanley

Ben Hanley and Dragonspeed are only racing at five events this season, but I’ve included them seeing as they raced in St. Pete. It’s a mainly white, patriotic livery, and almost looks as if someone was trying to put the 76ers uniform on a car. However, it suffers in that it looks quite bland and a little cheesy with with stars and stripes.

The Rembrandt Charms logo is awkwardly small on the sidepod, and I’m confused by the camera on the roll hoop being yellow – it goes against the rest of the livery. It does however, match Hanley’s helmet, which is likely what they were going for.

Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan #18 Sébastien Bourdais]

Only minor changes for Bourdais this year, in fact, the only change of note is the #18 being black instead of red on the nose.

Sponsors and all, I’m fairly sure that’s about it! It’s still a really nice, distinctive livery, and tones down the fluro yellow sufficiently enough to not be confused in any way with Pagenaud’s car.

★★★★

Dale Coyne Racing #19 Santino Ferrucci

After being booted by his F2 team last season, Ferrucci was picked up by Dale Coyne for the last two races of 2018, and now for the full 2019 season. Chrome is a look that was pioneered by McLaren in the mid 2000s and has seen a bit of renaissance of late. What I disliked most about those McLaren liveries was the Vodafone red that went along with it, but there’s no such problem here.

It’s beautifully understated, with only the lightest of touches, such as the black on the engine cover and red mirrors and numbers. I’d have preferred only black as a secondary colour – it looks fantastic for the main sponsors, but perhaps red stands out better. Oh, and don’t forget the little American flag on the rear wing end plate.

★★★★☆

Chip Ganassi Racing #9 Scott Dixon

No change at all for Scott Dixon’s design this year. It’s a strong enough livery to keep around for a second season but given the busy pattern, it will age quickly.

The pattern itself is a clever use of the PNC Bank logo, but is a little clunky looking close up, especially in the thicker areas. Orange and blue is one of my favourite combinations going back to my childhood, but I still don’t find myself loving this one.

★★★

Chip Ganassi Racing #10 Felix Rosenqvist

The NTT Data car, now with Rosenqvist at the helm, has undergone a bit of an evolution on the livery front. The dark blue area has expanded to cover most the of the ‘top’ of the car, which is an effect I really enjoy. However, I feel as though these usually look best with the lighter colour on top – not to say this isn’t a good effort. It’s still bordered by a a strip of chrome which is a nice touch.

Some white has also been added to the wings, as well as a touch on the engine cover, which is welcome and an improvement on last season. The whole livery, especially from front on, has a distinct old school feel. Perhaps it’s Player’s Forsythe vibes, but whatever it is, it’s welcome.

★★★★

Carlin #23 Charlie Kimball

Kimball won’t be a full time driver in IndyCar this year, but when he is racing, he’ll be rocking the same colours as 2018 (or at least he did in round 1). I’d have loved to see more of the green in pinstripe form as opposed to the faded pattern on top of the green, as they are my favourite feature, just in front of the rear wheels.

Black rather than charcoal also may have better choice, but unfortunately we don’t get a say in the matter.

★★★☆

Carlin #31 Patricio O’Ward

Alternating with Kimball at Carlin will be rookie Patricio O’Ward. The young Mexican, who’s name threw me off for a short while, has seemingly been successful in everything he’s driven so far, so there’s no saying it won’t be the same in IndyCar. His livery is proudly emblazoned in his home country’s colours, but not your stock standard ones! The green used here hints toward mint – a refreshing (sorry) shade not often used in Motorsport.

The design is a little generic, but is spiced up not only by the non traditional choice of green, but also by the non-traditional line-work, with each section not perfectly bordered by the next. To nitpick, what could have been nice would be leaving an edge of the red sections not bordered at all by green and instead against white, but it’s a pleasing all round effort nonetheless.

★★★☆

Carlin #59 Max Chilton

The Gallagher car of Max Chilton has seen some significant movement for 2019, changing to a mainly sky blue colour scheme. It’s a questionable decision given how cohesive the car was last year, but also as the NTT Data Chip Ganassi car has owned the colour for a few years now. While it isn’t difficult to tell the two apart, Gallagher isn’t the first thought that pops to mind when I see the colour scheme.

The design is strong in parts – I especially like the engine cover and cockpit area, where the white sections are thicker and more evenly distributed with the dark blue. It has a stronger effect there than when it is piped on as a thin border to the dark blue on other parts of the car. It’s still a good looking livery, but some tweaks could have turned it into a stunner.

★★★★

Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports #5 James Hinchcliffe

As mentioned previously, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports have tweaked their paintwork, using less reflective colours on their cars than in previous years. While this resulted in a more vibrant livery for the Meyer Shank car, it’s had an opposite effect here. The gold colour used is a little too far to the brown side, so moving away from the highly reflective paint has actually caused this car to look quite dull.

Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports #5 Marcus Ericsson

Same goes for new boy Marcus Ericsson, who looks forever destined to be three Grands Prix shy of a century in Formula 1. The #5 uses same livery, and suffers from the same issue. The design itself hasn’t really changed, and is a simple but attractive effort, with the black contrasting sharply against the colour it borders.

★★★

Andretti Autosport #26 Zach Veach

The Andretti design also looks to be unchanged this year, however, Veach’s sponsor and livery has. Gainsbridge has brought some striking black and yellow to the #26, with some subtle blue complementing the overall effort.

While based on the same design, each Andretti car has its own quirks, the main one I can see here being the yellow arrow on the front wing end plate. It’s a nice little touch, and a little improvement where a plain blue end plate would have sufficed. It still looks a little plain from directly side on, but pretty snazzy from the angles above.

★★★☆

Andretti Autosport #27 Alexander Rossi

Continuing the theme, the NAPA car driven by Rossi is unchanged, but rightly so. It was a solid improvement from 2017 to 2018, so a safe bet to not make further alterations.

Whilst I like the red in flashes on the mirrors, camera and suspension, I’m not as big a fan of it bordering the yellow along the engine cover and cockpit. Sticking with just blue and yellow, as is the case on every other part of the car, would have looked better.

★★★☆

Andretti Autosport #28 Ryan Hunter-Reay

No changes for RHR either. I’m a big fan of two-tone, and it works really well with yellow and red. It’s rare to have a main sponsor logo comply in this fashion, so great to see them make the most of it. Shame every sponsor couldn’t conform!

Not much to say given it’s identical to 2018, so let’s take a moment to admire the beauty of the IndyCar chassis from this angle!

★★★★

Andretti Herta Autosport with Marco Andretti & Curb-Agajanian #98 Marco Andretti

Marco Andretti drove in more traditional colours in St. Pete compared to last season, and given the awesome design put out by Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, it really does look basic.

The Andretti design really compliments bold and well paired colours. This colour scheme is just ordinary, and really exaggerates its flaws.

★★☆

A.J. Foyt Enterprises #4 Matheus Leist

What a way to cap it all off – with a livery that hasn’t changed in at least 8 seasons now. Good for them I guess?

A.J. Foyt Enterprises #14 Tony Kanaan

I’ll point out again that the colours are somewhat subtly inverted on either car, which I embarrassingly didn’t notice for a number of years. Yawn!

★★

Bonus Awards

Best Looker Award – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

I know I gave out 5 stars twice this year, but if I had to pick one, it would be the #15. It’s beautifully thought out and put together. Total has never looked better on a racing car.

Least Attractive Award – Dragonspeed

It looks like it was designed by someone who isn’t really into Motorsport. A little tacky and very generic.

What year is it? Award – A.J. Foyt Enterprises

No surprise here. It’s time to move on!

Round-Up – 2019 IndyCar Field

Round-Up – 2019 Formula 1 Field

After a winter that has seen more change than I can ever remember in my time watching Formula 1, we’re finally back in business. The first race has been run and it was a relieved Valtteri Bottas who crossed the line first in Melbourne. Unfortunately it’s looking like more of the same in terms of performance and success, but while it may be the same guys winning for another year, at least the grid has seen some interesting changes to its liveries.

Alfa Romeo Racing

In both sad and uplifting news, Alfa Romeo is officially back in the sport for the first time since 1985, but has taken the place of much loved Sauber. However, I’m glad to see that the team should, with solid financial backing, work its way out of the doldrums and into some upper midfield battles. I’m also glad that Alfa has kept some of the Sauber roots, both with the ‘Sauber Engineering’ logo in front of the rear wheel, and with the similar blue and white design used last year.

The overall theme, however, has well and truly shifted to Alfa, expanding on the beautiful metallic red used in 2018. More red is what I wanted last year and it’s what we’ve got. They’ve brought the red forward to cover the cockpit and halo, and have also used a smoother, prettier curve along the sidepod. The main logo on the engine cover has also had a bit more thought put into it, and looks much better larger and cut off. Every aspect of the livery is more refined and improved. Great job Alfa Romeo.

★★★★☆

Ferrari Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow

Ferrari have gone with as drastic a change as ever this year, firstly in hiring a very young, promising driver in Charles Leclerc who had a breakout 2018. Secondly, they’ve removed almost all white from the car and have followed Red Bull’s lead with a matte livery. Personally, I’m struggling to associate the livery with Ferrari, but it will come with time. It’s such a modern effort when we’ve always thought of Ferrari as an old school, conservative team.

What I’m a fan of is having black as a true second colour, as opposed to white. It’s still used sparingly, along the bottom of the car, the halo and some flashes on the wing end plates, but mainly on the very rear of the car, helping to contrast the white driver number exceptionally well. Whether it’s the lack of white, that black section being slightly more distracting, or the matte paint, the billboard of a sidepod is not as offensive this year.

Mission Winnow controversy aside, would the livery look better in glossy paint? Possibly. Would that help it look better from all angles? Yes – in especially sunny angles, the red does appear washed out. However, I’m excited to see this livery under lights. Bring on Bahrain.

★★★★

Haas Rich Energy Haas F1 Team

There was quite a bit of pessimism around the validity of Rich Energy and their sponsorship of the Haas F1 Team, but so far we’ve gone at least winter testing and round 1 with their logos on the car. I was initially super disappointed to see a largely generic, uninspired livery turn up to Barcelona testing, but am heartened to see they’ve put some thought and creativity to good use come Melbourne, whether that was inspired or not. Probably not.

The car is mainly black, but for the gold lines on the front and larger section on the engine cover fin. I had the same idea myself pre-season, so suffice to say, I love the use of the black antlers on the gold background. However, whilst necessary from a marketing perspective, the white Haas logos create some disharmony on the car.

Whether it’s the shade of gold to blame (which should perhaps be lighter, but the reflective nature of it look nice above) or another aspect of the livery, it and the white don’t really get along well enough in my opinion. A two tone effort of black and hold only would have looked great. It’s a livery with fantastic potential, which I’m sure they’ll build on either throughout the season or in 2020, should Rich Energy still be around!

★★★

McLaren F1 Team

It has been a double driver change for McLaren with Sainz and youngster Norris in for 2019. The ethos of the livery has thankfully remained, while some clever additions have been made to the design. The papaya orange remains in all its beauty, with the slightly metallic blue encroaching ever so slightly on it’s territory, creeping up the engine cover in a quirky, almost tessellating triangular pattern.

They’ve also cheekily increased the amount of black on the car, in a deceivingly large portion along the bottom of the car. I love the look of this section, especially the old school detailing of the technical sponsors along it. The halo is still black, but given the presence of black has been upped across the board, it makes a whole lot more sense this time around. The half black, half blue rear wing end plate is an attractive touch. It’s improved in all aspects. Props to the McLaren livery designers, although I wish they hadn’t caved to having red on the back of the rear wing for Huski.

★★★★★

Mercedes Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport

They’ve gone and done it, Mercedes removed that patch of smokey black below the airbox, so I’m already happy. It’s become redundant seeing as they’ve removed the large Mercedes logo on the engine cover, and instead gone with a repeating pattern of silver arrows, on top of a fading black to silver. It’s subtle from a distance, but makes a strong point from up close.

The turquoise section of the car follows the same shape as last year, but is a far simpler, cleaner rendition – just the one line from nose to rear. It looks like a smooth flow of energy along the car and am happy they’ve gone with this design. Another element I like is painting the halo black just on the underside. It’s been underutilised to this point but am glad a couple of the teams are taking the halo further in terms of livery. One last thing that I find odd is having the Petronas logo in black. It would certainly stand out more in white with a black border.

★★★★

Racing PointSportPesa Racing Point F1 Team

We weren’t quite sure what to expect from Racing Point after their transition from Force India. The largely unfancied Lance Stroll has already proved some doubters wrong by scoring a couple of points when his teammate Perez couldn’t manage any. The cars have also remained BWT pink, and thanks to the new ownership have actually added some significant sponsors, most notably SportPesa. This has boosted the amount of blue on the car, and made it a deeper shade, which suits the pink better.

Aside from the big blue section on the engine cover, the remainder of the design has stayed largely the same. That said, the deep pink and silver lines have also been brought forward due to the aforementioned change, now pleasantly connecting to the lines on the nose and finishing on the front of the sidepod. My only question is whether silver is needed at all, although it doesn’t take away any style points. I also have to point out the similar thinking to the halo design as Mercedes – looks just as good with a light colour on the underside here, as dark does for Merc. Side note, I wish Stroll had kept his blue helmet. It would have contrasted the pink and complemented the blue on the car perfectly.

★★★★★

Red Bull Aston Martin Red Bull Racing

Gasly will have a tough time to replace Ricciardo and match Verstappen in 2019, and after a disastrous round 1, he has a lot to prove. On the livery side of things, it’s the fourth year for this design and it is virtually unchanged from last year, bar a couple of logos, such as Honda at the rear. It’s still nice, but would have liked to have seen some more design variation.

With Ferrari now encroaching on Red Bull’s point of difference in matte paint, I wonder if this will spur some changes to design philosophy in 2020, or whether they’ll wait it out until the bigger set of rule changes in 2021.

★★★★

Renault F1 Team

Renault have brought in Aussie favourite Ricciardo for 2019, but have stuck with their design for a second year, only making a couple of improvements rather than another redesign like they had done the last three years. The most obvious and one I’m happiest about is the removal of the yellow around the edge of the sidepod entry.

Another change is the front halo support being half yellow where it was all black last year. Not sure what the thinking was for this, perhaps to lessen the appearance of a black beam jutting out, but it isn’t bad. The pinstripes over the car are still good and similarly, there’s a really nice touch with the very front facing edge of the rear wing end plate being painted in yellow.

★★★★☆

Toro Rosso Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda

The Red Bull junior program is really stretched at the moment, so much so that they’ve re-enlisted the unfortunately maligned Daniil Kvyat alongside debutante Alexander Albon. Toro Rosso has had my top livery pick for the last couple of years, partially due to the relief of ridding the grid of their previous boring efforts, but also because it just looks really good. The shades of blue and red are beautiful and match perfectly, and are complemented just as well by the metallic silver. However, the longer a livery exists, the more time we have to pick flaws.

It’s due to the shape of the sidepods, but the Red Bull logo appears more and more squished every year, tapering off from huge to tiny in dramatic fashion, far more so than the Red Bull. They really need to take it easy here – just because the real estate exists, it doesn’t mean you have to use it. Less would be more in this case. It also looks like they’ll be promoting their organics range on the inside of the rear wing end plates, although that really doesn’t receive much visibility. A neat touch regardless.

Williams ROKiT Williams Racing

Everyone was aboard the Kubica train and nobody is more glad than me to see him back in action, alongside youngster George Russell. However, the car looks to sadly be the slowest by far. At least they’ve given us something interesting to look at. My initial thoughts are who’s child did they get to play with a gradient tool in Photoshop? The Orlen and Rexona logos look terrible on the blue they’ve used, like they’ve used the screen tool to make them a little harder to read.

The nose is also a bit strange, and perhaps it’s a camera angle trick, but the gradient at the tip just never quite seems to sit directly in the centre of the nose which is annoying to say the least. However, it has grown on me since testing. The choice of blue and white is a new take on classic Williams colours, and the black along the side of the car helps to even out the ratio of blue and white. If blue had gone all the way to the bottom, it may have been overpowering. The use of gradient was an odd choice in my opinion, as were a couple of the other design decisions, but I can’t get myself to dislike this livery.

★★★☆

Bonus Awards

Best Looker Award – McLaren and Racing Point

Two completely different design philosophies, but both fantastic liveries in their own right. They’ve dethroned Toro Rosso and I’m happy that they have!

Least Attractive Award – Haas

I have to say that we’re lucky to see an abundance of beautiful liveries on the grid this year. I don’t any of them are ugly by any means, but Haas did receive my lowest rating. So much potential in the colours and design, especially with the antler logo to work with, so hoping for even better things in the future.

Breaking Tradition Award – Ferrari

It kinda just FEELS wrong that Ferrari is in matte, doesn’t it? I’m not sure Mr. Enzo would be spinning in his grave by any means, but they have taken a big step, and it does look really different. Keen to see it under the floodlights in Bahrain.

Best 90s Feel – McLaren

This car isn’t quite retro, but some of the design elements to irk back to the 90s. The listing of the tech sponsors along the side certainly gives off that vibe, and the triangular pattern could well have been taken from a textbook (or a mid 90s Footwork Formula 1 car). I think we’re really lucky to have such an attractive grid overall.

I think we’re really lucky to have such an attractive grid overall. Personally I’ve rated almost all the cars over 4 stars our of 5, so I’m enjoying this era as much as I can. Blink and we might be back to 6 grey teams and only Ferrari with some colour! Have your say on the people’s favourite below..

Round-Up – 2019 Formula 1 Field