After a long, long wait, F1 is back! COVID-19 has played havoc on the world and with so much negativity, it’s great to have a favourite distraction back, with races almost every week. The delayed season start has also seen some surprising livery changes since the launches, so let’s see the who’s done well and who hasn’t, in reverse alphabetical order this time.
There’s a lot to love about William’s revamped livery. Sure, the new Rokit design was good and brought some colour to the grid, but I don’t think anyone is sad to see the dodgy company go. The new livery is somewhat dictated by new sponsor Sofina, a financial investment group, but sings true to Williams roots of white and blue.
The red is gone, but the livery is way more refined with some traditional swooping blue and black lines along the length of the car. Everything appears to be well placed, including the black on the underside of the halo and the blue on the top of the engine cover/shark fin, as well as on the rear wing.
They’ve taken Mercedes’ lead with a neat repeating pattern toward the rear of the car, which gives the classic livery a much more modern look. It’s a mainly white car, but avoids looking empty with good sponsor and colour placement.
Probably my favourite part of the car is the little blue sections which cut in and out of the main black section on the car. Usually you’d see two colours running parallel, but this is another way they make this livery look modern. It looks especially great on the nose where it’s most obvious, and I feel possibly they’ve missed an opportunity to make further use of this toward the rear of the car. Only nitpicking though, because it looks fantastic.
Renault DP World F1 Team
Renault has only made very minor changes to their livery this season, and why would you when it was already close to perfect.
Sure it might be the third year in the same livery, but it’s still quite wonderful. The slightly cooler, more bright yellow brought in last year remains, as does the placement of most of the colour and sponsors.
The biggest change, and a sign of the times really, is that the black portions of colour on the car are a matte paint, as opposed to the regular gloss for the yellow. I’m not against matte paint, but I feel as though gloss is fast becoming underrated, and I wonder if matte is here to stay or just a fad. Another big change is the very bottom yellow stripe being removed, replaced with technical sponsors that used to be on the floor’s carbon fibre.
Lastly, there’s the addition of the blue tripe on the top of the shark fin, promoting Renault’s hybrid brand, “E-Tech”. It works well, albeit disrupting the colour flow. Black and yellow is a great colour combo, it’s well placed on the car, and that’s why we love this livery.
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing
Much like Renault, there’s very little change on this year’s Red Bull, in fact, I don’t think there’s any!
So not a whole lot to describe then. It’s still matte, there’s still a big bull on the engine cover and it still looks very nice.
I’m surprised to see so little evolution this year. Even in the Vettel days, Red Bull would tweak a couple of things here or there, but I guess if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
That said, I hope we see something at least a little different next year. I know we can’t hope for much, they have a brand identity they will always stick to, but we can hope at least for a livery that isn’t identical. Aston Martin becoming their own team next year is a sign of hope, but the likelihood is that they’ll just replace their logos with a new sponsor, or just more Red Bull stickers.
BWT Racing Point F1 Team
So it seems this may be the end of the pink panther in Formula 1! Sure, some pink may feature on next year’s car if BWT stay on as a sponsor, but Aston Martin will almost certainly dictate the colours, so enjoy it while it lasts.
It’s very difficult to beat last year’s livery, which I thought was pretty much perfect. The departure of SportPesa means the lovely deep metallic blue is gone and BWT are back to using their lighter shade of blue, which I don’t think provides as good a contract to the light, bright pink.
That said, they’ve gone against the grain with the BWT logo diagonally covering almost the entire side of the car, which is more common in oval racing. It makes the side look a little lacking in terms of design and kind of empty, although the angled white and pink lines along the logo are sufficient albeit basic.
The white around the cockpit is nice, and very nice on the underside of the halo, although it ends a little abruptly. There just isn’t the same level of intricacy when compared to some of it’s predecessors, and it makes this livery look a little bland in comparison.
Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team
Well I don’t think anyone expected this! Perhaps at Hamilton’s request, who has in recent years become outspoken and a great activist for human rights, animal rights and other great causes, Mercedes has for the first time entered an F1 season in a colour other than silver.
The black livery supports Black Lives Matter and in supporting a great cause, they’ve created a stunning design. I’m so surprised to see so many white cars on the grid this year, when every time a black car is launched, everyone falls in love. This is no exception.
Everything that was great on the silver livery is even better here. The turquoise flashes of colour pop incredibly well against the black. The silver arrow pattern along the side and rear look even more elegant as a light on dark combination. The additions of red for Ineos blend in so much better here than they did on the silver version.
Everything works and looks fantastic. I can’t imagine they’ll stick to black for another season (but who knows with Hamilton still in the seat), so let’s enjoy this while it lasts. They’ve absolutely outdone themselves with this effort, in all aspects.
McLaren F1 Team
McLaren started the season with a bang, and with the team moving to Mercedes engines next season, it seems the only way is up. Sainz may need to make hay before he leaves for Ferrari! That said, the papaya is back for another year and it’s as wonderful as ever.
I for one am quite sad to see the triangle pattern ditched for this season. It quickly became the teams identity and was loved by fans, so I’m surprised they didn’t keep it in some form for 2020. That said, my disappointment quickly subsided as the new livery is also very, very good. As mentioned the lovely papaya remains, although the blue used this year is a little lighter, and doesn’t have that neat metallic look. The contrast isn’t as strong, but doesn’t bring the livery down much.
This livery is quite traditional, with the long, simply segmented sections split along the side of the car, as has been done for many decades. The complexity comes within these sections, with the piano key like designs (now in rainbow colours for #WeRaceAsOne) on the sidepod and on the engine cover spicing up the bold solid sections, rather than a simple fade to black. Another great thing is they’ve finally painted the halo in papaya, rather than black, which was the only real downside of last season’s livery.
What I’m not a big fan of is how the black section is brought up onto the nose. While it frames the logos well, I’d much prefer this secondary colour not spill onto the ‘top’ of the nose, and rather done like how the black is used on the Renault’s nose. I know it has to do with hiding the ugly nose tip and supports, but the Renault method is much nicer, and is in fact the one McLaren used successfully last season. It’s another papaya stunner from McLaren, but just not quite at the same level as 2019!
Haas F1 Team
You know, what I said earlier about all black cars being stunning may have been an exaggeration, because the 2019 Haas wasn’t the prettiest or most elegant livery we’d ever seen. For that reason, I’m quite glad their factory colours are back, and in a slightly different fashion to its predecessors.
We’re back to black, white and red (no grey this time) and it’s nice to see. The classic Haas design has returned, with the black section on the sidepod half way up the main logo – it’s always looked great.
There’s a lot more black on this effort than it’s previous iterations (not including the Rich Energy livery) with the side sections in front of the sidepods in all black. The nose, which was my big gripe with the previous Haas cars, is also far cleaner. The black being on top of the nose isn’t so bad here as it start way back, not as abruptly as on the McLaren.
There’s a little red arrow arrow breaking up the black and white in front of the cockpit too, which is a nice touch, although probably could’ve been utilised elsewhere on the livery too. Overall, it’s a corporate livery done well.
Ferrari started the season with the shock announcement they wouldn’t be extending Vettel’s contract, and later announcing Sainz as their new driver. Given recent results, it may be a blessing in disguise for the German!
The team has been unable to use Mission Winnow logos on the car so far this season, leaving a gaping, empty hole on the engine cover. More than ever, this exposes the Ferrari for the giant moving red billboard it really is. The only design elements are the sponsor logos and I’ve never been a fan of Shell, UPS and Ray-Ban slapped on to the sidepod together in a row.
I lie, there are some subtle design elements on the car. There is a carbon fibre stripe along the bottom of the car featuring the technical sponsors, as well as some more carbon fibre on the halo and the wing tips. There has indeed been some effort put into the livery other than sponsor logos.
The only other thing to talk about really is that they have kept the matte red from last season, and I guess I can’t be mad about it. At least the red they’ve chosen is bright and really stands out from the rest (as usual). I can also mention that the numbers aren’t very nice, but pinstriping isn’t really my thing.
Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda
AlphaTauri was the one real unknown going into the new season. There was talk about a black livery and we all got pretty excited at the thought. It came out white and navy blue, and I have to say was a little underwhelming, especially when the Toro Rosso has been beautiful the last few years.
I was surprised to see so much white! If I was to make a statement as a ‘new’ team, promoting a new brand, majority white wouldn’t have been my first choice. That said, the main design feature on the car is one big ass AlphaTauri logo on the whole side of the car, so it’s not like they aren’t getting exposure.
The other is just the big swooping navy blue section acting as the background to the giant logo, which ends abruptly in front of the cockpit. There’s another logo each on the front and rear wings, in case you missed it on the whole side of the car. The design just seems a little uninspired, and quite frankly I think a plain navy blue would have looked way better and distracted less from the logo, which they clearly want to be seen as much as possible.
The only other annoyance is the Honda logo being in red. A perfect chance for a two tone livery ruined, and sure, while it makes it stand out more, it kinda disrupts the livery. Yeah, I’m a little disappointed by this one. It might be a little boring, but a plain navy blue version nice, doesn’t it?
Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen
It’s been a disastrous start to the season for Alfa, struggling with Ferrari’s engine performance advantage all but gone. They’ve really been nowhere, which is a shame!
One upside this season is that with the arrival of Kubica as a test driver, Orlen has also jumped on board, filling the sponsor gap in their sidepod. Another good thing to see is they’ve kept the lovely shade of red from last season, which looks terrific under the shining sun.
Sadly it looks as though almost all reference of Sauber has now disappeared, with the navy blue stripes and Swisse references on the rear wing all gone. Just the Sauber Engineering logo remains is very small writing. Unfortunately, they’ve kept the same pinstripe design along the nose and changed it to red. Another annoying aspect is that Orlen and Huski are very slightly different shades to the main colour of the car. Curse those brand guidelines!
There is one nice new addition though, with some white flashes working as a very slight gradient on the engine cover, adding some complexity to what was a straight forward design the last couple of years. That said, it feels like two liveries in one, with the front and the rear not gelling perfectly at all. I wish they’d just use a solid chunk of red on the nose rather than those thin little stripes. It’s also a little cluttered, a little wordy, but not enough to lose points over.
Best Looker Award – Mercedes
They really have outdone themselves this year. At least it’s a beautiful car that will be winning every race!
Least Attractive Award – AlphaTauri
Maybe it has a little to do with high hopes, but this was a real disappointment. Could have been a really fantastic livery, but who knows, it will probably grow on me.
LARGEST LOGO AWARD – AlphaTauri
Who would’ve thought Racing Point’s BWT logo wouldn’t be the biggest? The AlphaTauri logo literally takes up half of the car, and there are two others on there to boot. When you have enough money to not need any other sponsors, you can do whatever you want!
Blessing in Disguise Award – Williams
Rokit are a no good company, and them leaving lead to an even better livery! We’re all winners in this one (apart from William’s probably not getting as much money as they’d expected).
So which was your favourite? Vote down below and leave a comment!