Round-Up – 2019 MotoGP Field

This is my first time reviewing the full MotoGP grid, so hopefully I’m not too far out of my depth. MotoGP is always exciting to watch, especially when Marquez doesn’t take off into the distance, so thought that given I watch it most weekends, I may as well put this together.

Alma Pramac Ducati

It was a promising first race of the season for Pramac, with Miller shooting to the front of the grid before his seat failed. He’s joined by Francesco Bagnaia this season, after Petrucci’s promotion to the Ducati factory team. The bike itself is split pretty evenly between red and blue this year, divided by a diagonal white line on the sides – I’m uncertain as to how well this actually works, especially with the thinly outlined white Pramac logo on top of it.

The front doesn’t quite match the side, but looks great in its own regard – the spiked design fits the bike well. The white sections are nicely outlined with black, framing the number well. The black lines in front of the seat help the leathers match the bike in terms of design, and they are themselves nicely asymmetric with the colouring.

★★☆

Aprilia Factory Racing

It’s mainly black for Aprilia this year, supported by the classic Italian red, white and green. The fluro yellow might be one colour too many though, and it clashes pretty hard with the green on the bike and leathers.

The front of the bike is laid out well; the matte black helps of the number to stick out, and the red, white and green distributed well next to the windscreen only. A similar design is used to great effect on the tail of the bike too.

★★★

LCR Honda Idemitsu

The two LCR bikes are painted in separate designs, with Idemitsu clearly the major sponsor on Nakagami’s bike. The colours are distributed fairly evenly on the bike, mainly white on the side to show of the main sponsor, with a nice shade of red the other main colour on the bike. Black with gold piping is also used wisely, most prominently on the front and on the side sweeping to the tail.

I’m not the biggest fan of the design on the front. While it suits the shape of the windscreen, the shape of the white section is just a little off putting. Similarly, the way the number overlaps the gold lines is a little annoying, where it could have been smaller, or lines made a wider to avoid the issue.

★★★★

LCR Honda Castrol

Only some subtle changes for Crutchlow in 2019, with Givi still the main sponsor. The Italian colours feature again here, this time with a large red section for the main sponsor, with the smaller green sections seemingly placed for Castrol.

I like the green stripe that leads toward the tail; it’s adjacent to the Givi section but works very well given the forced separation of the two panels. The front is nicer here than the Idemitsu machine, but the number still overlaps the linework.

★★★☆

Mission Winnow Ducati

A fairly big change for 2019, with Ducati moving quite close to 100% red on their bikes, apart from two white lines which frame the Mission Winnow logo, and some cleverly placed black sections on mainly the underside.

It isn’t just plain red though, there’s an interesting pattern of different shades of red behind the Mission Winnow logo. Lenovo looks to have requested grey for their logo to sit on top of. Some other subtle touches include a tiny Italian flag under the NetApp logo, whilst rims are piped with the red, which looks fantastic.

★★★☆

Reale Avintia Racing

The Avintia team bring a fluorescent yellow onto the bike to accompany the white and blue this season. It’s a clean livery, with each sponsor given an appropriate amount of space and framing, although it ends up looking quite full with little room to spare.

The colour combination works just fine although I have some slight continuity issues, with the yellow lines directly against the other colours in most sections, whilst leave a tiny space of blue along the top section of the bike. Nothing super memorable about the design, apart from the suitcase handle winglets!

★★★

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

After succeeding in pretty much every other level of Motorsport, you’d think Red Bull KTM are due to break through any year now. That said, even with a lot of KTM orange on the bike, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t feel this is unmistakably a Red Bull livery.

Navy blue and orange are a combination I’ve loved since my childhood, but the contrast of the orange, red and yellow is a bit too much, and fight for superiority rather than work in harmony. It’s essentially two different liveries on the one bike and ends up more disappointing than impressive. Not to say I entirely dislike it, but it could have looked a lot nicer if they favoured one style over the other.

★★

Red Bull KTM Tech 3

Now the Tech 3 livery takes the above issues and laughs at them. Subtract the red and yellow, replace with the Toro Rosso silver, and boom, a beautiful livery. The lovely blue colour complements the orange perfectly, whilst the silver works harmoniously with both.

Rather than 4 or 5 main colours, they’ve nailed just the 3. Colours aside, the designs of both the Red Bull KTMs is identical, yet this one is miles ahead in the looks department. Thank goodness for the Red Bull/Toro Rosso rebrand.

★★★★★

Repsol Honda Team

Marquez continues to dominate, winning all but one race he’s finished, whilst Lorenzo, who looked to have turned a corner last year, is yet to finish in the top 10 as I write this article. Thanks to Repsol backing, the factory Honda team livery hasn’t changed substantially since 1994, which is an incredible 25 year stretch of continuity.

That in mind, there isn’t much to talk about! The Repsol logo and colours are still proudly emblazoned across the whole bike, although the main design is not as circular as it used to be. The front of the bike is one of the cleanest though, which I am a fan of.

★★★★

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

Yamaha have made a slight change of livery direction. Monster has beefed up it’s sponsorship to take over almost the entire side of the bike and in turn, just about making black the main colour. It’s a cool, aggressive look, giving the design a negative space look, exaggerated by the blue pinstripes broken up by the Monster logo.

The pattern continues on the front where the Monster logos look a little messier crammed amongst the rider numbers and other design elements. The chrome strip diving the main sponsor and the rest on the side is a neat touch.

★★★★☆

Petronas Yamaha SRT

After years in Formula 1 and other car/bike categories, Petronas has joined the MotoGP field with Yamaha SRT. It’s refreshing that they haven’t followed Red Bull in a strict branding policy across all categories, going with a blend of turquoise, black and silver on this effort.

I can’t say I’m in love as for some reason, my first connection to the spray paint style gradients was those custom airbrushed trucker caps you’d find at tourist markets on holidays. OK, definitely a bit of a stretch, but despite my weird association, I can’t entirely dislike the livery. What it does do, is help me appreciate that silver and turquoise work better together than I gave it credit for (in F1), the black combo not looking quite as amazing as I’d imagined.

★★☆

Team SUZUKI ECSTAR

Suzuki are sticking with their royal blue and flashes of fluro yellow and white. It just sends me generic vibes, not just with the fairly standard shade of blue, but also the approach of the secondary colours, placed without a whole lot of ingenuity.

It ends up looking like a cookie cutter livery and makes it hard for them to stick out of the pack, especially when squads like Yamaha have owned a similar shade of blue for many years. I’d much sooner associate the Rizla Cyan colour with Suzuki than the current colour combination.

★★

Bonus Awards

Best Looker Award – Red Bull KTM Tech 3

The Toro Rosso Formula 1 livery is beautiful, and switching the red to orange doesn’t change that fact. Lovely design.

Least Attractive Award – Suzuki / Red Bull KTM

It’s not that Suzuki is ugly, it’s just a little boring and lacks a unique touch. KTM on the other hand is torn between two liveries and suffers for it.

So which was your favourite? Vote below! Don’t hesitate to leave a comment – let me know if there are any liveries you’d like me to review.

Round-Up – 2019 MotoGP Field

Round-Up – 2019 IndyCar Field

Not a whole lot of excitement on the livery front for IndyCar this season. Most of the cars haven’t changed! Let’s look into them anyway – in reverse alphabetical order for a change!

Team Penske #2 Josef Newgarden

No change for Penske’s overall team design, or for Newgarden’s car in 2019. They’re not the most inspiring or exciting colours, but I’ve grown to be content with the simple design.

It’s been the same for a number of years which is slightly frustrating, but the aging effect would be more prominent on a more complicated livery.

★★★

Team Penske #12 Will Power

There isn’t a whole lot to say for any of the Penske liveries – Power’s is also the same.

I think this has solidified the #12 as my pick of the Penske bunch, I guess I’ve got a new thing for silver cars of late.


★★★★

Team Penske #22 Simon Pagenaud

See above! I still like the thin red and black lines in parallel along the car, as opposed to the thick ones on the #2 & #12.

A little indifferent to the fluro yellow at this stage, but it definitely stands out of the pack.

★★★☆

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing #15 Graham Rahal

Graham Rahal ran in a fun design at St Pete, using those same black, white and red colours as the #2 to a much greater effect. It reminds me a bit of the Team Mugen Super Formula livery from a couple of years ago, in how the red Total stripe wraps across the side and top of the sidepods.

It looks fantastic from the top view; the thick Total stripe curving beautifully all the way to the exhaust. Keeping the black on the cockpit side of the red line and away from the white is a great choice, as is the red directly in front of the cockpit, which wraps the section up perfectly.

★★★★★

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing #30 Takuma Sato

There’s a bit of a theme this season in lack of change, and the same almost goes Sato’s #30. This was one of my five star liveries last season, and the only difference is the nose, where the metallic blue extends further and is bordered by white instead of navy blue in front of the cockpit.

Not sure if it’s the change above, but I’m not quite as in love with this as last season, but it’s still a great looker. Great to see Taku back on the top step of the podium again this week too!

★★★★☆

Meyer Shank Racing with Arrow Schmidt Peterson #60 Jack Harvey

There have been some slight alterations to the colours of the Schmidt Peterson cars – the purple on Harvey’s car appears to be slightly lighter and less metallic. This works wonders, because last year’s effort was just too dark, with the already dark shade of purple only have black for light to reflect off.

It looks very different because of this, despite the design being the same. It’s opened up the car nicely and is therefore, a lovely improvement.

★★★☆

Harding Steinbrenner Racing #88 Colton Herta

Harding has teamed up with George Steinbrenner for 2019 (who’s family has a long legacy in baseball) and at 22, young George is blazing a trail in Motorsport as the youngest team owner in IndyCar. Last year’s Harding car was already a good looker, and despite changing colours, has remained so.

They’ve gone with black, white and sky blue accents which is terrific. The white, feathery design on top of the sidepods has evolved and almost looks like a Kiwi silver fern design. It’s almost regal from the top view, and the pinstripes along the side of the nose and rear really top it off. The blue on the usually unpainted suspension is also a neat touch.

★★★★★

Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa #20 Ed Jones

I’m slightly confused by the lack of change on the Ed Carpenter machines. Whilst they weren’t ugly, there was absolutely nothing spectacular about these liveries last season, and I’d even compared them to the messy mid 2000’s Minardis.

Ed Carpenter Racing #21 Spencer Pigot

Nostalgia aspect aside, there’s not much to love about this livery. It’s very simple, but not in the most aesthetic way. However, black is probably the correct choice given the multicoloured sponsor logos, but I’m sure a little more red and blue rather than white could have given some more personality to the livery.

★★

Dragonspeed #81 Ben Hanley

Ben Hanley and Dragonspeed are only racing at five events this season, but I’ve included them seeing as they raced in St. Pete. It’s a mainly white, patriotic livery, and almost looks as if someone was trying to put the 76ers uniform on a car. However, it suffers in that it looks quite bland and a little cheesy with with stars and stripes.

The Rembrandt Charms logo is awkwardly small on the sidepod, and I’m confused by the camera on the roll hoop being yellow – it goes against the rest of the livery. It does however, match Hanley’s helmet, which is likely what they were going for.

Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan #18 Sébastien Bourdais]

Only minor changes for Bourdais this year, in fact, the only change of note is the #18 being black instead of red on the nose.

Sponsors and all, I’m fairly sure that’s about it! It’s still a really nice, distinctive livery, and tones down the fluro yellow sufficiently enough to not be confused in any way with Pagenaud’s car.

★★★★

Dale Coyne Racing #19 Santino Ferrucci

After being booted by his F2 team last season, Ferrucci was picked up by Dale Coyne for the last two races of 2018, and now for the full 2019 season. Chrome is a look that was pioneered by McLaren in the mid 2000s and has seen a bit of renaissance of late. What I disliked most about those McLaren liveries was the Vodafone red that went along with it, but there’s no such problem here.

It’s beautifully understated, with only the lightest of touches, such as the black on the engine cover and red mirrors and numbers. I’d have preferred only black as a secondary colour – it looks fantastic for the main sponsors, but perhaps red stands out better. Oh, and don’t forget the little American flag on the rear wing end plate.

★★★★☆

Chip Ganassi Racing #9 Scott Dixon

No change at all for Scott Dixon’s design this year. It’s a strong enough livery to keep around for a second season but given the busy pattern, it will age quickly.

The pattern itself is a clever use of the PNC Bank logo, but is a little clunky looking close up, especially in the thicker areas. Orange and blue is one of my favourite combinations going back to my childhood, but I still don’t find myself loving this one.

★★★

Chip Ganassi Racing #10 Felix Rosenqvist

The NTT Data car, now with Rosenqvist at the helm, has undergone a bit of an evolution on the livery front. The dark blue area has expanded to cover most the of the ‘top’ of the car, which is an effect I really enjoy. However, I feel as though these usually look best with the lighter colour on top – not to say this isn’t a good effort. It’s still bordered by a a strip of chrome which is a nice touch.

Some white has also been added to the wings, as well as a touch on the engine cover, which is welcome and an improvement on last season. The whole livery, especially from front on, has a distinct old school feel. Perhaps it’s Player’s Forsythe vibes, but whatever it is, it’s welcome.

★★★★

Carlin #23 Charlie Kimball

Kimball won’t be a full time driver in IndyCar this year, but when he is racing, he’ll be rocking the same colours as 2018 (or at least he did in round 1). I’d have loved to see more of the green in pinstripe form as opposed to the faded pattern on top of the green, as they are my favourite feature, just in front of the rear wheels.

Black rather than charcoal also may have better choice, but unfortunately we don’t get a say in the matter.

★★★☆

Carlin #31 Patricio O’Ward

Alternating with Kimball at Carlin will be rookie Patricio O’Ward. The young Mexican, who’s name threw me off for a short while, has seemingly been successful in everything he’s driven so far, so there’s no saying it won’t be the same in IndyCar. His livery is proudly emblazoned in his home country’s colours, but not your stock standard ones! The green used here hints toward mint – a refreshing (sorry) shade not often used in Motorsport.

The design is a little generic, but is spiced up not only by the non traditional choice of green, but also by the non-traditional line-work, with each section not perfectly bordered by the next. To nitpick, what could have been nice would be leaving an edge of the red sections not bordered at all by green and instead against white, but it’s a pleasing all round effort nonetheless.

★★★☆

Carlin #59 Max Chilton

The Gallagher car of Max Chilton has seen some significant movement for 2019, changing to a mainly sky blue colour scheme. It’s a questionable decision given how cohesive the car was last year, but also as the NTT Data Chip Ganassi car has owned the colour for a few years now. While it isn’t difficult to tell the two apart, Gallagher isn’t the first thought that pops to mind when I see the colour scheme.

The design is strong in parts – I especially like the engine cover and cockpit area, where the white sections are thicker and more evenly distributed with the dark blue. It has a stronger effect there than when it is piped on as a thin border to the dark blue on other parts of the car. It’s still a good looking livery, but some tweaks could have turned it into a stunner.

★★★★

Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports #5 James Hinchcliffe

As mentioned previously, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports have tweaked their paintwork, using less reflective colours on their cars than in previous years. While this resulted in a more vibrant livery for the Meyer Shank car, it’s had an opposite effect here. The gold colour used is a little too far to the brown side, so moving away from the highly reflective paint has actually caused this car to look quite dull.

Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports #5 Marcus Ericsson

Same goes for new boy Marcus Ericsson, who looks forever destined to be three Grands Prix shy of a century in Formula 1. The #5 uses same livery, and suffers from the same issue. The design itself hasn’t really changed, and is a simple but attractive effort, with the black contrasting sharply against the colour it borders.

★★★

Andretti Autosport #26 Zach Veach

The Andretti design also looks to be unchanged this year, however, Veach’s sponsor and livery has. Gainsbridge has brought some striking black and yellow to the #26, with some subtle blue complementing the overall effort.

While based on the same design, each Andretti car has its own quirks, the main one I can see here being the yellow arrow on the front wing end plate. It’s a nice little touch, and a little improvement where a plain blue end plate would have sufficed. It still looks a little plain from directly side on, but pretty snazzy from the angles above.

★★★☆

Andretti Autosport #27 Alexander Rossi

Continuing the theme, the NAPA car driven by Rossi is unchanged, but rightly so. It was a solid improvement from 2017 to 2018, so a safe bet to not make further alterations.

Whilst I like the red in flashes on the mirrors, camera and suspension, I’m not as big a fan of it bordering the yellow along the engine cover and cockpit. Sticking with just blue and yellow, as is the case on every other part of the car, would have looked better.

★★★☆

Andretti Autosport #28 Ryan Hunter-Reay

No changes for RHR either. I’m a big fan of two-tone, and it works really well with yellow and red. It’s rare to have a main sponsor logo comply in this fashion, so great to see them make the most of it. Shame every sponsor couldn’t conform!

Not much to say given it’s identical to 2018, so let’s take a moment to admire the beauty of the IndyCar chassis from this angle!

★★★★

Andretti Herta Autosport with Marco Andretti & Curb-Agajanian #98 Marco Andretti

Marco Andretti drove in more traditional colours in St. Pete compared to last season, and given the awesome design put out by Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, it really does look basic.

The Andretti design really compliments bold and well paired colours. This colour scheme is just ordinary, and really exaggerates its flaws.

★★☆

A.J. Foyt Enterprises #4 Matheus Leist

What a way to cap it all off – with a livery that hasn’t changed in at least 8 seasons now. Good for them I guess?

A.J. Foyt Enterprises #14 Tony Kanaan

I’ll point out again that the colours are somewhat subtly inverted on either car, which I embarrassingly didn’t notice for a number of years. Yawn!

★★

Bonus Awards

Best Looker Award – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

I know I gave out 5 stars twice this year, but if I had to pick one, it would be the #15. It’s beautifully thought out and put together. Total has never looked better on a racing car.

Least Attractive Award – Dragonspeed

It looks like it was designed by someone who isn’t really into Motorsport. A little tacky and very generic.

What year is it? Award – A.J. Foyt Enterprises

No surprise here. It’s time to move on!

Round-Up – 2019 IndyCar Field

Round-Up – 2019 Formula 1 Field

After a winter that has seen more change than I can ever remember in my time watching Formula 1, we’re finally back in business. The first race has been run and it was a relieved Valtteri Bottas who crossed the line first in Melbourne. Unfortunately it’s looking like more of the same in terms of performance and success, but while it may be the same guys winning for another year, at least the grid has seen some interesting changes to its liveries.

Alfa Romeo Racing

In both sad and uplifting news, Alfa Romeo is officially back in the sport for the first time since 1985, but has taken the place of much loved Sauber. However, I’m glad to see that the team should, with solid financial backing, work its way out of the doldrums and into some upper midfield battles. I’m also glad that Alfa has kept some of the Sauber roots, both with the ‘Sauber Engineering’ logo in front of the rear wheel, and with the similar blue and white design used last year.

The overall theme, however, has well and truly shifted to Alfa, expanding on the beautiful metallic red used in 2018. More red is what I wanted last year and it’s what we’ve got. They’ve brought the red forward to cover the cockpit and halo, and have also used a smoother, prettier curve along the sidepod. The main logo on the engine cover has also had a bit more thought put into it, and looks much better larger and cut off. Every aspect of the livery is more refined and improved. Great job Alfa Romeo.

★★★★☆

Ferrari Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow

Ferrari have gone with as drastic a change as ever this year, firstly in hiring a very young, promising driver in Charles Leclerc who had a breakout 2018. Secondly, they’ve removed almost all white from the car and have followed Red Bull’s lead with a matte livery. Personally, I’m struggling to associate the livery with Ferrari, but it will come with time. It’s such a modern effort when we’ve always thought of Ferrari as an old school, conservative team.

What I’m a fan of is having black as a true second colour, as opposed to white. It’s still used sparingly, along the bottom of the car, the halo and some flashes on the wing end plates, but mainly on the very rear of the car, helping to contrast the white driver number exceptionally well. Whether it’s the lack of white, that black section being slightly more distracting, or the matte paint, the billboard of a sidepod is not as offensive this year.

Mission Winnow controversy aside, would the livery look better in glossy paint? Possibly. Would that help it look better from all angles? Yes – in especially sunny angles, the red does appear washed out. However, I’m excited to see this livery under lights. Bring on Bahrain.

★★★★

Haas Rich Energy Haas F1 Team

There was quite a bit of pessimism around the validity of Rich Energy and their sponsorship of the Haas F1 Team, but so far we’ve gone at least winter testing and round 1 with their logos on the car. I was initially super disappointed to see a largely generic, uninspired livery turn up to Barcelona testing, but am heartened to see they’ve put some thought and creativity to good use come Melbourne, whether that was inspired or not. Probably not.

The car is mainly black, but for the gold lines on the front and larger section on the engine cover fin. I had the same idea myself pre-season, so suffice to say, I love the use of the black antlers on the gold background. However, whilst necessary from a marketing perspective, the white Haas logos create some disharmony on the car.

Whether it’s the shade of gold to blame (which should perhaps be lighter, but the reflective nature of it look nice above) or another aspect of the livery, it and the white don’t really get along well enough in my opinion. A two tone effort of black and hold only would have looked great. It’s a livery with fantastic potential, which I’m sure they’ll build on either throughout the season or in 2020, should Rich Energy still be around!

★★★

McLaren F1 Team

It has been a double driver change for McLaren with Sainz and youngster Norris in for 2019. The ethos of the livery has thankfully remained, while some clever additions have been made to the design. The papaya orange remains in all its beauty, with the slightly metallic blue encroaching ever so slightly on it’s territory, creeping up the engine cover in a quirky, almost tessellating triangular pattern.

They’ve also cheekily increased the amount of black on the car, in a deceivingly large portion along the bottom of the car. I love the look of this section, especially the old school detailing of the technical sponsors along it. The halo is still black, but given the presence of black has been upped across the board, it makes a whole lot more sense this time around. The half black, half blue rear wing end plate is an attractive touch. It’s improved in all aspects. Props to the McLaren livery designers, although I wish they hadn’t caved to having red on the back of the rear wing for Huski.

★★★★★

Mercedes Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport

They’ve gone and done it, Mercedes removed that patch of smokey black below the airbox, so I’m already happy. It’s become redundant seeing as they’ve removed the large Mercedes logo on the engine cover, and instead gone with a repeating pattern of silver arrows, on top of a fading black to silver. It’s subtle from a distance, but makes a strong point from up close.

The turquoise section of the car follows the same shape as last year, but is a far simpler, cleaner rendition – just the one line from nose to rear. It looks like a smooth flow of energy along the car and am happy they’ve gone with this design. Another element I like is painting the halo black just on the underside. It’s been underutilised to this point but am glad a couple of the teams are taking the halo further in terms of livery. One last thing that I find odd is having the Petronas logo in black. It would certainly stand out more in white with a black border.

★★★★

Racing PointSportPesa Racing Point F1 Team

We weren’t quite sure what to expect from Racing Point after their transition from Force India. The largely unfancied Lance Stroll has already proved some doubters wrong by scoring a couple of points when his teammate Perez couldn’t manage any. The cars have also remained BWT pink, and thanks to the new ownership have actually added some significant sponsors, most notably SportPesa. This has boosted the amount of blue on the car, and made it a deeper shade, which suits the pink better.

Aside from the big blue section on the engine cover, the remainder of the design has stayed largely the same. That said, the deep pink and silver lines have also been brought forward due to the aforementioned change, now pleasantly connecting to the lines on the nose and finishing on the front of the sidepod. My only question is whether silver is needed at all, although it doesn’t take away any style points. I also have to point out the similar thinking to the halo design as Mercedes – looks just as good with a light colour on the underside here, as dark does for Merc. Side note, I wish Stroll had kept his blue helmet. It would have contrasted the pink and complemented the blue on the car perfectly.

★★★★★

Red Bull Aston Martin Red Bull Racing

Gasly will have a tough time to replace Ricciardo and match Verstappen in 2019, and after a disastrous round 1, he has a lot to prove. On the livery side of things, it’s the fourth year for this design and it is virtually unchanged from last year, bar a couple of logos, such as Honda at the rear. It’s still nice, but would have liked to have seen some more design variation.

With Ferrari now encroaching on Red Bull’s point of difference in matte paint, I wonder if this will spur some changes to design philosophy in 2020, or whether they’ll wait it out until the bigger set of rule changes in 2021.

★★★★

Renault F1 Team

Renault have brought in Aussie favourite Ricciardo for 2019, but have stuck with their design for a second year, only making a couple of improvements rather than another redesign like they had done the last three years. The most obvious and one I’m happiest about is the removal of the yellow around the edge of the sidepod entry.

Another change is the front halo support being half yellow where it was all black last year. Not sure what the thinking was for this, perhaps to lessen the appearance of a black beam jutting out, but it isn’t bad. The pinstripes over the car are still good and similarly, there’s a really nice touch with the very front facing edge of the rear wing end plate being painted in yellow.

★★★★☆

Toro Rosso Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda

The Red Bull junior program is really stretched at the moment, so much so that they’ve re-enlisted the unfortunately maligned Daniil Kvyat alongside debutante Alexander Albon. Toro Rosso has had my top livery pick for the last couple of years, partially due to the relief of ridding the grid of their previous boring efforts, but also because it just looks really good. The shades of blue and red are beautiful and match perfectly, and are complemented just as well by the metallic silver. However, the longer a livery exists, the more time we have to pick flaws.

It’s due to the shape of the sidepods, but the Red Bull logo appears more and more squished every year, tapering off from huge to tiny in dramatic fashion, far more so than the Red Bull. They really need to take it easy here – just because the real estate exists, it doesn’t mean you have to use it. Less would be more in this case. It also looks like they’ll be promoting their organics range on the inside of the rear wing end plates, although that really doesn’t receive much visibility. A neat touch regardless.

Williams ROKiT Williams Racing

Everyone was aboard the Kubica train and nobody is more glad than me to see him back in action, alongside youngster George Russell. However, the car looks to sadly be the slowest by far. At least they’ve given us something interesting to look at. My initial thoughts are who’s child did they get to play with a gradient tool in Photoshop? The Orlen and Rexona logos look terrible on the blue they’ve used, like they’ve used the screen tool to make them a little harder to read.

The nose is also a bit strange, and perhaps it’s a camera angle trick, but the gradient at the tip just never quite seems to sit directly in the centre of the nose which is annoying to say the least. However, it has grown on me since testing. The choice of blue and white is a new take on classic Williams colours, and the black along the side of the car helps to even out the ratio of blue and white. If blue had gone all the way to the bottom, it may have been overpowering. The use of gradient was an odd choice in my opinion, as were a couple of the other design decisions, but I can’t get myself to dislike this livery.

★★★☆

Bonus Awards

Best Looker Award – McLaren and Racing Point

Two completely different design philosophies, but both fantastic liveries in their own right. They’ve dethroned Toro Rosso and I’m happy that they have!

Least Attractive Award – Haas

I have to say that we’re lucky to see an abundance of beautiful liveries on the grid this year. I don’t any of them are ugly by any means, but Haas did receive my lowest rating. So much potential in the colours and design, especially with the antler logo to work with, so hoping for even better things in the future.

Breaking Tradition Award – Ferrari

It kinda just FEELS wrong that Ferrari is in matte, doesn’t it? I’m not sure Mr. Enzo would be spinning in his grave by any means, but they have taken a big step, and it does look really different. Keen to see it under the floodlights in Bahrain.

Best 90s Feel – McLaren

This car isn’t quite retro, but some of the design elements to irk back to the 90s. The listing of the tech sponsors along the side certainly gives off that vibe, and the triangular pattern could well have been taken from a textbook (or a mid 90s Footwork Formula 1 car). I think we’re really lucky to have such an attractive grid overall.

I think we’re really lucky to have such an attractive grid overall. Personally I’ve rated almost all the cars over 4 stars our of 5, so I’m enjoying this era as much as I can. Blink and we might be back to 6 grey teams and only Ferrari with some colour! Have your say on the people’s favourite below..

Round-Up – 2019 Formula 1 Field

Round-Up – 2019 Supercars Field

Round one is done and dusted, but it’s going to take some time to get used to some of the driver and sponsor changes for 2019. Add in the new Mustang, and it’s a few new things to wrap your head around. Let’s take a look at the best and the worst of this year’s grid.

23Red Racing Milwaukee Racing

Milwaukee Racing 2

After a reasonable first season as a standalone organisation, Milwaukee have moved under the Tickford banner, and seem to have reaped the rewards so far with some solid top ten running for Davison in Adelaide. In terms of livery, the colours haven’t changed, but the overall design is neater.

Milwaukee Racing 1

The edgy angled lines are jarring against the curvy, flowing bodywork of the Mustang, especially over the rear wheel, but isn’t necessarily a bad look. However, the whole livery is just a little underwhelming, and can’t find an aspect about it that I love, not any more so than last year.

★★★

Brad Jones Racing Freightliner Racing

Freightliner Racing 1

Freightliner Racing have inverted their main colours, with black and yellow just about swapping places for 2019. Annoyingly, in my eyes, they’ve stuck with almost the same design on the side of the car. I don’t want to dwell on this for another year, but I really wish they’d make some lines that fit the Freightliner logo better, and didn’t look like the logo was slapped on after the fact.

Freightliner Racing 2

That said, black and yellow are foolproof colours, and they still looks nice here. I can’t say the same for the silver, but must be used to tie in the main sponsor. In fact, one of the few teams where silver wheels would have made sense, decided to go with black ones – not that they don’t look great in black. Overall, it’s neither here nor there in terms of improvement, so receives the same rating as last year.

★★☆

Brad Jones Racing National Pharmacies

Brad Jones Racing Percat 2

Nick Percat’s #8 machine appears as though it will have different sponsors race by race again this year, and first cab off the rank is National Pharmacies. These blue and teal colours are some that were pretty unfamiliar to Motorsport, up until Ruoff brought them to Indycar. Mixed with a good chunk of white, they work really well together.

Brad Jones Racing Percat 1

The design is simple, and a racing staple, with the two colours in thick parallel lines running nearly from bumper to bumper. The logo is a perfect size and shape for this design. Some complexity is added at the rear wheel with two white lines added, but feel it may have looked nicer with just the one on the rear door, as it completes the bottom blue section, whilst the other is doesn’t suit so well. Let’s see what’s up next for #8.

★★★☆

Charlie Schwerkolt Racing IRWIN Racing

Irwin Racing 3

I’m sad to see the back of what was a superb couple of years this car had in Preston Hire colours, but glad to see that they’ve produced something just as good in 2019. Irwin have joined Frosty at Charlie Schwerkolt Racing, and have put a big fat logo on the side of the car. Along with that comes a really pleasing design and combo of blue and yellow.

irwin-racing-2.jpg

The logo and main lines are angled nicely, with the solid yellow sections featuring yellow pinstripes on their borders. These lines are fragmented along the sides, ensuring it isn’t just another plain livery. There are also a couple of white sections – I’m not sure a third colour is necessary in this instance, but they’ve done well to fit in what are likely a sponsor requirement. One irk, however, is the Toyota logo that’s half on the bonnet, half on the grille. I get they’re making the most of the space that’s available, but an OCD I didn’t know I had is definitely flaring up looking at it.

★★★★☆

DJR Team Penske Shell V-Power Racing Team

Shell 1

The Shell V-Power livery is probably the one most affected by the move to the Mustang. They’ve tried to mould the existing livery as best they can into the shape of the new car, which itself has been transformed into a really awkward shape to fit the requirements. What was a gradual slope of the yellow line over the front wheel arch is now a steep drop off, which I’m not a fan of, whether or not its intent is to deceive the viewer of the bonnet’s droop.

Shell 2

Apart from that, there aren’t any significant changes, although the shade of red looks to be deeper, which is a big improvement and just about makes up for the aforementioned alteration. Although it’s still a nice livery overall, I hope for a new livery on these cars next year.

★★★☆

Erebus Motorsport Penrite Racing

Penrite 1

Penrite are back for another year, and back in gloss paint! They’ve also gone for some traditional racing stripes, in this instance thick red, with hyper reflective gold pinstripes. They’re simple, but effective, and are also included on either side of the bonnet and roof.

Penrite 2

My main issue is with the Penrite logo. The stylised gold looks dated, and would look a lot neater and more modern in a flat gold colour. Further to this, it clashes with the rest of the gold on the car; it may stand out more, but at the expense of non-uniformity. Still a looker and improvement, especially from front on. Super aggressive.

★★★★☆

Garry Rogers Motorsport Boost Mobile Racing

Boost Mobile GRM 2

It’s a new look GRM. Out with Tander and Wilson, in with Stanaway and Boost Mobile. It’s a sleek black and orange design, understandably very similar to last year’s WAU livery. There’s a bit more silver to this one which is slightly to it’s detriment, as orange worked well to contrast the black in larger sections last year.

Boost Mobile GRM 1

There’s a bit of a Coca Cola vibe at the bottom of the side, and wish the top lines were split as evenly between the two colours as the bottom, but that’s probably just nitpicking. The deeper I look into it the less I like it (look at the chopped off rear wing number…), so I’ll keep it a distance. Looks lovely from there.

★★★★☆

Kelly Racing Castrol Racing

Kelly Racing Kelly 1

The Kelly Racing liveries seem to have minor changes year on year, but the overall ethos is consistent – sharp, jagged edges with flashes of the third colour. It’s a decent look, but gives the team an identity.

Kelly Racing Kelly 2

Therefore, there’s not a whole heap to comment on as it’s like they’re putting in values and pressing randomise on a livery generator, apart from the fact that BP Ultimate lime green is hideously jarring against the Castrol green. We’ve seen a similar issue with Castrol in the past, especially on the FPR/Prodrive blue liveries, but here it’s just gross. Derails the livery.

★★

Kelly Racing Plus Fitness Racing

Kelly Racing Heimgartner 1

As above, it’s the same design, but without the BP Ultimate problem. I thought it looked better with more blue and more orange last season, and the layout was also stronger in 2018.

Kelly Racing Heimgartner 2

I also like the slightly metallic and darker blue used last year. It’s worse in almost every way, but not significantly so, and certainly isn’t ugly, just closer to middle of the road.

★★★

Kelly Racing RABBLE.club Racing

Rabble Club 2

Garry Jacobsen has entered the championship this year, sadly in place of Michael Caruso, who has signed for Tickford for the enduros. Joining Garry on the #3 car is RABBLE.club, which I finally took the time to research. Turns out it’s a ‘digital health & wellness club’, with a fairly shoddy website featuring a poorly designed tiled background, and a promo video of their Falcon livery. All this aside, they’ve made a fairly good effort of painting the Altima.

Rabble Club 1

It looks a lot more like last year’s Nissan design, with the large white portion on the side. The jagged edges look a lot better in thicker sections here compared to the other two liveries above. The reflective blue looks great alongside the white and black, and is overall a far more cohesive livery than the other Altimas.

★★★★

Kelly Racing Team Harvey Norman

Kelly Racing Simona 2

Simona looks set for another season of mediocrity (if that) in the Team Harvey Norman entry. It’s an interesting take on the black, white and red livery, which on this occasion has limited any overlapping of the jagged sections. Each section is separated by black which is nice to see, with some lovely detailing included too, such as the silver lines within the main white section.

Kelly Racing Simona 1

The Harvey Norman logo also looks much better as black on white. The design overall has made a much better attempt to pay attention to the shape of the car, compared to other version that seems slapped on without much care. One little thing that bothers me is the white section sharply dropping off after the mirror. Mainintaing the same angle toward the front bumper would have had a better effect.

★★★

Matt Stone Racing Unit

Matt Stone Racing 2

Ironically, the new MSR team and livery remind me very much of Team Penske. It’s rare to see, but props to the team for having all sponsors agree to appear in black in order to make an almost perfect two tone livery. It’s super clean and uniform, with the double stripes working brilliantly along the sides, bonnet and roof.

Matt Stone Racing 1

It looks superb from all angles, especially when the sun hits it just right, opening up the silver to a lovely bright shade. There isn’t always a need to complicate things! Unit may only be a one race sponsor, so hopefully this design sticks around, and looks just as good with whoever puts their name on the car next.

★★★★★

Tekno Autosports Truck Assist Tekno Racing

Truck Assist Tekno 1

After a short stint with the team last season, Truck Assist are back for a full season with Tekno in 2019. It’s a decent effort, with the orange mainly focused to the front and roof of the car. Not a huge fan of the spiky design on the side, but it looks much better on the bonnet.

truck assist tekno 3

It’s a good distribution of orange and black on the car, although I’d have preferred to see more orange toward the rear to make it more even. That said, it’s a lovely shade of orange, and am glad they’ve gone with a good chunk of it so we can tell it apart from the Boost cars despite the similar colour schemes.

★★★★

Tickford Racing Monster Energy Racing

Monster Racing 2

This is essentially the same livery as last year – pure black plus Monster logos. The matte effect works really well on this livery, however, and considering the lack of flashy design elements, it hasn’t tired either. This has also been helped by the transition to the Mustang, which I believe has been pulled off best by this car (probably because it hides all the ugly disproportionate features).

Monster Racing 1

Not a whole lot else to write about. Scandia sticks out as it’s the only prominent sponsor not in white or green, which is great for them. I’m also a fan of the green lights, now that Orrcon has departed. I may have been a little harsh with my previous ratings of this livery, or perhaps my tastes have changed slightly.

★★★★

Tickford Racing Supercheap Auto Racing

Supercheap 1

I was disappointed to see the large portion yellow had been taken away from the Supercheap livery this season. At first glance, this car almost looks like a patchwork of a number of different sponsors, like we used to see a lot of in the 90s. The main sponsor’s identity has been diluted, purely because others with their own colours, like Century and Castrol, demand more of the focus. It was not so much the case last year. This also has me questioning whether the blue bands below Bendix are part of the larger livery, or for Bendix itself.

Supercheap 2

The livery in general is weaker in design than 2018, but I’m just annoyed at how inharmoniously everything has been put together. Especially front on. Imagine the million dollar homepage was a livery…

★★

Tickford Racing The Bottle-O Racing Team

BottleO 1

Holdsworth has traded places with Frosty for 2019 and has jumped in the Bottle-O car, which is now in it’s tenth season of competition in the iconic green livery. This isn’t the strongest iteration of the design however, but not disappointing like the effort above. The design would have worked just fine without the curved black line behind the front wheel – it’s out of place between the straight green line and gold Southern Comfort line on the bonnet.

BottleO 2

The shade of green used is also a less saturated, which is a good thing as a colour like that can become tiresome quickly. It’s a good idea to swap it in every couple of years like they have been doing. Or maybe the photos I’ve found are not as heavily edited as previous years!

★★★

Tim Blanchard Racing Team CoolDrive

Team Cooldrive 2

I’ve always been a fan of the CoolDrive livery. Tim Blanchard may have retired after a lacklustre career, but the sponsor remains, with Macaulay Jones now piloting his Dad’s #21 car. There are some subtle changes to the design, with the light blue taking up a lot more real estate along the side of the car. White too is more pronounced this season, taking up most of the rear of the car.

Team Cooldrive 1

The main attraction to this car is the same, lovely metallic blue from last year, and am only disappointed to see less of it on the car in 2019. However, I’m glad the team makes tweaks year on year to keep it interesting. I also like how the design of the livery follows the wavy theme set by the CoolDrive logo. That’s Cool integration. Sorry.

★★★★

Triple Eight Race Engineering Red Bull Holden Racing Team

Red Bull 2

Red Bull were the first team to show off their cars this season, which was really early in fact, just a week into the new year. What they’ve popped out isn’t bad by any means, but doesn’t hit the same standard as season. There’s a lot of white on this one, and comes off looking a little generic, most likely due to how unique the 2018 livery was (which in hindsight I’d rate higher).

Red Bull 1

The Red Bull and Holden logos are still awkwardly squabbling for superiority on the sides like a couple of bickering brothers ; two large competing logos in different colours will never completely work on the side of a race car in this fashion. Logos aside, the design sticks mainly to large blue portions on the main panels of the car, with a bit of pin-striping in jagged forms along the edges. It’s an OK livery, but doesn’t get the same originality points as 2018.

★★★

Walkinshaw Andretti United Mobil 1 MEGA Racing

Walkinshaw 2

Finally it’s Walkinshaw, who have taken on Mega Fuels as a main sponsor, who have some fairly dodgy photoshops of stock photos on their homepage. This livery, however, is a huge improvement on the sponsors last major design. Here we have a coherent effort, mainly white, taking the odd route of using Mega’s own colours in a less noisy fashion. It’s an inspired choice, as the greater use of purple didn’t work out so well the last time.

Walkinshaw 1

That said, the purple, yellow and blue work very well as intricately intertwined ribbons of colour separating the black and white sections of the car. The theme is maintained across the sides, roof and bonnet and keep us interested enough with a splash of colour, as opposed to a mainly purple and yellow livery (which I’d have been intrigued to see). A good effort, and possibly thanks to Mobil, still maintains a strong Walkinshaw identity.

★★★★☆

 

Time for the bonus awards!

Best Look Award – Matt Stone Racing

I didn’t think this would be my pick, but it’s just a clean, satisfying car to look at.

Least Attractive Award – Kelly Racing Castrol Racing

BP Ultimate just kills this one, but isn’t the only fault. The weaker red lines don’t work well against the main green either.

Most Improved Award – Brad Jones Racing & WAU

Brad Jones for the National Pharmacies livery is a little unfair as it’s not a season long livery, so it’s probably more fair to give it to Walkinshaw. Mega have come a long way since Jason Bright’s Falcon in 2017, and is a lot better than Stanaway’s Falcon that they featured on last year too.

Almost There Award – 23 Red Milwaukee Racing

They’ve made changes this year, but still have the same rating. Red, white and black have lots of potential – a couple of inspired tweaks could see them move up the ranks in 2020.

Most Annoying Award – Freightliner Racing

So much potential with those colours, but they insist on having those yellow and silver lines more or less ignore the Freightliner logo. Drives me nuts.

Sponsor That Should Be Angriest Award – Supercheap Auto

I don’t know, maybe they did have a say in the livery design? Regardless, to dictate a livery and be so much less prominent than in previous years…I’d be annoyed if I was on their marketing team. Maybe this is just subjective though?

 

So, let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Do you agree with my opinions, or am I totally wrong on any of these?

Round-Up – 2019 Supercars Field

Livery Mockups – 2019 Formula 1 Field

Thought I’d get in nice and early this year! I try my best to keep things realistic, and get as many hints as to what the teams will actually be doing in the new season, but some of that info is a little hard to come by given most team launches are still about a month away. Most teams do have up to date sponsor lists available, but apart from this, I’ve taken creative control. Thanks to legend WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot from IMG for the wonderful template!

Ferrari

ferrari 2019

I kept it simple last year, but this time I’ve let go, and gone for the black that many of us have been wishing for for years. The car is obviously still majority red, a very slightly darker shade than usual, with two large black sections on the back and front. The swooping nature of the black sections help to border the sponsors, especially on the sidepod, which usually look unappealing on their own given the different shapes and colours between them.

From a top view the car would be red, with red piping from the side on the shark fin and wings to suit. The Mission Winnow logo doesn’t even look half bad, and fills what would otherwise be an empty hole. While Ferrari is basically its form of Italian patriotism nowadays, there’s a little stripe of the Italian flag colours in front of the rear wheel.

Haashaas 2019

It was a bit of surprise when little known Rich Energy were announced as major partners of the Haas team. Dodgy backers aren’t new to F1, so hopefully this company is legitimate, but can’t say I’d be surprised if they didn’t see out the year.

I’ve used their logo as inspiration for this design, emblazoned across the side of the car, supporting the text logo along the sidepod. Other antler details have also been added on gold backgrounds, to add some colour to the car, but in form that is unique to the team and sponsor. The gold itself is more vibrant than that used on the real logo (from their website), as I feel the original colour was too dull to stand out, and generally wouldn’t look as nice. I’ve also been careful not to add too much gold, as it can look tacky. Also, minimal gold has a proven track record of looking great (e.g. JPS Lotus). The red flashes add another touch of colour, and make sure we don’t forget about HAAS (they’re trying to sell stuff too!).

McLarenmclaren 2019

McLaren have teased us with an all black logo on social media. This may point to an increased presence of black on the car in 2019, or it could mean nothing at all. I’ve gone with the latter, as I feel the black sections of last year’s car were the weakest parts of the livery.

I was pessimistic of the blue initially, but after seeing the lovely shade they applied to the car, it proved to be a great combination. I’ve decided to expand on these sections slightly, changing the halo from black to blue, as well as making the inside of the cockpit blue. The wing end plates are also blue and I’ve limited black to the logos only. I’d love to have used white rather than black for the logos, but they slightly too hard to read that way. Overall, I’m happy for McLaren to keep the car simple and let the papaya shine, but would be interested to see how others make a complex livery with these colours work.

Mercedesmercedes 2019

Once again, I’m hoping for Mercedes to simplify the livery, and also move away from the smokey gradient design theme. Here I’ve added some solid black sections along the top and bottom of the car, which are separated from the silver by bright turquoise and blue.

Mercedes over the last couple of years have added blue to the usual Petronas turquoise, promoting their hybrid technology. Rather than separate lines for the two, I’ve used both in gradients along the length of the respective sections of the car.

Racing Pointracing point 2019

There really isn’t much to go off in terms of sponsorship for Racing Point, so I’ve made the assumption that BWT will continue their sponsorship, post Force India. I’ve gone for a more cohesive design, because as appealing as last year’s livery was, I feel as though there were some clashing design elements on the car.

The pink and white looked great together so I’ve retained the colour combination, with the white sections fading to a very light silver as they reach the front and rear of the car, rather than having solid silver stripes. However, there are bright pink stripes, three in formation following the white sections, ending just short of the pink/white notches. Another slight touch is changing all black logos to blue; they are dark enough to be easily distinguished, and help to keep the colour scheme to four-ish colours rather than 5.

Red Bullred bull 2019

I’ve really enjoyed Red Bull’s liveries the past couple of years, but recently I’ve started to think that more could be done with the colours available. The single stripe may be beginning to get stale, so I’ve experimented with what adding more colour could do. One angle the team hasn’t explored is more yellow. They’ve only every stuck with yellow on the nose and airbox, accompanying the bulls, but alongside the very dark blue and bright red, make for a very strong combination of colours.

There are three main ‘swoops’ of yellow, the main one allowing for the bull to be entirely bordered, with each section following and then transitioning to a minor portion of red. It also helps to bring the halo into the design, that are a lot of teams have either tried to hide last season, or neglect altogether.

Renaultrenault 2019

I dream of an entirely two tone livery, and all my hopes are with Renault. Their most recent stint in Formula 1 has delivered three black and yellow cars, so ignoring that sponsors such as Castrol likely wouldn’t play ball, they are our best chance.

I’ve thought back to their 2016 all black test livery which looked so sleek for inspiration. It’s mainly black, with just a few yellow stripes, thoughtfully placed along the natural lines of the car’s body. As mentioned, there are only two colours on the car, including all sponsor logos. It makes for a nice effect, especially with the soft tyres and the yellow is bright enough against the black for legibility to be an issue.

Saubersauber 2019

Everybody loved the candy apple red on the 2018 Sauber, which left a few of us confused as to why more of the car wasn’t adorned with the beautiful colour. It’s a no brainer then that I’ve increased the amount of red on the car, but have tried to remain realistic, as Sauber’s colours of white and blue are very important to the team.

Red is along the top of the car with white on the bottom section, which is broken up by further red, along with some of the navy blue used last season. The lack of sponsors makes it tough to form a design, but I feel as though the above fills up the empty space well, whilst keeping the prime real estate enticing to potential sponsors.

Toro Rossotoro rosso 2019

There isn’t a whole lot of the current Toro Rosso that I would change. The colours are fantastic and distributed well, so I had a go to see what some minimal changes could do to the look of the car. I’ve moved one line to flow from the rear all the way to the front of the halo, whilst adding another along the length of the bottom of the car. There’s also a red section along the nose/cockpit.

I’ve also made use of negative space, with the circle usually behind the bull this time within the red section just under it. I’ve maintained this design theme in the other red sections too.

Williamswilliams 2019

With the return of Kubica and sadly waving goodbye to Martini, Polish oil company Orlen have come aboard as sponsor of the Williams team. I imagine Williams returning to their traditional blue and white (depending on how large Orlen’s investment is), and have tried to work with the curves of the car, but also with some slightly jarring straight lines against the grain.

This effect has been used well in the past, memorably with the Compaq/HP Williams cars, and feel it works well not only as a design, but with fitting in with the team’s heritage. It’s also an attempt to fill as much space as possible, as the team’s lack of sponsors could easily be exposed with a more simplistic livery.

 

So what are your favourites? What improvements would you make? Do you have any predictions on what the teams will be running in 2019? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Livery Mockups – 2019 Formula 1 Field

Round-Up – Formula e 2018-19

A brand new car has brought Formula e to the next level in season five, and I have to say that while I’m not usually a fan of ‘futuristic’ looking cars, it’s marvelous. It’s a wonderful livery template that many teams have taken advantage of; some to greater extents than others.

Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler

Audi Sport 1

Audi Sport is one of a few teams to have an unchanged lineup for the new season and perhaps with continuity in mind, also have a very similar livery to last year. The colour scheme looks great once again despite essentially having five colours, with yellow being more prominent than last year thanks to Deutsche Post.

Audi Sport 2

It looks slightly neater too this year, thanks in part to the removal of the broken up design along the sidepod from last season. There’s a lot of white front on but is counteracted by the abundance of colour further back on the car. Overall, it’s a nice evolution of last year’s livery. Aggressive, but relatively neat.

★★★★☆

BMW i Andretti Motorsport

BMW 3

Andretti have teamed up with BMW, bringing another huge manufacturer into the series, proving how Formula e is gaining popularity, relevance and overall moving from strength to strength. António Félix da Costa has hung around from last year, whilst Alexander Sims has joined the team, after driving for BMW in sports cars in 2018 and being development driver for Andretti. BMW have taken charge of the livery design with an unmistakably on brand blue and white effort.

BMW 2

Despite some fundamental differences, I can’t help but be reminded of the HP/Compaq era Williams F1 liveries, whilst also wondering if a similar design would have worked for a ‘can’ based design for Red Bull; I’d attempted something kinda similar in the past. Not to mention that the quartered design is rarely seen, last I remember being the short lived Kronenbourg Larrousse livery. Regardless of the now to be expected gimmicky electric circuit board design elements, the quartered design (inspired by the BMW logo) is a fantastic effort, very eye catching from the side and top. I wish the purple slice wasn’t there as it’s a little jarring being the only purple element of the design, but it isn’t a deal breaker.

BMW 4

However, the design is asymmetric. I’m not against asymmetric liveries, but when one side looks so nice, and the other is so boring, it’s hard to see why they didn’t just make it a regular mirror image. Clearly they’ve given priority to the rear view angle of the car, but who actually views the car from this angle? A large majority of the time, the car is viewed from either the sides, or the nose, so I find this decision unusual. It’s also a big shame that they’ve left this side so blank; even if not quartered, there could be a lot more love put into this side of the car.

★★★☆

DS Techeetah Formula e Team

Techeetah 1

After winning the championship with Vergne, Techeetah have piled on the gold for 2018-19. However, it’s been done in a positive fashion. The shade of gold that has been used is thankfully a little closer to orange than brown, giving the car a warmer feel. They’ve also simplified the design significantly. Gone is the cartoon cheetah and the flashes of white and instead, they’ve followed the lines of the new chassis beautifully. This is a perfect instance of less is more.

Techeetah 3

The colour placement is distributed well, with gold only on the top portion of the car and black only on the sides (apart from the gold barge boards). As of Riyadh, the halo is also gold, furthering this effect. There’s not too much more to say, other than they have limited the Total red, which has ruined many a livery in the past.

★★★★

Envision Virgin Racing

Virgin 2

Boy am I pleased about this! The silver and black on the Virgin liveries has been a gripe of mine for a few years now and I’m so happy to see that they’ve gone without them this season. As with Techeetah’s gold, the shade of purple selected is lovely and it’s actually a relief to see matte paint over the hyper reflective variation.

Virgin 1

The white gradient design is reminiscent of Dragon’s two seasons ago, and works perfectly in adding some texture to the simple delivery. The red flashes are also distributed very well, especially in the piping along the bottom of the car and the rear diffuser – a neat use of the complex bodywork.

★★★★★

Geox Dragon

Dragon 1

Dragon have brought in 21 year old Max Günther, quick in F3 and slightly less so in F2 last season, to drive alongside Lopez for 2018-19. They also have a new main sponsor in Geox, who have painted the car in black and white as of Riyadh. Some of last year’s Dragon identity has rolled over in the form of the thin stripes on the roll hoop.

Dragon-3.jpg

The design itself is strong; the white contours along the shape of the body and contrasts with the adjacent black, giving the car the ‘coke bottle effect’ and looking very attractive. The black in the front of the cockpit is a nice touch, and is generally a very well balanced design. A nice, above average livery.

★★★★

HWA Racelab

HWA 2

Mercedes affiliate HWA has also joined the series this season, pairing McLaren reject (harsh wording perhaps) Stoffel Vandoorne with stalwart McLaren test driver and Merecedes DTM driver Gary Paffet. The livery, however, gets a yawn out of ten. Frustratingly, they’ve gone for a similar colour scheme to Jaguar, where we already had the issue of NIO and Andretti using near identical shades of turquoise/teal as them last season. Why use colours that make your cars indistinguishable from another team’s, from a distance? Corporate colours or not, if another team that’s already in the series uses them, choose something else, or get creative. Or both.

HWA 4

The blue does give the car a cool ‘Tron’ effect with the piping, but you can barely see the design in front of the rear wheel (which seemingly has n place on this livery), or the HWA logo, as the colour difference is so slight. The piping does use the car’s edges well, but the livery in total annoys me a little.

★★

Mahindra Racing

Mahindra 2

With d’Ambrosio making the switch from Dragon and Pascal Wehrlein set to take over from Rosenqvist in the coming races, Mahindra are surely set for some success this season. On the livery front, they’ve opted for evolution this season, building on their red, blue and white design of 2017-18. They’ve decided on a mainly white top body section, along with single orange and green stripes, harking to their Indian heritage. However, it clashes with the rest of the colour scheme, so it may have been better off placed elsewhere on the car – I feel the wheel rims were enough (and look quite nice).

Mahindra 4

The rest of the car is mainly red, and features some swooping red and white stripes along the edges of the bodywork, whilst maintaining the blue ‘engine’ cover for sponsor Renesas. A solid effort and marginally better than last season’s.

★★★

NIO Formula e Team

NIO 1

After having the ridiculous situation last season of NIO and Andretti bearing almost identical liveries, both have pivoted. Andretti have partnered with BMW and taken on their colours, whilst NIO have gone in another direction entirely. The result is a half turquoise, half white effort, which fails to impress. What this reminds me of running out of ideas when designing a livery, using the gradient tool over an entire car out of desperation, and hoping something interesting would happen.

NIO 3

It’s usually a disappointment, as this is to an extent. There is an attempt to spice it up; the charcoal section just below the NIO logo on the sidepod looks good, but that’s about it. There needs to be more going on. Whilst I like how neat it is, it does feel a little empty overall and leaves me wanting more.

★★

Nissan e.dams

Nissan 2

After the announcement that Renault would pass the baton to subsidiary Nissan, I’m sure we all expected something in black, white and red as per Nissan’s recent corporate liveried cars, but I’m not sure how many of us expected silver. Starting with the positives, I’m happy to see the black and silver split cleanly along the body lines from the front angle; it’s a design technique I’m a big fan of. I also like the red piping, which multiple teams have used to great effect, contrasting very well against the black.

Nissan 1

However, from the side, I see a familiar foe in smokey black against silver. I’ve dislike this for a number of years with Mercedes, and I’m not the biggest fan of it here either. That said, the more I look at it, the more I appreciate the thought in the placement and started to enjoy it as a whole. While I’m disappointed it isn’t more vibrant, it has to be scored at least just above average.

★★★☆

Panasonic Jaguar Racing

Jaguar 1

Much like their driver lineup, Jaguar’s colour scheme is unchanged this season. We have to embrace the fact that Jaguar have taken on this turquoise colour as their new racing colours, for electric racing at least, but it’s impossible to not wish this was British racing green. The design itself has evolved slightly with the some of the stripes slightly thicker than the last few seasons to suit the wider and curvier nose and body.

 

Jaguar 2

The tessellating pattern on the rear wheel covers adds some texture to the otherwise plain grey section, but from the side, it feels a little disjointed as not all panels have a second line parallel to the thicker section of turquoise. It’s nicer than last year, but I’m unsure how much of that has to do with the new chassis.

★★★

Venturi Formula e Team

Venturi 2

Venturi have brought back Mortara for the new season, who showed promise and probably should have won his first Formula e race. They’ve also signed Felipe Massa, who last raced in F1 in 2017. Venturi have kept silver as the main colour from last season, but are now using blue as a secondary colour, as well as some black as a third. As mentioned for Nissan above, silver just fails to capture the imagination and ends up in most cases as a dull livery.

Venturi 3

The design has a go at some form of piping around most of the panels but doesn’t do a great job of it due to the varying thicknesses at different parts. It also ends inexplicably above the Michelin logo on the front wing endplate, when it goes all the way to the edge everywhere else. Nitpicking, but very frustrating in my opinion. It just doesn’t feel like a very well thought out design.

★☆

A few surprises, but generally a pretty average field of cars for this season. A couple of exceptions though, with Virgin rising to the top with their new purple design. Let’s hope the racing looks as good as the new car does!

Round-Up – Formula e 2018-19

LIVERY UPDATES – SANDOWN RETRO ROUND 2018

As usual, my review is well after the event; one reason is time of course, but the other is that I always prefer to use on track shots, rather than promo photos, with decent quality shots often taking some time to find. Regardless, here are the retro round updates we saw at Sandown last week.

#2 Pye/Luff & #25 Courtney/Perkins

WAU Pye 18WAU Skaife 08

First cab off the rank is Mobil 1 Boost Racing, who paid homage to the 2008 Toll HRT, the last Commodore to be driven full time by Mark Skaife. The first thing I wonder in situations like this is, how should a company feel when they are, in essence, promoting another?

Marketing aside, it’s refreshing but also makes me feel old when we are looking at a 2008 livery as retro. It isn’t completely identical, and can’t be given they are not longer Holden backed, but could have used a little more silver to more strongly replicate the old design. Neat to see, but wouldn’t have it over their usual livery.

#9 Reynolds/Youlden

Erebus Reynolds 18Erebus Chickadee

Retro done right! Erebus have done a great job emulating the 1986 Bathurst winner, replicating it almost line for line, including a very nice stylised Penrite logo to match the now defunct Chickadee. This is a style of livery design that has been out of favour for a number of years, but I hope it makes a comeback of sorts.

I personally love flowing liveries, but straight lines with harsh angles have their own odd charm, which is clearly visible on a few of this year’s retro efforts. Probably mine and many others’ pick of the bunch.

#12 Coulthard/D’Alberto & #17 McLaughlin/Prémat

DJR McLaughlin 18DJR Johnson

Simple, however, also has its place in retro round. No fuss was also a popular theme back in the day, and the Sierras driven by Dick Jojnson and John Bowe were a leading example.

The key to a simple livery is the right colour, and DJR Team Penske have done well in bringing back this shade of red, which is just different enough to their usual red to be noticeable and eye catching. The clean look is pulled off well, capped off with the warm fuzzy feeling of classic number plates on the doors.

#14 Slade/Walsh

BJR Slade 18BJR Bob Jane Monaro

Brad Jones Racing have tipped their hat to Bob Jane and his 1972 Monaro with this orangy-red effort. It’s a quite similar replica to DJR Team Penske, but this one falls apart slightly in that the logo placement just doesn’t quite match the original. The blocky white Alliance logo, despite attempting to match the theme, is the main culrpit, adding a lot of white where it should appear plain red, not to mention the number font. The thought was there, but the execution slightly lacking for the #14.

#15 Kelly/Jacobson

Nissan Kelly 18Nissan Perkins 02

Castrol have decided to throw back to 2002, oddly enough replicating the Larry Perkins Commodore on the#15 Nissan. As strange as that seems to me, the design is near identical which is super pleasing to see. All that’s missing are the thick five spoke wheels in white!

While this was not my favourite Castrol livery of all time (that would probably go to the 1997 Castrol Commodore or the 1993 Castrol Celica), it’s a great nod to the recent motoring past.

#18 Holdsworth/Bright

Preston Hire Holdsworth 18Preston Hire Holden Bathurst 68

This retro livery isn’t too dissimilar to the Freightliner entry last season, but so was the basic design thinking in the 60s and 70s.

The #18 this year closely resembles the 1968 McPhee Monaro it pays homage to. It’s a completely authentic looking design, with perfectly matching lines, numbers, and even the old ‘Class D’ lettering (on the side at least). The ‘Warwick Yellow’ looks great and is a nice break for the usual, equally nice Preston Hire yellow.

#21 Blanchard/Wood

BJR Blanchard 18BJR Benson Hedges

Tim Blanchard kept it classy this year, giving a nod to the BMW his father had once raced. I remember Lotus getting some heat for using the old JPS liveries as inspiration in Formula 1 one year, but you can’t get much closer to a cigarette livery than this Benson & Hedges replica.

Any livery fanatic will tell you that cigarette brands had some of the best and most memorable liveries of all time, and this here is no exception. It’s translates incredibly well to a modern racer, and despite a departure from the usual blue, CoolDrive looks fantastic and in no way out of place on the design. While cigarettes are terrible things, I’m glad in a way that they left an imprint on the Motorsport world.

#33 Tander/Pither

GRM Tander 18GRM Garry Rogers Debut

Another set of direct replicas, and don’t these look amazing. Both are depicting cars Garry Rogers himself had driven, this one a 1978 Torana. As I mentioned with the Chickadee Penrite machine, it’s great to see some truly retro shapes and colours going on this year, this one being a true period piece of the 1970s. This too translates well to a modern Supercar, and just looks nice!

Would love to see this used for the rest of the Enduros – fingers crossed.

#34 Golding/Muscat

GRM Golding 18GRM Bathurst 83

The #34 is an homage to Garry’s 1983 Commodore. The sleek black and simple white line and chevron look great on the 2018 car. It’s nice to see that simple designs can work just as well as the odd and complex ones.

#55 Mostert/Moffat

Tickford Mostert 18Tickford Ellery 04

Antother design from the not too distant past, with Tickford choosing to paint the #55 in Steven Ellery’s Supercheap Auto colours from 2004. They’ve steered clear of purple this year, instead going with the blac, red and silver design. They’ve taken some liberties and simplified the livery slightly, removing some of the extra yellow lines, which does modernise the design. It’s great to see not only replicas, but successful modernisation of classic liveries this year.

#78 De Silvestro/Rullo

Nissan De Silvestro 18

For De Silvestro and Rullo, Nissan have gone with a retro themed design as opposed to immitating an actual past livery. I’m not sure how rich Harvey Norman’s racing history is, but I’m sure there would have been some lovely looking Nissans to choose from, rather than this very basic effort. Whilst it’s very similar in design to others we’ve seen this year and last, red and white doesn’t really excite!

#99 De Pasquale/Brown

Erebus De Pasquale 18Erebus Chickadee 81

I went the whole of last weekend, somehow, thinking both the Erebus cars had the same livery. My usually attentive eye stupidly saw the retro Chickadee font and didn’t ask any further questions. Luckily in writing this post I picked up on my error, and found that the #99 is based on the 1982 Toyota Celica.

In actual fact, the two liveries are completely different, this one focusing simply on a thick red stripe across the bonnet and front quarter panels. It’s a great job again of font replication and logo placement, although the one thing I’d have loved to see on both cars was the Penrite/Erebus logos on the side sprawling all the way above the rear wheel to the rear bumper.

 

It’s great fun to see retro round increasing in stature year after year, and more teams and fans embracing it with the awesome inspired and replica liveries. Can’t wait for next year.

 

 

LIVERY UPDATES – SANDOWN RETRO ROUND 2018