Livery of the Day – BRM P153

BRM, short for British Racing Motors, had a long and distinguished history in Formula 1. Racing in F1 from 1951 through to 1977, the team took 17 wins, 1 world championship and had legendary drivers such as Hill, Stewart, Rodriguez, Lauda and Regazzoni at the wheel throughout the years (to name a few!).

yardley-brm-1

Disclaimer: I know, some images may not be of the P135.

The team was no stranger to historic liveries, with their iconic black with orange accent colours of the 60s, as well being pioneers with what I believe to be the first ever Marlboro livery in Motorsport in 1972.

However, after years of reading F1 encyclopedias as a kid, the one I think back to is the Yardley sponsored BRM of 1970-71. Yardley were the first company to sponsor BRM after Lotus’ revolutionised the sport with their Gold Leaf deal in 1968, and made an impact with this memorable livery.

Pedro Rodriguez

The livery was rather basic, as was the norm at the time, but a little more involved than most. The single stripe up the middle was used for years, but BRM took it further, fashioning a Y by splitting the line before the cockpit. This was was to “represent the motto of Yardley’s range of men’s toiletries“. Each section of the Y was a different colour, a prong each being gold, black and brown. That’s right, brown according the above link, although I always thought it was red, as it does have a rather reddish hue. I’m sure I’m not the only one!

yardley-brm-2

The sides of the car featured similar designs, although the Ys aren’t quite as obvious. That said, the line along the side sits very nicely above the lower bulge, framing the car well. It’s interesting to note that opposite colours are used on each side, which is easy to miss at first glance, despite the colours on the Y being so obviously asymmetrical on the nose. Side note, that’s Helmut Marko in the photo above!

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The livery as a whole is so retro, with the gold and brown looking hideously lovely on the white (or off-white, depending on the picture), whilst the design itself looks straight out of a 70s text book or poster. Mix this with the huge circle numbers on the side and slanted numbers on the nose and classic logos and you’ve got a whole lot of retro goodness all on one car.

Pedro Rodriguez(MEX)BRM P160, 2nd place
Dutch GP, Zandvoort,  20 June 1971

After two years, Yardley moved their sponsorship over to McLaren, in effect giving birth to the Marlboro livery. The Yardley McLaren livery was very similar, the only difference at first being a section of the famous McLaren orange below the lines on the sides, before the boxier car of 1973 saw further changes.

This livery was one that encapsulated Formula 1 and design in the 70s just about perfectly. I just wonder why brown hasn’t been used in F1 more often! Eh, maybe there is a reason

Livery of the Day – BRM P153

Livery of the Day – A1GP Team Malaysia

With more and more designs being made of Formula 1 cars under the 2017 rules, I can’t help but feel a little nostalgic. Every time I see a side on drawing or rendering, or more specifically, the slanted 2017 rear wings, I get flashbacks. My mind jumps back a decade, to a far simpler time. A time when nations could battle it out on track. A1GP – the World Cup of Motorsport.

a1gp-1

This series was an awesome idea. Pitting country against country in a spec open wheel series. It was great while it lasted with fun racing and some decent drivers involved, all of which had to be of the same nationality as the country they represented, which I always thought to be an important rule.

Despite some famous national colours being proudly displayed over the series’ four year history, not many of the liveries were terribly memorable. One of the exceptions, for me, was Team Malaysia.

a1-malaysia-2

Team Malaysia didn’t fair too badly in A1GP, finishing with a championship best result of 5th, and racking up five wins along the way. Four of those wins were taken by Yoong, the other one by Fairuz Fauzy.

It was through A1GP that I discovered that Malaysia’s national sporting colour is yellow, and it translates well onto a racing car. Me paying special attention to this car was probably due to former F1 driver Alex Yoong being at the wheel.

A1GP 2007/08, Rd 5, Taupo

This design follows my  #1 and #2 rules – choose the right colours, and respect the natural lines of the car. While it may seem that the teams had no choice in the colours they raced in due to national colours being used, picking the right shade was completely their decision and an important one. Team Malaysia chose well and had a lovely bold yellow as the majority colour on the car.

a1-malaysia-5

Supporting this yellow was largely white, which as far as my research tells me is unusual. Generally for Malaysian national sports teams, yellow is accompanied by black, and often in the style of tiger stripes, which is Malaysia’s national animal. This decision to go with white could have been just to show of the sponsors better, but either way, I do like the combination.

a1-malaysia-6

Team Malaysia kept the same design for the majority of A1GP’s lifespan, slightly changing with the new car in 2008, but the original design was lovely. With yellow as the main colour, the entire engine cover was white, as were the front wing end plates and the rear wing. The main design elements, however, were the thin black stripes that ran along the sides. One of these stripes ran the length of the car, thinning to a point at the nose and exhaust. The other line was along the top edge of the sidepod, contouring it nicely.

a1-malaysia-1

Like I mentioned earlier, what I love most about these lines is that they run along the natural curves and edges of the car, framing it nicely. Can’t really go long utilising rule #2. There is also black on the front wing supports and the wing itself, as well as the mirrors.

A memorable livery that looked great from every angle. Maybe (and hopefully) one day we’ll see a similar championship pop up. ROC doesn’t quite cut it for me!

Livery of the Day – A1GP Team Malaysia

Livery of the Day – Benetton B197

After a lot of change for 1996 with the departure of Michael Schumacher and Johnny Herbert, and the arrival of Gerhard Berger and Jean Alesi, 1997 was a stable year in comparison for Benetton. The two former Ferrari team mates stayed on with Benetton and finished 5th and 4th in the championship respectively, whilst likely watching in agony as their former team finally found form and made a consistent race winning machine (in the hands of Schumacher at least).

Formula One World Championship

It wasn’t all mediocrity however, with Berger winning the German Grand Prix in what would be his final Formula 1 season, whilst Alesi scored points more often than not, achieving five podiums in the process. Although the car wasn’t quite with Ferrari and Williams in terms of performance, it was right in the mix in terms of looks.

benetton-1

Whether biased by nostalgia or not, 1997 is my favourite year for F1 liveries and the B197 for that matter is probably my favourite Benetton livery of all their wonderful efforts. This was a three colour effort, with two shades of blue, white and a wee bit of red. The blues, brought to Benetton via Mild Seven sponsorship, would become a colour scheme synonymous with the team and would adorn the car for their last 8 years in Formula 1. The placement of the colours on this car is done very well.

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The sidepods are white, with that section wrapping all the way from the rear, over the nose, to the other side of the car, in a design that has in one way or another been a Benetton feature since 1992. The two tone blue follows the white’s path all the way along the car, with the thin darker blue mainly lining the white, giving a great dark/light contrast. A further white section wraps around the cockpit beginning and ending at the exhaust.

benetton-8

Speaking of the exhaust, the B192 had a neat design on the very rear of the car that was oh so Benetton. Four torn stripes, one each in red, yellow, green and blue, featured on the rear, which brought a little more colour and Benetton flair to an otherwise sophisticated livery. This also made the Benetton a favourite choice of mine in F1 World Grand Prix, since it looked so good from the back when using swingman cam.

benetton-5

Apart from that somewhat hidden section, the colour pop is provided by the red trimming along the front wing, barge boards, cockpit, mirrors and tip of the nose on Alesi’s car. This little bit of colour is just enough to stop the livery looking monotonous and boring, making a world of difference when comparing to the 1996 car where green was the third colour.

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Finally, this is yet another tribute to liveries where all the sponsors match. From Mild Seven to Korean Air, Akai and Gillette, everything matches the blue, white and red colour palate. The only sponsor not adhering to this is Agip in yellow (which matches just about any livery anyway), that doesn’t break up the synchrony of this livery at all.

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What a lovely livery this was and a bunch of good looking cars overall that year. Perhaps too, with the rule changes for 2017, we may once again see cars so sleek and aggressive as they were in the picture above.

 

 

 

 

Livery of the Day – Benetton B197

Livery of the Day – Toyota GT-One 1998

The Toyota GT-One was a car first introduced to me back on Gran Turismo 2. It was a classic game that I spent years playing and one that showed me just how many cars existed and in how many forms. The GT-One certainly stuck out with it’s unique looks and super fast, super grippy on track performance. Gran Turismo 4 implanted this car further in my memory, buying the special all black version from the used car section, but it was red one the stuck with me.

gtone 5

Toyota entered the Le Mans in 1998 with this beast in the GT1 class. The rules stated that as this was the GT class and not the Prototype class, the cars needed to be based on a road car. So Toyota built the GT-One and afterwards, built the minimum number of road cars; one. A cheeky way of getting around the rules, but completely legal.

1998 Le Mans 24 Hours

The car was super fast and was an outside favourite to take the outright win, and although it did impress in the race, it never did achieve a victory. Regardless, the car lives long in the memory, thanks in part to the livery.

gtone 4

The livery gave birth (at least I think!) to Toyota’s now iconic tear design. This version was a red base, with tears sweeping from the front of the car to the back, as if the sheer speed of the car had ripped the paint right off. At the time it was a very unique design and looked completely in harmony with itself, despite the variety of the shapes and sizes of the tears.

gtone 3

The shape of a car lends itself to a design and can often be the determining factor, as to whether or not a good livery can be made in the first place. A car like this has no problem. The beautiful sweeping curves, especially the downturn fro the roof to the tail, are nothing short of sexy, and the design makes full use, giving it a speedy look in the process.

gtone 2

Unfortunately the GT-One was entered in just two Le Mans 24 hour races, with a far more basic and bland livery on the cars for 1999. This was the result of Marlboro sponsorship, and I didn’t put two and two together until I read that fact, despite it being such an obviously Marlboro design. Anti-tobacco laws in France meant that the worded logo could not appear on the car. The silver lining was that the same group went on to form the Toyota F1 project.

Toyota F1 would rekindle and create the tradition of the tear livery, whilst also continuing the tradition of never reaching their potential. The former frustrated me for years (6 years in fact), before the slight design changed in 2008 kept me from going nuts. Despite all this, it was great to see Toyota back at top level Motorsport with their Le Mans entry in 2012 and hope that they do achieve the victory that has eluded them all these years, especially after the heartbreaking last lap failure whilst in the lead this year. Would be nice to have them back in F1 too.

Livery of the Day – Toyota GT-One 1998

Livery of the Day – Paul Morris Motorsport “Big Kev” Commodore

In 2000, now Bathurst winner Paul Morris purchased a former Holden Racing Team Commodore to race in the Shell V8 Supercars Championship. The livery that adorned it will go down as one of the most unusual of all time.

Big Kev 2

Let’s be honest, it’s pretty damn hideous! The main sponsor, Big Kev, was a range of cleaning products owned by Big Kev himself, Kevin McQuay. Big Kev would become famous around Australia for his TV commercial catchphrase “I’m excited!”, which I for one ran around the school playground imitating with my friends. An interesting personality but a brand you wouldn’t normally associate with motorsport.

Big Kev 3

The car was mainly yellow and faded sharply into a deep orange on the bottom of the sides, with the very bottom in straight black. The Big Kev logo was blue with a thick white border and placed nice and big on the side of the car. It’s a nice clear logo but underneath it is a silhouette of a palm tree and some white tropical flowers. This could have a deeper meaning (albeit unlikely), but to me it just looks like something you’d find in a gift shop from your last tropical holiday.

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However, the kicker on this livery is Big Kev himself, as a big cut out on the rear quarter panel. Roughly cropped and with and “I’m excited!” speech bubble coming out of his mouth, this bit of design is absolutely absurd, but something we remember fondly, in the worst kind of way.

The livery was retained for 2001 as well and I remember this car specifically when playing V8 Supercars on PS2 (I believe TOCA Race Driver outside of Australia). So take this as a reminder that ugly cars can be appreciated down the track, even if they are ridiculed at the initial launch. I wonder what other cars we’ll look back at with fond memories in a few years?

As an aside, here’s probably the moment this car is remembered for most:

Livery of the Day – Paul Morris Motorsport “Big Kev” Commodore

Livery of the Day – Ferrari 643

A year and no Ferrari for Livery of the Day? Let’s fix that.

Ferrari 1

After finishing runner-up in the 1990 season in spectacular fashion, Alain Prost stayed on with Ferrari in the hope that he’d have another championship contending car to take to the fight with McLaren and Williams. Unfortunately for Prost, it wasn’t quite good enough and after letting everyone know it, he was promptly replaced for the last race of the season with Gianni Morbidelli. The other Ferrari seat was filled by Jean Alesi, who was snapped up after one and a half impressive seasons with Tyrrell.

Ferrari 2

The 643 was Ferrari’s second car of the season, used from the French Grand Prix onward and easily the better looking of the two. The livery too was different on this one and quite unique for Ferrari. The side of the cockpit and nose featured a black panel, which I assume is actually carbon fiber and is one of those design decisions, that whether by choice or not, looks awesome. It runs right along the edge of the side and fills up the section nicely, although because it is a panel, it ends abruptly at the tip of the nose.

Another bit of the design that also looks like a panel rather than vinyl, is the black section right in front of the cockpit. It’s simple but adds something unique and less edgy to what could have otherwise been a pretty simple and unmemorable livery. However, that’s not the real winner on this car.

Ferrari 7

The all black wings on this Ferrari are something that I’ve been wishing Ferrari to go back to for years now. It compliments the red so well and makes the entire livery so classy, something that Santander won’t currently allow to happen. That said, they’re not all black. As far as logo placement goes, the Agip logo on the rear wing is up there with my all time favourites. Its absolutely perfectly placed and is something I’ve replicated on many occasions, on many different cars to great effect.

However, Ferrari in the 90s made a habit of dumping numerous logos on the engine cover and sidepods. Somehow or rather, it doesn’t seem to bother me all that much. Whether it be nostalgia or some other reason, it skips what I assume would have been quite a harsh assessment of cluttered and unmethodical, but so be it!

Ferrari 6

One of the all time best Ferrari liveries in my opinion, one that looks different but great from every angle. I hope that one day, perhaps if Santander decided to wrap up their sponsorship, Ferrari can once again fiddle with all black wings.

Livery of the Day – Ferrari 643

Livery of the Day – Lotus 99T

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

Lotus 6

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

Lotus 1

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

Ayrton Senna

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

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

Lotus 4

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Lotus 99T

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

Livery of the Day – Lotus 99T