Livery Round-Up – 2017 Formula 1 Field

Melbourne Pack

Formula 1 is finally back, and it looks like the Mercedes stranglehold is over…at least for the time being. A terrific win for Vettel, but at the same time, a lot of our fears have been realised with very few overtakes, and following closely proving very difficult.

Racing aside, how lucky are we in terms of liveries this year? Easily the most colourful grid in 15 years and after a few years of dull, dark grids, I couldn’t be happier.

Ferrari

Australian F1 Grand Prix

After the big white engine cover brought little success in 2016, it has been swiftly relegated to the shark fin this year. A bit of a shame if you ask me, as it was a nice change from the solid red of recent years, but it’s good to see that they’ve at least kept it in a smaller form. The tricolore design on this white section is a great touch.

Ferrari 1

The red remains standard and I’m disappointed not to see a more exciting shade, but it does look nice in real life. The logo placement is looking increasingly cluttered, especially on the sidepod. While the Ferrari sidepod has always been a billboard for various logos, it hasn’t often looked this messy. The Ray Ban, UPS and Shell logos just don’t blend very well. Elsewhere on the livery there’s a pinstripe spike jutting out of the cockpit which would look better solid, or perhaps as a variation of the tricolore. A typically above average Ferrari livery.

★★★

 

Force India

Australian F1 Grand Prix

Who in their right mind would have predicted a pink car on the grid this year? The beauty of this is two fold; we wave goodbye the ugliest livery on the grid and in its place is a fresh, exciting and unique sight. Pink is one of the most uncommon colours in F1, seen on a car on just a few occasions and never as a majority colour, so it’s so refreshing to see it in 2017.

On the other side of the coin, the design has remained largely the same. However, this just exemplifies how important colour choice is on a livery. Whilst the black and silver was universally regarded as ugly, the pink in its place makes the design more than acceptable.

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

What was the orange line has now been split into two lines, with a lovely dark pink contrasting well against the light pink, but the silver accompanying it gets a little lost and would have looked at least a little better if it were black, matching the rest of the livery and logos a lot better. The added lines on the shark fin are welcome, as it was a very empty section on the launch livery.

The BWT logo is the only blue on the car, and while it would have matched the livery a lot better if it were black, you can understand the sponsor limitations. The black around the sidepod openings look fantastic, as do the wings, which further prove to me that black would have been a better option than silver elsewhere on the car.

★★★★

 

Haas

Haas 1

Very few teams will receive a lower rating than last year, but Haas is probably the worst offender. They launched last year with a questionable silver, before updating with a lovely mostly white livery. This year they’ve gone with Hispania grey as the majority colour, which is a baffling decision to me. The car already looked great last year, which makes me wonder why they’ve thought a change was required in the first place. This grey is a generally unattractive colour, especially in Motorsport against the tarmac background.

Haas 2

The design itself is largely unchanged, with the red on the side of the nose dragged a little further back, as well as the rear wing end plates being split between red and black, and the shark fin having a very interesting WEC looking design. I’m surprised the latter element wasn’t spread to other areas of the car, namely the wings, as it could have added some life to an otherwise incredibly dull livery.

Once again, very few sponsors on the car, but luckily the Haas logo is terrific and adds some good looks to the sidepods and rear wing. Overall, this is a super dull livery, looking as though the designers took advice from Ron Dennis. It’s not ugly, but definitely boring.

★★

 

McLaren

McLaren 1

After weeks of hype, McLaren unveiled a largely orange car to the world in February and have kept with it for the first round in Melbourne. While part of me is very excited to see a brightly coloured McLaren on the grid after a few years of dim cars, it has left me wanting more.

The orange itself is rather strong, whereas I would have much preferred to see a slightly lighter, Papaya orange. That said, McLaren may have gone with an evolution rather than a throwback, so fair play to them. The shade of orange does change slightly depending on lighting, but looks best when it looks lighter.

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

In terms of design, what we’ve got is a classic generic look, like a standard choice from a video game, which doesn’t do the historic colour justice. This is exaggerated in my eyes by the white outline, which it could do without, or at least in a different form. It’s a shame that they couldn’t put something more involved on the car.

However, it’s not to say there shouldn’t be any white on the car, as the white section along the sidepod looks fantastic. My final gripe with this livery is the orange that is broken in up front of the cockpit, where it would have looked just fine as a continuous section all the way along the top.

★★★☆

 

Mercedes

Australia F1 GP Auto Racing

After all the exciting change above, Mercedes is still Mercedes. The usual silver is this time accompanied by some interesting looking neon lines, in varying shades of Petronas turquoise along the sidepods and wings.

Australia F1 GP Auto Racing

They are sticking with the airbrushed black on the engine cover and airbox which I’ve never really liked. It’s an overall standard livery, which we’ve grown accustomed, if not indifferent to.

★★★

 

Red Bull

Red Bull 1

Red Bull have seen little change from 2016 and everyone should be more than OK with this. It’s still a stunning livery and if anything, has had some minor improvements made for the new season. A big reason for this is Mobil 1 replacing Total as oil supplier, meaning the wing end plates are now navy, and this has allowed a thin red line to now extend onto the rear wing. This leads to a far cleaner look overall and takes it that one step further.

Red Bull 2

Only questionable thing is the Bull not extending onto the shark fin, which would be the logical thing to do, but this doesn’t take away from the livery.

★★★★★

 

Renault

Australian F1 Grand Prix

Renault have made some considerable changes this season, with the car being split just about 50/50 between yellow and black. This split is made right at the start of the sidepods, with just one tail of yellow running all the way toward the rear from this point, on both sides. This would work a lot better if the end of the yellow wasn’t so abrupt, and there was a slightly more gradual introduction of the black. Instead it leaves the yellow stripes looking a little out of place, rather than totally integrated. The yellow along the top of the shark fin works a lot better. Some black stripes on the nose also could have gone a long way to complete the livery here, but I wouldn’t put the house on it.

Renault 2

There is definitely a Mild Seven feel to this livery, and with some black on the top of the nose, it’s a lot more similar than I had initially thought. It’s a decent livery in its own right, but not enough to make it better than last year’s simpler design. Colour choice keeps it above average for me.

★★★☆

 

Sauber

Sauber 1

Sauber have been in the same boat as many these last few years; having seemingly endless options but producing below par liveries. To everyone’s surprise, they’ve bucked the trend this year and created a real stunner.

With Banco do Brasil ditching Felipe Nasr and ending his hopes of a drive, we thought a dull blue and white livery was on the cars. Instead, Sauber have chosen a beautiful deep metallic blue to adorn the car, matched with a clean white along the side of the nose and sidepods. It’s a nice crisp contrast between the two, although the gap in the white for the driver numbers is a little odd.

AUTO-AUS-PRIX-F1

Another surprise was the choice of gold as a third colour, introduced to celebrate their 25th season in Formula 1. Whilst I’d have preferred a slightly stronger or yellow-er gold for lack of a better word, it matches the livery very well and adds a bit of spice to complete the look. The pinstripe placement of the gold actually works on this occasion and just looks really nice.

It’s another year with few sponsors on the car, but at least this season the cardoesn’t look too empty.

★★★★☆

 

Toro Rosso

Toro Rosso 1

Now I’ve spoken about surprises throughout this post, but none compare to this. I’ve been begging Toro Rosso to change their livery for years, but my hopes slowly waned until there was none at all. There were whispers of a colour change at the start of the year, but not enough to get me believing. Then they pop up with this.

It’s not a simple colour change, but a total overhaul of the tired, dusty Toro Rosso design entirely. In comes a new, beautiful blueberry main colour which shimmers purple in the sunlight, accompanied by a vibrant red and incredible chrome silver. All the colours gel superbly with each other and stand out so well in their own right.

Toro Rosso 2

Everything that I hated about the old livery is history. The bull graphic past its use by date – gone. The boring, dull gold – gone. The generic, half hearted designs – gone. Replacing this is a super simple design; one thick red line along the side, with a bull on the engine cover matching the new edition cans and red wing end plates I can now enjoy.

Everything on this car works so well and is compounded by the sheer surprise and joy I felt upon seeing they’d actually made a change. If I could give more stars, I would. You know what, I enjoyed this so much they can have gold stars. Oh, and it looks fantastic in real life too.

★★★★★

 

Williams

AUTO-AUS-PRIX-F1

It’s hard to follow that up. Williams are the complete opposite, having stuck with the same livery for another year. We’ve already spoken about this, they need to mix it up, hopefully we get some change next year.

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

The only real difference this year is the Martini stripes extending and spreading out on the shark fin. Like I’ve said before it still looks good but is now dangerously close to becoming stale.

★★★

 

What a grid we have for 2017. So many colours but more importantly, so many good looking liveries. The happiest I’ve been going into round 1 in a number of years. Let’s hope the championship fight stays close and the racing gets better and better.

 

Bonus Awards

Best Looker Award – Toro Rosso

Both of the Red Bull teams look great this year, but Toro Rosso is simply beautiful and my pick of the 2017 grid.

Least Attractive Award – Haas

Nothing particularly offensive this season, but Haas is just dull and boring, which is disappointing considering what they had last season.

Biggest Nagger Award – McLaren

A potential beauty here, but is let down by a generic design.

Is This Real Life? Award – Toro Rosso

A day I thought would never come. They’ve made significant changes and pulled them off spectacularly.

Potential Barbie Sponsorship Award – Force India

Not just pink, but baby pink! I wonder if Mattel would be interested in a sponsorship deal?

 

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Livery Round-Up – 2017 Formula 1 Field

Livery Round-Up – 2017 IndyCar Field

The IndyCar season crept up on me this year! With all the hype around Formula 1’s 2017 regulations and livery launches, IndyCar personally flew under the radar, so when I heard round one was upon us, I was super keen to have proper racing back!

There have been some big changes over the winter with drivers switching teams and teams switching manufacturers, but there hasn’t been too much movement in the livery space, especially when compared to F1. Either way, here’s what we’ve got for the new season.

A.J. Foyt Enterprises

#4 Connor Daly & #14 Carlos Muñoz

AJ Foyt

As mentioned above, there haven’t been many radical livery changes amongst the teams in 2017. Two new drivers this year but ABC remains with A.J. Foyt Enterprises and therefore, so does the livery. It’s still a good livery, but being unchanged for the 6th straight season, it gains some boredom points. It’s great to have loyal sponsors, but it’s time for an evolution!

★★★☆

 

Andretti Autosport

#26 Takuma Sato

Andretti Sato 1

Whilst Andretti have kept the same blanket design for all four cars again this year, it’s new colours on the #26 with the incoming Sato, bringing with him Panasonic backing. Unsurprisingly it’s blue and white and flashes of red. Not the strongest colour combination, but not bad either. Looks a little empty on the sidepods though.

★★☆

 

#28 Ryan Hunter-Reay

Andretti Hunter 2

Unchanged livery here, leading to an unchanged rating. Still a great look with the DHL yellow and red, with the Andretti silver tip nose working especially well with the #28. Could be spectacular with a design spruce up, but instead remains simply above average.

★★★☆

 

#27 Marco Andretti

Andretti Andretti

Now this livery takes some liberties that drastically improve on the base design. The red, white and yellow work very well together, and it’s great to see red used on both the engine cover and sidepods. Having white on the sidepods, as the design dictates on the others, would’ve led to a very plain car. The red section on the side of the nose adds some nice colour to an otherwise empty space, and the use of the three colours on different wing elements is simple, yet terrific.

★★★★

 

#98 Alexander Rossi

Andretti Rossi

I guess NAPA were pretty happy with Rossi’s Indy 500 win as they’re back on the #98 in 2017. I’m glad for this, as the blue, yellow and flashes of red make for a great colour combination, that works very well with the Andretti design. What helps this car is the NAPA logo, which in being re-worked this year, has turned into a design element of its own, filling up the sidepod with some more lovely yellow. A little annoying that the red is pinstriped along the cockpit, but that’s just my personal, nitpicky opinion.

★★★☆

 

Chip Ganassi Racing

Liveries aside, Chip Ganassi made the bold move of switching from Chevy to Honda. Most people thought this was a crazy move, considering Honda’s inferior performance in 2016, but the decision has seemingly paid off, with great results all round at St. Petersburg.

#8 Max Chilton

Chip Chilton 2

This was one of my favourite liveries of 2016 and I have to say I still like it a lot. The multiple shades of blue go very well with the white and are placed slightly differently in 2017. This is most notable on the nose, where a large navy blue section replaces the sky blue stripes, bringing with it a far stronger contrast. The engine cover has also changed, with a larger logo bringing with it an equally large section of sky blue. A great evolution of the 2016 livery.

★★★★☆

#9 Scott Dixon

Chip Dixon 2

For the first time in their history, Chip Ganassi Racing will not have Target backing on any of their cars, a partnership lasting since the very beginning, in 1990. Therefore, it’s going to take a while getting used to Scott Dixon’s new livery. The GE Lighting and NTT Data sponsored car is mainly blue, with secondary light blue and orange sections. These secondary design sections flow in opposite directions and to my annoyance, overlap. It isn’t that big a deal, but gives it an odd look. Interesting too is the choice of the main colour, azure blue, being fairly similar to Kanaan’s car, but also quite odd and unique in its own right.

★★★

 

#10 Tony Kanaan

Chip Kanaan

An almost identical effort to last year. A simple two tone effort that doesn’t offend, but also doesn’t excite. An above average mark again, although I don’t get the same visual pleasure I did last season.

★★★☆

 

#83 Charlie Kimball

Chip Kimball 1

Apparently I quite liked this livery last year, but the feeling has worn off. I’m just about sick of grey in Motorsport right about now, and the tennis ball green isn’t really doing anything for me either. The sharp and contrasting sections of yellow and grey are still nice, but I now dislike the faded stripes along the side. Removing them would leave a stronger overall livery, albeit slightly more simple and generic.

★★☆

 

Dale Coyne Racing

#18 Sébastien Bourdais

Dale Coyne Bourdais

Who saw this coming? Bourdais moving to one of the weakest teams of 2016, bringing with him some old friends, and winning from the back of the grid. Incredible.

The livery design is unchanged and while it was one of my favourites last year, it isn’t quite as spectacular in this configuration. I do still love the red lines running along the side of the nose and the other red lines angled along the body. The black wings do a great job of contrasting with the majority white.

★★★★☆

#19 Ed Jones

Dale Coyne Jones

As above really. Identical to last season, although I prefer the Sonny’s car, which doesn’t include any blue. A different shade would have worked far better in this instance.

★★★

 

Ed Carpenter Racing

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

Ed Carpenter

No major change to the Fuzzy’s livery this year. The deep metallic green still looks great and with some added gold along the cockpit, the combo overall is still pretty good.

★★★

 

Rahal Letterman Lanigan racing

#15 Graham Rahal

Rahal Rahal

No changes here either, but this is still a surprisingly nice livery. Again, just the Steak n Shake logo on the engine cover, with some black front and rear wing elements allowing this to be simple and yet not too boring. Nice shade of red too, which is important.

★★★☆

 

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

#5 James Hinchcliffe

Schmidt Hinch

The #5 machine retains its unique reflective gold for another season, paired with black alone this time (apart from the red flashes on the mirrors and airbox). Just some minor changes this year, which include the removal of white trimming between the black and gold, with the black creeping further up the nose, wrapping around the tip. This black section has gold either side of it which is nice, and no explosions behind the Arrow logo either, which I’m glad about. Definitely an improvement!

★★★★

 

#7 Mikhail Aleshin

After a generic design last season, Aleshin’s car has leapt into allure in 2016 . The design is exactly the same as Hinchcliffe’s, with the difference being way fewer sponsors, and of course the beautiful reflective red. It’s taken a while, but we’ve finally seen this lovely colour once more. While the lack of sponsors gives the livery an empty feeling, it does a great job in showcasing the chrome red, which I could look at for hours. Unfortunately, the black doesn’t pair as well as it does with the gold, so it’s a bit weaker overall than its counterpart.

★★★☆

 

Team Penske

To my dismay, Team Penske haven’t changed their livery design for 2017. We can only hope that we see some sponsors come in to push the design’s boundaries.

#1 Simon Pagenaud

Pesnke Pagenaud

Identical to last season. This is one of the better colour combinations though and looks good despite the tired design. We’ll inevitably see a number of sponsors and colours on this car (and the others) throughout the season.

★★★

 

#2 Josef Newgarden & #12 Will Power

With Montoya being relegated to an Indy only seat, Newgarden has come in off the back of an impressive 2016. This livery too has not changed, but the simplicity is quite stunning. The red line not wrapping around the very edge of the nose annoys me more on this car than the others, but this main attraction, the colour silver, is a more or less perfect shade for Motorsport.

★★★★

 

#3 Helio Castroneves

Penske Castroneves

So we end with Castroneves, who has finished top five in the championship for the last five seasons despite only winning five four races during this period. He flies under the radar but always does a solid job. Much like Helio, the #3 retains its no fuss 2016 livery, although this is the weakest of the three due to its standard, unimaginative colouring.

★★

 

So of the 18 liveries, only five are are significantly changed from last season, and really only Dixon’s car bears an entirely different design to 2016. A little disappointing for people as into liveries as I am, but happily there are still a number of very good looking cars on the grid.

 

Bonus Awards

Best Looker Award – Chilton & Bourdais

No five star liveries this year, but these two are great. Did I mention I love Chilton’s helmet?

Least Attractive Award – Castroneves

Those standard racing colours mixed with a nagger of a design.

Most Improved Award – Aleshin

It’s amazing what an interesting colour can do to a car. Oh, and little effort in design!

Biggest Nagger Award – Team Penske

As mentioned above, quite bored of this design and dislike it’s adaptation to different sponsors. Andretti do a far better job of this.

What Year Is It? Award – A.J Foyt Enterprises

6 years! Beautiful livery or not, you have to make some changes every now and this. This is Williams levels of perseverance, or perhaps stubbornness.

Livery Round-Up – 2017 IndyCar Field

Livery Launches – Williams FW40, Red Bull RB13, Toro Rosso STR12 and Haas VF-17

The last cars have been revealed, and boy am I feeling a mixture of emotions!

williams-2017-2

Williams revealed their official 2017 livery and yes, it’s the same livery as the last 3 years. The only difference upon my brief inspection is the fact that the stripes have extended onto the giant shark fin. Still don’t hate it, but hopefully this is the last year.

red-bull-2017

Red Bull too have predictably given us a near identical livery. However, this livery was superb last season, so I have no problem seeing it back again. Odd that the shark fin is black – perhaps they’re hiding something, because it would make sense to extend the bull. Still wish the bull didn’t have the yellow outline, but oh well.

toro-rosso-2017

They told us it would be different, but I didn’t believe them! Toro Rosso have proven me wrong in the absolute best way – ticking all the boxes on my wishlist. The obnoxious bull is gone ✔ The ugly gold is gone ✔ The dull navy has been changed ✔ There is nothing wrong with this car at first glance. What a lovely blueberry colour, lovely uncomplicated but attractive design (take note McLaren) and the silver bulls and logos are a great touch. Colour me happy.

haas-2017

Haas started silver last year before making the right move to white for Melbourne. They’ve done the opposite here, opting for an HRT grey which is generally unpleasant. It looks OK here, but on the track it isn’t very nice. Apart from the colour, shark fin and some of the nose, the design in unchanged. The nose is still the weakest part of the design and the colour choice slightly baffles me.

 

Thanks for taking the time to check out my brief launch posts! I look forward to looking at each of these liveries in great detail come the start of the season.

Livery Launches – Williams FW40, Red Bull RB13, Toro Rosso STR12 and Haas VF-17

Livery Launches – Ferrari SF70H & McLaren MCL32

He’s what was revealed to us last night in Fiorano last night:

ferrari-2017

At first it looks like a downgrade, but really this is more or less a standard Ferrari livery. The white section is gone from the engine cover, allowing the Scuderia Ferrari logo to be massive. The white has therefore moved to the shark fin, and I think this was a good move, as white on the fin and the engine cover would have been overpowering. Just looks even more cluttered with logos this year.

mclaren-2017

Everyone was excited to see that McLaren lived up to their orange hype! It’s a lovely shade (although it looked way too dark at the launch) of orange and I’m glad to see it back. Unfortunately, the design is totally unimaginative. When I design liveries, this is usually my first stage, throwing some shapes on the car and getting inspiration, but looks like McLaren didn’t bother to go any further.

mclaren-2017-2

It ends up looking like a GP3 livery (in fact, that Arden livery is more impressive), or a Virgin Marussia as many have pointed out and while it isn’t ugly, it has a generic, basic quality to it. I feel as though they didn’t put as much effort as they should have into this. The white section on the sidepod could have been expanded to other parts of the car to make it more elaborate. This car is a true nagger.

Livery Launches – Ferrari SF70H & McLaren MCL32

Livery Launch – Force India VJM10 & Mercedes W08

Force India revealed this thing last night:

force-india-2017

What can you really say apart from…ew? As they slowly pulled the sheets back I was initially disappointed, thinking the livery was unchanged. Little did I know it would get worse. The car in now mainly silver but has a totally incoherent design. Half looks like it kinda works while the rest is just awful. Hope they make changes before Melbourne.

mercedes-2017

Mercedes on the other hand just released the first pictures of their new livery. Great to see some bright colours on the car this year. I initially thought how wonderful this looked, but I think that feeling is already dissipating. It’s certainly a nice design, but is perhaps a little too heavy on the airbrush. Hopefully it doesn’t get old too quickly. Slightly annoying to see the Petronas logo over the barge board, but that’s down simply to how tiny the sidepods are.

Livery Launch – Force India VJM10 & Mercedes W08

Livery Launch – Renault Sport F1 R.S.17

Renault has revealed it’s 2017 contender:

renualt-2017

The all yellow livery was great last year, but to evolve the livery needed more black, and that’s what they’ve delivered. While I wouldn’t say it’s quite as nice as the 2010 bumblebee livery, it is very pleasant. They’ve stuck with the matte paint and the design is actually very reminiscent of the Mild Seven era liveries, minus the outline and obviously the blue.

renault-2017-2

It is quite simple at the end of the day, but that isn’t a bad thing. My biggest gripe with this livery is Castrol. Renault had finally got rid of Total’s (and PDVSA’s) red requirement last year and have now moved on to another oil supplier that won’t conform to a colour scheme.

Up next are Force India, hoping to steal the orange hype away from McLaren!

Livery Launch – Renault Sport F1 R.S.17

Livery Launch – Sauber C36

Disappointing liveries so far: 0/2. Sauber have come out and completely surprised me with this beauty.

sauber-1

Now I knew that it was going to be blue and white, I’d just hoped that they’d make it a little more interesting than last year. Little did I know something as beautiful as this would be unleashed! A beautiful shade of metallic blue, boldly put alongside fresh, clean white.

sauber-2

Then to celebrate their 25th F1 anniversary, an elegant gold, reminiscent of the 2012 HRT (but better) in the shape of two (well, four) lines from the nose mounts all the way to the rear wing. I’ll even forgive the pinstripes as they are totally uniform. Unsure about the circle blob take out of the white on the sidepod, but whatever. It even has white rims! It’s a near sponsor-less livery that doesn’t look empty. Mission accomplished.

Livery Launch – Sauber C36