Round-Up – Formula e 2017-18

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

Audi Digrassi 2

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.

Audi Abt 2

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

Andretti 3

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.

Andretti 2

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

DS Virgin 5

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.

DS Virgin 7

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.

★★★

 

Dragon Racing

Dragon 4

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.

Dragon 2

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.

Dragon 3

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

Jaguar

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.

Jaguar 2

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…

★★☆

 

Mahindra Racing

Mahindra 3

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.

Mahindra 2

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

NIO

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.

NIO 2

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.

★★★

 

Renault e.dams

Renault 2

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.

Renault

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

Teheetah 2

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.

Techeetah

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

Venturi

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.

Venturi 2

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!

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Round-Up – Formula e 2017-18

Livery Round-Up – 2017 Formula 1 Field

Melbourne Pack

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.

Ferrari

Australian F1 Grand Prix

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.

Ferrari 1

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.

★★★

 

Force India

Australian F1 Grand Prix

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 few occasions 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.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Australian Grand Prix - Practice Day - Melbourne, Australia

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.

★★★★

 

Haas

Haas 1

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.

Haas 2

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.

★★

 

McLaren

McLaren 1

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.

Formula One Australia - Race, Melbourne, USA - 26 Mar 2017

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.

★★★☆

 

Mercedes

Australia F1 GP Auto Racing

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.

Australia F1 GP Auto Racing

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

Red Bull 1

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.

Red Bull 2

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

Australian F1 Grand Prix

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.

Renault 2

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

Sauber 1

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.

AUTO-AUS-PRIX-F1

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.

★★★★☆

 

Toro Rosso

Toro Rosso 1

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.

Toro Rosso 2

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.

★★★★★

 

Williams

AUTO-AUS-PRIX-F1

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.

Formula One World Championship 2017, Round 1, Australian Grand Prix

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.

 

Bonus Awards

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?

 

Livery Round-Up – 2017 Formula 1 Field

Livery Round-Up – 2017 IndyCar Field

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

AJ Foyt

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!

★★★☆

 

Andretti Autosport

#26 Takuma Sato

Andretti Sato 1

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

Andretti Hunter 2

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

Andretti 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

Andretti 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

Chip Chilton 2

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

Chip Dixon 2

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

Chip 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

Chip Kimball 1

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

Dale Coyne 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

Dale Coyne 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.

★★★

 

Ed Carpenter Racing

#20 Spencer Pigot/Ed Carpenter & #21 J.R. Hildebrand

Ed Carpenter

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

Rahal 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

Schmidt Hinch

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.

★★★☆

 

Team Penske

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

Pesnke 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

Penske 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.

 

Bonus Awards

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.

Livery Round-Up – 2017 IndyCar Field

Round-Up – Supercars 2017 Field

One round down and here we are looking at this year’s liveries. There’s some good, some bad and not much ugly thankfully. Let’s get straight to it.

Brad Jones Racing

BJR 2

First cab off the rank is a beauty! With Percat now at his new home at BJR, Clipsal have come along to sponsor the car for the aptly named Clipsal 500.

Some great colours here in white, red and a very strong purple. While white is the main colour, it is complemented by the bright red that really pops, and the unique purple that suits the others so well.

BJR 1

The design is simple; the red and purple spikes framing the Clipsal logo nicely, ensuring that the car doesn’t look too white and plain in the process. Whilst this isn’t typically my kind of design, I like the fact that it’s uniform and uses the colours well. Would have been good to see this in more than one round!

★★★★

 

Freightliner 1

Freightliner are back, this time with Tim Slade at the wheel, and have gone the Force India route: lots of silver. I’m glad they’ve moved away from the standard red and black, but this isn’t better. The front of the car looks nice enough, with the bright white and silver spread evenly across the bonnet, complemented nicely by the bright red streaks and looking uniform.

Freightliner 2

However, the Freightliner logo is where most of the issues lie. Firstly, it’s a silver logo on a silver background. With a dark outline that it has, it can’t stand out. This would have looked better on white. Secondly, the shape of the logo means it is evenly outlined by the silver/red at the front, starting strong but breaking away in the middle, creating an uneven look. Finally, instead of keeping the entire side section silver with a red outline, as you’d assume it would be from the front, they’ve mixed some red into the middle section just in front of the rear wheel, causing the Frieghtliner logo to run over multiple colours and leaving the livery to look like a bit of a mish-mash. Originally gave this two stars, but it looks good from certain angles that I can’t nitpick from.

★★☆

 

CoolDrive Racing

Cooldrive 2

This livery is definitely weaker than its predecessor, but that doesn’t mean it’s a poor effort. It’s just a far simpler design, with last year’s secondary blue as the main colour, although the two blues don’t match as well in this orientation.

Cooldrive 1

Negative’s aside, I like the simplicity and the fact it doesn’t look cluttered, but it is missing the wow factor. Certainly better than your average livery.

★★★

 

Erebus Motorsport

Penrite 1

Erebus have gone with a paler yellow/gold this year and looking back at last year’s livery, it’s a bit of a shame, as that strong yellow was very nice! Colour aside there have been significant changes for the 2017 livery. There’s a lot less going on overall, but there’s beautiful piping on the front and rear, along with some other red and gold bits on the bonnet and bumpers. They probably could have gone without the latter, as they are only on the front. Could have been a mean look, but instead the generic bits on the bumper don’t follow the shape of the car and just look like they’re filling space.

Penrite 2

The side of the car is simply a giant Penrite logo, tilted and cropped. Rather plain, but not a bad look. Just feels like it’s missing some piping on that part of the car to match the rest of the livery.

★★★★

 

GB Galvinizing 1

Dale Wood has moved to Erebus and brought GB Galvanizing with him. This livery is very similar to the one raced toward the end of last year at Nissan and is a pleasant look. It’s great to see that grey can be used well, in this case a dark shade and matte paint. It’s paired well with the white, especially on the splitter and above the intake, giving the car a nice milk moustache.

GB Galvinizing 2

The red parts are a little out of control and would have looked better if they weren’t so erratically designed. Can’t complain much about this at all though, just wish Haas could make grey look this good.

★★★☆

 

Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport

LDM 1

Debuting this year at just 16 years old, Alex Rullo is the youngest driver in the championship’s history, and the first born in the 2000s. Controversial driver choice aside, the Repair Management Australia LDM has got a number of things right.

While black is the main colour, it’s really the high-vis orange that takes center stage on this livery. They both work well with the blue, in a design that is wonderfully jagged, compared to Wood’s livery above.

LDM 2

It’s just a nice livery overall, although perhaps something could have been done, such as some texture on the black, to keep the base from looking so plain. The livery is certainly missing something, but I can’t put my finger on it. It’s too bad Castrol has to come along and ruin the colour coordination, as it does on a number of liveries this season.

★★★★

 

LDM 3

With Taz Douglas standing in for Matt Chahda while LDM figure out they driver issues, the sponsors are similarly temporary, so there’s not much use in analysing this all black livery.

 

MEGA Racing

Mega 1

Jason Bright has moved back to Ford with Prodrive, driving the Mega Bulk Fuels Falcon in 2017. While it’s great to have two cars with purple liveries on the grid, one is clearly better than the other. The colour combination here, albeit dictated by sponsor Mega, is weak. The purple and blue aren’t vibrant at all, and don’t really go well together. Thankfully they don’t actually connect at any point on the car, as that could have looked awful.

Interestingly, they’ve gone with an asymmetrical colour scheme, with purple on the left front and blue on the right, and the opposite on the rear.

2017 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

However, that’s not quite enough to bring life to this livery. The design is very simple, with just one section of blue and one of purple on each half, leaving a huge area of white along the side (which is great for Mega). With two dull, uncomplimentary colours, outlined by black to make things worse, this design just doesn’t do any favours for itself.

★☆

 

Mobil 1 HSV Racing

Holden has taken its official backing over to Red Bull, leaving Walkinshaw to fend for themselves. Thankfully they’ve got two very capable drivers in Courtney and Pye to steer them in the right direction.

Mobil 1 HSV Racing 1

As for the livery, they’ve gone dark and aggressive, with a mainly black matte paint job. On the other hand, the very bright red parts aren’t in matte, creating a nice variation in textures along the car, but also placed very aggressively. It’s a very strong design up until the front bumper, where it loses this aggressive look, adding a pointless pinstripe which doesn’t match the rest of the car, but that’s just a personal gripe of mine.

 

Mobil 1 HSV Racing 2

Can’t take away too many points for that though. The rest of the design looks great, especially the red flashes along the edge of the roof, windshield and bonnet. Mobil is huge on the side of the car, which works well enough in this instance, but Boost clashes a little with its orange. A very nice car to watch going around the track.

★★★★☆

 

Nissan Motorsport & Team Harvey Norman

Nissan 1

Caruso’s Nissan this year is split into thirds, a bit like a Neapolitan ice cream, with red at the front, white in the middle and black at the rear. It uses a gradient, streaky and stripey design to blend the colours, with the side view the most rewarding. I like the top section of the car, which features black fading to white, but a sharp white down the side of the roof. Not a ground breaking livery but not ugly either – middle of the road.

★★☆

 

Harvey Norman 2

One of the biggest talking points at the beginning of the season was Simona De Silvestro joining the series as a full time driver. Her first hit out didn’t go badly at all, apart from being turned around while heading for the pits.

The livery is the same as Bathurst last year, apart from the more generic ‘Nissan’ colour palette. This wasn’t my favourite livery at the time and that hasn’t changed.

Harvey Norman 1

Some Nissan style stripey business along the side, but the front is the best looking section in my opinion. Simple, no-nonsense red and black, sharply split, following the shape of the unique Nissan grille.

★★☆

 

Preston Hire Racing

Preston Hire 1

Preston Hire Racing already had one of the best liveries on the grid last year, so it was brave of them to make such significant changes. However, it’s totally paid off, designing another beauty in 2017.

This season, the car’s main colour is matte yellow, creating an inverted look to last season. The slightly pale yellow pairs perfectly with black, with all the logos slotting into the theme well, although I wish Fuchs could’ve gone with yellow rather than white to make an almost perfectly two-tone livery.

Preston Hire 2

The main yellow and black sections folow the natural curves of the car beautifully, creating an organic base for the other small yellow and black protrusions and flashes. There are also some small red sections, adding a third colour which without sponsorship wouldn’t be necessary, but do look good and add a little something to the livery. The silver rims with black spokes are also a really nice touch.

★★★★☆

 

Red Bull Holden Racing Team

Red Bull 1

As mentioned earlier, Holden have jumped ship, joining the most successful team in recent history, and that’s a move that makes sense, to be at the top. However, with a team and brand as well renowned as Red Bull, I can’t imagine many people would be thinking about Holden as a main sponsor. I don’t know, I feel it would have made more sense to stick with their guns and be the straight up Holden Racing Team.

Red Bull have decided to emulate last season’s beautiful Formula 1 livery with a commendable effort of their own. They’ve used the matte navy and electric red paint and transferred it to Supercars with a suitable design.

Red Bull 2

However, I feel I have more gripes than likes with this one. The car looks confused and cluttered on the side, with the Holden and Red Bull logos fighting for space, leaving no room for an actual design. Whilst the Holden logo has taken the F1 style all red lettering, the Red Bull logo has retained the usual white outline which is baffling to me, taking away a sense of continuity in the design. I could only imagine this is to create a bit of differentiation between the Holden and Red Bull logos which could have been difficult to distinguish otherwise, but it just feels like they haven’t gone all in with the theme by doing it this way.

It’s still nice overall, the front looking pretty with the red splitter and piping on the grille, just few too any things that had be nitpicking.

★★★

 

Sengled Racing & carsales Racing 

Sengled 1

How’s this for a confusing livery. Sengled stays on Rick Kelly’s car for 2017, with an overall design similar to last year, but what in the world is going on with that texture? Instead of the silver, there’s a weird ice or metal texture (I can’t figure out what in the hell it is), which looks absolutely hideous. This texture is also on some of the red parts, with the Sengled logo using a standard Photoshop filter for a 3D effect that I only ever used when experimenting with the program as a beginner.

Sengled 2

An effort was made here, but this just proves that sometimes, simplicity is the best option. I was desperately close to awarding this abomination no stars at all and can only hope this was a Clipsal only livery.

 

Carsales 2

There are a few changes to the carsales Nissan for 2017, namely some larger areas of that lovely blue, which now covers the majority of the sides and top of the car. I can’t say it’s an improvement on 2016, but it’s still a good look overall.

Carsales 1

The design is still distinctly Nissan with those jagged white lines parallel to the blue areas, although I am slowly getting tired of that ‘Nissan’ look, which thankfully has been broken up by Caruso’s new livery at least.

★★★

 

Shell V-Power Racing Team

Fabian Coulthard and Scott McLaughlin

All smiles at DJR Team Penske with the signing of young gun Scott McGlaughlin and having Shell on board for the entirety of the 2017 season. With this, one of my biggest annoyances of last season is gone! No more one livery fits all. What’s even better is that with Shell, one of the best colour schemes of last season is on the grid for good. Red, yellow and white go together very well, especially in this design.

I was initially a little disheartened when, after announcing a shortlist of liveries, they went with what is essentially last year’s design. However, part of the reason why I wait until Round 1 to do the round-up is to have a cooling off period, to ensure I’m speaking with my head and not my heart (well, not too much). I can now say I’m totally cool with their decision.

DJR 2

One of the biggest differences to last season is the red bonnet, which was white last year. While this makes the design simpler, it adds a further level of continuity and looks great with the bold red and attractively huge Shell logo. Apart from that, little has changed. One is the red boot, matching the bonnet. Another minor adjustment is the top yellow line on the side slimming toward the rear instead of getting larger. They’ve also added a nice touch, with the drivers’ mirrors and wings being yellow for Coulthard and White for McLaughlin.

★★★★

 

Supercheap Auto Racing

Super Cheap 1

A refreshed livery for Chaz Mostert in 2017, with the majority of black seen last season making way for a lot more red. This leads to a great tricolour combination, looking a lot like Ingall’s Holden of a few years ago.

What’s presented is a beautifully complex design which unlike the Nissans, for example, connects large coherently jagged sections together, rather than dropping a bunch of odd lines all over the place.

Virgin Australia Supercars Championship Test Day

Each coloured section is outlined by black creating great uniformity and separating the yellow and red well. Black is used nicely as a third colour for splitting the red and yellow and with flashes like behind the front wheels, but isn’t so strong in large sections such as the bonnet, where perhaps plain red would have been fine. I’m just happy to see Supercheap make changes on a yearly basis. Special thanks to Castrol and Ovo for ruining an otherwise completely uniform colour scheme.

★★★★☆

 

TeamVortex

TeamVortex 2

TeamVortex looks refreshed in 2017 with a lot more white bringing a new look to the team. The famous teal is still around on a much smaller scale, interestingly textured for the most part. It’s actually a great pattern using three or four different shades of teal to spice up the livery. Take note Nissan, this is how you use textures without making the car look butt ugly.

Craig Lowndes

The red stripe along the side of the car, as high as it is, squashes the Vortex logo a little too much and could have been avoided if the line was lower. On the other hand, the red and teal lines which start behind the rear side windows and finish on the bonnet look fantastic and frame the Caltex logo really well. Overall, I’m really glad to see this new take on the livery.

★★★★

 

TEKNO Woodstock Racing

Tekno 1

With Darrell Lea not renewing their sponsorship and taking the Stix livery with them, Woodstock have come in with a red, black and white effort that I’m quite indifferent to. Three of the most standard Motorsport colours replace the exciting orange of 2016, but the design itself is what disappoints rather than the colours.

Tekno 2

Red is mainly used on the front of the car, with some of this spilling onto the side, along with some white flashes. The Woodstock logo looks great on the side, but not so nice on the bonnet. I’m not sure why they felt the need to invert the colours, rather than just extending the black a little further out to accommodate the logo in its normal colours. It looks wrong in black with a white shadow, a red base. This might have needed a little less red, or at least some more love in the overall design.

★★

 

 

The Bottle-O Racing Team and Monster Energy Racing

Bottle-O 3

The #5 is back and with it, another evolution of The Bottle-O livery. Bright green remains the overarching colour on the car, but I’m glad to see an increased presence of white this year. While I can’t be sure, it looks as though they’ve toned down the green a notch from radioactive, although I never had an issue with that colour.

Bottle-O 2

The placement of the white makes it look like there is more of it than there actually is. It’s cleverly placed between the roof support, mirrors and in front of the rear wheel to open the livery up where it was quite dull last year with the large black sections. Speaking of black, it’s no longer matte this year, going against the grain, as the fad takes over the grid in 2017.

There’s still a few too many things happening on this livery, with the white and black sections not really speaking to each other, but still looks pretty good as a whole.

★★★☆

 

2017 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

Waters is looking a new man in 2017 with two solid performances in Adelaide. His car too, is looking the goods. Gone are a the weird grey bits from last season and this results in a super clean livery.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s completely matte black, ensuring that all the logos, especially Monster, match well. Not too much more to say about this. You can’t screw up a livery if you don’t design one! All jokes aside, smart play for Prodrive. Even seemingly design-free cars like these take a lot of effort and sometimes keeping it simple is the best thing to do and lead to nice looking cars.

★★★

 

Wilson Security Racing GRM

Garth Tander and James Moffat

A shake up at GRM means they’re racing two brand new Holdens, with Garth Tander at the wheel of the #33 after switching from Walkinshaw. At first I was surprised to see they’d kept the cyan colour on the car which was synonymous with Volvo, but I’m glad they have, because it is a great colour. On second thought, it appears they are still sponsored by Volvo trucks, so that might be the reason for retaining cyan. It also matches really well with white, black and red that is on the car, making this one of the most coherent four colour liveries I’ve seen.

GRM 2

The 2016 livery was already fantastic but this has to be just as good. Cyan is relegated to secondary status, with white evolving into the main colour. The black and cyan along the side fan out toward the rear, and whilst I’ve been largely against pinstripes lately, the black one on the side of this car actually looks pretty good.

The front of this car is also great, using the cars lines nicely on the bonnet and using the same design style as the side. The red headlights are neat and I don’t even mind the red Payce moustache. A+ for colour, design and sponsor uniformity.

★★★★☆

 

And that’s 2017 for liveries. A few different themes on the grid this year such like matte paint and different textures, but all in all  there’s a great mix of designs and colours. While they can’t all look good, there are definitely a few stunners in there. There are also a few wildcards this year, but I’d prefer to see them on track before analysing them. Now we can just hope for great on track battles, in what may be the last year of true V8 racing in Australia.

 

Bonus Awards

Almost forgot about this!

 

Best Looker Award – Preston Hire Racing

I was tempted to give this to GRM, but the canary yellow and black, presented in the largely two tone design has to be my favourite on the grid this year.

Least Attractive Award – Sengled Racing

Hands down. That texture is truly awful and ruins what would probably have been an average livery anyway.

Most Improved Award – Monster Energy Racing

With a lot of teams moving backwards, Prodrive have simplified and improved. Getting rid of the grey bits and green that didn’t match makes a world of different.

Biggest Nagger Award – Red Bull Holden Racing Team

The current F1 livery is superb, so there was potential for Red Bull Holden to do the same. It falls short on a couple areas, namely the outline Red Bull logo and bull, which is quite annoying. I wonder if they’ll experiment during the season.

It’s Time to Move On Award – Nissan

Their overall design theme is beginning to look tired. Let’s do something new in 2018 guys.

Potential F1 Livery Award – MEGA Racing

Poor colour choice and bland design. Belongs in F1!

 

 

 

Round-Up – Supercars 2017 Field

Round-Up – Formula E 2016-2017 Field

Lots of hype around season 3, with new teams joining including a big manufacturer in Jaguar and the promise of new, faster and better looking cars. Here’s a look into just how well the teams have pulled off their liveries this season, after the opening round in Hong Kong.

DS Virgin Racing

ds-virgin-16-17-2

DS Virgin have hung on to Sam Bird for the new season, whilst making the surprise signing of triple WTCC champion José María López, who will make his Formula E debut at 33.

The livery is more or less the same as last year with purple on the top, chrome silver on the sides, black on the sidepods and red accents on the wing(lets). The most notable change is the actual purple colours they’ve chosen, which apart from being more reflective, is also a more vibrant shade, which really opens up the livery as it looked quite drab last season.

ds-virgin-16-17-3

The biggest change to the physical appearance of the cars this season is the bulkier front wings, which now feature elements almost acting as wheel arches along the top. Virgin have used this space well, adding more purple, which looks great.

I can’t tell if they’ve used a lighter shade of silver to border the purple sections, or if they’ve cleverly placed the normal colour to appear that way with the reflection of the silver, but either way, it too a nice piece of design.

★★★☆

NextEV NIO

nextev-16-17-1

Piquet and Turvey remain at NextEV this season after a quite appalling season 2. However, where Virgin improved its livery, NextEV took a step backward. Whilst this livery also hasn’t changed dramatically, their colour choice went south. The bright cyan is gone and has been replaced by a darker, metallic aqua colour. I don’t despise this new colour, but I definitely feel as though it is inferior to the old one.

nextev-16-17-3

The design itself is still quite attractive, with the thick diagonal stripe on the side of the cockpit, which then goes over the cockpit and engulfing most of the top of the car. There’s a new design on the rear, with some thin coloured lines in the shape of forward arrows, much like their logo. Not a bad design, but with other yellow/red accents and green/red inside the roll hoop, perhaps there are a few too many colours on the car.

nextev-16-17-2

These lines are only noticeable from certain angles or on closer inspection, so from the TV cameras, it’s still a pretty uniform livery. Not too bad overall, but certainly a downgrade.

★★★

Venturi Formula E Team

venturi-16-17-2

Maro Engel comes in to replace Mike Conway at Venturi for Season 3, with Jacques Villeneuve nowhere to be seen! The livery has been changed this season, with the matte black gone in favour of classic glossy black. As I mentioned in my launch post, it does give me FC Basel vibes, but is in itself a very unique livery.

venturi-16-17-3

The secondary colours here are blue and red and are used evenly. The main design is on the sidepod, where the two colours are placed side by side in an interesting fashion. I find my self describing this as a 90 degree design, with red and blue sections folding over the top and side of the sidepods, going half way down each side. The ends of these sections are squared off, giving it a look I’ve never seen before on a racing car.

venturi-16-17-1

The rest of the car is mostly black, with a red section in front of the cockpit and blue on the tip of the nose and front wing. In this case odd and different work in Venturi’s favour and I approve of this livery!

★★★★

Faraday Future Dragon Racing

faraday-dragon-16-17-2

Dragon have kept the same two drivers for season 3, but have a new partner in Faraday Future, and have created a lot of buzz with their exciting new livery. The striking new design features the Faraday logo in an increasing size from front to back, creating a colour gradient which fades from black to white.

faraday-dragon-16-17-4

However, the fun doesn’t stop there. The direction of the gradient is the opposite on each car! This means Duval’s car is mainly white, whilst d’Ambrosio’s car is mainly black. While at first it seems like a great way to differentiate between the drivers, it can end up being a little more confusing. I recall back to when Ford Performance Racing tried this with Winterbottom and Davison and whilst many thought it was a good idea at first, it personally made things even more confusing on the track. Hopefully it’s a little more distinguishable in this front to back colour orientation, as opposed to side to side on the Falcons.

faraday-dragon-16-17-3

That aside, the design itself is fantastic. Great and subtle use of the Faraday Future logo, despite it being plastered all over the car, and a really pleasant use of texture which can often be unpleasant when used over an entire car. All of this is wonderful, but the third colour is pivotal to the livery looking complete. The use of burnt orange on the roll hoop, mirrors, nose and front wing add a needed touch of colour, and a classy one at that. It’s a great car to look at from any angle, although if I had to choose, I’d have to say I prefer d’Ambrosio’s mainly black livery.

★★★★★

Renault e.Dams

renault-e-dams-16-17-2

No changes at Renault for season 3 in terms of drivers, but the livery on the other hand is completely new. I say it every time, but colour is the most important part of a livery and Renault have absolutely NAILED it with this blue. This bright and open shade of blue is stunning. A plain livery in this colour would have been just fine, but the design takes things to another level of beauty.

renault-e-dams-16-17-1

Black wings often make cars look great and these matte black wings are no exception. They add a lovely contrast, and along with the perfectly placed yellow stripes, add some extra colour and necessary extra design elements to a simple livery. There’s nothing wrong with this livery, but I do feel teams should be looking past the tacky circuit board electronic futuristic designs, like on the sidepods and engine cover of the Renault.

★★★★☆

I’ve since been informed that it’s not at all a circuit board design, but in fact a design matching the “honeycomb” on the rear of the Renault F1 car this year. Thanks for alerting me to this guys!

ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport

abt-schaeffler-16-17-2

ABT too have retained both drivers for the new season, but have kept their very distinctive colours. I instantly prefer this year’s design as their don’t appear to be any weird airbrushed sections. The colour combination I’m sure is still a little jarring for some, but I can’t help but find some enjoyment in seeing red, green and yellow alongside each other. The design itself if very nice, especially the green sidepod section which is split sharply from the red, as well as the yellow on the top front wing element.

abt-schaeffler-16-17-1

In fact the yellow elements are quite well placed all over the car, although I’d have preferred to see it thicker on the nose, closer to the edge and having less of a point at the tip.

From what I can tell, all the colours are split by thin silver lines, which I feel may be helping separate the colours a bit better than if they were connected directly. The only thing I’m really confused about is the jumbled lettering on the side of the car and roll hoop. Just a strange design choice which I don’t feel looks very nice and alternatives such as simple flat colours, or perhaps pinstripes, would have worked a lot better.

★★★★

Mahindra Racing Formula E Team

mahindra-16-17-2

Ladies and gentlemen, this is why you put the call out to the fans. You get a vast range of lovely designs to choose from, and you may even pick something as lovely as this! One lucky fan had their livery chosen to be used on the Mahindra cars this season and it looks great.

mahindra-16-17-3

Lots of red and white stripes on this one, which follow the lines of the car beautifully, something that hasn’t been attempted much with these somewhat blocky Formula E cars. It’s all uniform too and black wings, as I mentioned earlier, will work with anything.

mahindra-16-17-4

However, the longer I look at it, and the more I look back at the season 2 livery, the more design similarities I see. The front and rear wing end plates are identical, the front cockpit/nose design is almost the same but with different colours (and slightly different shaping), the roll-hoop is the same…either the fan livery designer was very unoriginal or perhaps the winning design wasn’t by a fan at all! #conspiracy! Either way, it does leave me feeling as though I was duped, which is a shame because it really is a nice looking livery, and one that looked so fresh when I first saw it. Hmm.

★★★

Panasonic Jaguar Racing

jaguar-16-17-3

Everybody had high hopes for this livery. Jaguar was back in single seaters and what were they most recently known for in open wheel racing? British racing green! The hype was real. And then they launched their car. Unfortunately, what we got was grey, with a gimmicky circuit board electronic design. Perhaps I’m becoming more cynical the further I go into this round-up, but I’m really disappointed by this.

jaguar-16-17-2

As mentioned above, it’s a base colour of charcoal grey, with light blue thin parallel lines going around the car, notably from the rear to the roll hoop and from the cockpit, wrapping around the nose, in a circuit board fashion.

jaguar-16-17-1

I can’t blame Jaguar for the hype, but I can blame them for a somewhat generic design and  pinching NextEV’s colours.

★☆

Techeetah

Processed with Snapseed.

The new Chinese team have a great scalp in Jean-Éric Vergne, who they successfully attracted to move from DS Virgin, and have brought in Ma Qinghua, the experienced, albeit mostly unsuccessful Chinese driver who drove in four races of Team Aguri last season. Lotus Techeetah have gone for black and gold for their first livery. It is of course very reminiscent of Lotus, but not the beautiful JPS machines of the 70s and 80s, rather the underwhelming imitations of the last few years in F1. The spiked design created with the gold and red really do cast my mind back to the Lotus’ of 2014 and 2015, and it’s a shame because I never found those liveries to be very attractive.

techeetah-16-17-1

That said, they’ve tried something new here, with both matte and glossy black creating a subtle black on black design which is difficult to make out from a distance (on further inspection it may just be glossy grey). The gold is reflective which is at least some point of difference and is mostly well placed, especially on the front wing and in front of the rear wheels. However, whilst it looks quite nice from the front, the side view is rather uninspiring. The logos also put me off a little bit too, The Peninsula logo especially looks a little too high and the odd one out in white. There are some intricacies, but certainly room for improvement here.

MS Amlin Andretti

amlin-andretti-16-17-1

Here’s a nice way to end the round-up! Amlin Andretti looks brilliant this season. Robin Frijns and António Félix da Costa are driving white and blue cars in 2016-17, as opposed to the livery copied over from Team Aguri the season before. The white is mainly allocated to the sides, whilst the reflective blue features on the engine cover, cockpit, nose and wing end plates, and looks far better split evenly with the white as opposed to covering the entire car.

amlin-andretti-16-17-2

The white and blue are split perfectly by red/purple ribbons, which edge sharply onto the white but fade slowly into the blue. The use of the car’s lines is perfect here, especially along the nose and cockpit, making it exceptionally visually pleasing in my eyes.

amlin-andretti-16-17-3

The red/purple sections curve along the car in varying widths which creates the interesting ribbon effect. All the logos fit the car’s colour scheme, creating a wonderfully uniform design and an overall great design. Great effort from these guys.

★★★★★

A few hits and a few misses for me this season and I’m eagerly anticipating the changes that will be coming. On to round 2!

Round-Up – Formula E 2016-2017 Field

Round-Up – 2016 Indy 500 Field

The Indy 500 was run last Sunday and what a race it was! So unpredictable right to the end. If only it wasn’t on at a stupid hour in the morning over here so I could watch the whole thing live. Anyway, here are the many alternate and one-off liveries from the 500!

A.J. Foyt Enterprises

#35 Alex Tagliani

IndyCar Indy 500 Auto Racing

Not much to say about this one. Mainly black, with a red section along the side that increases in size from front to back. Some nice red flashes here and there, but then there are orange ones too which shouldn’t really be there.

★★

Andretti Autosport

#26 Carlos Muñoz

Munoz

A far better effort than the usual empty livery. Completely different colours in black and light blue, which go very well together. Interesting design that features a yolk over the cockpit which ends just before the nose number and goes toward the rear. It also juts out and carries along the top of the sidepods. The blue and black are split by a thin white pinstripe. He still has the Colombian flag on the front wing end plates, which surprisingly doesn’t match as well as on the other livery. Nice overall and gives and the colour scheme gives off a NEXTEV feel.

★★★★

 

#29 Townsend Bell

bell

This livery is odd. We have bright yellow on the top half, light grey on the sidepods and a blue stripey textured section on the side of the nose and front portion of the sidepods. A really odd choice of colours, seemingly due to the sponsors, but surely there was a better way to lay them out? As proven by HAAS F1, white would have worked better than light grey and the thin red lines separating all the colours only adds another colour to the already overflowing palette.

The very front of the nose, where the blue fades into the white on top is actually quite nice and if the livery was based around that, it would achieve a much higher rating. As it is, it looks like three liveries mashed into one and doesn’t work.

★☆

 

Andretti Herta Autosport

#98 Alexander Rossi

Rossi

What a story! A rookie winning the 500. Absolutely awesome. The livery wasn’t half bad either. Nice blue and yellow combo in the usual Andretti design, although the black Castrol section doesn’t work as well as it did on the black and white livery.

★★★

 

 

Dale Coyne Racing

#18 Conor Daly

Daly

As patriotic livery as you could expect for an Indy 500! The same great design as the other DCR cars, but with the added twist of an american flag fill on the nose and engine cover. As cheesy as it is, it works pretty well.

The downsides for me start at the different shades of blue, which don’t seem to match. Considering how well the greens on the other car work, I thought they’d manage to make it work on this one too. Secondly, apart from the reds on the flag and elsewhere not exactly matching either, the flag design is placed on the car oddly, so it looks like it cuts into the normal red lines. Perhaps its just how it was done on this occasion and looks a little better here, but it’s a little off putting. Still appealing overall, without looking too closely at the details.

Also has to be noted that Daly’s usual livery was seemingly transferred to Brian Clauson.

★★☆

#63 Pippa Mann

Mann

A little cliche perhaps to see the only woman in the field in a pink car, but the main sponsor in a breast cancer organisation is a great cause, so I can’t fault the choice. It’s actually a little refreshing to see this colour, since it’s very rare to see pink in any form of motorsport. The design is the same as the other Coyne cars, but is a little empty on the engine cover.

★★★☆

 

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing

#24 Sage Karam

Karam

This reminds me a lot of Pagenaud’s HP livery. Similar design with similar colours although you can’t confuse the big GasMonkey logo on the sidpod. Quite basic, surely they could have put a little more of that green on the car to help it stand out a bit more?

★★

 

Ed Carpenter Racing

#6 J.R. Hildebrand

Hildebrand

Not too plain for a white car. The dark blue accents look nice against the bright white, especially on the wings. The line along the nose is actually the same design as on Carpenter’s car, but works better with this colour combo and no outline. Really liking that shade of slightly metallic blue.

★★★★☆

#21 Josef Newgarden

Newgarden

This is the same design as Hildebrand’s car with the colours inverted and a few different sponsors. Looks just as good, although I think the dark accents on the light background work a little better. Perhaps white wings could have completed the look.

★★★★

 

KVSH Racing

#25 Stefan Wilson

Wilson

This one is a little strange. Too many colours that don’t match I’m afraid. Yellow, orange, green and blue all on the same car? You’d be hard pressed to find a livery designer to make those look good, especially in those shades. The design itself isn’t groundbreaking, but feels kind of traditional IndyCar in a way (if you disregard the colours). Just unusual and unpleasant.

 

Lazier Burns Racing

#4 Buddy Lazier

Lazier

A low key effort here. Mainly white with some bright red along the bottom half, sweeping onto the nose and the rear wing. It has a black pinstripe following that section, as well as some yellow on the mirrors and T-cam. Kinda forgettable.

★★

 

PIRTEK Team Murray

#61 Matthew Brabham

Brabham

Pirtek often lends itself to great liveries and this one is up there. IT’s a dark blue with black on the top, split nicely with a darker shade of red than I’d usually expect from a Pirtek livery. It’s simple, clean, has some nice colour trimming on the endplates and mirrors and is generally pleasing to look at. Missing something to make it incredible, but a very good effort nonetheless.

★★★★

 

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

#16 Spencer Pigot

Pigot

I like this colour combination, as I’ve mentioned before when referring to earlier Hunter-Reay DHL liveries. This one is simple, but it’s a pleasant yellow and split nicely from the white with a thin black line. May have looked nicer if the white section had gone all the way behind the cockpit rather than cut through it, but overall it’s a simple, neat livery.

★★★

 

Schmidt Peterson Motorsport

#7 Mikhail Aleshin

Aleshin

How many video game sponsored liveries have there been in world motorsport? Can’t name any off the top of my head, so it’s pretty neat to see SPM pull sponsorship from the new Doom game, the original of which I spent many hours on. It’s mostly black, and features a character surrounded by explosions in front of and surrounding the cockpit. I’ve never been a big fan of “images” being stuck on a car, but it doesn’t look so bad here.

I do wish they’d used a yellow or amber instead of red for the accents, to match the explosions for some colour. The rest is black and a little empty, and could have probably used a little more of that yellow/orange in one form or another.

★★

 

#77 Oriol Servià

Servia

Well this is a bit of a lazy effort. Plain white with sponsors in multiple colours. A bit of uniformity would have gone a long way on this one. Ugh.

 

 

Team Penske

#3 Hélio Castroneves

IndyCar Indy 500 Auto Racing

This is an identical livery to Pagenaud’s Menards livery, but with a different sponsor in Pennzoil, and a far more natural yellow. This is in fact a brilliant throwback to Rick Mears’ Penske machines that ran in the 1983 Indy 500. I’ve gone over the design before, but this colour takes it it another level. Really classy and despite taking its inspiration from a car three decades old, has been transferred to this a modern day IndyCar brilliantly.

★★★★★

 

 

Round-Up – 2016 Indy 500 Field

Round-Up – 2016 IndyCar Field

I’ve been meaning to do this since round one, but I never thought it would be so hard to find some decent high resolution IndyCar pictures! After waiting a few rounds and doing some digging, I think the time has finally come to belatedly go through the 2016 IndyCar liveries. With the Indy 500 around the corner (next week), the timing is perfect! Or perhaps the worst timing, considering there will be so many new cars and cars in altered liveries. Oh well!

Note: I’ve decided to not include the one or two off entries.

A.J Foyt Enterprises

ABC #14 Takuma Sato, #41 Jack Hawksworth

A.J Foyt Hawksworth

Looks like an unchanged livery this season for ABC cars and fair enough. It’s a pleasing sweeping design with just about equal parts of red, white and blue. How the design sweeps up from the rear, along the side of the cockpit and onto the sidepods is great use of the car’s own curves and looks organic, for lack of a better word.

★★★★☆

 

Andretti Autosport

#26 Carlos Munoz

Andretti Munoz

This is a basic, mainly red livery. The engine cover is white and this carries on past the cockpit and half way down the nose. This section is outlined by a white pinstripe but is begging for a big sponsor beneath Honda. There’s a generic looking design on the sidepod which at least fills up some space. The saving grace for this livery are the accents in the colours of the Colombian flag. These bits on the front wing end plates, mirrors, rear of the sidepod and edge of the engine cover help to spice up an otherwise ordinary livery. The white rear wing is also nicely bordered by the red end plates and the silver nose, which is across all the Andretti cars, matches well.

★★☆

 

Snapple #27 Marco Andretti

Andretti Andretti

The same design as Munos’ car, just with the yellow and blue colours of Snapple. Again, it’s kind of lacklustre, and despite not having the empty feel of Munoz’s livery, is disturbed by the variety of sponsor colours. I get a Sauber feel with this, in that the colours have great potential, but the design is too basic.

★★

 

DHL #28 Ryan Hunter-Reay

Andretty Hunter-Reay

The DHL car has always looked brilliant and although this isn’t the best design they’ve used, it does look good. The deep yellow is a fantastic colour and goes really well with the red. The sponsors all work well together, but there isn’t much else to say considering the main design is the same as the others. As you can tell by now all the Andretti livery designs are the same, which annoys me a little, but at least there’s a large variety in colours.

★★★☆

 

Andretti Herta Autosport with Curb Agajanian

#98 Alexander Rossi

Andretti Herta Rossi

Obviously the same design as the other Andretti cars, but despite having just about the fewest sponsors, it doesn’t look the emptiest! These colours wear the design very well, with the black looking very classy and the white contrasting well as you’d imagine. I like how the winglets break up the solid black along the side. The black, almost speech bubble looking design behind the Castrol logo is a bit strange, but isn’t enough stop me thinking that this is a good livery.

★★★☆

 

Chip Ganassi Racing

Gallagher #8 Max Chilton

Chip Ganassi Chilton

My type of livery this this. The top half is all white, with the bottom half all blue and is split nicely via an unbroken line, following the curves of the car from nose to exhaust. The blue seems to fade from a light to a dark shade going down the car, although that may just be the lighting in this image! There’s actually some light blue the sweeps along the split and onto the rear wing end plate that is subtly and well placed. The winglets and end plates are white which contrast well against the blue. Have to also mention that Chilton has a fantastic helmet. Clean and simple, unlike most helmets these days, and the claw marks and other accents have been painted blue tom match the car. Overall, clean, simple but well executed.

★★★★☆

 

Target #9 Scott Dixon

Chip Ganassi Dixon

Chip Ganassi and Target have had an incredibly long relationship, going back at least 25 years from my quick and very informal research. It makes sense then that this livery is a straight up throwback to the Chip Ganassi cars of the late 90s and early 2000s. Despite the cars’ evolution since then, the lightning bolt looks great on the modern IndyCar. The bright yellow, which is thinly outlined with black, goes well against the red base layer of the car and evokes instant nostalgia, even for someone who has only very recently started to watch IndyCar regularly.

The many ‘Targets’ of varying sizes placed along the side of the car are interesting, but look more strange than attractive. Part of me would prefer a regular Target logo, but another part of me appreciates the odd design choice. The sponsors are all uniform in white, which allow for the lightning bolt to stand out further. Nostalgia alone isn’t enough for me to love this livery.

★★★

 

NTT Data #10 Tony Kanaan

Chip Ganassi Kanaan 2

Big change this season in that all the red has been removed, leaving a two tone blue and white car. It’s a great evolution, keeping the main sponsor looking fresh, rather than keeping the liveries looking too similar year on year. The colours work perfectly together, with a nice white rear wing, some neat flashes on the sidepods and white nose which tops it all off well.

★★★★

 

RaceWithInsuling.com #83 Charlie Kimball

Chip Ganassi Kimball

This is a decent livery for me, but missing the wow factor. Charcoal is difficult to get right, but paired with a vibrant colour like this tennis ball green, it works well enough. The design kind of lets this one down though, with the thin grey lines over the green along the side not quite working, in my opinion. However, I think the livery may have been too plain without it, so it’s possibly the lesser of two evils. On the other hand, the grey on the top of the nose tip with the solid green on the sides looks great.

★★★☆

 

Dale Coyne Racing

Jonathan Byrd’s/Cancer Treatment Centres of America #88 Conor Daly

Dale Coyne Daly

Well there’s your wow factor! Where do I start? First up, it’s not often you see multiple shades of the same colour work so well on a livery. The dark and the light greens match and contrast beautifully. The design harks back to the Minardi M198  with its diagonal lines across the side. The diagonal design is interrupted on the engine cover, cutting sharply toward the rear wing. Here, the CTCA logo cuts over the green lines, but rather than look jarring, gives the tree a three dimensional look which actually works very well, whether intended or not. The top of the nose is covered in white and is split from the dark green by a thin line of light green. All the sponsors work well together, although I kind of wish the Jonathan Byrd’s logo was dark green rather than red. I also would like to see the wings in white or dark green but overall, I love it!

★★★★★

 

Scouting! #19 Luca Filippi

Daly Coyne Filippi

This livery has the same general (lovely) design as the one above, but with more common blue and red in place of the green, it’s missing a lot of charm. It also looks a lot emptier without the third colour to fill up some space and complete the design. However, the black wings work a lot better on this car and match nicely with the black wheel rims.

★★★★

 

Ed Carpenter Racing

Fuzzy’s #20 Ed Carpenter

Ed Carpenter Carpenter

I do like the Fuzzy’s cars of the last few years, the metallic green looking awesome on the cars and being paired well with the gold. This livery is a little more basic, with just a single sliver of gold starting at the nose, widening as it almost reaches the rear wheels. This section is outline with white and although it adds something to the car, it looks a little generic and has a Need for Speed decal look to it. Perhaps a simple, all metallic green (shimmering beautifully in the sun here) with gold winglets and end plates would have sufficed.

★★★

 

Fuzzy’s #21 Josef Newgarden

Ed Carpenter Newgarden

Mainly white here, with gold accents, which is different colour combination but works well together. In fact, the ‘white’ parts all over the car have a thick, brick like pattern in very light grey, which is quite interesting to look at. Whether a tribute to the Indianapolis Speedway or not, it sure is unique. The thin gold stripe along the side of the nose is a fantastic bit of minimalist design which adds some bold colour on top of a subtle and very unusual base design.

★★★☆

 

KVSH Racing

Hydroxycut #11  Sébastien Bourdais

USP INDYCAR: GRAND PRIX OF ST. PETERSBURG-PRACTICE S CAR USA FL
Talk about unusual designs! I’m not sure what this is meant to be, possibly a reptile with the face on the nose or some faux superhero armour? It’s probably staring me in the face but I’m not sure what it is. I don’t think it’s better than the green version from last year and certainly not as good as the designs before that either. It looks like an image printed onto the car which is most often a no-no for me. A little gimmicky and perhaps shouldn’t have been used for a second year, colour change or not.

★☆

 

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Steak ‘n Shake #15 Graham Rahal

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Rahal

A pretty basic red livery here. The sponsor logo on the engine cover fills up a lot of space which would have otherwise made the car empty. Black is used well on the rear wing and winglets. It looks a little crowded with sponsors in some areas which detracts greatly from the livery. The slogan “Home of the Original Steakburger” uses a terrible font and whilst it’s no Comic Sans, it has no place on a racing livery. Brings down the livery by at least one star. That said, the black trimming on some areas of the car, for example on the front wing elements, is a great intricate touch.

★★★

 

#16 Spencer Pigot

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Pigot

Mostly red here, with the sidepods entirely in white.  It’s a nice way of splitting the colours, but the colours here don’t lend any excitement to the livery. Perhaps a darker shade or some metallic would have got this looking better than basic. The sponsors on this one are a little neater, but again everything is matching so no complaints there. I like how black is added on the wing, especially how all three colours are used on alternating front wing elements.

★★☆

 

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

Arrow #5 James Hinchcliffe

Schmidt Peterson Hinchcliffe

There are actually a couple of liveries that feature gold on the grid but you wouldn’t really mistake them for each other because they are so different. The Arrow car uses a chrome, super reflective gold, which is night and bright. This is kept only on the ‘top’ side of the car, separated from the black on the rest of the car by a clean white line, front nose to exhaust. Black wings are a great choice here. The only thing I don’t love is the explosion or whatever that is behind the Arrow logo, which looks unusual and makes the logo a little hard to read in the middle. Perhaps it would be OK if the logo were outlined.

★★★☆

 

#7 Mikhail Aleshin

Schmidt Peterson Aleshin

No main sponsor for the Russian unfortunately. You wouldn’t know it at a glance, but this livery has an almost identical design to the #5 car, but with the colours so drastically different, it disguises that fact very well. It differs in only a couple of areas that I can see, being the coloured wing end plates and the white stripe on the nose sweeping under the nose early, as opposed to ending at the tip. Russian colours perhaps at Mikhail’s request? Either way, it’s empty without much excitement, but it is clean.

★★

 

Team Penske

Verizon #2 Juan Pablo Montoya, #12 Will Power

Penske Power

Penske’s liveries were pretty annoying last season as you may already know. They were all the same OK livery with altered colours depending on the sponsor. It’s almost the same story this year, although it’s disguised much better.

The #12 and #12 cars are all silver. McLaren’s livery this season and last is a dull charcoal colour that I can’t enjoy. This livery is silver, just a few shades lighter than the McLaren and perhaps a little more metallic, and is awesome. That’s the difference that even small choices in colour or shades of colours can make to a livery. This livery is just as basic, with just the single red line wrapping around the nose and heading toward the rear. However, it looks good! Perhaps Mercedes need to take note. Less is more.

★★★★

 

Hitachi #3 Hélio Castroneves

Penske Castroneves

Can you see the conformant design yet? The added two tone colour design of this livery keeps it well hidden. This design looks a lot like last years, with white on the top, black on the bottom and a red line splitting the two. It’s fairly simple, but it looks good. I’m not too keen on the rear wing end plate design, but perhaps it’s because it is on the inside of the end plates too, where it should really be black. The red trimming on the very front of the front wing looks great. No complaints with this, especially since the #2 and #12 are a different colour altogether.

★★★

 

Hewlett Packard/PPG/Menards #22 Simon Pagenaud

Penske Pagenaud 1

So by now it should be obvious that the designs are the same. This and the #3 are identical, but for the red swapped with an interesting turquoise colour, which brings some brightness and a change from the very common red. It’s an unusual combo, but I like it, not for that reason alone.

Penske Pagenaud 2

Pagenaud has had a number of sponsor and therefore livery changes already, with the PPG livery back to more traditional blue and white. I think this one is better, mainly due to the third colour being dark, which complements the other two colours much better.

Penske Pagenaud 3

The other livery is this incredibly bright fluoro yellow effort sponsored by Menards. Telefonica and Deustche Post eat your heart out! Thankfully, this design is a little more unique than the others, in more than just colour. Rather than a single white line like the Verizon cars, there are two pinstripes, one red and one black, following the same course along the car. There is also a second above the Menards logo on the sidepod, which is great. Did I mention the whole thing is covered in blinding yellow?? I do like it though. It’s the most unique and the best of the bunch. Also, it’s noteworthy that Pagenaud has changed his helmet colours to match the car’s livery which I’m warming to, especially since the design stays the same. Nice touch.

★★★★☆ (Based on my favourite, the Menards livery)

 

Well that took far longer to complete than I anticipated! Some great looking liveries on the grid this season and a few extra tomorrow too. Which is your favourite?

Round-Up – 2016 IndyCar Field