Livery of the Day – Arrows A19

Arrows Grand Prix had a tremendous reputation for their impressive liveries, at least in my book. More often than not, their cars were a pleasure to look at, showed off their sponsors well and stood out from the crowd.

Arrows kept a hold of the well-funded Brazilian Pedro Diniz and brought in Finn Mika Salo for the 1998 season. The 1997 livery was a beauty, so it was interesting that they decided to change it entirely, despite having almost exactly the same sponsors on the car the next season. While it’s a bit of a shame that blue and white livery had not lasted more than a season, what followed it was just as easy on the eye.

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It’s uncommon in Formula 1 for a team to change its main colour without the arrival or departure of a main sponsor. However, that is what Arrows decided to do, going with a completely two tone livery (spare a small bit of red on the nose for a sponsor, as well a miniscule amount on the Bridgestone logo). The main colour was jet black, with the secondary colour, white, shown through the sponsor logos. To put up such a plain car is a big risk. It can often look empty, uninspired and boring. However, it was none of those things and it looks all class.arrows3

What’s important in this livery is that all the sponsors’ logos work well together. All are mostly lettering, but are placed perfectly on the car and being all in white makes the car brilliantly uniform. Danka, Zepter and Parmalat, despite all being the same colour are easily differentiated and stand out superbly on the car. Apart from the logo placement, there’s no real ‘design’ to speak of. It’s almost unfair that this livery, whether through laziness, cuts in the budget, or perhaps a stroke of genius, looks as good as it does.

What did break up the monotony were the drivers’ helmets; especially Salo’s. The bright sky blue on his helmet was a massive contrast to the jet black of the car and it looked superb poking out of the cockpit. Actually, kudos to Salo, as his helmet looked great in almost every car his was in, especially this one and the contrasting reds of Ferrari and Toyota. A simple, bold helmet design. Something I resent the most about modern Formula 1 is the busy helmet liveries.

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It’s funny how an all-white car can be perceived as plain and boring, but an all-black car is striking and classy. I’m surprised this route hasn’t been taken by more teams, especially considering how fondly remembered this and the 2007 Honda winter testing livery are.

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Livery of the Day – Arrows A19

Livery of the Day – Stewart SF01

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Stewart Grand Prix joined the F1 scene in 1997 with big backing from Ford Motor Company and two exciting young drivers in Rubens Barrichello and Jan Magnussen. On top of this, Stewart had great sponsorship from HSBC and the Malaysian government. It was a promising foundation, but unreliability would mean little success in their first year.

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With backing from companies in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Japan and the USA, and drivers from Brazil and Denmark, the livery would prove to be distinctly Scottish. With tartan stripes on a white background, it’s something you would have never thought would be on a racing car.

The tartan is ever so slightly asymmetrical, swooping from the front wing around the nose, across the barge boards and over the sidepods to the rear, as if gift wrapping the car. It is a design that albeit patriotic to Jackie and Paul Stewart’s Scottish heritage, is respectful and humble.

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All the sponsors fit in well to the white, blue and red colour scheme and makes sure that the majority white doesn’t look plain or empty. The black text of HSBC, Havoline, Bridgestone and the #22 do this no harm and in fact compliment the colour scheme. Not even the drivers’ helmets disrupt it! No space on the car is left empty and yet, the livery doesn’t look at all messy or crammed. Every sponsor has its place and looks like it belongs.

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This livery is colour coordinated brilliantly and the tartan design is something we may never see in the sport again. A truly unique livery.

Livery of the Day – Stewart SF01

Livery of the Day – Prost AP02

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Piloted by Frenchman Olivier Panis and Italian Jarno Trulli, the AP02 was every bit as lackluster as its predecessor. As much as it disappointed on the track in terms of results, it very much delivered in the visual department.

Prost maintained its Gauloises sponsorship in 1999 (the transition from Gitanes to Gauloises sponsorship in 1996 had been seamless) and in turn the car carried on the blue colour, which had adorned the French team’s cars since the very beginning, as Ligier in the 70’s. This year, however, it was a deeper, metallic shade of blue. The choice of this stunning colour sets the car up as a winner from the very beginning.

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A new addition to the livery were black front and rear wings, which added a touch of class and set it apart from former Prost and Ligier liveries. New Total sponsorship meant some red flashes on the nose and mirrors, which added a much needed kick of vibrancy to the livery and yet remained relatively subtle. Total have since forgotten the meaning of subtlety. Bic remained on the car and the deep yellow still worked very well with the blue and somehow didn’t clash too harshly with the Total red.

The livery design itself was incredibly simple. Blue body, black wings, red mirrors. A design this simple is either hit or miss and this time around, it is very much a hit. Simple and uncomplicated, yet it doesn’t look lazy, which would be easy to do with this style of livery.

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Overall, this livery is incredibly attractive to me. Something about the deep metallic blue, the black wings and the splash of red. It screams class and that is how I like my liveries.

Livery of the Day – Prost AP02