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
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
AGS, short for Automobiles Gonfaronnaises Sportives, was a French Formula 1 team based out of Gonfaron (as the name suggests), a small town in the south of France. Approximately half way between Marseilles and Cannes and with a population of no more than 3,500, it perfectly fits the no mans land which was the back of the grid in the late 80s and early 90s.
In their 6 season stint in Formula one from 1986 to 1991, AGS managed to score two points, actually quite an achievement with 1st – 6th points structure, but failed to pre-qualify 48 times (counting both cars), not to mentioned many more failed attempts to qualify on a Saturday afternoon. There was hope initially, but various setbacks such as sponsor Bouygues Group pulling funding while a new facility was being built, creating a huge financial hole and causing owner Henri Julien to sell the team, as well as driver Philippe Streiff being paralysed in a testing crash in 1989, contributed to their eventual collapse one race before the end of the 1991 season.
Going into 1991, the team had retained Gabriele Tarquini, and had brought in one time championship hopeful Stefan Johansson. His tenure only lasted two races, neither of which he qualified for, before being replaced by Fabrizio Barbazza, whilst Olivier Grouillard also made an appearance in the team’s final event. The season began with this asymmetric white, blue and silver livery, before it changed along with new ownership, to what we see in the images above and below. Does it look familiar?
A striking resemblance to Fernando Alonso’s new 2018 helmet! Now it must be a coincidence – his helmet has always used these colours in one way or another, but the similarities are uncanny. Perhaps this is foreshadowing? With all things pointing to a future in Indycar to complete his triple crown, maybe he’ll follow AGS’ path in this being the last helmet livery he uses in F1. Amazing how similar the colours and design are, but can’t imagine he took inspiration from a perennial backmarker…
Moving on from ridiculous asumptions, the livery’s main colour is navy blue, filling almost the entire rear and side of the car, with sky blue in front of the cockpit and nose. The two sections are separated by a yellow and red ribbon, starting just behind the nose and wrapping over the airbox.
And that’s about all there is to it. Sponsorship is minimal, leaving plenty of empty space on the livery, and what logos do appear are small and don’t add much to the overall design. The design is a little off but not offensive, the colours work but only just, it is memorable but also an afterthought. A perfect summary of the team.
Is it Indy 500 time already? Let’s take a look into the one off cars and other livery changes for the cars that qualified for the great race.
A. J. Foyt Enterprises with Byrd-Hollinger-Belardi
#33 James Davison
A really basic, plain livery for the cousin of Supercars racers Alex & Will, who has finished each of the last 3 Indy 500s, although not quite close to the front. Not a whole lot to say, just a nice red colour, but no flashy design or excitement to attribute to it.
#25 Stefan Wilson
Stefan will be driving a nice blue, silver and orange variation of the Andretti livery. All the colours work well together, although the logo, albeit a good cause, is a little unsightly on the sidepod.
#26 Zach Veach
This is a colour combination I can’t remember seeing on a racing car before. The yellow in this configuration immediately makes me think of RHR’s DHL car, but the bright orange definitely makes it its own car. It could have used a little more black to break up the orange/yellow, as they are almost too similar a hue to have entirely side by side like that.
#29 Carlos Muñoz
Carlos adopts the colours Marco started the year with, in a two tone livery that actually stands out pretty well. Ruoff’s teal colour is unique and actually blends well with the shade of blue used on the rest of the car. The design is simple, but a more complexity could have thrown the balance off entirely
Andretti Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian
#98 Marco Andretti
Speaking of Marco, he’s got some very basic colours in red, black and white. They are hard to screw up and they haven’t at all here, working well in the Andretti design, but it isn’t very memorable.
#23 Charlie Kimball
Kimball is pushing another Insulin brand for the 500 this year, bringing with it a lovely livery. The blue is very dark and close to teal, but is very reflective and looks fantastic when in shining in the sunlight. The design itself is quite complex, with yellow bordered white section filling in the major panels of the car, and the blue whisping between them nicely. Perhaps not bordering the white with yellow would have looked nicer overall, as it does on the nose and engine cover, but still a well worked design overall.
Dale Coyne Racing
#19 Zachary Claman DeMelo
Zach was not meant to take part in the 500, but caught a lucky break when Pietro Fittipaldi was unfortunately injured in a WEC race earlier this month. He takes to the brickyard in a rather simplified version of the livery he started the season with. Whilst the unique mint colour was interesting, the overall combination of colours was not so cohesive, and simplifying to a classic red, white and blue and worked wonders. That said, it is a little too simple. A bit too much white space, but clean is good.
Dale Coyne Racing dba Thom Burns Racing
#17 Conor Daly
Daly is driving with US Air Force sponsorship and as above, using a classic red, white and blue livery. However, this is a tribute to the USAF Thunderbirds, and does a great job to mimic the livery that adorns the planes. I’d have liked to see the stripes on the nose curve over the nose, rather than spike up the side to better represent the actual design, but apart from that, it is a solid representation.
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
#24 Sage Karam
This is a neat design. We’ve got jet black accompanied by two very bright secondary colours in orange and green. I initially thought of the old Toyota F1 tear design, but then was reminded of the of one time HRT F1 sponsor KH-7, so that’s what I’ll be thinking of on Sunday. That said, it works very well, epscially with the smaller green section really complementing and popping with the livery overall.
#66 J.R. Hildebrand
Another great combination of colours on Hildebrand’s car, making use of light and dark blue, accompanied by orange and white. The SalesForce logo is integrated perfectly into the design and whilst using just about the same colours as the Gabby Chaves car, does a slightly better job.
Ed Carpenter Racing
#13 Danica Patrick
Danica is back with Go Daddy once again, this time bringing an almost entirely fluro-green car to the brickyard. It’s very simple but works well as it isn’t cluttered with lots of little sponsors as Davison’s car is above. The black section at the bottom is a nice way to add some volume to the livery, but I’m not a big fan of the magenta line splitting the two colours – could have been better without as a clean two-tone livery.
#21 Spencer Pigot
It’s a classic Ed Carpenter livery for Pigot, with a blue and white Preferred Freezer Services design. It’s a lovely shade of blue with a minimalistic design incorporating white sparingly.
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with AFS Racing
#7 Jay Howard
The Schmidt Peterson theme is respected on this car, using a nice emerald green to go with the purple, red and hold of the other cars, although the latter won’t be racing! The reflective green works well with the black and the flashes on top of the sidepod are also a nice touch, possibly looking nicer in green than on other cars.
Scuderia Corsa with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
#64 Oriol Servià
Servià probably had one of the most boring liveries of the 500 last year, and while this isn’t the most complex design of all time, it’s a significant improvement. It’s only two tone, but getting rid of the yellow does wonders. The single red stripe from the rear, wrapping around the nose is wonderful and is complemented well by by the second line on the contour of the sidepod. Super clean and looking good despite some empty white space.
#1 Josef Newgarden
Newgarden’s livery is now the same as Power’s, with the red stripe replaced for a black one. Very nice, but lucking the punch that the red version does.
#3 Hélio Castroneves
Not the first time Castroneves has raced in this livery, but the design has been updated to fit the new IndyCar chasis. If anything it’s an improvement, but can’t see myself giving 5 stars so easily today! Lovely livery, with the helmet completing the look.
The 2018 F1 season is well underway now, with the guy just below snagging the first two wins of the year. It’s looking up for Ferrari in the fight with Mercedes, but who wins in the livery stakes?
I rejoiced at the news that Santander would not be sponsoring Ferrari in 2018 for one simple reason – there would no longer be a requirement to have tonnes of white on the car. However, for the first time since the Vodafone era, I think I kinda miss it. Plain red has worked very well in the past, notably in 2007 in Raikkonen’s WDC year, but it doesn’t quite hit the same mark in 2018, and it mostly has to do with the shade of red that has been used. While it’s quite nice in the somewhat enhanced image above, it’s a little more obvious below in an image closer to how it would appear to the naked eye, that the red is too flat to look that awesome on its own.
Where the 2007 car was a slightly darker and slightly metallic red, the red used for the last few years just doesn’t excite on its own. Add to this the cluster of large, clashing sponsors on the sidepods and the varying additions of white and black along the side and you can see why it doesn’t come close to hitting the highs of 2007. This was also a great chance to add black as a prominent second colour, but it wasn’t taken.
After what was a refreshing 2017 livery, Force India have exceeded expectations with this cracker. The shade of pink used is more or less the same, but there is now a significant amount of white in the mix, helping to break up the bright pink. The design is also far more interesting, incorporating the white sections and new vibrant pink stripes very well to the shape of the car.
It’s also far more unique than the generic swoops of last year, with some odd choices, most notably the pink on the nose which breaks to white a couple of time, likely for sponsors and the driver number to stand out better. Only thing that is slightly annoying for me is the BWT logo not sitting on a single solid colour on the sidepods or front wing end plates – still attractive, but its the unevenness that irks me. Reinvigorating to see such an against the grain design.
No surprises from Haas, who have whipped out black, white and red for 2018. However, it’s a huge improvement on last year’s yawn inducing colour scheme. The white opens up the livery making it far more pleasing to look at, in comparison to the grey in 2017 which was just drab.
The design itself hasn’t changed significantly and still draws the same pros and cons. The black/white split half way up the sidepod is great and a simple way of keeping the plain colours from being boring. However, the nose is still an area that could be improved as it just doesn’t quite suit the rest of the car, and isn’t so pleasant on its own anyway.
After complete and utter disappointment last year, we can all rejoice after McLaren listened to the people and painted the MCL33 papaya orange. Based on the fondly remembered McLaren Formula 1 and sports cars of the 60s and 70s, and after putting out the feelers with Alonso’s drive in the Indy 500 last year, McLaren have pleased the fans with their colour choice for 2018.
I say it a lot – colour choice is vital. This design is incredibly simple, with the only non orange elements being the rear & front wings, as well as the shark fin. I found out myself how difficult it can be to work with this colour, unable to put any complexity into it without destroying it, so I have full respect for the simplicity. The slightly reflective blue is a nice touch and does work well alongside the orange, which I have to reiterate, looks terrific on the car. If only the halo was blue (or didn’t exist)!
Not much change for Mercedes, who have stuck with their silver and neon blue/turquoise swooping design. However, it is an evolution, with the neon lines far thicker than last year, and requiring less background turquoise fill the car with colour.
The wispy black remains on the engine cover to help the Mercedes logo stand out, but still wish they’d explore an alternative because it just ends up looking a little dirty. It’s certainly a slight improvement overall, but will likely be unable to get excited about a silver Mercedes livery unless significant changes are made, however unlikely that may be.
So year three without change for Red Bull and I’m still OK with this. Only major change is with Aston Martin coming in as a main sponsor, and popping their logos on the rear wing and disrupting the red line in front of the sidepods.
Am I still as in love as I was last year? No, but it’s still fantastic. No complaints, but hopefully we see some sort of evolution next year.
Now THIS is an evolution! Last year’s livery was neither here or there, but they’ve really made some positive changes to finesse the design in 2018. I’m quite partial to a warm yellow, but the cooler shade used this year also works very well, and is a nice change. However, the change with the strongest impact to the car’s good looks is keeping the yellow just to the top of the nose and leaving the sides black. It’s a great effect that I’m a huge fan of.
They’ve also added two nifty black pinstripes from the tip of the nose to the cockpit which looks nice. The line around the edge of and sweeping along the bottom of the sidepods I’m indifferent to, but the added yellow to the front wing is nice. Great overall, especially when viewed front on.
One of the great pieces of news for 2018 was that Alfa Romeo were going to be sponsoring Sauber, who have been on the edge in F1 in terms of performance and sponsorship for a number of years now. What this meant to livery buffs like myself was that there was a strong chance of red on the Sauber in the new year. Our prayers were answered with the unveiling of the livery, which proudly displayed a beautiful ruby or candy apple red on the engine cover. While this is a lovely colour, I’m disappointed it wasn’t extended all across the top of the car, like I’d hoped in my mockup earlier this year. It would have been a great effect to see the red from nose to exhaust, but instead, white is prominent toward the front of the car.
The result, however, is that front on, the car looks suspiciously like the Williams with the navy blue lines on the white. The design here is actually the same as last year, where it was gold on blue, but almost looks like two liveries on the one car as the red is barely visible from front angles. A bit of a missed opportunity given the colours they had to work with, so unfortunately is a downgrade from last year’s very complete livery.
For the first time ever, I’m glad that Toro Rosso have retained their livery. It was stunning last year and it’s still stunning this year. The borderline-purple-in-particular-lighting shade of blue is great, the vibrant red and reflective silver complement it perfectly and the placement of each of the colours is wonderful.
No significant change to note, although the rear wing end plates have a slight update, with the Red Bull Simply Cola logo better fitting the design, where it was plain red last year. I’m satisfied!
As above, but disappointingly in this case, Williams have also retained their livery. Season 5 has already begun for this Martini livery and whilst iconic, could use a refresh of some sort. There have been some changes albeit of minimal impact, the most significant being the increased volume of the black section sweeping along the bottom sides of the car.
Another big one is that there are fewer sponsors present on the car. This could be an alarming trend for the years to come as we’ve seen a sharp drop off in performance for the team, where it seemed they’d brought back their former stability since the new engine rules. Let’s hope their fortunes improve.
Best Looker Award – Toro Rosso
Toro Rosso go back to back. However, I hope they don’t get stuck into old habits and now keep this colour scheme for the next 70 years.
Least Attractive Award – Ferrari
Perhaps this is a little harsh, but I just don’t enjoy so much of that particular shade of red. Some more black would have been fantastic.
Most Likely to be an Ice Cream Flavour – Force India
With so much pink and white on the car, it looks like it would be a tasty flavour. Some sneaky chocolate brown and you’ve have Neapolitan on the grid for the first time ever!
Fan Favourite Award – McLaren
Righting the wrongs of 2017 and the years before, McLaren has certainly pleased the fans this year.
Missed Potential Award – Sauber
Could have been incredible with more of that candy apple red on the car, but alas, there will hopefully be many more years of improvements to come.
As with Supercars last week, let’s check out how the IndyCar field will line up in 2018. Also as with Supercars, I’m assuming half of these won’t apply for round two, but oh well.
A.J. Foyt Enterprises
#4 Matheus Leist & #14 Tony Kanaan
After four seasons with Chip Ganassi, TK has moved to A.J. Foyt racing and will form an all Brazilian team with Rookie Matheus Leist, who finished a strong 4th in Indy Lights last year. The livery on the perennially unsuccessful ABC car has remained the same once more, which would be more disappointing if the livery was poor.
Thankfully it still looks OK, but what better time to try something new than with the introduction of the new chassis of the NEXT car.
#26 Zach Veach
Zach Veach is another of a significant amount of rookies this season, and is driving for Andretti. Andretti Autosport have continued with the same team design this year, so it’s just a few colour changes to suit new sponsors, for example here with the #26, using charcoal, burnt orange (which was used well by Faraday in Formula E last year), and baby blue, which is very uncommon in Motorsport.
The burnt orange colour is for the corporate colours of Group One Thousand One, and wish there was more of it on the car rather than the charcoal. The baby blue is a bit of an odd touch, but works well enough and could have been more interesting with a greater presence on the car. However, not the most thrilling to look at.
#27 Alexander Rossi
Rossi came out of round one as the villain after the late race drama, but his car is near identical to St Pete last year. There is perhaps a slight pull back in the amount of red, but other than that, nothing of significance to report.
Still a great colour combo though, so happy to see it retained.
#28 Ryan Hunter-Reay
As above, it’s an unchanged livery for RHR, in his familiar DHL colours.
Just a good colour combination. Bold and vibrant.
Andretti Herta Autosport with Cerb-Agajanian
#98 Marco Andretti
The colours which famously took Sato to the Indy 500 victory last year are back at Andretti thanks to Ruoff, this time for Marco. This time, however, the colour placement has been wiser, making the livery a lot more interesting. The colours have been inverted, so it’s blue that takes the section in front of the cockpit and engine cover, whilst also making the sidepods blue, leaving a nice white strip in the middle and through to the nose.
There are also some extra teal sections, most notably in front of the rear wheel and front wing endplate. These add some extra interest to what would otherwise be an attractive but slightly basic blue and white livery.
#23 Charlie Kimball
Kimball has moved on from Chip Ganassi, and has joined the new team Carlin, who have been racing in the junior Formulae for a number of years, as well as Indy Lights for the last three. The good news for us livery enthusiasts is that while Tresiba has followed Kimball across, significant improvements have been made! The most important change is that grey is gone, and has been replaced by a much darker charcoal colour. This is just a much more appealing shade on a racing car and works far better with the tennis ball green.
Speaking of which, the green/yellow bits have also been improved. The multi shade stripes have stuck around but look much better in this variation. This pattern has also been used in the green only on the charcoal, which looks fantastic toward the rear.
#59 Max Chilton
Max Chilton has also moved to the new team, for which he raced in British F3 and Indy Lights. He has also retained his sponsor, however, the livery has not really improved. That isn’t to say it’s significantly worse, but it does have more of a generic, GP2 feel to it than the previous design.
The shapes used are pleasing and follow the natural flow of the chassis well, but there’s a lot more silver on this occasion, and missing the light blue which was a nice element of the 2017 livery.
Chip Ganassi Racing
#9 Scott Dixon
As unbelievable as it sounds, Scott Dixon will race for Chip Ganassi for the 17th straight season in CART/Indycar in 2018, and only for the second time without a Target livery! PNC Bank has stepped in for NTT Data/GE this year and produced a deceptively simple design. It is in essence, a simple gradient from orange to blue to white. The gradient itself, however, is an intricate tessellated design at closer inspection.
The distribution of colour is also good, and the addition of a couple of sharp lines, in front of the cockpit and on the shark fine, are a welcome touch to break up the abundant gradient theme.
#10 Ed Jones
Ed Jones has moved from Dale Coyne Racing, and while his livery is also simplistic, it takes a completely different approach. This livery is clean. The shade of blue is strong enough to not require a significant amount of any other colour and this is exploited well by the designer, with the only other colour being the dark blue in front of the cockpit, and the simple chrome silver stripe along the edge of the sidepod.
Following these lines works incredibly well, and the two tone nature of the car gives it an organic feel that any clean freak can appreciate. Less is more.
Dale Coyne Racing
#19 Zachary Claman DeMelo & Pietro Fittipaldi
Dale Coyne brings two rookies into the Championship this year, along with a very rarely used colour in what I can only describe as light green or mint. The design makes good use of the shape of the car for the top section, but annoyingly ignores it on the sidepod. They would have been better off using the #10 above as an example here for this section.
That said, it is a fairly simple livery, with just two large swooping sections really, looking as though it was put together fairly quickly. The overall quality does suffer for this as does the combo of yellow, mint and grey.
Dale Coyne Racing with Jimmy Vasser-Sullivan
#18 Sébastien Bourdais
Who’d have thought this guy would have won again in St Pete? He matched his 2017 result after coming back from that horrific Indy crash. Let’s hope this form can carry on for the rest of the season. Brand new livery for the #18 this year, moving away from the solid, simple livery to something a little busier.
We have some very bright yellow, accompanied by black in a striped design akin to caution tape. It’s executed quite well so it doesn’t look tacky at all with the symmetrical design (apart from the rear wing annoyingly) designed purposefully. The face on the side of the nose is a nice touch too.
Ed Carpenter Racing
#20 Jordan King & Ed Carpenter
Jordan King is another rookie in 2018, joining Ed Carpenter Racing, who have dropped what to me was a very recognisable green on the Fuzzy’s Vodka livery. This new colour scheme gives me Jack Daniel’s vibes, but in a good way.
Black almost always works well on simple liveries, and this is no exception. The small white sections are basic and lack any flare, but work well enough to at least this above average.
#21 Spencer Pigot
The #21 of Spencer Pigot likely took no inspiration from, but has some striking similarities to the 2003 Minardi PS03. It’s actually scarily similar the more compare them. From the colour scheme overall (including the awkward green logos), to the diagonal shaped section along the side, to the white and red section on the side of the nose but not on top, I’d be surprised if there wasn’t even some unconscious influence in the design of this livery.
That said, what an odd choice it would be to replicate, if that was indeed the case! It is a bang average design at the end of the day, but gets some super unexpected but strong nostalgia points, considering this was the first season I started watching F1 full time.
#88 Gabby Chaves
Precious little sponsorship on the #88 of Gabby Chaves, but Harding Racing have followed on from their 2017 Indy 500 effort in producing an interesting design given the opportunity. The colour theme has also carried through, with an nice cyan colour accompanied by a darker yellow or perhaps orange on this occasion. The ‘yolk’ in front of the cockpit is odd but works in filling up some space.
What helps this design stand out is the white striped section on top of the sidepods. They’re unique and look great, whilst filling up space which would have otherwise been left empty due to the lack of sponsors. Not exactly a stunner, but a strong livery overall, considering a lot of the time sponsors are what help a livery look great.
#32 René Binder & Kyle Kaiser
As with Harding, Juncos are in for a full season in 2018, and are bringing in two alternating rookies. The livery is exactly the same as last year’s Indy 500.
It’s an odd design with the orange bordering the green in some areas and not others, but the colour scheme is interesting at least. However, I do feel this is something I’ll get bored of very quickly.
Michael Shank Racing with Schmidt Peterson
#60 Jack Harvey
This Schmidt Peterson car is slightly out of order here, but definitely follows the team’s livery philosophy. Jack Harvey’s car (another rookie by the way) uses a chrome purple alongside black. Everything works with black so there’s no issue there, and the purple stands out in what is a very colourful grid.
There are a lot of logos on this car however, cluttering it slightly and not allowing the colour to shine to its best ability. Hence I don’t feel it’s a strong as its sister liveries.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
#15 Graham Rahal
Rahal has a solid first (likely of many) livery of the year. The blue used is deep and metallic, and is bordered by red, with the remainder of the car in white. It works well in a Compaq Williams sort of way, although this tries to follow the lines of the car slightly.
The colour scheme is pretty standard but well executed. Also, nothing like some American Flag stripes on the front wing elements to spice up a livery!
#30 Takuma Sato
Now this is a unique livery! While I’m relating everything to F1 liveries, this does remind me of the 1995 Pacific livery, but not significantly. This is very strong in its own right, using different shades of blue very successfully, whilst making large white sections look very attractive.
The main attraction is the complex nose which very difficult to explain. It uses 3 different colours in what in some angles looks like patchwork, and in others a beautiful, semi interrupted flowing blue section. The different blues all work really well together and am just happy to see some lovely creativity without going too far.
Schmidt Peterson Motorsport
#5 James Hinchcliffe
Virtually no change to the #5 this year, retaining it’s black and reflective gold of the past few season and an almost identical design to 2017. The main change here is the gold section having moved up, following the car along the top of the driver’s headrest rather than down to the top of the sidepod.
The other change is the intricate design on the side, which looks like stylised inner workings of the car (although I’m likely wrong). While I’m usually against graphics like this taking up large sections of the car, this is subtle enough to almost blend in from a distance whilst actually look very interesting close up. A well designed evolution of the 2017 livery.
#6 Robert Wickens
Rookie Robert Wickens almost had a dream start to his IndyCar career until Rossi put an end to those plans! Misfortune aside, this livery is just about the same as Hinch’s, jsut in red as Aleshin’s was last year.
The red works perhaps a little better than the gold in my opinion, but not by much, so gets the same strong four star rating.
#1 Josef Newgarden
Penske have cut down to 3 cars for 2018, but have kept the same liveries from 2017. I’d probably been a little harsh on these last year – they aren’t so bad. The colours are standard and the design is simple, but not bad by any means.
Castonevez used this livery for most of last year. It isn’t thrilling mainly due to the colour scheme, but a decent yet standard livery.
#12 Will Power
Power is back in the livery he started 2017 with and as was the case then, the removal of the third colour makes this livery much simpler and that much stronger.
As with the Ed Jones livery, nice colours and little more can mean a very pleasant car to look at. No change, no problem.
#22 Simon Pagenaud
The in your face Menards livery is also back for Pagenaud. The thin red and black parallel lines work far better than the thick red line on Newgarden’s livery, and contrast well on the super bright yellow.
I am slightly conflicted in regards to Pagenaud’s helmet though. I’m a big fan of drivers keeping the same design as it is their own personal identity, but I also love how it matches the car.
Time for some bonus awards!
Best Looker Award – #30 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
There were a lot of four star liveries this season, but only one five star. There are many reasons why, but this design just lights up in my eyes. Looks fantastic.
Least Attractive Award – Juncos Racing
Perhaps I’ve been a little harsh here, but something is off with this livery in my opinion. Just needs some refining. Thin lines don’t work so well when you’re ignoring the chassis’ curves.
Grand Slam Award – #22 Penske, #18 Dale Coyne and #23 Carlin
These guys may as well be fighting it out on a tennis court with the amount of tennis ball green on the grid this year!
Had the pleasure of seeing the Adelaide 500 in person this year, which is also why I’m so late in posting this. No doubt there will be a myriad of livery changes throughout but season, but let’s take a look at how they started the season.
23Red Racing Milwaukee Racing
#230 Will Davison
First cab off the rank is the new 23Red Racing team, co-owned by Phil Munday and Lucas Dumbrell. The livery sensibly makes use of the Milwaukee logo thunderbolt as a theme for the car, but doesn’t take it to the next step of creativity. What we’re left with a pretty standard red and white livery, split by a black thunderbolt on the front quarter panel.
However, this doesn’t make it bad by any means. The red flashes on the splitter and bonnet with black piping are great and make me wish that perhaps there was less of the main red in favour of these smaller details on white. Add what looks like a hastily removed logo on the rear quarter panel (nitpicking, I know) and you’ve got a pretty run of the mill, but attractive enough design. A good benchmark for the rest of the field!
Brad Jones Racing Blackwoods Racing
#8 Nick Percat
Two colours that can work really well, but in this application are lacking. It’s a very simple design and where straight lines can be appealing, in this case fail to provide any excitement. I think I’d have preferred a simple complete parallel shape as opposed to the odd, single pointed shape that has instead been used for this livery. What also hurts this design is the very dull Blackwoods logo, but that can’t really be helped from the team’s side.
The finishing touch is provided by this ugly bonnet. ‘Rock Your Weld’, the motto of the main sponsor, is hideously jarring to the rest of the livery and makes an average livery quite poor. At least it looks like Percat will have one sponsor for the whole season this year, although maybe it was better he didn’t in this case.
Brad Jones Racing Freightliner Racing
#14 Tim Slade
As Preston Hire Racing have proved for the last couple of seasons, black and yellow are terrific colours to work with, and Freightliner Racing have joined the party. Gone is the red and white, and in comes the vibrant yellow, paired with black as well as some small slithers of silver. Front on, the livery is great, with simple black and silver sections bordering the bonnet and all the sponsors working together coherently.
Side profile however, things become a little less seamless. Unfortunately the Freightliner logo looks as though it is very difficult to work with, and this leads to a livery where the main sponsor logo isn’t worked very well into the design, looking almost slapped on at the end. It’s a little bit of damned if you do, damned if you don’t, but some small details such as the logo not overlapping with the yellow section on behind the front wheel would have made a big difference in this regard.
Charlie Schwerkolt Racing Preston Hire Racing
#18 Lee Holdsworth
Speak of the devil, Preston Hire Racing have followed up last year’s stunner with another. A couple of subtle changes in that there’s a bit more black than last year, paint is gloss rather than matte and the lines are overall a little more swoopy than last year’s edgy design, but the overall theme has just remained the same.
There are also a few silver sections this year which reflect nicely in the sunlight, but even with the white Toyota Forklifts section on the boot, is still a fantastically uniform livery. The amount of red has also reduced which is great for uniformity. Can’t say I love it as much as 2017 and I’m not exactly sure why – perhaps the shade of yellow, but it’s still absolutely lovely.
DJR Team Penske Shell V-Power Racing Team
#12 Fabian Coulthard & #17 Scott McGlaughlin
DJR Team Penske have an unchanged livery for 2018. I’m slightly disappointed given it wasn’t even my favourite of the their possible 2017 choices, but it’s a good combination of colours and design.
Still a solid livery, although it’s simplicity means it has dated every so slightly, especially with the thinning yellow lines bordering the white.
#9 David Reynolds
Erebus have gone for something a little more complicated with the Penrite car this year. It’s better and worse in different areas. Whilst I loved the piping on the front and rear of the 2017 car, the thin lightning bolts also work very well on the front in 2018. However, the thicker gold section on the side isn’t quite as effective – not quite the colour/shade you want in large quantities. Not only that, it clashes with the gold in Penrite logo, which it sits directly next to. Triggers my OCD.
The other thing of note is the grille, which on this car is obnoxiously coloured red. Not a fan of such a brightly coloured grille which I don’t think it works well at all. Overall, it may sound like there are more negatives than positives, but it also improves in other areas such as the removal of the odd shaped gold areas on the splitter of last year’s livery. More or less even.
#99 Anton de Pasquale
Anton de Pasquale is the first rookie on the list, but the design on the #99 is the same as the #9. The colours are slightly more suited to the sponsor, with silver instead of gold. This helps in making the livery seamless, but takes away a bit of bite for the same reason.
Unfortunately the red grille also remains, but a good livery nonetheless.
Garry Rogers Motorsport Wilson Security Racing GRM
#33 Garth Tander & #34 James Golding
With Moffat given the boot, another rookie in James Golding joins Tander at GRM this year, the cars appropriately adorning a similar livery to the Tander/Golding enduro design. The basic shape is the same, but the main separating line on this occasion is a chrome silver. Bordering the silver is red, which then uses a slow and intermittent gradient to turn to blue. This whole section looks terrific.
The front is great too, with even sections of red and black swooping across the bonnet and importantly, around and not in the grille. Everything on the livery works really well together – every colour is complimentary, every logo fits and nothing looks out of place. About as close to perfect as you’ll get.
Matt Stone Racing Bigmate Racing
#35 Todd Hazelwood
It may be a surprise that there are three blue and orange liveries in the field, and the middle one belongs to another rookie, Todd Hazelwood. The design here is pretty safe, mainly following the key panels of the car and not venturing much further. The orange sections break up the blue well, but could even have been used more sparsely to good effect.
A slight issue I have with this car is the shade of blue and orange used. The blue is quite strong/saturated which can be OK, but used alongside a fluro, the clash is quite harsh rather than complimentary. A slightly darker or less saturated blue may have been a better option here. Either way, there’s plenty of white to break the strong colours up, which salvages some good looks for the livery overall, keeping it just about above average.
#7 Andre Heimgartner
Speaking of orange and blue, this is definitely the pick of the bunch. As mentioned before, the colours aren’t as strong on this livery, with the paler orange and lighter, metallic blue working very well together. The large blue section is complimented by orange around the windows and along the bottom, which then abruptly, but very nicely switches to white, which takes over the front of the car.
There are also small sections of silver, which don’t really add anything, and have been better in white or just left in orange. It’s a classic complex Nissan design, but works well with the colours. The Plus Fitness logo also works a lot better in this format than it has on previous efforts.
#15 Rick Kelly
This one certainly suprised me – classic Motorsport sponsor Castrol was back in a big way, dictating the livery of Rick Kelly’s Nissan in 2018. Thankfully we see the back of the Castrol bonnet logos on other cars with no regard to their aesthetics or colour schemes, and instead are replaced with the unmistakable and very attractive green, red and white in a big way.
Again, a typically complex Nissan livery, but with green the main colour instead of white as is usually the case for Castrol designs. Some parts are more or less shared with the above Plus Fitness livery, such as the window area and the white sections on the boot, but overall, also looks very nice in this form.
#23 Michael Caruso
The more you look at the Nissans, the more characteristics they share. #23 is sponsored by Drive.com.au this year and therefore, takes on the bright teal to go with the usual black, white and silver.
Some red also remains, mainly for the Autoglym logo on the front. I should like this livery a lot less for that reason, but the red does help to break up all the black and blue. One thing I do find slightly annoying is the odd blue on the rear quarter panel, which just doesn’t belong.
Nissan Motorsport Team Harvey Norman
#78 Simona de Silvestro
Just about the same design again here as you’d expect, but a pretty big change in colour scheme, with black now the main colour in place of red for the Harvey Norman Altima. Definitely stands out the least due to the duller colour palette, but having one fewer colour works in its favour.
For example, the red on white of the stripe along the side of the car works far better here than the silver does on either the #7 or #23, and does just about enough to outweigh the standard colours.
#19 Jack Le Brocq
Le Brocq is the next newbie on the list and Tekno haven’t deviated too far from the all black car they launched with. The SS Signs logo is in your face and the accompanying design matches it well.
The blue and yellow shards are reasonably well spaced and look good on the front, but I’m slightly indifferent to the ones on the side that are perhaps a little bit messy. I’d look to declutter the side by removing a couple of the blue sections on the side and let the jet black shine.
Tickford Racing The Bottle-O Racing Team
#5 Mark Winterbottom
Another year in the Bottle-O Falcon for Frosty and it’s another evolution of the green livery in 2018. This sees a lot more white toward the front of the car than last year, taking over the roof and the front b-pillar. There’s also some more black on the rear, meaning there’s less green on the car overall this year.
The design itself is edgier, but better coordinated overall, with most of the lines more or less moving in the same direction, where last year’s design had different shapes all over the place. The black is also glossy rather than matte this year which is welcome. A decent improvement.
Tickford Racing Monster Energy Racing
#6 Cameron Waters
No changes of note to call out on the Monster Energy Falcon. Still matte, which works well in this instance with the all black design.
Again, not a lot to say. Hasn’t dated significantly either, which is a bug plus.
Tickford Racing Supercheap Auto Racing
#55 Chaz Mostert
You wouldn’t think of it at first glance, but this is exactly the same design as the Bottle-O Falcon. The completely different colour scheme disguises that very well.
Not a heap more to add considering, but these colours work very well together as has been showcased for the last couple of seasons. Can’t say I prefer one over the other! Shame we didn’t get any sneaky purple, but perhaps we will come the enduros.
#56 Richie Stanaway
As above, this is the same design. However, in this instance it’s incredibly boring. Tickford’s corporate colours don’t produce any excitement in this layout. There’s just too much empty white, and the red and black aren’t enough to significantly improve it.
It suffers from the same issue as Bright’s Falcon last year where there’s a little too much empty space, but at least the colours work a little better on this occasion. I imagine swapping the black and white sections would vastly improve the livery.
Tim Blanchard Racing Team CoolDrive
#21 Tim Blanchard
Somehow Blanchard is still in the sport, despite only achieving 4 top ten finishes in as many full seasons in the sport (plus three others outside this). At least he drives a car with an attractive livery. The design is almost identical to 2017, apart from the flashes on the front being removed, and an alternate CoolDrive logo being used.
The other and key change for 2018 is the colour. They’ve gone with a metallic and less saturated shade of blue, which works so much better on a racing livery. It changes the whole aesthetic of the car and makes the #21 machine a joy to look at this year.
Triple Eight Race Engineering Red Bull Holden Racing Team
#1 Jamie Whincup & #97 Shane van Gisbergen
A significant change this year for Red Bull Holden, moving away from the Formula 1 imitation to something quite original! The navy blue remains but the livery is now more or less half white too, split down the side in a jagged and faded design which is complex without being obnoxious.
Quite difficult to explain this one, and it works well to an extent, but it still feels like there’s a fight between the Holden and Red Bull logos which takes up half of the car and detracts from the livery. You’d think Red Bull could stick with the Bull only and remove the text logo to clean up the livery slightly.
Triple Eight Race Engineering Autobarn Lowndes Racing
#888 Craig Lowndes
It’s been a while since we saw Autobarn as a main sponsor of a Supercars machine, but that’s the case for Triple 8 this year. It’s a shame we only had the Vortex livery for one season, but it’s replacement is great and almost provides a sense of nostalgia, dipping somewhere between the above Autobarn of the 2000s and the Green Eyed Monster in my opinion, thanks largely to the silver present (perhaps the Lowndes connection helps too).
The design itself utilises evergreen parallel stripes along the bottom of the side, along with copious amounts of silver to compliment the black on the rest of the car. There are other flashes of yellow around the car too which help add further colour to what could otherwise be slightly dull. Yellow mirrors and intake are a nice touch.
Walkinshaw Andretti United Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing
#2 Scott Pye & #25 James Courtney
Michael Andretti has branched out and joined fellow American Roger Penske in Supercars, teaming up with Walkinshaw to create Walkinshaw Andretti United and Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing. Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing. Say that 5 times quickly. Tongue twister aside, some further confusion has also been cleared with Boost now sponsorship just the one team, after sponsoring Courtney and Percat part way through last year. They’ve also settled for glossy black (truly a mass matte exodus this season) which matches really well with the orange.
The Boost logo is huge on the side, but actually works as a design element, blending in very well and adding a nice chunk of orange to the side of the car. Other orange elements are on the roof, wing and splitter, as well as some other orange and white flashes elsewhere on the car. A great colour combo and look overall.
So, bonus awards!
Best Looker Award – Wilson Security Racing GRM
Just about perfect. Nothing to complain about. A stunner!
Least Attractive Award – Blackwoods Racing
No real redeeming features on this car. The design is boring and the bonnet is butt ugly. A shame, as the colour combo can be very effective.
Best Orange and Blue Livery – Nissan Motorsport #7
There are a few orange and blue liveries this season, but one is a standout. The Plus Fitness car is not only the best of the colour combination, but also the best of the Nissan livery template.
A day late and a dollar short this year unfortunately! While I’d started to design these a couple of weeks ago, time got the best of me and alas, I’ve missed the boat in terms of getting these out before the launches. However, I can assure you these designs were started well before the launches, and therefore haven’t taken inspiration from any of the recent launches. In any case, here are my F1 mockups for the 2018 season, in reverse alphabetical order for something different.
Every year I try to give the Williams a different look and feel, and while I went retro last year, I’ve gone with something (just about) substantially different for 2018. The Martini stripes are a lot more versatile than they look at first glance, and by simply placing them diagonally and against the grain of the car as opposed to the usual sweeping curves, it gives the livery a fresh new look.
However, I haven’t ignored the curves of the car entirely, sharply ending the stripes along the natural body lines on the nose, sidepod and rear wing endplate, as well as to leave a space for the Martini logo.
The actual 2018 car has followed the same theme of the last few years, they have added a large sweeping chunk of grey to fill up some white space. I wonder how it would have looked in navy blue.
This is one livery I would be very happy to see stay the same in 2018. The vibrant blue and red, and sleek silver were a welcome change after 11 years of bleh, so I’ve made sure to keep true to the 2017 colour scheme.
The simple silver bull stays, and the red line isn’t too different from the actual 2017 livery. The slight changes are that it ends at the sidepod and the second half is moved to the sidepod from above it, and that there is a bull pattern in a slightly darker red just for something different.
For the first time ever, don’t change, Toro Rosso!
Everyone was excited by the possibilities opened by Sauber’s new partnership with Alfa Romeo. Red was on the cards with the launch of the partnership and the actual 2018 didn’t deviate much from this, but my heart was set on the beautiful metallic dark red.
I thought it was a waste to not expand that lovely colour further along the car, so took the liberty to place it all over the top, whilst keeping the sides mainly white. Extending the red along the top helps the flow of the car, where keeping it just on the engine cover gives the impression of a lack of care in the design (just seems a little boring in application in the link above). Some extra flashes of red line the larger red sections and helps fill up the car, despite the void that is the Sauber sidepod of late. I’ve also managed to keep this two tone, although realistically I should have added some blue, given that is Sauber’s team colour.
Keeping the Renault two-tone wasn’t the plan originally, but it ended up working quite well. The black and yellow contrast enough for logos to be perfectly visible and the combination is one that just about always works perfectly.
I’d attempted a mainly yellow car, but ended up with the opposite; a sleek black design with a fair amount of yellow piping. I’ve attempted to make good use of the newly introduced halo (which is universally regarded as hideous) with the piping. How teams make use of this feature with their 2018 liveries will be a key factor in overall looks.
Simple and not overly complicated designs executed well can be some of the most memorable.
Red Bull have unleashed a monster recently with the all blue ‘disruption’ livery which will almost certainly only be used in winter testing. Realistically, we’ll be seeing the navy blue and red for the 2018 season, and I’ve daringly avoided yellow too where possible. I’ve taken a chapter from the new Toro Rosso book in doing so, keeping the bull and logo super clean in red only, where the yellow outline almost looked out of place in 2017 in comparison to the rest of the livery.
The other elements of the design, being the red lines along the body, are slightly thicker and are cut off at an angle. There are also additional lines, underlining the Red Bull logo, as well as on the wing end plates.
Mercedes always presents a challenge, in that I can never seem to make a good looking silver livery. Every single time it ends up looking plain and boring, so I go to colour extremes. As I did last year, and the year before, I’ve piled on the black, as it adds some interest to what really is a bit of a dull colour in silver.
I’ve kept true to Mercedes’ love for the airbrush gradient application of colour with the turquoise on silver, whilst keeping the edges between the black and turquoise sharp along the sidepod and nose lines of the car. There’s also a subtle black section along the bottom of the car, slightly reducing the amount of silver used, whilst accentuating the natural curves of the car.
The black also helps many of the logos pop out to the viewer, where they stand out less on the silver. Plain black also looks better than the dirty looking airbrushed black on the engine cover in recent years.
This is probably the car I’ve had the most frustration with in terms of design. I believe McLaren understand that the strong orange livery in 2017 wasn’t very well received, so perhaps in hope, I’ve gone with papaya orange that everyone rightfully rages about and wishes to see in 2018.
The design is rather plain as the papaya orange is surprisingly difficult to complement with other colours. I’ve gone with black instead of the blue used in IndyCar as that was more a Indy throwback, but kept it to a minimum, with flashes on the halo, airbox, very rear of the engine cover and wing end plates.
Again, not in love with this by any means, but am sure McLaren will want to move on from their Honda disaster with a turn in the right livery colour direction.
This design is seemingly irrelevant now as I’d started it back when the Maserati Haas rumour were lingering. Either way, I’ve followed the main Haas theme in splitting the colours half way up the sidepod, but in this instance, half charcoal grey and half blue.
The blue adds a bit of colour to what has was a very dull affair last year, with the white wing end plates especially opening the car up slightly. The white flashes act as a partial separation of the blue and grey, with some extra white sections wholly in the blue on the engine cover and rear of the sidepod. All white sections bordered on one edge with a red pinstripe.
A shame that this rumour never turned out to be true, but at least we’re in for less grey in 2018.
Or is it FORCE F1? Either way, the pink panther has also been very tough to design. I attempted using just two shades of pink which didn’t turn out very well, and ended up with just pink and black, this time with a vapourwave (quite a stretch, I know) feel.
The four sections of angular lines work in layers, and use odd shapes to fill up sections of the car without logos. They both create a feeling of unease, jutting against the grain, but also a sense of calm, cutting along the cars curves, especially on the nose section. The black wings work well against the largely bright pink car.
Finally, Ferrari, in ditching Santander, have opened us up to the hope of getting rid of the majority of white on the car and reintroducing black as the secondary colour. This paired with the removal of the suspiciously Marlboro looking Scuderia logo from online media channels means we may even have an attractive engine cover too.
I have gone with some more black, mainly on the engine cover and wing end plates, but also along the bottom of the car. Flashes too have been added on both ends of the halo, as well as the tip of the nosecone.
I don’t know how Ferrari get away with it year after year, perhaps we get used to it very quickly, but their logo arrangement on the sidepod is quite jarring and makes designing a complete and beautiful livery very difficult. Red, white, brown and yellows of different hues is a bit of a nightmare. They’ve been doing it for years but somehow, it never specifically receives much negative feedback. Perhaps there will be more hope next year.
So they were my mockups for the 2018 Formula 1 season. Any in particular that you liked, or perhaps didn’t? Do you feel you have any improvements of your own? Let me know below!