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!
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!