Livery of the Day -Tyrrell 025

1997 has to be one of, if not my favourite season for Formula 1 liveries. Such a great variety and I can’t say I dislike a single one of them. So why would I choose to review the Tyrrell 025 as opposed to the famously unique snake inspired Jordan 197 or the beautiful blue and white Benetton B197? Well, who else would?

Tyrrell 1

The car was driven by Jos Verstappen and Mika Salo but it was slow and terribly unreliable. Salo managed to score two points at the hectic Monaco Grand Prix, but the two of them could only manage to crack the top 10 on three other occasions. Whilst the car certainly performed like a backmarker, it distinctly looked like one too.

Tyrrell 2

This is a prime example of a mainly white car that many would consider boring. I mostly agree, but I do think it has some redeeming features. The thin black and white lines that run from the rear to the nose are the main design. It has a thicker black line bordering the bottom and it is broken up by solid white alongside the cockpit. I actually quite like this part of the livery and I imagine if it had Martini on it, more people would agree with me. The black on top of the cockpit is a neat touch, as is the flash of main design on the front wing support (what an interesting nose section by the way. Haven’t really seen anything like it). The chequerboard pattern on the barge boards was also an interesting design choice, although it didn’t fit with the rest of the livery. Perhaps that’s where HRT got its inspiration… 

Tyrrell 3

Unfortunately, there isn’t much else to say about the design. There is a solid black section on top of the sidepods and the rear wing is mainly black, both of which help to break up the monotony. The front wing also had some black during parts of the season, which was an improvement, but some further black would have helped the engine cover.

The difference between a boring livery these days and livery like this is that the teams back then, such as Tyrrell, usually had the benefit of having a few sponsors to fill up some of the empty spaces on the car and no matter how ugly, it’s far easier to make an attractive livery when you have something to work off. PIAA is a very attractive logo in my opinion; its downfall being that it doesn’t bring any colour to the livery. I find that it can be put on almost any livery and look good. Unfortunately, as was also often the case in the 90s, by mid season the car had filled up it’s spaces with a multitude of smaller sponsors of all shapes and colours, the worst offender being Xena: Warrior Princess. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Tyrrell 4.jpg

That said, at its cleanest, it was a little plain but overall, pretty easy on the eye and certainly not offensive. I’m not sure a car like this would be appreciated so much today, but back when the grid was filled with lots of different colours, there was space for a couple of white and black cars.

Livery of the Day -Tyrrell 025

Livery of the Day – Minardi PS03

Minardi 1

It’s with a heavy heart that I write about the Minardi’s 2003 season livery, Justin Wilson’s first car in his only season in Formula 1.

Minardi’s decline (not that there were many good times) was reaching its trough as it entered the 2003 season. It was Paul Stoddart’s third year in charge and after the success story that was bringing fellow Australian Mark Webber into the Formula 1 world, he decided to introduce another fresh face in Justin Wilson, to drive alongside experienced campaigner Jos Verstappen.

In terms of results, Minardi faired just as poorly as the season before, this time minus a freak 5th place result. They finished the season rock bottom with 0 points, below next best Jordan, which scored 13 points, thanks mainly to the chaos that was Interlagos. The highlight of Minardi’s season would have been Verstappen’s provision pole during Friday qualifying on a drying track at Magny-Cours. The success was short lived and the car overall was poor, but it stuck to the Minardi roots, which was a mainly black livery.

Minardi 2

The livery went through a couple of phases. It started off not looking too dissimilar to the 2002 car, mainly black with European Aviation on the sidepods, and a pleasing area of white on the side of the nosecone featuring the Trust logo, which was bordered by red on one side. There was also a slice of red on the bottom rear side of the sidepod, which was bordered by white on one side, a reversed colour scheme to the other red and white area. If that was all, it would have been a basic but pleasing design. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.

Black, red and white go together just fine. Adding green makes it a little trickier. Sponsorship from Superfund brought a large portion of green to the barge boards, the front of the sidepods and beside the airbox. It still could have looked nice, if the placement was thought out a little better. However, it got worse. Gazprom logos added another colour, light blue, to the engine cover and front wings. By this stage, the amount of different colours, colours which didn’t match at all, made the livery rather unsightly.

Minardi 4

Fortunately, this wasn’t the livery’s final form. Later in the season, Trust bumped up its sponsorship, and as a result, the sidepods were coloured almost entirely in white, with a small black section bordered by red on the bottom rear, similar to the previous design. It changed the livery dramatically. The Superfund green matched much better with the mainly white car, especially  when directly on the white. The best news was that Gazprom was no longer on the car; their spots on the car replaced by Muermans. By this point of the season, Justin Wilson was just about off to Jaguar, with his replacement Nicolas Kiesa waiting in the wings.

Minardi 5

Overall, it was a car that, by mid-season, was actually quite attractive. With white and black now sharing responsibilities as main colours, and light blue gone, the black, red and green didn’t seem to clash so poorly. Unfortunately for Minardi, results and liveries were still heading downhill.

RIP Justin Wilson. You will be missed, but not forgotten.

Livery of the Day – Minardi PS03