Round-Up – Formula e 2018-19

A brand new car has brought Formula e to the next level in season five, and I have to say that while I’m not usually a fan of ‘futuristic’ looking cars, it’s marvelous. It’s a wonderful livery template that many teams have taken advantage of; some to greater extents than others.

Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler

Audi Sport 1

Audi Sport is one of a few teams to have an unchanged lineup for the new season and perhaps with continuity in mind, also have a very similar livery to last year. The colour scheme looks great once again despite essentially having five colours, with yellow being more prominent than last year thanks to Deutsche Post.

Audi Sport 2

It looks slightly neater too this year, thanks in part to the removal of the broken up design along the sidepod from last season. There’s a lot of white front on but is counteracted by the abundance of colour further back on the car. Overall, it’s a nice evolution of last year’s livery. Aggressive, but relatively neat.

★★★★☆

BMW i Andretti Motorsport

BMW 3

Andretti have teamed up with BMW, bringing another huge manufacturer into the series, proving how Formula e is gaining popularity, relevance and overall moving from strength to strength. António Félix da Costa has hung around from last year, whilst Alexander Sims has joined the team, after driving for BMW in sports cars in 2018 and being development driver for Andretti. BMW have taken charge of the livery design with an unmistakably on brand blue and white effort.

BMW 2

Despite some fundamental differences, I can’t help but be reminded of the HP/Compaq era Williams F1 liveries, whilst also wondering if a similar design would have worked for a ‘can’ based design for Red Bull; I’d attempted something kinda similar in the past. Not to mention that the quartered design is rarely seen, last I remember being the short lived Kronenbourg Larrousse livery. Regardless of the now to be expected gimmicky electric circuit board design elements, the quartered design (inspired by the BMW logo) is a fantastic effort, very eye catching from the side and top. I wish the purple slice wasn’t there as it’s a little jarring being the only purple element of the design, but it isn’t a deal breaker.

BMW 4

However, the design is asymmetric. I’m not against asymmetric liveries, but when one side looks so nice, and the other is so boring, it’s hard to see why they didn’t just make it a regular mirror image. Clearly they’ve given priority to the rear view angle of the car, but who actually views the car from this angle? A large majority of the time, the car is viewed from either the sides, or the nose, so I find this decision unusual. It’s also a big shame that they’ve left this side so blank; even if not quartered, there could be a lot more love put into this side of the car.

★★★☆

DS Techeetah Formula e Team

Techeetah 1

After winning the championship with Vergne, Techeetah have piled on the gold for 2018-19. However, it’s been done in a positive fashion. The shade of gold that has been used is thankfully a little closer to orange than brown, giving the car a warmer feel. They’ve also simplified the design significantly. Gone is the cartoon cheetah and the flashes of white and instead, they’ve followed the lines of the new chassis beautifully. This is a perfect instance of less is more.

Techeetah 3

The colour placement is distributed well, with gold only on the top portion of the car and black only on the sides (apart from the gold barge boards). As of Riyadh, the halo is also gold, furthering this effect. There’s not too much more to say, other than they have limited the Total red, which has ruined many a livery in the past.

★★★★

Envision Virgin Racing

Virgin 2

Boy am I pleased about this! The silver and black on the Virgin liveries has been a gripe of mine for a few years now and I’m so happy to see that they’ve gone without them this season. As with Techeetah’s gold, the shade of purple selected is lovely and it’s actually a relief to see matte paint over the hyper reflective variation.

Virgin 1

The white gradient design is reminiscent of Dragon’s two seasons ago, and works perfectly in adding some texture to the simple delivery. The red flashes are also distributed very well, especially in the piping along the bottom of the car and the rear diffuser – a neat use of the complex bodywork.

★★★★★

Geox Dragon

Dragon 1

Dragon have brought in 21 year old Max Günther, quick in F3 and slightly less so in F2 last season, to drive alongside Lopez for 2018-19. They also have a new main sponsor in Geox, who have painted the car in black and white as of Riyadh. Some of last year’s Dragon identity has rolled over in the form of the thin stripes on the roll hoop.

Dragon-3.jpg

The design itself is strong; the white contours along the shape of the body and contrasts with the adjacent black, giving the car the ‘coke bottle effect’ and looking very attractive. The black in the front of the cockpit is a nice touch, and is generally a very well balanced design. A nice, above average livery.

★★★★

HWA Racelab

HWA 2

Mercedes affiliate HWA has also joined the series this season, pairing McLaren reject (harsh wording perhaps) Stoffel Vandoorne with stalwart McLaren test driver and Merecedes DTM driver Gary Paffet. The livery, however, gets a yawn out of ten. Frustratingly, they’ve gone for a similar colour scheme to Jaguar, where we already had the issue of NIO and Andretti using near identical shades of turquoise/teal as them last season. Why use colours that make your cars indistinguishable from another team’s, from a distance? Corporate colours or not, if another team that’s already in the series uses them, choose something else, or get creative. Or both.

HWA 4

The blue does give the car a cool ‘Tron’ effect with the piping, but you can barely see the design in front of the rear wheel (which seemingly has n place on this livery), or the HWA logo, as the colour difference is so slight. The piping does use the car’s edges well, but the livery in total annoys me a little.

★★

Mahindra Racing

Mahindra 2

With d’Ambrosio making the switch from Dragon and Pascal Wehrlein set to take over from Rosenqvist in the coming races, Mahindra are surely set for some success this season. On the livery front, they’ve opted for evolution this season, building on their red, blue and white design of 2017-18. They’ve decided on a mainly white top body section, along with single orange and green stripes, harking to their Indian heritage. However, it clashes with the rest of the colour scheme, so it may have been better off placed elsewhere on the car – I feel the wheel rims were enough (and look quite nice).

Mahindra 4

The rest of the car is mainly red, and features some swooping red and white stripes along the edges of the bodywork, whilst maintaining the blue ‘engine’ cover for sponsor Renesas. A solid effort and marginally better than last season’s.

★★★

NIO Formula e Team

NIO 1

After having the ridiculous situation last season of NIO and Andretti bearing almost identical liveries, both have pivoted. Andretti have partnered with BMW and taken on their colours, whilst NIO have gone in another direction entirely. The result is a half turquoise, half white effort, which fails to impress. What this reminds me of running out of ideas when designing a livery, using the gradient tool over an entire car out of desperation, and hoping something interesting would happen.

NIO 3

It’s usually a disappointment, as this is to an extent. There is an attempt to spice it up; the charcoal section just below the NIO logo on the sidepod looks good, but that’s about it. There needs to be more going on. Whilst I like how neat it is, it does feel a little empty overall and leaves me wanting more.

★★

Nissan e.dams

Nissan 2

After the announcement that Renault would pass the baton to subsidiary Nissan, I’m sure we all expected something in black, white and red as per Nissan’s recent corporate liveried cars, but I’m not sure how many of us expected silver. Starting with the positives, I’m happy to see the black and silver split cleanly along the body lines from the front angle; it’s a design technique I’m a big fan of. I also like the red piping, which multiple teams have used to great effect, contrasting very well against the black.

Nissan 1

However, from the side, I see a familiar foe in smokey black against silver. I’ve dislike this for a number of years with Mercedes, and I’m not the biggest fan of it here either. That said, the more I look at it, the more I appreciate the thought in the placement and started to enjoy it as a whole. While I’m disappointed it isn’t more vibrant, it has to be scored at least just above average.

★★★☆

Panasonic Jaguar Racing

Jaguar 1

Much like their driver lineup, Jaguar’s colour scheme is unchanged this season. We have to embrace the fact that Jaguar have taken on this turquoise colour as their new racing colours, for electric racing at least, but it’s impossible to not wish this was British racing green. The design itself has evolved slightly with the some of the stripes slightly thicker than the last few seasons to suit the wider and curvier nose and body.

 

Jaguar 2

The tessellating pattern on the rear wheel covers adds some texture to the otherwise plain grey section, but from the side, it feels a little disjointed as not all panels have a second line parallel to the thicker section of turquoise. It’s nicer than last year, but I’m unsure how much of that has to do with the new chassis.

★★★

Venturi Formula e Team

Venturi 2

Venturi have brought back Mortara for the new season, who showed promise and probably should have won his first Formula e race. They’ve also signed Felipe Massa, who last raced in F1 in 2017. Venturi have kept silver as the main colour from last season, but are now using blue as a secondary colour, as well as some black as a third. As mentioned for Nissan above, silver just fails to capture the imagination and ends up in most cases as a dull livery.

Venturi 3

The design has a go at some form of piping around most of the panels but doesn’t do a great job of it due to the varying thicknesses at different parts. It also ends inexplicably above the Michelin logo on the front wing endplate, when it goes all the way to the edge everywhere else. Nitpicking, but very frustrating in my opinion. It just doesn’t feel like a very well thought out design.

★☆

A few surprises, but generally a pretty average field of cars for this season. A couple of exceptions though, with Virgin rising to the top with their new purple design. Let’s hope the racing looks as good as the new car does!

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Round-Up – Formula e 2018-19

Round-Up – Formula e 2017-18

As the first round concludes in Hong Kong, there is no better time to have a look at the how the Formula e grid lined up for the first two races of the new season.

Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler

Audi Digrassi 2

Abt Schaeffler is back for another year and this time with increased investment from Audi, which has now become an official manufacturer in the series. Di Grassi and Abt remain as drivers, as we see some significant changes to the team’s livery.

Audi has taken charge of the team and in doing so, the livery. Thankfully it’s not devoid of personality like their final WEC effort and have kept some of the original Abt Schaeffler character with the large green portion, although the distinctive yellow is now gone. Although I never disliked the yellow, it does now seem a little more coordinated with the all the colours not shouting for attention all at once like they were before.

Audi Abt 2

The design is quite angular, as seems to have been the theme for Formula e so far. The main portions of colour are the green on the rear of the car, white on the sidepods and nose and black in front of the cockpit, although there are some interesting disruptions along the side where the colours interject. There is also a great red marking along the side and ‘airbox’ of Abt’s car, allowing for quick and easy distinction between the two cars. While they’ve turned down the colour, they’ve definitely designed a sharper and more refined livery this season.

★★★★☆

 

MS+AD Andretti Formula e

Andretti 3

A big signature for Andretti in the off season, with Kamui Kobayashi joining the team for his first season in Formula e. They’ve also completely changed the livery, which I’m a little disappointed with, because last year’s effort was one of my favourites! The new 2017-18 livery is a two tone teal effort, which annoyingly infringes on NIO’s colour scheme, as they have moved from their grey/teal to a two tone teal livery this season.

Andretti 2

Using another team’s colour like that will lose points for me, especially as it isn’t their first time doing something like this! Remember when Amlin moved from Aguri to Andretti, and Andretti used a near identical livery which confused everyone?

All that aside, the design is strong. It uses the darker teal as the main colour on the car, whilst the lighter teal highlights certain edges of the car. There are also some nice details on the side, similar to their wavy effort last year, but in the new colours. The light teal section on the top of the sidepods give me Sauber vibes which is nice. To distinguish their drivers, they’ve gone with white mirrors and airbox piping for da Costa, and purple for Kobayashi.

★★★★

 

DS Virgin Racing

DS Virgin 5

Sam Bird is back after a strong season 2016-17 and joining him at DS Virgin is fellow Brit Alex Lynn, replacing Lopez. Not much to say here with the livery relatively unchanged.

DS Virgin 7

I am becoming slightly tired of this livery and would have hoped for a least a little bit of tinkering from season to season. Perhaps adding more purple or replacing some of the black for white just to keep things fresh. Instead, it’s getting stale in here.

★★★

 

Dragon Racing

Dragon 4

Duval out and Jani in for Dragon Racing, as they drop Faraday Future from their name entirely. Unfortunately they’ve also dropped their groundbreaking split livery from last season. It was a stunner and unfortunate to have only lasted one season, but it has been replaced with another great split effort.

Dragon 2

They’ve gone with a lovely white and candy apple red colour scheme for Jani and D’Ambrosio respectively, with crisp piping along the edgy bodywork, which does appear to work very well with these design techniques. This red colour is one of my favourites to see on a racing livery, but I believe it looks just a little better with the dark piping on the light main colour as opposed to the reverse.

Dragon 3

The design is intricate with neat little multi stripe segments, such as on the front wing, airbox and especially ‘engine’ cover. A great effort, but I do miss the unique design and burnt orange of last season’s cars.

★★★★☆

 

Panasonic Jaguar Racing

Jaguar

Nelson Piquet Jr. has moved across to join Mitch Evans at Jaguar this season. However, the livery has remained virtually identical. It’s the same futuristic, electric, circuit board themed design that everyone was slightly disappointed with last year after the (perhaps false) expectations of British racing green.

Jaguar 2

Perhaps this disappointment has faded because I don’t dislike this as much as last year and in fact quite like the vibrant cyan colour alongside the deep charcoal. Still not a fan of the gimmicky theme though…

★★☆

 

Mahindra Racing

Mahindra 3

It’s an unchanged line-up and another fan designed livery for Mahindra this year. Or at least I think so, as it looks a lot like last season’s livery with some added blue sections for Renesas. Perhaps they’ve not drawn the winner yet? Either way, this is a step down from last season, which was a very attractive mainly two colour livery with the vibrant red and blue not quite singing in harmony.

Mahindra 2

Not much more to add; it feels like a hurriedly adapted version of the 2016-17 livery for a last minute sponsor addition. Let’s see if anything changes in the coming rounds, because I got similar dodgy vibes last year with the fan livery.

★★☆

NIO Formula E Team

NIO

With Piquet moving over to Jaguar, NIO (now minus NextEV) have brought former IndyCar driver Luca Filippi to drive for the team in season 2017-18. They livery design theme is similar to last season, although with some big colour changes, moving to a two tone teal scheme. I feel like I’m repeating myself! Unfortunately Andretti have infringed on their colour territory, but pulled it off a little better too.

NIO 2

The thick diagonal stripe remains, but is now a dark teal, whilst the rest of the car is split between the dark and light teal. With the distinction between the two colours being very subtle its hard to get excited by this design. It’s just a shame we now have 4 cars in very similar colour schemes.

★★★

 

Renault e.dams

Renault 2

No driver changes and only some subtle livery changes for Renault this season. The main changes are that there is now no yellow whatsoever, the livery now has a glossy finish rather than matte, and black is more pronounced, extending along the sidepods rather than just on the wing end plates and wheel arches.

Renault

It’s still a lovely blue which was the main draw card last season, but the lack of a little punch of vibrant yellow brings it down a notch, and is not as eye catching. Perhaps the slow transition to Nissan has already begun!

★★★☆

Techeetah

Teheetah 2

Techeetah have hired the services of open wheel and endurance veteran Andre Lotterer for season 2017-18, hopefully putting to a stop what was a revolving door of second drivers accompanyin Vergne. They’ve also thankfully made some changes to the livery, although I’m still a little wishy washy about it. It’s a tale of two angles here. In the above picture, it looks stunning. A great mix of black and gold in an edgy, angular design, with the gold looking as though it’s everywhere it needs to be.

Techeetah

However, moving to a lower angle, side profile image, I’m less convinced of its beauty. Here, we get one large chunk of gold, proving that the colour is far prettier in smaller sections, as well as big black areas which look rather empty. I also feel sticking with a two tone black and gold livery would have been nicer than the including the little white sections lining the gold in parts. Either way, a definite upgrade on last year’s low quality effort. The stylised Cheetah on the side is also pretty neat.

★★★☆

 

Venturi Formula E

Venturi

Finally to Venturi, who seem to have a turned a corner in pace, with the quick out of the box Mortara. They had one of the most interesting designs last year and have kept the same theme despite a significant colour change. Unfortunately it’s lost a lot of its charm in this configuration. Much of the sleek black is replaced with a rather dull silver, the two of which don’t work so well together, and the jutting section on the sidepod for ZF and Rohm has not been executed nearly as well this time around. The red lining of this section doesn’t look sharp at all, but I’m not sure if intentional or just an optical illusion from how it sits next to the silver.

Venturi 2

The rest of the design is OK; the red and silver lines underlining Venturi on the black section beneath the cockpit actually looks great. It’s a shame they didn’t stick with black as the main colour and use red, silver and blue accents entirely.

★★☆

 

No 5 star liveries for me this season and unfortunately, mostly downgrades! What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my opinions or was I harsh on any of the teams? What’s your favourite? Let me know what you think below!

Round-Up – Formula e 2017-18