Round-Up – 2019 Formula 1 Field

After a winter that has seen more change than I can ever remember in my time watching Formula 1, we’re finally back in business. The first race has been run and it was a relieved Valtteri Bottas who crossed the line first in Melbourne. Unfortunately it’s looking like more of the same in terms of performance and success, but while it may be the same guys winning for another year, at least the grid has seen some interesting changes to its liveries.

Alfa Romeo Racing

In both sad and uplifting news, Alfa Romeo is officially back in the sport for the first time since 1985, but has taken the place of much loved Sauber. However, I’m glad to see that the team should, with solid financial backing, work its way out of the doldrums and into some upper midfield battles. I’m also glad that Alfa has kept some of the Sauber roots, both with the ‘Sauber Engineering’ logo in front of the rear wheel, and with the similar blue and white design used last year.

The overall theme, however, has well and truly shifted to Alfa, expanding on the beautiful metallic red used in 2018. More red is what I wanted last year and it’s what we’ve got. They’ve brought the red forward to cover the cockpit and halo, and have also used a smoother, prettier curve along the sidepod. The main logo on the engine cover has also had a bit more thought put into it, and looks much better larger and cut off. Every aspect of the livery is more refined and improved. Great job Alfa Romeo.

★★★★☆

Ferrari Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow

Ferrari have gone with as drastic a change as ever this year, firstly in hiring a very young, promising driver in Charles Leclerc who had a breakout 2018. Secondly, they’ve removed almost all white from the car and have followed Red Bull’s lead with a matte livery. Personally, I’m struggling to associate the livery with Ferrari, but it will come with time. It’s such a modern effort when we’ve always thought of Ferrari as an old school, conservative team.

What I’m a fan of is having black as a true second colour, as opposed to white. It’s still used sparingly, along the bottom of the car, the halo and some flashes on the wing end plates, but mainly on the very rear of the car, helping to contrast the white driver number exceptionally well. Whether it’s the lack of white, that black section being slightly more distracting, or the matte paint, the billboard of a sidepod is not as offensive this year.

Mission Winnow controversy aside, would the livery look better in glossy paint? Possibly. Would that help it look better from all angles? Yes – in especially sunny angles, the red does appear washed out. However, I’m excited to see this livery under lights. Bring on Bahrain.

★★★★

Haas Rich Energy Haas F1 Team

There was quite a bit of pessimism around the validity of Rich Energy and their sponsorship of the Haas F1 Team, but so far we’ve gone at least winter testing and round 1 with their logos on the car. I was initially super disappointed to see a largely generic, uninspired livery turn up to Barcelona testing, but am heartened to see they’ve put some thought and creativity to good use come Melbourne, whether that was inspired or not. Probably not.

The car is mainly black, but for the gold lines on the front and larger section on the engine cover fin. I had the same idea myself pre-season, so suffice to say, I love the use of the black antlers on the gold background. However, whilst necessary from a marketing perspective, the white Haas logos create some disharmony on the car.

Whether it’s the shade of gold to blame (which should perhaps be lighter, but the reflective nature of it look nice above) or another aspect of the livery, it and the white don’t really get along well enough in my opinion. A two tone effort of black and hold only would have looked great. It’s a livery with fantastic potential, which I’m sure they’ll build on either throughout the season or in 2020, should Rich Energy still be around!

★★★

McLaren F1 Team

It has been a double driver change for McLaren with Sainz and youngster Norris in for 2019. The ethos of the livery has thankfully remained, while some clever additions have been made to the design. The papaya orange remains in all its beauty, with the slightly metallic blue encroaching ever so slightly on it’s territory, creeping up the engine cover in a quirky, almost tessellating triangular pattern.

They’ve also cheekily increased the amount of black on the car, in a deceivingly large portion along the bottom of the car. I love the look of this section, especially the old school detailing of the technical sponsors along it. The halo is still black, but given the presence of black has been upped across the board, it makes a whole lot more sense this time around. The half black, half blue rear wing end plate is an attractive touch. It’s improved in all aspects. Props to the McLaren livery designers, although I wish they hadn’t caved to having red on the back of the rear wing for Huski.

★★★★★

Mercedes Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport

They’ve gone and done it, Mercedes removed that patch of smokey black below the airbox, so I’m already happy. It’s become redundant seeing as they’ve removed the large Mercedes logo on the engine cover, and instead gone with a repeating pattern of silver arrows, on top of a fading black to silver. It’s subtle from a distance, but makes a strong point from up close.

The turquoise section of the car follows the same shape as last year, but is a far simpler, cleaner rendition – just the one line from nose to rear. It looks like a smooth flow of energy along the car and am happy they’ve gone with this design. Another element I like is painting the halo black just on the underside. It’s been underutilised to this point but am glad a couple of the teams are taking the halo further in terms of livery. One last thing that I find odd is having the Petronas logo in black. It would certainly stand out more in white with a black border.

★★★★

Racing PointSportPesa Racing Point F1 Team

We weren’t quite sure what to expect from Racing Point after their transition from Force India. The largely unfancied Lance Stroll has already proved some doubters wrong by scoring a couple of points when his teammate Perez couldn’t manage any. The cars have also remained BWT pink, and thanks to the new ownership have actually added some significant sponsors, most notably SportPesa. This has boosted the amount of blue on the car, and made it a deeper shade, which suits the pink better.

Aside from the big blue section on the engine cover, the remainder of the design has stayed largely the same. That said, the deep pink and silver lines have also been brought forward due to the aforementioned change, now pleasantly connecting to the lines on the nose and finishing on the front of the sidepod. My only question is whether silver is needed at all, although it doesn’t take away any style points. I also have to point out the similar thinking to the halo design as Mercedes – looks just as good with a light colour on the underside here, as dark does for Merc. Side note, I wish Stroll had kept his blue helmet. It would have contrasted the pink and complemented the blue on the car perfectly.

★★★★★

Red Bull Aston Martin Red Bull Racing

Gasly will have a tough time to replace Ricciardo and match Verstappen in 2019, and after a disastrous round 1, he has a lot to prove. On the livery side of things, it’s the fourth year for this design and it is virtually unchanged from last year, bar a couple of logos, such as Honda at the rear. It’s still nice, but would have liked to have seen some more design variation.

With Ferrari now encroaching on Red Bull’s point of difference in matte paint, I wonder if this will spur some changes to design philosophy in 2020, or whether they’ll wait it out until the bigger set of rule changes in 2021.

★★★★

Renault F1 Team

Renault have brought in Aussie favourite Ricciardo for 2019, but have stuck with their design for a second year, only making a couple of improvements rather than another redesign like they had done the last three years. The most obvious and one I’m happiest about is the removal of the yellow around the edge of the sidepod entry.

Another change is the front halo support being half yellow where it was all black last year. Not sure what the thinking was for this, perhaps to lessen the appearance of a black beam jutting out, but it isn’t bad. The pinstripes over the car are still good and similarly, there’s a really nice touch with the very front facing edge of the rear wing end plate being painted in yellow.

★★★★☆

Toro Rosso Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda

The Red Bull junior program is really stretched at the moment, so much so that they’ve re-enlisted the unfortunately maligned Daniil Kvyat alongside debutante Alexander Albon. Toro Rosso has had my top livery pick for the last couple of years, partially due to the relief of ridding the grid of their previous boring efforts, but also because it just looks really good. The shades of blue and red are beautiful and match perfectly, and are complemented just as well by the metallic silver. However, the longer a livery exists, the more time we have to pick flaws.

It’s due to the shape of the sidepods, but the Red Bull logo appears more and more squished every year, tapering off from huge to tiny in dramatic fashion, far more so than the Red Bull. They really need to take it easy here – just because the real estate exists, it doesn’t mean you have to use it. Less would be more in this case. It also looks like they’ll be promoting their organics range on the inside of the rear wing end plates, although that really doesn’t receive much visibility. A neat touch regardless.

Williams ROKiT Williams Racing

Everyone was aboard the Kubica train and nobody is more glad than me to see him back in action, alongside youngster George Russell. However, the car looks to sadly be the slowest by far. At least they’ve given us something interesting to look at. My initial thoughts are who’s child did they get to play with a gradient tool in Photoshop? The Orlen and Rexona logos look terrible on the blue they’ve used, like they’ve used the screen tool to make them a little harder to read.

The nose is also a bit strange, and perhaps it’s a camera angle trick, but the gradient at the tip just never quite seems to sit directly in the centre of the nose which is annoying to say the least. However, it has grown on me since testing. The choice of blue and white is a new take on classic Williams colours, and the black along the side of the car helps to even out the ratio of blue and white. If blue had gone all the way to the bottom, it may have been overpowering. The use of gradient was an odd choice in my opinion, as were a couple of the other design decisions, but I can’t get myself to dislike this livery.

★★★☆

Bonus Awards

Best Looker Award – McLaren and Racing Point

Two completely different design philosophies, but both fantastic liveries in their own right. They’ve dethroned Toro Rosso and I’m happy that they have!

Least Attractive Award – Haas

I have to say that we’re lucky to see an abundance of beautiful liveries on the grid this year. I don’t any of them are ugly by any means, but Haas did receive my lowest rating. So much potential in the colours and design, especially with the antler logo to work with, so hoping for even better things in the future.

Breaking Tradition Award – Ferrari

It kinda just FEELS wrong that Ferrari is in matte, doesn’t it? I’m not sure Mr. Enzo would be spinning in his grave by any means, but they have taken a big step, and it does look really different. Keen to see it under the floodlights in Bahrain.

Best 90s Feel – McLaren

This car isn’t quite retro, but some of the design elements to irk back to the 90s. The listing of the tech sponsors along the side certainly gives off that vibe, and the triangular pattern could well have been taken from a textbook (or a mid 90s Footwork Formula 1 car). I think we’re really lucky to have such an attractive grid overall.

I think we’re really lucky to have such an attractive grid overall. Personally I’ve rated almost all the cars over 4 stars our of 5, so I’m enjoying this era as much as I can. Blink and we might be back to 6 grey teams and only Ferrari with some colour! Have your say on the people’s favourite below..

Advertisements
Round-Up – 2019 Formula 1 Field

Livery Mockups – 2019 Formula 1 Field

Thought I’d get in nice and early this year! I try my best to keep things realistic, and get as many hints as to what the teams will actually be doing in the new season, but some of that info is a little hard to come by given most team launches are still about a month away. Most teams do have up to date sponsor lists available, but apart from this, I’ve taken creative control. Thanks to legend WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot from IMG for the wonderful template!

Ferrari

ferrari 2019

I kept it simple last year, but this time I’ve let go, and gone for the black that many of us have been wishing for for years. The car is obviously still majority red, a very slightly darker shade than usual, with two large black sections on the back and front. The swooping nature of the black sections help to border the sponsors, especially on the sidepod, which usually look unappealing on their own given the different shapes and colours between them.

From a top view the car would be red, with red piping from the side on the shark fin and wings to suit. The Mission Winnow logo doesn’t even look half bad, and fills what would otherwise be an empty hole. While Ferrari is basically its form of Italian patriotism nowadays, there’s a little stripe of the Italian flag colours in front of the rear wheel.

Haashaas 2019

It was a bit of surprise when little known Rich Energy were announced as major partners of the Haas team. Dodgy backers aren’t new to F1, so hopefully this company is legitimate, but can’t say I’d be surprised if they didn’t see out the year.

I’ve used their logo as inspiration for this design, emblazoned across the side of the car, supporting the text logo along the sidepod. Other antler details have also been added on gold backgrounds, to add some colour to the car, but in form that is unique to the team and sponsor. The gold itself is more vibrant than that used on the real logo (from their website), as I feel the original colour was too dull to stand out, and generally wouldn’t look as nice. I’ve also been careful not to add too much gold, as it can look tacky. Also, minimal gold has a proven track record of looking great (e.g. JPS Lotus). The red flashes add another touch of colour, and make sure we don’t forget about HAAS (they’re trying to sell stuff too!).

McLarenmclaren 2019

McLaren have teased us with an all black logo on social media. This may point to an increased presence of black on the car in 2019, or it could mean nothing at all. I’ve gone with the latter, as I feel the black sections of last year’s car were the weakest parts of the livery.

I was pessimistic of the blue initially, but after seeing the lovely shade they applied to the car, it proved to be a great combination. I’ve decided to expand on these sections slightly, changing the halo from black to blue, as well as making the inside of the cockpit blue. The wing end plates are also blue and I’ve limited black to the logos only. I’d love to have used white rather than black for the logos, but they slightly too hard to read that way. Overall, I’m happy for McLaren to keep the car simple and let the papaya shine, but would be interested to see how others make a complex livery with these colours work.

Mercedesmercedes 2019

Once again, I’m hoping for Mercedes to simplify the livery, and also move away from the smokey gradient design theme. Here I’ve added some solid black sections along the top and bottom of the car, which are separated from the silver by bright turquoise and blue.

Mercedes over the last couple of years have added blue to the usual Petronas turquoise, promoting their hybrid technology. Rather than separate lines for the two, I’ve used both in gradients along the length of the respective sections of the car.

Racing Pointracing point 2019

There really isn’t much to go off in terms of sponsorship for Racing Point, so I’ve made the assumption that BWT will continue their sponsorship, post Force India. I’ve gone for a more cohesive design, because as appealing as last year’s livery was, I feel as though there were some clashing design elements on the car.

The pink and white looked great together so I’ve retained the colour combination, with the white sections fading to a very light silver as they reach the front and rear of the car, rather than having solid silver stripes. However, there are bright pink stripes, three in formation following the white sections, ending just short of the pink/white notches. Another slight touch is changing all black logos to blue; they are dark enough to be easily distinguished, and help to keep the colour scheme to four-ish colours rather than 5.

Red Bullred bull 2019

I’ve really enjoyed Red Bull’s liveries the past couple of years, but recently I’ve started to think that more could be done with the colours available. The single stripe may be beginning to get stale, so I’ve experimented with what adding more colour could do. One angle the team hasn’t explored is more yellow. They’ve only every stuck with yellow on the nose and airbox, accompanying the bulls, but alongside the very dark blue and bright red, make for a very strong combination of colours.

There are three main ‘swoops’ of yellow, the main one allowing for the bull to be entirely bordered, with each section following and then transitioning to a minor portion of red. It also helps to bring the halo into the design, that are a lot of teams have either tried to hide last season, or neglect altogether.

Renaultrenault 2019

I dream of an entirely two tone livery, and all my hopes are with Renault. Their most recent stint in Formula 1 has delivered three black and yellow cars, so ignoring that sponsors such as Castrol likely wouldn’t play ball, they are our best chance.

I’ve thought back to their 2016 all black test livery which looked so sleek for inspiration. It’s mainly black, with just a few yellow stripes, thoughtfully placed along the natural lines of the car’s body. As mentioned, there are only two colours on the car, including all sponsor logos. It makes for a nice effect, especially with the soft tyres and the yellow is bright enough against the black for legibility to be an issue.

Saubersauber 2019

Everybody loved the candy apple red on the 2018 Sauber, which left a few of us confused as to why more of the car wasn’t adorned with the beautiful colour. It’s a no brainer then that I’ve increased the amount of red on the car, but have tried to remain realistic, as Sauber’s colours of white and blue are very important to the team.

Red is along the top of the car with white on the bottom section, which is broken up by further red, along with some of the navy blue used last season. The lack of sponsors makes it tough to form a design, but I feel as though the above fills up the empty space well, whilst keeping the prime real estate enticing to potential sponsors.

Toro Rossotoro rosso 2019

There isn’t a whole lot of the current Toro Rosso that I would change. The colours are fantastic and distributed well, so I had a go to see what some minimal changes could do to the look of the car. I’ve moved one line to flow from the rear all the way to the front of the halo, whilst adding another along the length of the bottom of the car. There’s also a red section along the nose/cockpit.

I’ve also made use of negative space, with the circle usually behind the bull this time within the red section just under it. I’ve maintained this design theme in the other red sections too.

Williamswilliams 2019

With the return of Kubica and sadly waving goodbye to Martini, Polish oil company Orlen have come aboard as sponsor of the Williams team. I imagine Williams returning to their traditional blue and white (depending on how large Orlen’s investment is), and have tried to work with the curves of the car, but also with some slightly jarring straight lines against the grain.

This effect has been used well in the past, memorably with the Compaq/HP Williams cars, and feel it works well not only as a design, but with fitting in with the team’s heritage. It’s also an attempt to fill as much space as possible, as the team’s lack of sponsors could easily be exposed with a more simplistic livery.

 

So what are your favourites? What improvements would you make? Do you have any predictions on what the teams will be running in 2019? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Livery Mockups – 2019 Formula 1 Field