Round-Up – Formula E 2016-2017 Field

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

DS Virgin Racing


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

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


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

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




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 The bright cyan is gone and has been replaced by a darker, metallic aqua colour.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


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


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


Venturi Formula E Team


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


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


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


Faraday Future Dragon Racing


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


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


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


Renault e.Dams


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


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


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

ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport


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


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

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


Mahindra Racing Formula E Team


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


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


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


Panasonic Jaguar Racing


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


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


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



Processed with Snapseed.

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


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

MS Amlin Andretti


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


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


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


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

Round-Up – Formula E 2015/2016

Probably a few days late, but given the lack of (high quality) photographs from pre-season testing and potentially unfinished livery, I thought I’d wait a little longer before writing this up.

After a promising inaugural season, Formula E is back for season two, with 10 teams, 20 drivers and whole lot of excited and intrigued fans. Will the cars be faster? Will the racing be better? Most importantly, how are the liveries!

NEXTEV TCR Formula E Team

Nextev 1

Inaugural Formula E Champion Nelson Piquet Jr has stayed with the team that helped him get the number 1 sticker on his car and will be joined by the driver that raced alongside him in the last two rounds of the 2014/2015 season, Oliver Turvey.

Nextev, or Team China as they were initially known, had two very different liveries last season. One in patriotic red and yellow Chinese colours, the other in charcoal with lightning yellow highlights when Nextev joined the party. Both were nice, so I was interested to see how they would go about their next effort.

Nextev 4

Happily, the new livery is just as good, if not better than its predecessors. It’s a lovely two-tone effort; a darker charcoal colour this year, with lovely sky blue accompanying it. The design itself brings back memories of Sauber’s 2012 livery, in the way the grey nose section is designed, but unlike that abomination, this one actually looks good. The sidepods and engine cover are well designed and that is helped by the fact that these two colours match superbly.

Nextev 5

The top section of the front wing endplates makes use of chevrons, with the shade of blue used increasing in darkness. The chevrons in the three shades of blue are also used on the engine cover and it works really well. The intricate chrome pinstripes on the engine cover give a futuristic feel to the car (in a 90s futuristic film or video game kind of way) but I have to say, it looks great. Good work by Nextev, they’ve put a lot of effort into this livery.

DS Virgin Racing Formula E Team

Virgin 1

Virgin have kept Sam Bird, who participated in every round for the team last year. To partner him, Virgin have acquired the services of Jean-Eric Vergne, who impressed for large parts of last season as an Andretti driver.

The 2015/2016 livery is largely the same as last year’s. With chrome covering the sides and purple along the top of the car, it is an ok livery, but nothing about it is very exciting. The only new addition is the black area on the sidepods due to the DS Automobile sponsorship, although it would have matched the livery much better if it had been purple. Actually, it slightly bothers me that they aren’t purple!

Virgin 3

The red accents are somewhat necessary seeing as the Virgin logo is red, but seeing as almost every team has red accents (especially on the top of the front wing endplates), I wish they had used a different colour.

Not much to say about this one. The purple used is rather dull and looks almost as though it was designed by Ron Dennis.

Venturi Formula E Team

Venturi 1

Stéphane Sarrazin stays with Venturi while Jacques Villeneuve comes in out of nowhere and replaces Nick Heidfeld.

Venturi’s livery is also very much like last season’s. In fact, minus the fact that the black is now matte rather than glossy, it is identical. It is a low key livery with red lines to accent the plain nature of the mostly black design, which in fact looks like dark grey with the matte finish. The main red line runs from the tip of the nose, along the side of the cockpit to the sidepod, where it widens and runs vertically down the sidepod. The chequered flag design on the engine cover remains and although it’s kind of tacky, it doesn’t look half bad on the car.

Venturi 3

A rather plain livery, but not ugly by any means!

Dragon Racing

Dragon 3

Loïc Duval and Jérôme d’Ambrosio both return for a second season at Dragon Racing. Their 2015/2016 livery is thankfully drastically different to their first effort, which was forgettable in a McLaren sort of way.

The new livery has swapped out the chrome silver for a lovely chrome red, which as I’ve mentioned before, is quite a beautiful colour. It is separated by matte black stripes (can you see the theme this season?) along the entire length of the car. I feel as though the black stripe closest to the bottom of the car isn’t entirely necessary and probably should have been left out. It squeezes the McAfee logo too tightly and doesn’t bring any positives to the livery for me.

Dragon 1

The livery would look like an inverse Venturi livery if it wasn’t for a few differences. The red chrome has an interesting effect, with the sun’s reflection on the road creating a luminous halo around the car.

A lovely colour and a nice overall livery, although not quite perfect.

Renault e.Dams

Renault 1

e.Dams has an unchanged line-up for the new season, with the positive news that Renault is investing more heavily in Formula E.

With the extra investment comes an extra Mild Seven Renault looking livery. In fact, it has a number of (Formula 1) influences, and gives off the feeling of an early 2000s Renault F1 livery, thanks to the yellow top section, whilst using a 2001 Prost shade of blue. The new darker blue is a huge improvement and really is a stunning colour, as Alain Prost would know well!

Renault 5

The top of the car, from the nose to ‘exhaust’, is coloured in Renault yellow. It is rather basic, but it follows the contours of the car nicely and contrasts the blue well. This section is also bordered by a thin strip of white which adds a layer of complexity, keeping it from looking like a very basic lower category, Sauberish livery.

Very pleased with this livery, especially the move from the ‘ocean’ blue to the new, deeper, sexy blue. Not only because it’s a lovely colour, but because they no longer clash with the Amlin sponsored cars, which use a similar shade of blue.

Trulli Formula E Team

Trulli 1

The 2015/2016 season is looking incredibly shaky for Trulli, with the team not completing a single timed lap in testing and then failing to take part at the season opener in Beijing. Trulli himself has stepped away from driving responsibilities, with Tonio Liuzzi and Salvador Durán racing for the team in season two.

There are precious few images available of the new car as a consequence of the aforementioned circumstances. Therefore, it will be tricky to give an accurate review of the livery. However, from what I understand (or see), the team is retaining the same livery used in season one, which was actually a lovely looking livery, albeit not exactly what I was expecting a Trulli livery to look like.

Trulli 2

The livery is mainly sky blue, with the rest of the car split quite evenly between royal and navy blue, white and green. The design is intricate and looks as though plenty of effort has been put into making it look good. A two tone design sweeps from the start of the sidepod to the nose of the car, gradually getting lighter the closer it gets to the tip of the nose. White and green accents accompany this design, with the green line flowing all the way to the rear of the car beneath the sidepod, fading to white in the process. The sidepod itself is navy blue with an interesting set of sponsors which are placed well.

Trulli 3

The engine cover is a nice green colour, which gradually fades to white as it reaches the rear of the car. The use of green as an accent colour is a welcome change from the red used on most of the other liveries.

Overall, the Trulli livery has to be one of the best designed and most pleasing to look at on the grid.

ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport


Speaking of original liveries, ABT have only slightly altered their unique livery from last season, which in 2015/2016 will once again be driven by Lucas Di Grassi and Daniel Abt.

I can’t recall another racing livery in a green yellow and red combination off the top of my head. For this reason alone, the ABT team deserves a big ‘thumbs up’. The colour combination works surprisingly well, despite each colour getting reasonable even coverage on the car.

The front of the car is mostly red, meeting with the yellow section just below the mirrors, in a diagonal design that ends at the front suspension. A yellow line runs into the red section along the top of the nose, but cuts off awkwardly above the VW logo. It seems strange how the line turns at 90 degree angles, when it would have been far more aesthetically pleasing to simply wrap around the front of the nosecone in a more traditional way.

Audi Sport ABT driver Lucas Di Grassi of Brazil competes in the qualifying session during the Formula E Championship race in Beijing

The green rear section meets with the yellow with an unnecessary spray painted effect. It would have looked much nicer with regular sharp edges and would have made the livery look more uniform and complete. This is accentuated by the sharp Shaffler logo being surrounded by a soft green design.

I am also confused by the matte black section directly in front of the cockpit and the carbon fibre mirrors. Surely red or yellow would have sufficed. Unfortunately it looks like a sponsors requirement has further brought down the livery.

The overall livery looks great from a distance, but the closer you get and the harder you look, the more flaws you begin to notice. I want to say it’s a great livery, but my nit-picky nature means I’ll have to settle for just good.

Mahindra Racing Formula E Team

Mahindra 1

Bruno Senna returns for another season with Mahindra Racing, whilst Nick Heidfeld joins the team after a luckless season with Venturi.

Mahindra have kept the same colour scheme for the new season and have made a few changes when compared to the old livery. The most striking difference is the use of a brighter, more vibrant red colour. This helps the car to stand out on track, as the field is saturated with red as a secondary or highlight colour. Red stays on the sidepod, but features on less of the car than last season. The engine cover is now white and black, with only a small amount of red next to the roll-hoop.

Mahindra 3

The black section running along the side of the nose, from the tip to the start of the sidepod, is reminiscent of the old BAR F1 liveries. Below is an angled white area which adds some edginess to the livery, which looks fine from front on, but from the side, clashes with the sweeping nature of the black section above it.

The white lines separating the (black and red sections on the) top and side of the nose cone widen suddenly from the front suspension all the way to the cockpit. Whilst it’s a nice touch, I wish widened area was a little less exaggerated, perhaps getting wider at a constant rate rather than so suddenly. The Indian flag colours on the wheels are a nice touch, although they don’t really belong on this livery.

Mahindra 4

A very nice livery despite the commonality of the colour combination used.

Amlin Andretti Formula E

Andretti 1

Amlin have moved their sponsorship from Aguri to Andretti for the new season. After a total of 8 different drivers piloting the team’s cars last season, Andretti have settled for Robin Frijns and Simona de Silvestro for the 2015/2016 season, but we’ll see how long that lasts.

Andretti 4

Due to Amlin’s sponsorship, Andretti’s new livery looks almost identical to Aguri’s livery from last season. That is sure to confuse a lot of people. On the other hand, it’s good to see a sponsor invest as much in a team as to dictate the team’s livery.

The new livery is a big step up from last season’s rather generic looking livery (and wasn’t that one off orange livery in London interesting), as well as an improvement on last season’s Amlin Aguri livery. This effort takes away the unneeded white stripes and leaves only orange accents. The orange lines are cleverly placed along the car’s edges, making the most of their limited use.

Andretti 5

The blue remains a shiny chrome version, but there is a big addition in the tessellating triangular design in multiple shades of blue, which is placed in front of the sidepods, on the engine cover and very rear of the sidepods. This helps to add some complexity to what would otherwise been a very simple livery.

Team Aguri

Aguri 1

Aguri has secured António Félix da Costa for the new season, as well as newcomer and current GP2 driver, Nathanaël Berthon.

As mentioned above, Amlin jumped ship and therefore, Aguri has been left without a major sponsor. This usually goes one of two ways; a boring plain livery, or an exciting use of a blank canvas. Thankfully, Aguri went with the latter.

Aguri 2

Rather than recycle an old Super Aguri livery, Team Aguri have gone for something new and original. Looking more an A1GP Team GBR livery than anything, the design uses mostly straight lines on what is, now that I think about it, a chasis with few curves. These straight lines remind me of the current Lotus F1 livery, which I’m not very fond of, but this is not nearly as disappointing in my opinion. The front of the nose is navy and red, with the two split by a thin white line. The rest of the nose up to the cockpit and along the sidepods is white.

Aguri 3

The area behind the roll-hoop navy blue, with even sections of white and red under that. The white section features a Dutch flag single thin red and blue stripes which also extend all the way to the rear, adding some intricacy to what would have otherwise been a very simple livery. In fact, the livery could have used a couple more thing red and blue stripes, as the large white areas along the side and in front of the cockpit look quite empty.

A decent effort, thankfully original and not so boring, but could have filled the car a little more.

Other comments

My biggest gripe with this season’s liveries is the series’ sponsors which feature on all the cars. The Michelin logos are not so bad, as they feature on the wing endplates which are quite out of the way, although they are quite large. I understand the marketing reasons behind them, but the Julius Bär and #FanBoost (can’t believe they are still running this stupid idea by the way) logos beside the cockpit of every car look terrible. At the very least, they could have colour matched the logos for each team, but instead, it sticks out like a true eyesore. It’s even worse with the chunky DHL and Julius Bär logos on the tip of the nose.

This would have been a nice, albeit unlikely solution. The logo clashes worst on the blue cars (apart from Renault e.Dams) as it adds a different blue colour.

Secondly, the font and background used for team numbers’ is also awful. They stick out unnecessarily and don’t match at all on any of the cars (which is inexcusable, unlike the Julius Bär logos). I don’t see the need for a blanket number template on these cars when they could easily design their own to a higher standard and as a better match for each individual livery. Why on Earth have they not let them at least change the colours? Why is a background even needed?

The simplest possible number and yet it looks so much better. Imagine the teams had the freedom to make their own awesome number designs.

Then there’s the pointless little ‘e’ in front of the rear wheel. Why?

Well that was an unfortunately sour end to the post. Looking forward to the coming races and the inevitable livery change!