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.
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’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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Looker Award – McLaren and Racing Point
completely different design philosophies, but both fantastic liveries in their
own right. They’ve dethroned Toro Rosso and I’m happy that they have!
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.
Tradition Award – Ferrari
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
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..
Thought I’d get in nice and early this year! I try my best to keep things realistic, and get as many hints as to what the teams will actually be doing in the new season, but some of that info is a little hard to come by given most team launches are still about a month away. Most teams do have up to date sponsor lists available, but apart from this, I’ve taken creative control. Thanks to legend WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot from IMG for the wonderful template!
I kept it simple last year, but this time I’ve let go, and gone for the black that many of us have been wishing for for years. The car is obviously still majority red, a very slightly darker shade than usual, with two large black sections on the back and front. The swooping nature of the black sections help to border the sponsors, especially on the sidepod, which usually look unappealing on their own given the different shapes and colours between them.
From a top view the car would be red, with red piping from the side on the shark fin and wings to suit. The Mission Winnow logo doesn’t even look half bad, and fills what would otherwise be an empty hole. While Ferrari is basically its form of Italian patriotism nowadays, there’s a little stripe of the Italian flag colours in front of the rear wheel.
It was a bit of surprise when little known Rich Energy were announced as major partners of the Haas team. Dodgy backers aren’t new to F1, so hopefully this company is legitimate, but can’t say I’d be surprised if they didn’t see out the year.
I’ve used their logo as inspiration for this design, emblazoned across the side of the car, supporting the text logo along the sidepod. Other antler details have also been added on gold backgrounds, to add some colour to the car, but in form that is unique to the team and sponsor. The gold itself is more vibrant than that used on the real logo (from their website), as I feel the original colour was too dull to stand out, and generally wouldn’t look as nice. I’ve also been careful not to add too much gold, as it can look tacky. Also, minimal gold has a proven track record of looking great (e.g. JPS Lotus). The red flashes add another touch of colour, and make sure we don’t forget about HAAS (they’re trying to sell stuff too!).
McLaren have teased us with an all black logo on social media. This may point to an increased presence of black on the car in 2019, or it could mean nothing at all. I’ve gone with the latter, as I feel the black sections of last year’s car were the weakest parts of the livery.
I was pessimistic of the blue initially, but after seeing the lovely shade they applied to the car, it proved to be a great combination. I’ve decided to expand on these sections slightly, changing the halo from black to blue, as well as making the inside of the cockpit blue. The wing end plates are also blue and I’ve limited black to the logos only. I’d love to have used white rather than black for the logos, but they slightly too hard to read that way. Overall, I’m happy for McLaren to keep the car simple and let the papaya shine, but would be interested to see how others make a complex livery with these colours work.
Once again, I’m hoping for Mercedes to simplify the livery, and also move away from the smokey gradient design theme. Here I’ve added some solid black sections along the top and bottom of the car, which are separated from the silver by bright turquoise and blue.
Mercedes over the last couple of years have added blue to the usual Petronas turquoise, promoting their hybrid technology. Rather than separate lines for the two, I’ve used both in gradients along the length of the respective sections of the car.
There really isn’t much to go off in terms of sponsorship for Racing Point, so I’ve made the assumption that BWT will continue their sponsorship, post Force India. I’ve gone for a more cohesive design, because as appealing as last year’s livery was, I feel as though there were some clashing design elements on the car.
The pink and white looked great together so I’ve retained the colour combination, with the white sections fading to a very light silver as they reach the front and rear of the car, rather than having solid silver stripes. However, there are bright pink stripes, three in formation following the white sections, ending just short of the pink/white notches. Another slight touch is changing all black logos to blue; they are dark enough to be easily distinguished, and help to keep the colour scheme to four-ish colours rather than 5.
I’ve really enjoyed Red Bull’s liveries the past couple of years, but recently I’ve started to think that more could be done with the colours available. The single stripe may be beginning to get stale, so I’ve experimented with what adding more colour could do. One angle the team hasn’t explored is more yellow. They’ve only every stuck with yellow on the nose and airbox, accompanying the bulls, but alongside the very dark blue and bright red, make for a very strong combination of colours.
There are three main ‘swoops’ of yellow, the main one allowing for the bull to be entirely bordered, with each section following and then transitioning to a minor portion of red. It also helps to bring the halo into the design, that are a lot of teams have either tried to hide last season, or neglect altogether.
I dream of an entirely two tone livery, and all my hopes are with Renault. Their most recent stint in Formula 1 has delivered three black and yellow cars, so ignoring that sponsors such as Castrol likely wouldn’t play ball, they are our best chance.
I’ve thought back to their 2016 all black test livery which looked so sleek for inspiration. It’s mainly black, with just a few yellow stripes, thoughtfully placed along the natural lines of the car’s body. As mentioned, there are only two colours on the car, including all sponsor logos. It makes for a nice effect, especially with the soft tyres and the yellow is bright enough against the black for legibility to be an issue.
Everybody loved the candy apple red on the 2018 Sauber, which left a few of us confused as to why more of the car wasn’t adorned with the beautiful colour. It’s a no brainer then that I’ve increased the amount of red on the car, but have tried to remain realistic, as Sauber’s colours of white and blue are very important to the team.
Red is along the top of the car with white on the bottom section, which is broken up by further red, along with some of the navy blue used last season. The lack of sponsors makes it tough to form a design, but I feel as though the above fills up the empty space well, whilst keeping the prime real estate enticing to potential sponsors.
There isn’t a whole lot of the current Toro Rosso that I would change. The colours are fantastic and distributed well, so I had a go to see what some minimal changes could do to the look of the car. I’ve moved one line to flow from the rear all the way to the front of the halo, whilst adding another along the length of the bottom of the car. There’s also a red section along the nose/cockpit.
I’ve also made use of negative space, with the circle usually behind the bull this time within the red section just under it. I’ve maintained this design theme in the other red sections too.
With the return of Kubica and sadly waving goodbye to Martini, Polish oil company Orlen have come aboard as sponsor of the Williams team. I imagine Williams returning to their traditional blue and white (depending on how large Orlen’s investment is), and have tried to work with the curves of the car, but also with some slightly jarring straight lines against the grain.
This effect has been used well in the past, memorably with the Compaq/HP Williams cars, and feel it works well not only as a design, but with fitting in with the team’s heritage. It’s also an attempt to fill as much space as possible, as the team’s lack of sponsors could easily be exposed with a more simplistic livery.
So what are your favourites? What improvements would you make? Do you have any predictions on what the teams will be running in 2019? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
AGS, short for Automobiles Gonfaronnaises Sportives, was a French Formula 1 team based out of Gonfaron (as the name suggests), a small town in the south of France. Approximately half way between Marseilles and Cannes and with a population of no more than 3,500, it perfectly fits the no mans land which was the back of the grid in the late 80s and early 90s.
In their 6 season stint in Formula one from 1986 to 1991, AGS managed to score two points, actually quite an achievement with 1st – 6th points structure, but failed to pre-qualify 48 times (counting both cars), not to mentioned many more failed attempts to qualify on a Saturday afternoon. There was hope initially, but various setbacks such as sponsor Bouygues Group pulling funding while a new facility was being built, creating a huge financial hole and causing owner Henri Julien to sell the team, as well as driver Philippe Streiff being paralysed in a testing crash in 1989, contributed to their eventual collapse one race before the end of the 1991 season.
Going into 1991, the team had retained Gabriele Tarquini, and had brought in one time championship hopeful Stefan Johansson. His tenure only lasted two races, neither of which he qualified for, before being replaced by Fabrizio Barbazza, whilst Olivier Grouillard also made an appearance in the team’s final event. The season began with this asymmetric white, blue and silver livery, before it changed along with new ownership, to what we see in the images above and below. Does it look familiar?
A striking resemblance to Fernando Alonso’s new 2018 helmet! Now it must be a coincidence – his helmet has always used these colours in one way or another, but the similarities are uncanny. Perhaps this is foreshadowing? With all things pointing to a future in Indycar to complete his triple crown, maybe he’ll follow AGS’ path in this being the last helmet livery he uses in F1. Amazing how similar the colours and design are, but can’t imagine he took inspiration from a perennial backmarker…
Moving on from ridiculous asumptions, the livery’s main colour is navy blue, filling almost the entire rear and side of the car, with sky blue in front of the cockpit and nose. The two sections are separated by a yellow and red ribbon, starting just behind the nose and wrapping over the airbox.
And that’s about all there is to it. Sponsorship is minimal, leaving plenty of empty space on the livery, and what logos do appear are small and don’t add much to the overall design. The design is a little off but not offensive, the colours work but only just, it is memorable but also an afterthought. A perfect summary of the team.
The 2018 F1 season is well underway now, with the guy just below snagging the first two wins of the year. It’s looking up for Ferrari in the fight with Mercedes, but who wins in the livery stakes?
I rejoiced at the news that Santander would not be sponsoring Ferrari in 2018 for one simple reason – there would no longer be a requirement to have tonnes of white on the car. However, for the first time since the Vodafone era, I think I kinda miss it. Plain red has worked very well in the past, notably in 2007 in Raikkonen’s WDC year, but it doesn’t quite hit the same mark in 2018, and it mostly has to do with the shade of red that has been used. While it’s quite nice in the somewhat enhanced image above, it’s a little more obvious below in an image closer to how it would appear to the naked eye, that the red is too flat to look that awesome on its own.
Where the 2007 car was a slightly darker and slightly metallic red, the red used for the last few years just doesn’t excite on its own. Add to this the cluster of large, clashing sponsors on the sidepods and the varying additions of white and black along the side and you can see why it doesn’t come close to hitting the highs of 2007. This was also a great chance to add black as a prominent second colour, but it wasn’t taken.
After what was a refreshing 2017 livery, Force India have exceeded expectations with this cracker. The shade of pink used is more or less the same, but there is now a significant amount of white in the mix, helping to break up the bright pink. The design is also far more interesting, incorporating the white sections and new vibrant pink stripes very well to the shape of the car.
It’s also far more unique than the generic swoops of last year, with some odd choices, most notably the pink on the nose which breaks to white a couple of time, likely for sponsors and the driver number to stand out better. Only thing that is slightly annoying for me is the BWT logo not sitting on a single solid colour on the sidepods or front wing end plates – still attractive, but its the unevenness that irks me. Reinvigorating to see such an against the grain design.
No surprises from Haas, who have whipped out black, white and red for 2018. However, it’s a huge improvement on last year’s yawn inducing colour scheme. The white opens up the livery making it far more pleasing to look at, in comparison to the grey in 2017 which was just drab.
The design itself hasn’t changed significantly and still draws the same pros and cons. The black/white split half way up the sidepod is great and a simple way of keeping the plain colours from being boring. However, the nose is still an area that could be improved as it just doesn’t quite suit the rest of the car, and isn’t so pleasant on its own anyway.
After complete and utter disappointment last year, we can all rejoice after McLaren listened to the people and painted the MCL33 papaya orange. Based on the fondly remembered McLaren Formula 1 and sports cars of the 60s and 70s, and after putting out the feelers with Alonso’s drive in the Indy 500 last year, McLaren have pleased the fans with their colour choice for 2018.
I say it a lot – colour choice is vital. This design is incredibly simple, with the only non orange elements being the rear & front wings, as well as the shark fin. I found out myself how difficult it can be to work with this colour, unable to put any complexity into it without destroying it, so I have full respect for the simplicity. The slightly reflective blue is a nice touch and does work well alongside the orange, which I have to reiterate, looks terrific on the car. If only the halo was blue (or didn’t exist)!
Not much change for Mercedes, who have stuck with their silver and neon blue/turquoise swooping design. However, it is an evolution, with the neon lines far thicker than last year, and requiring less background turquoise fill the car with colour.
The wispy black remains on the engine cover to help the Mercedes logo stand out, but still wish they’d explore an alternative because it just ends up looking a little dirty. It’s certainly a slight improvement overall, but will likely be unable to get excited about a silver Mercedes livery unless significant changes are made, however unlikely that may be.
So year three without change for Red Bull and I’m still OK with this. Only major change is with Aston Martin coming in as a main sponsor, and popping their logos on the rear wing and disrupting the red line in front of the sidepods.
Am I still as in love as I was last year? No, but it’s still fantastic. No complaints, but hopefully we see some sort of evolution next year.
Now THIS is an evolution! Last year’s livery was neither here or there, but they’ve really made some positive changes to finesse the design in 2018. I’m quite partial to a warm yellow, but the cooler shade used this year also works very well, and is a nice change. However, the change with the strongest impact to the car’s good looks is keeping the yellow just to the top of the nose and leaving the sides black. It’s a great effect that I’m a huge fan of.
They’ve also added two nifty black pinstripes from the tip of the nose to the cockpit which looks nice. The line around the edge of and sweeping along the bottom of the sidepods I’m indifferent to, but the added yellow to the front wing is nice. Great overall, especially when viewed front on.
One of the great pieces of news for 2018 was that Alfa Romeo were going to be sponsoring Sauber, who have been on the edge in F1 in terms of performance and sponsorship for a number of years now. What this meant to livery buffs like myself was that there was a strong chance of red on the Sauber in the new year. Our prayers were answered with the unveiling of the livery, which proudly displayed a beautiful ruby or candy apple red on the engine cover. While this is a lovely colour, I’m disappointed it wasn’t extended all across the top of the car, like I’d hoped in my mockup earlier this year. It would have been a great effect to see the red from nose to exhaust, but instead, white is prominent toward the front of the car.
The result, however, is that front on, the car looks suspiciously like the Williams with the navy blue lines on the white. The design here is actually the same as last year, where it was gold on blue, but almost looks like two liveries on the one car as the red is barely visible from front angles. A bit of a missed opportunity given the colours they had to work with, so unfortunately is a downgrade from last year’s very complete livery.
For the first time ever, I’m glad that Toro Rosso have retained their livery. It was stunning last year and it’s still stunning this year. The borderline-purple-in-particular-lighting shade of blue is great, the vibrant red and reflective silver complement it perfectly and the placement of each of the colours is wonderful.
No significant change to note, although the rear wing end plates have a slight update, with the Red Bull Simply Cola logo better fitting the design, where it was plain red last year. I’m satisfied!
As above, but disappointingly in this case, Williams have also retained their livery. Season 5 has already begun for this Martini livery and whilst iconic, could use a refresh of some sort. There have been some changes albeit of minimal impact, the most significant being the increased volume of the black section sweeping along the bottom sides of the car.
Another big one is that there are fewer sponsors present on the car. This could be an alarming trend for the years to come as we’ve seen a sharp drop off in performance for the team, where it seemed they’d brought back their former stability since the new engine rules. Let’s hope their fortunes improve.
Best Looker Award – Toro Rosso
Toro Rosso go back to back. However, I hope they don’t get stuck into old habits and now keep this colour scheme for the next 70 years.
Least Attractive Award – Ferrari
Perhaps this is a little harsh, but I just don’t enjoy so much of that particular shade of red. Some more black would have been fantastic.
Most Likely to be an Ice Cream Flavour – Force India
With so much pink and white on the car, it looks like it would be a tasty flavour. Some sneaky chocolate brown and you’ve have Neapolitan on the grid for the first time ever!
Fan Favourite Award – McLaren
Righting the wrongs of 2017 and the years before, McLaren has certainly pleased the fans this year.
Missed Potential Award – Sauber
Could have been incredible with more of that candy apple red on the car, but alas, there will hopefully be many more years of improvements to come.
A day late and a dollar short this year unfortunately! While I’d started to design these a couple of weeks ago, time got the best of me and alas, I’ve missed the boat in terms of getting these out before the launches. However, I can assure you these designs were started well before the launches, and therefore haven’t taken inspiration from any of the recent launches. In any case, here are my F1 mockups for the 2018 season, in reverse alphabetical order for something different.
Every year I try to give the Williams a different look and feel, and while I went retro last year, I’ve gone with something (just about) substantially different for 2018. The Martini stripes are a lot more versatile than they look at first glance, and by simply placing them diagonally and against the grain of the car as opposed to the usual sweeping curves, it gives the livery a fresh new look.
However, I haven’t ignored the curves of the car entirely, sharply ending the stripes along the natural body lines on the nose, sidepod and rear wing endplate, as well as to leave a space for the Martini logo.
The actual 2018 car has followed the same theme of the last few years, they have added a large sweeping chunk of grey to fill up some white space. I wonder how it would have looked in navy blue.
This is one livery I would be very happy to see stay the same in 2018. The vibrant blue and red, and sleek silver were a welcome change after 11 years of bleh, so I’ve made sure to keep true to the 2017 colour scheme.
The simple silver bull stays, and the red line isn’t too different from the actual 2017 livery. The slight changes are that it ends at the sidepod and the second half is moved to the sidepod from above it, and that there is a bull pattern in a slightly darker red just for something different.
For the first time ever, don’t change, Toro Rosso!
Everyone was excited by the possibilities opened by Sauber’s new partnership with Alfa Romeo. Red was on the cards with the launch of the partnership and the actual 2018 didn’t deviate much from this, but my heart was set on the beautiful metallic dark red.
I thought it was a waste to not expand that lovely colour further along the car, so took the liberty to place it all over the top, whilst keeping the sides mainly white. Extending the red along the top helps the flow of the car, where keeping it just on the engine cover gives the impression of a lack of care in the design (just seems a little boring in application in the link above). Some extra flashes of red line the larger red sections and helps fill up the car, despite the void that is the Sauber sidepod of late. I’ve also managed to keep this two tone, although realistically I should have added some blue, given that is Sauber’s team colour.
Keeping the Renault two-tone wasn’t the plan originally, but it ended up working quite well. The black and yellow contrast enough for logos to be perfectly visible and the combination is one that just about always works perfectly.
I’d attempted a mainly yellow car, but ended up with the opposite; a sleek black design with a fair amount of yellow piping. I’ve attempted to make good use of the newly introduced halo (which is universally regarded as hideous) with the piping. How teams make use of this feature with their 2018 liveries will be a key factor in overall looks.
Simple and not overly complicated designs executed well can be some of the most memorable.
Red Bull have unleashed a monster recently with the all blue ‘disruption’ livery which will almost certainly only be used in winter testing. Realistically, we’ll be seeing the navy blue and red for the 2018 season, and I’ve daringly avoided yellow too where possible. I’ve taken a chapter from the new Toro Rosso book in doing so, keeping the bull and logo super clean in red only, where the yellow outline almost looked out of place in 2017 in comparison to the rest of the livery.
The other elements of the design, being the red lines along the body, are slightly thicker and are cut off at an angle. There are also additional lines, underlining the Red Bull logo, as well as on the wing end plates.
Mercedes always presents a challenge, in that I can never seem to make a good looking silver livery. Every single time it ends up looking plain and boring, so I go to colour extremes. As I did last year, and the year before, I’ve piled on the black, as it adds some interest to what really is a bit of a dull colour in silver.
I’ve kept true to Mercedes’ love for the airbrush gradient application of colour with the turquoise on silver, whilst keeping the edges between the black and turquoise sharp along the sidepod and nose lines of the car. There’s also a subtle black section along the bottom of the car, slightly reducing the amount of silver used, whilst accentuating the natural curves of the car.
The black also helps many of the logos pop out to the viewer, where they stand out less on the silver. Plain black also looks better than the dirty looking airbrushed black on the engine cover in recent years.
This is probably the car I’ve had the most frustration with in terms of design. I believe McLaren understand that the strong orange livery in 2017 wasn’t very well received, so perhaps in hope, I’ve gone with papaya orange that everyone rightfully rages about and wishes to see in 2018.
The design is rather plain as the papaya orange is surprisingly difficult to complement with other colours. I’ve gone with black instead of the blue used in IndyCar as that was more a Indy throwback, but kept it to a minimum, with flashes on the halo, airbox, very rear of the engine cover and wing end plates.
Again, not in love with this by any means, but am sure McLaren will want to move on from their Honda disaster with a turn in the right livery colour direction.
This design is seemingly irrelevant now as I’d started it back when the Maserati Haas rumour were lingering. Either way, I’ve followed the main Haas theme in splitting the colours half way up the sidepod, but in this instance, half charcoal grey and half blue.
The blue adds a bit of colour to what has was a very dull affair last year, with the white wing end plates especially opening the car up slightly. The white flashes act as a partial separation of the blue and grey, with some extra white sections wholly in the blue on the engine cover and rear of the sidepod. All white sections bordered on one edge with a red pinstripe.
A shame that this rumour never turned out to be true, but at least we’re in for less grey in 2018.
Or is it FORCE F1? Either way, the pink panther has also been very tough to design. I attempted using just two shades of pink which didn’t turn out very well, and ended up with just pink and black, this time with a vapourwave (quite a stretch, I know) feel.
The four sections of angular lines work in layers, and use odd shapes to fill up sections of the car without logos. They both create a feeling of unease, jutting against the grain, but also a sense of calm, cutting along the cars curves, especially on the nose section. The black wings work well against the largely bright pink car.
Finally, Ferrari, in ditching Santander, have opened us up to the hope of getting rid of the majority of white on the car and reintroducing black as the secondary colour. This paired with the removal of the suspiciously Marlboro looking Scuderia logo from online media channels means we may even have an attractive engine cover too.
I have gone with some more black, mainly on the engine cover and wing end plates, but also along the bottom of the car. Flashes too have been added on both ends of the halo, as well as the tip of the nosecone.
I don’t know how Ferrari get away with it year after year, perhaps we get used to it very quickly, but their logo arrangement on the sidepod is quite jarring and makes designing a complete and beautiful livery very difficult. Red, white, brown and yellows of different hues is a bit of a nightmare. They’ve been doing it for years but somehow, it never specifically receives much negative feedback. Perhaps there will be more hope next year.
So they were my mockups for the 2018 Formula 1 season. Any in particular that you liked, or perhaps didn’t? Do you feel you have any improvements of your own? Let me know below!
I had some spare time over the summer break earlier this year and thought I’d mess around in Photoshop, to see which drivers’ helmet designs would translate well onto cars. Some fared better than others, while some I couldn’t get to work at all, which is why I don’t have a full ‘grid’ below. I’ve also made sure not to use any logos, which really accentuates the design. It’s helped me notice that while I love simple helmet designs, these end up looking the emptiest on an F1 car. Finally decided to post them up, so check them out below!
The colours and design work well on a car for Alonso, and I haven’t had to stray much at all from the helmet. Colour distribution makes this look a lot more yellow than the helmet, but I don’t feel it suffers much for it.
Love Valtteri’s helmet, but without sponsorship, the lack of detail leads to quite a plain livery. I don’t hate it, but would be very sponsor friendly!
Marcus added some sparkle this year, and while this isn’t my preference, made for a decent looking F1 livery. The lines seem to flow nicely along the car and look nice and aggressive.
Struggled to get Lewis’ design to ‘fit’ on a car, therefore, the three stripes do look quote chunky. Not my favourite, but I do look forward to the day that we see a metallic candy apple red/maroon car on the grid.
While I kinda despise Huklenberg’s new helmet, which went from unique to awfully generic at the start of the season, it works pretty well on the car. Definitely helped by the white section on the airbox, even the circus tent pattern looks alright over the entire car.
Almost unrecognisable without the Red Bull logo! Side on helmet design is well suited to the car, and has an almost entirely different personality minus the sponsorship.
I have to say I never really paid attention to Magnussen’s helmet until I made this, but I’m glad I did, because it’s a great design despite being mostly silver/grey. The giant stylised K fits well on the engine cover and the colours are simple, but pop with the red. The stripey pattern makes for a good, subtle secondary design.
This is one that I thought would never worked, but is actually OK! The rear of the car is quite plain with the solid yellow, but toward the front, the hexagonal patterns are quite interesting. The design flows well along the nose.
This is slightly ruined by my lack of design skills, sourcing a picture of bubbles on the internet, but that aside, Ocon’s colour choice is quite basic and monotonous (I wonder if it will be back next year, it’s quite gimmicky I feel), but the design flows well enough along the body.
One of my favourites. Colour choice is slightly on and not entirely complementary, but the white stripe works really well, flowing effortlessly from the nose to the airbox. Nice little colour split from the top to the bottom as well.
Whether it’s the design of my lack of artistic skills, this livery looks very disjointed on a car compared to Kimi’s helmet. Lots of lines jutting at different angles makes me a little uncomfortable!
What’s probably my favourite helmet looks a little boring on an F1 car! I’m sure I could have taken some liberties to spice this up a little, but going for realism leads to some lack of excitement.
Had a go at a few other helmets, but just couldn’t seem to get anything flowing for them. Let me know what you think of the above!