Is it Indy 500 time already? Let’s take a look into the one off cars and other livery changes for the cars that qualified for the great race.
A. J. Foyt Enterprises with Byrd-Hollinger-Belardi
#33 James Davison
A really basic, plain livery for the cousin of Supercars racers Alex & Will, who has finished each of the last 3 Indy 500s, although not quite close to the front. Not a whole lot to say, just a nice red colour, but no flashy design or excitement to attribute to it.
#25 Stefan Wilson
Stefan will be driving a nice blue, silver and orange variation of the Andretti livery. All the colours work well together, although the logo, albeit a good cause, is a little unsightly on the sidepod.
#26 Zach Veach
This is a colour combination I can’t remember seeing on a racing car before. The yellow in this configuration immediately makes me think of RHR’s DHL car, but the bright orange definitely makes it its own car. It could have used a little more black to break up the orange/yellow, as they are almost too similar a hue to have entirely side by side like that.
#29 Carlos Muñoz
Carlos adopts the colours Marco started the year with, in a two tone livery that actually stands out pretty well. Ruoff’s teal colour is unique and actually blends well with the shade of blue used on the rest of the car. The design is simple, but a more complexity could have thrown the balance off entirely
Andretti Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian
#98 Marco Andretti
Speaking of Marco, he’s got some very basic colours in red, black and white. They are hard to screw up and they haven’t at all here, working well in the Andretti design, but it isn’t very memorable.
#23 Charlie Kimball
Kimball is pushing another Insulin brand for the 500 this year, bringing with it a lovely livery. The blue is very dark and close to teal, but is very reflective and looks fantastic when in shining in the sunlight. The design itself is quite complex, with yellow bordered white section filling in the major panels of the car, and the blue whisping between them nicely. Perhaps not bordering the white with yellow would have looked nicer overall, as it does on the nose and engine cover, but still a well worked design overall.
Dale Coyne Racing
#19 Zachary Claman DeMelo
Zach was not meant to take part in the 500, but caught a lucky break when Pietro Fittipaldi was unfortunately injured in a WEC race earlier this month. He takes to the brickyard in a rather simplified version of the livery he started the season with. Whilst the unique mint colour was interesting, the overall combination of colours was not so cohesive, and simplifying to a classic red, white and blue and worked wonders. That said, it is a little too simple. A bit too much white space, but clean is good.
Dale Coyne Racing dba Thom Burns Racing
#17 Conor Daly
Daly is driving with US Air Force sponsorship and as above, using a classic red, white and blue livery. However, this is a tribute to the USAF Thunderbirds, and does a great job to mimic the livery that adorns the planes. I’d have liked to see the stripes on the nose curve over the nose, rather than spike up the side to better represent the actual design, but apart from that, it is a solid representation.
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
#24 Sage Karam
This is a neat design. We’ve got jet black accompanied by two very bright secondary colours in orange and green. I initially thought of the old Toyota F1 tear design, but then was reminded of the of one time HRT F1 sponsor KH-7, so that’s what I’ll be thinking of on Sunday. That said, it works very well, epscially with the smaller green section really complementing and popping with the livery overall.
#66 J.R. Hildebrand
Another great combination of colours on Hildebrand’s car, making use of light and dark blue, accompanied by orange and white. The SalesForce logo is integrated perfectly into the design and whilst using just about the same colours as the Gabby Chaves car, does a slightly better job.
Ed Carpenter Racing
#13 Danica Patrick
Danica is back with Go Daddy once again, this time bringing an almost entirely fluro-green car to the brickyard. It’s very simple but works well as it isn’t cluttered with lots of little sponsors as Davison’s car is above. The black section at the bottom is a nice way to add some volume to the livery, but I’m not a big fan of the magenta line splitting the two colours – could have been better without as a clean two-tone livery.
#21 Spencer Pigot
It’s a classic Ed Carpenter livery for Pigot, with a blue and white Preferred Freezer Services design. It’s a lovely shade of blue with a minimalistic design incorporating white sparingly.
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with AFS Racing
#7 Jay Howard
The Schmidt Peterson theme is respected on this car, using a nice emerald green to go with the purple, red and hold of the other cars, although the latter won’t be racing! The reflective green works well with the black and the flashes on top of the sidepod are also a nice touch, possibly looking nicer in green than on other cars.
Scuderia Corsa with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
#64 Oriol Servià
Servià probably had one of the most boring liveries of the 500 last year, and while this isn’t the most complex design of all time, it’s a significant improvement. It’s only two tone, but getting rid of the yellow does wonders. The single red stripe from the rear, wrapping around the nose is wonderful and is complemented well by by the second line on the contour of the sidepod. Super clean and looking good despite some empty white space.
#1 Josef Newgarden
Newgarden’s livery is now the same as Power’s, with the red stripe replaced for a black one. Very nice, but lucking the punch that the red version does.
#3 Hélio Castroneves
Not the first time Castroneves has raced in this livery, but the design has been updated to fit the new IndyCar chasis. If anything it’s an improvement, but can’t see myself giving 5 stars so easily today! Lovely livery, with the helmet completing the look.
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.
As with Supercars last week, let’s check out how the IndyCar field will line up in 2018. Also as with Supercars, I’m assuming half of these won’t apply for round two, but oh well.
A.J. Foyt Enterprises
#4 Matheus Leist & #14 Tony Kanaan
After four seasons with Chip Ganassi, TK has moved to A.J. Foyt racing and will form an all Brazilian team with Rookie Matheus Leist, who finished a strong 4th in Indy Lights last year. The livery on the perennially unsuccessful ABC car has remained the same once more, which would be more disappointing if the livery was poor.
Thankfully it still looks OK, but what better time to try something new than with the introduction of the new chassis of the NEXT car.
#26 Zach Veach
Zach Veach is another of a significant amount of rookies this season, and is driving for Andretti. Andretti Autosport have continued with the same team design this year, so it’s just a few colour changes to suit new sponsors, for example here with the #26, using charcoal, burnt orange (which was used well by Faraday in Formula E last year), and baby blue, which is very uncommon in Motorsport.
The burnt orange colour is for the corporate colours of Group One Thousand One, and wish there was more of it on the car rather than the charcoal. The baby blue is a bit of an odd touch, but works well enough and could have been more interesting with a greater presence on the car. However, not the most thrilling to look at.
#27 Alexander Rossi
Rossi came out of round one as the villain after the late race drama, but his car is near identical to St Pete last year. There is perhaps a slight pull back in the amount of red, but other than that, nothing of significance to report.
Still a great colour combo though, so happy to see it retained.
#28 Ryan Hunter-Reay
As above, it’s an unchanged livery for RHR, in his familiar DHL colours.
Just a good colour combination. Bold and vibrant.
Andretti Herta Autosport with Cerb-Agajanian
#98 Marco Andretti
The colours which famously took Sato to the Indy 500 victory last year are back at Andretti thanks to Ruoff, this time for Marco. This time, however, the colour placement has been wiser, making the livery a lot more interesting. The colours have been inverted, so it’s blue that takes the section in front of the cockpit and engine cover, whilst also making the sidepods blue, leaving a nice white strip in the middle and through to the nose.
There are also some extra teal sections, most notably in front of the rear wheel and front wing endplate. These add some extra interest to what would otherwise be an attractive but slightly basic blue and white livery.
#23 Charlie Kimball
Kimball has moved on from Chip Ganassi, and has joined the new team Carlin, who have been racing in the junior Formulae for a number of years, as well as Indy Lights for the last three. The good news for us livery enthusiasts is that while Tresiba has followed Kimball across, significant improvements have been made! The most important change is that grey is gone, and has been replaced by a much darker charcoal colour. This is just a much more appealing shade on a racing car and works far better with the tennis ball green.
Speaking of which, the green/yellow bits have also been improved. The multi shade stripes have stuck around but look much better in this variation. This pattern has also been used in the green only on the charcoal, which looks fantastic toward the rear.
#59 Max Chilton
Max Chilton has also moved to the new team, for which he raced in British F3 and Indy Lights. He has also retained his sponsor, however, the livery has not really improved. That isn’t to say it’s significantly worse, but it does have more of a generic, GP2 feel to it than the previous design.
The shapes used are pleasing and follow the natural flow of the chassis well, but there’s a lot more silver on this occasion, and missing the light blue which was a nice element of the 2017 livery.
Chip Ganassi Racing
#9 Scott Dixon
As unbelievable as it sounds, Scott Dixon will race for Chip Ganassi for the 17th straight season in CART/Indycar in 2018, and only for the second time without a Target livery! PNC Bank has stepped in for NTT Data/GE this year and produced a deceptively simple design. It is in essence, a simple gradient from orange to blue to white. The gradient itself, however, is an intricate tessellated design at closer inspection.
The distribution of colour is also good, and the addition of a couple of sharp lines, in front of the cockpit and on the shark fine, are a welcome touch to break up the abundant gradient theme.
#10 Ed Jones
Ed Jones has moved from Dale Coyne Racing, and while his livery is also simplistic, it takes a completely different approach. This livery is clean. The shade of blue is strong enough to not require a significant amount of any other colour and this is exploited well by the designer, with the only other colour being the dark blue in front of the cockpit, and the simple chrome silver stripe along the edge of the sidepod.
Following these lines works incredibly well, and the two tone nature of the car gives it an organic feel that any clean freak can appreciate. Less is more.
Dale Coyne Racing
#19 Zachary Claman DeMelo & Pietro Fittipaldi
Dale Coyne brings two rookies into the Championship this year, along with a very rarely used colour in what I can only describe as light green or mint. The design makes good use of the shape of the car for the top section, but annoyingly ignores it on the sidepod. They would have been better off using the #10 above as an example here for this section.
That said, it is a fairly simple livery, with just two large swooping sections really, looking as though it was put together fairly quickly. The overall quality does suffer for this as does the combo of yellow, mint and grey.
Dale Coyne Racing with Jimmy Vasser-Sullivan
#18 Sébastien Bourdais
Who’d have thought this guy would have won again in St Pete? He matched his 2017 result after coming back from that horrific Indy crash. Let’s hope this form can carry on for the rest of the season. Brand new livery for the #18 this year, moving away from the solid, simple livery to something a little busier.
We have some very bright yellow, accompanied by black in a striped design akin to caution tape. It’s executed quite well so it doesn’t look tacky at all with the symmetrical design (apart from the rear wing annoyingly) designed purposefully. The face on the side of the nose is a nice touch too.
Ed Carpenter Racing
#20 Jordan King & Ed Carpenter
Jordan King is another rookie in 2018, joining Ed Carpenter Racing, who have dropped what to me was a very recognisable green on the Fuzzy’s Vodka livery. This new colour scheme gives me Jack Daniel’s vibes, but in a good way.
Black almost always works well on simple liveries, and this is no exception. The small white sections are basic and lack any flare, but work well enough to at least this above average.
#21 Spencer Pigot
The #21 of Spencer Pigot likely took no inspiration from, but has some striking similarities to the 2003 Minardi PS03. It’s actually scarily similar the more compare them. From the colour scheme overall (including the awkward green logos), to the diagonal shaped section along the side, to the white and red section on the side of the nose but not on top, I’d be surprised if there wasn’t even some unconscious influence in the design of this livery.
That said, what an odd choice it would be to replicate, if that was indeed the case! It is a bang average design at the end of the day, but gets some super unexpected but strong nostalgia points, considering this was the first season I started watching F1 full time.
#88 Gabby Chaves
Precious little sponsorship on the #88 of Gabby Chaves, but Harding Racing have followed on from their 2017 Indy 500 effort in producing an interesting design given the opportunity. The colour theme has also carried through, with an nice cyan colour accompanied by a darker yellow or perhaps orange on this occasion. The ‘yolk’ in front of the cockpit is odd but works in filling up some space.
What helps this design stand out is the white striped section on top of the sidepods. They’re unique and look great, whilst filling up space which would have otherwise been left empty due to the lack of sponsors. Not exactly a stunner, but a strong livery overall, considering a lot of the time sponsors are what help a livery look great.
#32 René Binder & Kyle Kaiser
As with Harding, Juncos are in for a full season in 2018, and are bringing in two alternating rookies. The livery is exactly the same as last year’s Indy 500.
It’s an odd design with the orange bordering the green in some areas and not others, but the colour scheme is interesting at least. However, I do feel this is something I’ll get bored of very quickly.
Michael Shank Racing with Schmidt Peterson
#60 Jack Harvey
This Schmidt Peterson car is slightly out of order here, but definitely follows the team’s livery philosophy. Jack Harvey’s car (another rookie by the way) uses a chrome purple alongside black. Everything works with black so there’s no issue there, and the purple stands out in what is a very colourful grid.
There are a lot of logos on this car however, cluttering it slightly and not allowing the colour to shine to its best ability. Hence I don’t feel it’s a strong as its sister liveries.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
#15 Graham Rahal
Rahal has a solid first (likely of many) livery of the year. The blue used is deep and metallic, and is bordered by red, with the remainder of the car in white. It works well in a Compaq Williams sort of way, although this tries to follow the lines of the car slightly.
The colour scheme is pretty standard but well executed. Also, nothing like some American Flag stripes on the front wing elements to spice up a livery!
#30 Takuma Sato
Now this is a unique livery! While I’m relating everything to F1 liveries, this does remind me of the 1995 Pacific livery, but not significantly. This is very strong in its own right, using different shades of blue very successfully, whilst making large white sections look very attractive.
The main attraction is the complex nose which very difficult to explain. It uses 3 different colours in what in some angles looks like patchwork, and in others a beautiful, semi interrupted flowing blue section. The different blues all work really well together and am just happy to see some lovely creativity without going too far.
Schmidt Peterson Motorsport
#5 James Hinchcliffe
Virtually no change to the #5 this year, retaining it’s black and reflective gold of the past few season and an almost identical design to 2017. The main change here is the gold section having moved up, following the car along the top of the driver’s headrest rather than down to the top of the sidepod.
The other change is the intricate design on the side, which looks like stylised inner workings of the car (although I’m likely wrong). While I’m usually against graphics like this taking up large sections of the car, this is subtle enough to almost blend in from a distance whilst actually look very interesting close up. A well designed evolution of the 2017 livery.
#6 Robert Wickens
Rookie Robert Wickens almost had a dream start to his IndyCar career until Rossi put an end to those plans! Misfortune aside, this livery is just about the same as Hinch’s, jsut in red as Aleshin’s was last year.
The red works perhaps a little better than the gold in my opinion, but not by much, so gets the same strong four star rating.
#1 Josef Newgarden
Penske have cut down to 3 cars for 2018, but have kept the same liveries from 2017. I’d probably been a little harsh on these last year – they aren’t so bad. The colours are standard and the design is simple, but not bad by any means.
Castonevez used this livery for most of last year. It isn’t thrilling mainly due to the colour scheme, but a decent yet standard livery.
#12 Will Power
Power is back in the livery he started 2017 with and as was the case then, the removal of the third colour makes this livery much simpler and that much stronger.
As with the Ed Jones livery, nice colours and little more can mean a very pleasant car to look at. No change, no problem.
#22 Simon Pagenaud
The in your face Menards livery is also back for Pagenaud. The thin red and black parallel lines work far better than the thick red line on Newgarden’s livery, and contrast well on the super bright yellow.
I am slightly conflicted in regards to Pagenaud’s helmet though. I’m a big fan of drivers keeping the same design as it is their own personal identity, but I also love how it matches the car.
Time for some bonus awards!
Best Looker Award – #30 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
There were a lot of four star liveries this season, but only one five star. There are many reasons why, but this design just lights up in my eyes. Looks fantastic.
Least Attractive Award – Juncos Racing
Perhaps I’ve been a little harsh here, but something is off with this livery in my opinion. Just needs some refining. Thin lines don’t work so well when you’re ignoring the chassis’ curves.
Grand Slam Award – #22 Penske, #18 Dale Coyne and #23 Carlin
These guys may as well be fighting it out on a tennis court with the amount of tennis ball green on the grid this year!
Had the pleasure of seeing the Adelaide 500 in person this year, which is also why I’m so late in posting this. No doubt there will be a myriad of livery changes throughout but season, but let’s take a look at how they started the season.
23Red Racing Milwaukee Racing
#230 Will Davison
First cab off the rank is the new 23Red Racing team, co-owned by Phil Munday and Lucas Dumbrell. The livery sensibly makes use of the Milwaukee logo thunderbolt as a theme for the car, but doesn’t take it to the next step of creativity. What we’re left with a pretty standard red and white livery, split by a black thunderbolt on the front quarter panel.
However, this doesn’t make it bad by any means. The red flashes on the splitter and bonnet with black piping are great and make me wish that perhaps there was less of the main red in favour of these smaller details on white. Add what looks like a hastily removed logo on the rear quarter panel (nitpicking, I know) and you’ve got a pretty run of the mill, but attractive enough design. A good benchmark for the rest of the field!
Brad Jones Racing Blackwoods Racing
#8 Nick Percat
Two colours that can work really well, but in this application are lacking. It’s a very simple design and where straight lines can be appealing, in this case fail to provide any excitement. I think I’d have preferred a simple complete parallel shape as opposed to the odd, single pointed shape that has instead been used for this livery. What also hurts this design is the very dull Blackwoods logo, but that can’t really be helped from the team’s side.
The finishing touch is provided by this ugly bonnet. ‘Rock Your Weld’, the motto of the main sponsor, is hideously jarring to the rest of the livery and makes an average livery quite poor. At least it looks like Percat will have one sponsor for the whole season this year, although maybe it was better he didn’t in this case.
Brad Jones Racing Freightliner Racing
#14 Tim Slade
As Preston Hire Racing have proved for the last couple of seasons, black and yellow are terrific colours to work with, and Freightliner Racing have joined the party. Gone is the red and white, and in comes the vibrant yellow, paired with black as well as some small slithers of silver. Front on, the livery is great, with simple black and silver sections bordering the bonnet and all the sponsors working together coherently.
Side profile however, things become a little less seamless. Unfortunately the Freightliner logo looks as though it is very difficult to work with, and this leads to a livery where the main sponsor logo isn’t worked very well into the design, looking almost slapped on at the end. It’s a little bit of damned if you do, damned if you don’t, but some small details such as the logo not overlapping with the yellow section on behind the front wheel would have made a big difference in this regard.
Charlie Schwerkolt Racing Preston Hire Racing
#18 Lee Holdsworth
Speak of the devil, Preston Hire Racing have followed up last year’s stunner with another. A couple of subtle changes in that there’s a bit more black than last year, paint is gloss rather than matte and the lines are overall a little more swoopy than last year’s edgy design, but the overall theme has just remained the same.
There are also a few silver sections this year which reflect nicely in the sunlight, but even with the white Toyota Forklifts section on the boot, is still a fantastically uniform livery. The amount of red has also reduced which is great for uniformity. Can’t say I love it as much as 2017 and I’m not exactly sure why – perhaps the shade of yellow, but it’s still absolutely lovely.
DJR Team Penske Shell V-Power Racing Team
#12 Fabian Coulthard & #17 Scott McGlaughlin
DJR Team Penske have an unchanged livery for 2018. I’m slightly disappointed given it wasn’t even my favourite of the their possible 2017 choices, but it’s a good combination of colours and design.
Still a solid livery, although it’s simplicity means it has dated every so slightly, especially with the thinning yellow lines bordering the white.
#9 David Reynolds
Erebus have gone for something a little more complicated with the Penrite car this year. It’s better and worse in different areas. Whilst I loved the piping on the front and rear of the 2017 car, the thin lightning bolts also work very well on the front in 2018. However, the thicker gold section on the side isn’t quite as effective – not quite the colour/shade you want in large quantities. Not only that, it clashes with the gold in Penrite logo, which it sits directly next to. Triggers my OCD.
The other thing of note is the grille, which on this car is obnoxiously coloured red. Not a fan of such a brightly coloured grille which I don’t think it works well at all. Overall, it may sound like there are more negatives than positives, but it also improves in other areas such as the removal of the odd shaped gold areas on the splitter of last year’s livery. More or less even.
#99 Anton de Pasquale
Anton de Pasquale is the first rookie on the list, but the design on the #99 is the same as the #9. The colours are slightly more suited to the sponsor, with silver instead of gold. This helps in making the livery seamless, but takes away a bit of bite for the same reason.
Unfortunately the red grille also remains, but a good livery nonetheless.
Garry Rogers Motorsport Wilson Security Racing GRM
#33 Garth Tander & #34 James Golding
With Moffat given the boot, another rookie in James Golding joins Tander at GRM this year, the cars appropriately adorning a similar livery to the Tander/Golding enduro design. The basic shape is the same, but the main separating line on this occasion is a chrome silver. Bordering the silver is red, which then uses a slow and intermittent gradient to turn to blue. This whole section looks terrific.
The front is great too, with even sections of red and black swooping across the bonnet and importantly, around and not in the grille. Everything on the livery works really well together – every colour is complimentary, every logo fits and nothing looks out of place. About as close to perfect as you’ll get.
Matt Stone Racing Bigmate Racing
#35 Todd Hazelwood
It may be a surprise that there are three blue and orange liveries in the field, and the middle one belongs to another rookie, Todd Hazelwood. The design here is pretty safe, mainly following the key panels of the car and not venturing much further. The orange sections break up the blue well, but could even have been used more sparsely to good effect.
A slight issue I have with this car is the shade of blue and orange used. The blue is quite strong/saturated which can be OK, but used alongside a fluro, the clash is quite harsh rather than complimentary. A slightly darker or less saturated blue may have been a better option here. Either way, there’s plenty of white to break the strong colours up, which salvages some good looks for the livery overall, keeping it just about above average.
#7 Andre Heimgartner
Speaking of orange and blue, this is definitely the pick of the bunch. As mentioned before, the colours aren’t as strong on this livery, with the paler orange and lighter, metallic blue working very well together. The large blue section is complimented by orange around the windows and along the bottom, which then abruptly, but very nicely switches to white, which takes over the front of the car.
There are also small sections of silver, which don’t really add anything, and have been better in white or just left in orange. It’s a classic complex Nissan design, but works well with the colours. The Plus Fitness logo also works a lot better in this format than it has on previous efforts.
#15 Rick Kelly
This one certainly suprised me – classic Motorsport sponsor Castrol was back in a big way, dictating the livery of Rick Kelly’s Nissan in 2018. Thankfully we see the back of the Castrol bonnet logos on other cars with no regard to their aesthetics or colour schemes, and instead are replaced with the unmistakable and very attractive green, red and white in a big way.
Again, a typically complex Nissan livery, but with green the main colour instead of white as is usually the case for Castrol designs. Some parts are more or less shared with the above Plus Fitness livery, such as the window area and the white sections on the boot, but overall, also looks very nice in this form.
#23 Michael Caruso
The more you look at the Nissans, the more characteristics they share. #23 is sponsored by Drive.com.au this year and therefore, takes on the bright teal to go with the usual black, white and silver.
Some red also remains, mainly for the Autoglym logo on the front. I should like this livery a lot less for that reason, but the red does help to break up all the black and blue. One thing I do find slightly annoying is the odd blue on the rear quarter panel, which just doesn’t belong.
Nissan Motorsport Team Harvey Norman
#78 Simona de Silvestro
Just about the same design again here as you’d expect, but a pretty big change in colour scheme, with black now the main colour in place of red for the Harvey Norman Altima. Definitely stands out the least due to the duller colour palette, but having one fewer colour works in its favour.
For example, the red on white of the stripe along the side of the car works far better here than the silver does on either the #7 or #23, and does just about enough to outweigh the standard colours.
#19 Jack Le Brocq
Le Brocq is the next newbie on the list and Tekno haven’t deviated too far from the all black car they launched with. The SS Signs logo is in your face and the accompanying design matches it well.
The blue and yellow shards are reasonably well spaced and look good on the front, but I’m slightly indifferent to the ones on the side that are perhaps a little bit messy. I’d look to declutter the side by removing a couple of the blue sections on the side and let the jet black shine.
Tickford Racing The Bottle-O Racing Team
#5 Mark Winterbottom
Another year in the Bottle-O Falcon for Frosty and it’s another evolution of the green livery in 2018. This sees a lot more white toward the front of the car than last year, taking over the roof and the front b-pillar. There’s also some more black on the rear, meaning there’s less green on the car overall this year.
The design itself is edgier, but better coordinated overall, with most of the lines more or less moving in the same direction, where last year’s design had different shapes all over the place. The black is also glossy rather than matte this year which is welcome. A decent improvement.
Tickford Racing Monster Energy Racing
#6 Cameron Waters
No changes of note to call out on the Monster Energy Falcon. Still matte, which works well in this instance with the all black design.
Again, not a lot to say. Hasn’t dated significantly either, which is a bug plus.
Tickford Racing Supercheap Auto Racing
#55 Chaz Mostert
You wouldn’t think of it at first glance, but this is exactly the same design as the Bottle-O Falcon. The completely different colour scheme disguises that very well.
Not a heap more to add considering, but these colours work very well together as has been showcased for the last couple of seasons. Can’t say I prefer one over the other! Shame we didn’t get any sneaky purple, but perhaps we will come the enduros.
#56 Richie Stanaway
As above, this is the same design. However, in this instance it’s incredibly boring. Tickford’s corporate colours don’t produce any excitement in this layout. There’s just too much empty white, and the red and black aren’t enough to significantly improve it.
It suffers from the same issue as Bright’s Falcon last year where there’s a little too much empty space, but at least the colours work a little better on this occasion. I imagine swapping the black and white sections would vastly improve the livery.
Tim Blanchard Racing Team CoolDrive
#21 Tim Blanchard
Somehow Blanchard is still in the sport, despite only achieving 4 top ten finishes in as many full seasons in the sport (plus three others outside this). At least he drives a car with an attractive livery. The design is almost identical to 2017, apart from the flashes on the front being removed, and an alternate CoolDrive logo being used.
The other and key change for 2018 is the colour. They’ve gone with a metallic and less saturated shade of blue, which works so much better on a racing livery. It changes the whole aesthetic of the car and makes the #21 machine a joy to look at this year.
Triple Eight Race Engineering Red Bull Holden Racing Team
#1 Jamie Whincup & #97 Shane van Gisbergen
A significant change this year for Red Bull Holden, moving away from the Formula 1 imitation to something quite original! The navy blue remains but the livery is now more or less half white too, split down the side in a jagged and faded design which is complex without being obnoxious.
Quite difficult to explain this one, and it works well to an extent, but it still feels like there’s a fight between the Holden and Red Bull logos which takes up half of the car and detracts from the livery. You’d think Red Bull could stick with the Bull only and remove the text logo to clean up the livery slightly.
Triple Eight Race Engineering Autobarn Lowndes Racing
#888 Craig Lowndes
It’s been a while since we saw Autobarn as a main sponsor of a Supercars machine, but that’s the case for Triple 8 this year. It’s a shame we only had the Vortex livery for one season, but it’s replacement is great and almost provides a sense of nostalgia, dipping somewhere between the above Autobarn of the 2000s and the Green Eyed Monster in my opinion, thanks largely to the silver present (perhaps the Lowndes connection helps too).
The design itself utilises evergreen parallel stripes along the bottom of the side, along with copious amounts of silver to compliment the black on the rest of the car. There are other flashes of yellow around the car too which help add further colour to what could otherwise be slightly dull. Yellow mirrors and intake are a nice touch.
Walkinshaw Andretti United Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing
#2 Scott Pye & #25 James Courtney
Michael Andretti has branched out and joined fellow American Roger Penske in Supercars, teaming up with Walkinshaw to create Walkinshaw Andretti United and Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing. Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing. Say that 5 times quickly. Tongue twister aside, some further confusion has also been cleared with Boost now sponsorship just the one team, after sponsoring Courtney and Percat part way through last year. They’ve also settled for glossy black (truly a mass matte exodus this season) which matches really well with the orange.
The Boost logo is huge on the side, but actually works as a design element, blending in very well and adding a nice chunk of orange to the side of the car. Other orange elements are on the roof, wing and splitter, as well as some other orange and white flashes elsewhere on the car. A great colour combo and look overall.
So, bonus awards!
Best Looker Award – Wilson Security Racing GRM
Just about perfect. Nothing to complain about. A stunner!
Least Attractive Award – Blackwoods Racing
No real redeeming features on this car. The design is boring and the bonnet is butt ugly. A shame, as the colour combo can be very effective.
Best Orange and Blue Livery – Nissan Motorsport #7
There are a few orange and blue liveries this season, but one is a standout. The Plus Fitness car is not only the best of the colour combination, but also the best of the Nissan livery template.
As the first round concludes in Hong Kong, there is no better time to have a look at the how the Formula e grid lined up for the first two races of the new season.
Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler
Abt Schaeffler is back for another year and this time with increased investment from Audi, which has now become an official manufacturer in the series. Di Grassi and Abt remain as drivers, as we see some significant changes to the team’s livery.
Audi has taken charge of the team and in doing so, the livery. Thankfully it’s not devoid of personality like their final WEC effort and have kept some of the original Abt Schaeffler character with the large green portion, although the distinctive yellow is now gone. Although I never disliked the yellow, it does now seem a little more coordinated with the all the colours not shouting for attention all at once like they were before.
The design is quite angular, as seems to have been the theme for Formula e so far. The main portions of colour are the green on the rear of the car, white on the sidepods and nose and black in front of the cockpit, although there are some interesting disruptions along the side where the colours interject. There is also a great red marking along the side and ‘airbox’ of Abt’s car, allowing for quick and easy distinction between the two cars. While they’ve turned down the colour, they’ve definitely designed a sharper and more refined livery this season.
MS+AD Andretti Formula e
A big signature for Andretti in the off season, with Kamui Kobayashi joining the team for his first season in Formula e. They’ve also completely changed the livery, which I’m a little disappointed with, because last year’s effort was one of my favourites! The new 2017-18 livery is a two tone teal effort, which annoyingly infringes on NIO’s colour scheme, as they have moved from their grey/teal to a two tone teal livery this season.
Using another team’s colour like that will lose points for me, especially as it isn’t their first time doing something like this! Remember when Amlin moved from Aguri to Andretti, and Andretti used a near identical livery which confused everyone?
All that aside, the design is strong. It uses the darker teal as the main colour on the car, whilst the lighter teal highlights certain edges of the car. There are also some nice details on the side, similar to their wavy effort last year, but in the new colours. The light teal section on the top of the sidepods give me Sauber vibes which is nice. To distinguish their drivers, they’ve gone with white mirrors and airbox piping for da Costa, and purple for Kobayashi.
DS Virgin Racing
Sam Bird is back after a strong season 2016-17 and joining him at DS Virgin is fellow Brit Alex Lynn, replacing Lopez. Not much to say here with the livery relatively unchanged.
I am becoming slightly tired of this livery and would have hoped for a least a little bit of tinkering from season to season. Perhaps adding more purple or replacing some of the black for white just to keep things fresh. Instead, it’s getting stale in here.
Duval out and Jani in for Dragon Racing, as they drop Faraday Future from their name entirely. Unfortunately they’ve also dropped their groundbreaking split livery from last season. It was a stunner and unfortunate to have only lasted one season, but it has been replaced with another great split effort.
They’ve gone with a lovely white and candy apple red colour scheme for Jani and D’Ambrosio respectively, with crisp piping along the edgy bodywork, which does appear to work very well with these design techniques. This red colour is one of my favourites to see on a racing livery, but I believe it looks just a little better with the dark piping on the light main colour as opposed to the reverse.
The design is intricate with neat little multi stripe segments, such as on the front wing, airbox and especially ‘engine’ cover. A great effort, but I do miss the unique design and burnt orange of last season’s cars.
Panasonic Jaguar Racing
Nelson Piquet Jr. has moved across to join Mitch Evans at Jaguar this season. However, the livery has remained virtually identical. It’s the same futuristic, electric, circuit board themed design that everyone was slightly disappointed with last year after the (perhaps false) expectations of British racing green.
Perhaps this disappointment has faded because I don’t dislike this as much as last year and in fact quite like the vibrant cyan colour alongside the deep charcoal. Still not a fan of the gimmicky theme though…
It’s an unchanged line-up and another fan designed livery for Mahindra this year. Or at least I think so, as it looks a lot like last season’s livery with some added blue sections for Renesas. Perhaps they’ve not drawn the winner yet? Either way, this is a step down from last season, which was a very attractive mainly two colour livery with the vibrant red and blue not quite singing in harmony.
Not much more to add; it feels like a hurriedly adapted version of the 2016-17 livery for a last minute sponsor addition. Let’s see if anything changes in the coming rounds, because I got similar dodgy vibes last year with the fan livery.
NIO Formula E Team
With Piquet moving over to Jaguar, NIO (now minus NextEV) have brought former IndyCar driver Luca Filippi to drive for the team in season 2017-18. They livery design theme is similar to last season, although with some big colour changes, moving to a two tone teal scheme. I feel like I’m repeating myself! Unfortunately Andretti have infringed on their colour territory, but pulled it off a little better too.
The thick diagonal stripe remains, but is now a dark teal, whilst the rest of the car is split between the dark and light teal. With the distinction between the two colours being very subtle its hard to get excited by this design. It’s just a shame we now have 4 cars in very similar colour schemes.
No driver changes and only some subtle livery changes for Renault this season. The main changes are that there is now no yellow whatsoever, the livery now has a glossy finish rather than matte, and black is more pronounced, extending along the sidepods rather than just on the wing end plates and wheel arches.
It’s still a lovely blue which was the main draw card last season, but the lack of a little punch of vibrant yellow brings it down a notch, and is not as eye catching. Perhaps the slow transition to Nissan has already begun!
Techeetah have hired the services of open wheel and endurance veteran Andre Lotterer for season 2017-18, hopefully putting to a stop what was a revolving door of second drivers accompanyin Vergne. They’ve also thankfully made some changes to the livery, although I’m still a little wishy washy about it. It’s a tale of two angles here. In the above picture, it looks stunning. A great mix of black and gold in an edgy, angular design, with the gold looking as though it’s everywhere it needs to be.
However, moving to a lower angle, side profile image, I’m less convinced of its beauty. Here, we get one large chunk of gold, proving that the colour is far prettier in smaller sections, as well as big black areas which look rather empty. I also feel sticking with a two tone black and gold livery would have been nicer than the including the little white sections lining the gold in parts. Either way, a definite upgrade on last year’s low quality effort. The stylised Cheetah on the side is also pretty neat.
Venturi Formula E
Finally to Venturi, who seem to have a turned a corner in pace, with the quick out of the box Mortara. They had one of the most interesting designs last year and have kept the same theme despite a significant colour change. Unfortunately it’s lost a lot of its charm in this configuration. Much of the sleek black is replaced with a rather dull silver, the two of which don’t work so well together, and the jutting section on the sidepod for ZF and Rohm has not been executed nearly as well this time around. The red lining of this section doesn’t look sharp at all, but I’m not sure if intentional or just an optical illusion from how it sits next to the silver.
The rest of the design is OK; the red and silver lines underlining Venturi on the black section beneath the cockpit actually looks great. It’s a shame they didn’t stick with black as the main colour and use red, silver and blue accents entirely.
No 5 star liveries for me this season and unfortunately, mostly downgrades! What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my opinions or was I harsh on any of the teams? What’s your favourite? Let me know what you think below!
Formula 1 is finally back, and it looks like the Mercedes stranglehold is over…at least for the time being. A terrific win for Vettel, but at the same time, a lot of our fears have been realised with very few overtakes, and following closely proving very difficult.
Racing aside, how lucky are we in terms of liveries this year? Easily the most colourful grid in 15 years and after a few years of dull, dark grids, I couldn’t be happier.
After the big white engine cover brought little success in 2016, it has been swiftly relegated to the shark fin this year. A bit of a shame if you ask me, as it was a nice change from the solid red of recent years, but it’s good to see that they’ve at least kept it in a smaller form. The tricolore design on this white section is a great touch.
The red remains standard and I’m disappointed not to see a more exciting shade, but it does look nice in real life. The logo placement is looking increasingly cluttered, especially on the sidepod. While the Ferrari sidepod has always been a billboard for various logos, it hasn’t often looked this messy. The Ray Ban, UPS and Shell logos just don’t blend very well. Elsewhere on the livery there’s a pinstripe spike jutting out of the cockpit which would look better solid, or perhaps as a variation of the tricolore. A typically above average Ferrari livery.
Who in their right mind would have predicted a pink car on the grid this year? The beauty of this is two fold; we wave goodbye the ugliest livery on the grid and in its place is a fresh, exciting and unique sight. Pink is one of the most uncommon colours in F1, seen on a car on just a fewoccasions and never as a majority colour, so it’s so refreshing to see it in 2017.
On the other side of the coin, the design has remained largely the same. However, this just exemplifies how important colour choice is on a livery. Whilst the black and silver was universally regarded as ugly, the pink in its place makes the design more than acceptable.
What was the orange line has now been split into two lines, with a lovely dark pink contrasting well against the light pink, but the silver accompanying it gets a little lost and would have looked at least a little better if it were black, matching the rest of the livery and logos a lot better. The added lines on the shark fin are welcome, as it was a very empty section on the launch livery.
The BWT logo is the only blue on the car, and while it would have matched the livery a lot better if it were black, you can understand the sponsor limitations. The black around the sidepod openings look fantastic, as do the wings, which further prove to me that black would have been a better option than silver elsewhere on the car.
Very few teams will receive a lower rating than last year, but Haas is probably the worst offender. They launched last year with a questionable silver, before updating with a lovely mostly white livery. This year they’ve gone with Hispania grey as the majority colour, which is a baffling decision to me. The car already looked great last year, which makes me wonder why they’ve thought a change was required in the first place. This grey is a generally unattractive colour, especially in Motorsport against the tarmac background.
The design itself is largely unchanged, with the red on the side of the nose dragged a little further back, as well as the rear wing end plates being split between red and black, and the shark fin having a very interesting WEC looking design. I’m surprised the latter element wasn’t spread to other areas of the car, namely the wings, as it could have added some life to an otherwise incredibly dull livery.
Once again, very few sponsors on the car, but luckily the Haas logo is terrific and adds some good looks to the sidepods and rear wing. Overall, this is a super dull livery, looking as though the designers took advice from Ron Dennis. It’s not ugly, but definitely boring.
After weeks of hype, McLaren unveiled a largely orange car to the world in February and have kept with it for the first round in Melbourne. While part of me is very excited to see a brightly coloured McLaren on the grid after a few years of dim cars, it has left me wanting more.
The orange itself is rather strong, whereas I would have much preferred to see a slightly lighter, Papaya orange. That said, McLaren may have gone with an evolution rather than a throwback, so fair play to them. The shade of orange does change slightly depending on lighting, but looks best when it looks lighter.
In terms of design, what we’ve got is a classic generic look, like a standard choice from a video game, which doesn’t do the historic colour justice. This is exaggerated in my eyes by the white outline, which it could do without, or at least in a different form. It’s a shame that they couldn’t put something more involved on the car.
However, it’s not to say there shouldn’t be any white on the car, as the white section along the sidepod looks fantastic. My final gripe with this livery is the orange that is broken in up front of the cockpit, where it would have looked just fine as a continuous section all the way along the top.
After all the exciting change above, Mercedes is still Mercedes. The usual silver is this time accompanied by some interesting looking neon lines, in varying shades of Petronas turquoise along the sidepods and wings.
They are sticking with the airbrushed black on the engine cover and airbox which I’ve never really liked. It’s an overall standard livery, which we’ve grown accustomed, if not indifferent to.
Red Bull have seen little change from 2016 and everyone should be more than OK with this. It’s still a stunning livery and if anything, has had some minor improvements made for the new season. A big reason for this is Mobil 1 replacing Total as oil supplier, meaning the wing end plates are now navy, and this has allowed a thin red line to now extend onto the rear wing. This leads to a far cleaner look overall and takes it that one step further.
Only questionable thing is the Bull not extending onto the shark fin, which would be the logical thing to do, but this doesn’t take away from the livery.
Renault have made some considerable changes this season, with the car being split just about 50/50 between yellow and black. This split is made right at the start of the sidepods, with just one tail of yellow running all the way toward the rear from this point, on both sides. This would work a lot better if the end of the yellow wasn’t so abrupt, and there was a slightly more gradual introduction of the black. Instead it leaves the yellow stripes looking a little out of place, rather than totally integrated. The yellow along the top of the shark fin works a lot better. Some black stripes on the nose also could have gone a long way to complete the livery here, but I wouldn’t put the house on it.
There is definitely a Mild Seven feel to this livery, and with some black on the top of the nose, it’s a lot more similar than I had initially thought. It’s a decent livery in its own right, but not enough to make it better than last year’s simpler design. Colour choice keeps it above average for me.
Sauber have been in the same boat as many these last few years; having seemingly endless options but producing below par liveries. To everyone’s surprise, they’ve bucked the trend this year and created a real stunner.
With Banco do Brasil ditching Felipe Nasr and ending his hopes of a drive, we thought a dull blue and white livery was on the cars. Instead, Sauber have chosen a beautiful deep metallic blue to adorn the car, matched with a clean white along the side of the nose and sidepods. It’s a nice crisp contrast between the two, although the gap in the white for the driver numbers is a little odd.
Another surprise was the choice of gold as a third colour, introduced to celebrate their 25th season in Formula 1. Whilst I’d have preferred a slightly stronger or yellow-er gold for lack of a better word, it matches the livery very well and adds a bit of spice to complete the look. The pinstripe placement of the gold actually works on this occasion and just looks really nice.
It’s another year with few sponsors on the car, but at least this season the cardoesn’t look too empty.
Now I’ve spoken about surprises throughout this post, but none compare to this. I’ve been begging Toro Rosso to change their livery for years, but my hopes slowly waned until there was none at all. There were whispers of a colour change at the start of the year, but not enough to get me believing. Then they pop up with this.
It’s not a simple colour change, but a total overhaul of the tired, dusty Toro Rosso design entirely. In comes a new, beautiful blueberry main colour which shimmers purple in the sunlight, accompanied by a vibrant red and incredible chrome silver. All the colours gel superbly with each other and stand out so well in their own right.
Everything that I hated about the old livery is history. The bull graphic past its use by date – gone. The boring, dull gold – gone. The generic, half hearted designs – gone. Replacing this is a super simple design; one thick red line along the side, with a bull on the engine cover matching the new edition cans and red wing end plates I can now enjoy.
Everything on this car works so well and is compounded by the sheer surprise and joy I felt upon seeing they’d actually made a change. If I could give more stars, I would. You know what, I enjoyed this so much they can have gold stars. Oh, and it looks fantastic in real life too.
It’s hard to follow that up. Williams are the complete opposite, having stuck with the same livery for another year. We’ve already spoken about this, they need to mix it up, hopefully we get some change next year.
The only real difference this year is the Martini stripes extending and spreading out on the shark fin. Like I’ve said before it still looks good but is now dangerously close to becoming stale.
What a grid we have for 2017. So many colours but more importantly, so many good looking liveries. The happiest I’ve been going into round 1 in a number of years. Let’s hope the championship fight stays close and the racing gets better and better.
Best Looker Award – Toro Rosso
Both of the Red Bull teams look great this year, but Toro Rosso is simply beautiful and my pick of the 2017 grid.
Least Attractive Award – Haas
Nothing particularly offensive this season, but Haas is just dull and boring, which is disappointing considering what they had last season.
Biggest Nagger Award – McLaren
A potential beauty here, but is let down by a generic design.
Is This Real Life? Award – Toro Rosso
A day I thought would never come. They’ve made significant changes and pulled them off spectacularly.
Potential Barbie Sponsorship Award – Force India
Not just pink, but baby pink! I wonder if Mattel would be interested in a sponsorship deal?
The IndyCar season crept up on me this year! With all the hype around Formula 1’s 2017 regulations and livery launches, IndyCar personally flew under the radar, so when I heard round one was upon us, I was super keen to have proper racing back!
There have been some big changes over the winter with drivers switching teams and teams switching manufacturers, but there hasn’t been too much movement in the livery space, especially when compared to F1. Either way, here’s what we’ve got for the new season.
A.J. Foyt Enterprises
#4 Connor Daly & #14 Carlos Muñoz
As mentioned above, there haven’t been many radical livery changes amongst the teams in 2017. Two new drivers this year but ABC remains with A.J. Foyt Enterprises and therefore, so does the livery. It’s still a good livery, but being unchanged for the 6th straight season, it gains some boredom points. It’s great to have loyal sponsors, but it’s time for an evolution!
#26 Takuma Sato
Whilst Andretti have kept the same blanket design for all four cars again this year, it’s new colours on the #26 with the incoming Sato, bringing with him Panasonic backing. Unsurprisingly it’s blue and white and flashes of red. Not the strongest colour combination, but not bad either. Looks a little empty on the sidepods though.
#28 Ryan Hunter-Reay
Unchanged livery here, leading to an unchanged rating. Still a great look with the DHL yellow and red, with the Andretti silver tip nose working especially well with the #28. Could be spectacular with a design spruce up, but instead remains simply above average.
#27 Marco Andretti
Now this livery takes some liberties that drastically improve on the base design. The red, white and yellow work very well together, and it’s great to see red used on both the engine cover and sidepods. Having white on the sidepods, as the design dictates on the others, would’ve led to a very plain car. The red section on the side of the nose adds some nice colour to an otherwise empty space, and the use of the three colours on different wing elements is simple, yet terrific.
#98 Alexander Rossi
I guess NAPA were pretty happy with Rossi’s Indy 500 win as they’re back on the #98 in 2017. I’m glad for this, as the blue, yellow and flashes of red make for a great colour combination, that works very well with the Andretti design. What helps this car is the NAPA logo, which in being re-worked this year, has turned into a design element of its own, filling up the sidepod with some more lovely yellow. A little annoying that the red is pinstriped along the cockpit, but that’s just my personal, nitpicky opinion.
Chip Ganassi Racing
Liveries aside, Chip Ganassi made the bold move of switching from Chevy to Honda. Most people thought this was a crazy move, considering Honda’s inferior performance in 2016, but the decision has seemingly paid off, with great results all round at St. Petersburg.
#8 Max Chilton
This was one of my favourite liveries of 2016 and I have to say I still like it a lot. The multiple shades of blue go very well with the white and are placed slightly differently in 2017. This is most notable on the nose, where a large navy blue section replaces the sky blue stripes, bringing with it a far stronger contrast. The engine cover has also changed, with a larger logo bringing with it an equally large section of sky blue. A great evolution of the 2016 livery.
#9 Scott Dixon
For the first time in their history, Chip Ganassi Racing will not have Target backing on any of their cars, a partnership lasting since the very beginning, in 1990. Therefore, it’s going to take a while getting used to Scott Dixon’s new livery. The GE Lighting and NTT Data sponsored car is mainly blue, with secondary light blue and orange sections. These secondary design sections flow in opposite directions and to my annoyance, overlap. It isn’t that big a deal, but gives it an odd look. Interesting too is the choice of the main colour, azure blue, being fairly similar to Kanaan’s car, but also quite odd and unique in its own right.
#10 Tony Kanaan
An almost identical effort to last year. A simple two tone effort that doesn’t offend, but also doesn’t excite. An above average mark again, although I don’t get the same visual pleasure I did last season.
#83 Charlie Kimball
Apparently I quite liked this livery last year, but the feeling has worn off. I’m just about sick of grey in Motorsport right about now, and the tennis ball green isn’t really doing anything for me either. The sharp and contrasting sections of yellow and grey are still nice, but I now dislike the faded stripes along the side. Removing them would leave a stronger overall livery, albeit slightly more simple and generic.
Dale Coyne Racing
#18 Sébastien Bourdais
Who saw this coming? Bourdais moving to one of the weakest teams of 2016, bringing with him some old friends, and winning from the back of the grid. Incredible.
The livery design is unchanged and while it was one of my favourites last year, it isn’t quite as spectacular in this configuration. I do still love the red lines running along the side of the nose and the other red lines angled along the body. The black wings do a great job of contrasting with the majority white.
#19 Ed Jones
As above really. Identical to last season, although I prefer the Sonny’s car, which doesn’t include any blue. A different shade would have worked far better in this instance.
No major change to the Fuzzy’s livery this year. The deep metallic green still looks great and with some added gold along the cockpit, the combo overall is still pretty good.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan racing
#15 Graham Rahal
No changes here either, but this is still a surprisingly nice livery. Again, just the Steak n Shake logo on the engine cover, with some black front and rear wing elements allowing this to be simple and yet not too boring. Nice shade of red too, which is important.
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
#5 James Hinchcliffe
The #5 machine retains its unique reflective gold for another season, paired with black alone this time (apart from the red flashes on the mirrors and airbox). Just some minor changes this year, which include the removal of white trimming between the black and gold, with the black creeping further up the nose, wrapping around the tip. This black section has gold either side of it which is nice, and no explosions behind the Arrow logo either, which I’m glad about. Definitely an improvement!
#7 Mikhail Aleshin
After a generic design last season, Aleshin’s car has leapt into allure in 2016 . The design is exactly the same as Hinchcliffe’s, with the difference being way fewer sponsors, and of course the beautiful reflective red. It’s taken a while, but we’ve finally seen this lovely colour once more. While the lack of sponsors gives the livery an empty feeling, it does a great job in showcasing the chrome red, which I could look at for hours. Unfortunately, the black doesn’t pair as well as it does with the gold, so it’s a bit weaker overall than its counterpart.
To my dismay, Team Penske haven’t changed their livery design for 2017. We can only hope that we see some sponsors come in to push the design’s boundaries.
#1 Simon Pagenaud
Identical to last season. This is one of the better colour combinations though and looks good despite the tired design. We’ll inevitably see a number of sponsors and colours on this car (and the others) throughout the season.
#2 Josef Newgarden & #12 Will Power
With Montoya being relegated to an Indy only seat, Newgarden has come in off the back of an impressive 2016. This livery too has not changed, but the simplicity is quite stunning. The red line not wrapping around the very edge of the nose annoys me more on this car than the others, but this main attraction, the colour silver, is a more or less perfect shade for Motorsport.
#3 Helio Castroneves
So we end with Castroneves, who has finished top five in the championship for the last five seasons despite only winning five four races during this period. He flies under the radar but always does a solid job. Much like Helio, the #3 retains its no fuss 2016 livery, although this is the weakest of the three due to its standard, unimaginative colouring.
So of the 18 liveries, only five are are significantly changed from last season, and really only Dixon’s car bears an entirely different design to 2016. A little disappointing for people as into liveries as I am, but happily there are still a number of very good looking cars on the grid.
Best Looker Award – Chilton & Bourdais
No five star liveries this year, but these two are great. Did I mention I love Chilton’s helmet?
Least Attractive Award – Castroneves
Those standard racing colours mixed with a nagger of a design.
Most Improved Award – Aleshin
It’s amazing what an interesting colour can do to a car. Oh, and little effort in design!
Biggest Nagger Award – Team Penske
As mentioned above, quite bored of this design and dislike it’s adaptation to different sponsors. Andretti do a far better job of this.
What Year Is It? Award – A.J Foyt Enterprises
6 years! Beautiful livery or not, you have to make some changes every now and this. This is Williams levels of perseverance, or perhaps stubbornness.