Round-Up – 2020 Formula 1 Field

After a long, long wait, F1 is back! COVID-19 has played havoc on the world and with so much negativity, it’s great to have a favourite distraction back, with races almost every week. The delayed season start has also seen some surprising livery changes since the launches, so let’s see the who’s done well and who hasn’t, in reverse alphabetical order this time.

Williams Racing

There’s a lot to love about William’s revamped livery. Sure, the new Rokit design was good and brought some colour to the grid, but I don’t think anyone is sad to see the dodgy company go. The new livery is somewhat dictated by new sponsor Sofina, a financial investment group, but sings true to Williams roots of white and blue.

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The red is gone, but the livery is way more refined with some traditional swooping blue and black lines along the length of the car. Everything appears to be well placed, including the black on the underside of the halo and the blue on the top of the engine cover/shark fin, as well as on the rear wing.

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They’ve taken Mercedes’ lead with a neat repeating pattern toward the rear of the car, which gives the classic livery a much more modern look. It’s a mainly white car, but avoids looking empty with good sponsor and colour placement.

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Probably my favourite part of the car is the little blue sections which cut in and out of the main black section on the car. Usually you’d see two colours running parallel, but this is another way they make this livery look modern. It looks especially great on the nose where it’s most obvious, and I feel possibly they’ve missed an opportunity to make further use of this toward the rear of the car. Only nitpicking though, because it looks fantastic.

★★★★☆

Renault DP World F1 Team

Renault has only made very minor changes to their livery this season, and why would you when it was already close to perfect.

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Sure it might be the third year in the same livery, but it’s still quite wonderful. The slightly cooler, more bright yellow brought in last year remains, as does the placement of most of the colour and sponsors.

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The biggest change, and a sign of the times really, is that the black portions of colour on the car are a matte paint, as opposed to the regular gloss for the yellow. I’m not against matte paint, but I feel as though gloss is fast becoming underrated, and I wonder if matte is here to stay or just a fad. Another big change is the very bottom yellow stripe being removed, replaced with technical sponsors that used to be on the floor’s carbon fibre.

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Lastly, there’s the addition of the blue tripe on the top of the shark fin, promoting Renault’s hybrid brand, “E-Tech”. It works well, albeit disrupting the colour flow. Black and yellow is a great colour combo, it’s well placed on the car, and that’s why we love this livery.

★★★★☆

 Aston Martin Red Bull Racing

Much like Renault, there’s very little change on this year’s Red Bull, in fact, I don’t think there’s any!

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So not a whole lot to describe then. It’s still matte, there’s still a big bull on the engine cover and it still looks very nice.

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I’m surprised to see so little evolution this year. Even in the Vettel days, Red Bull would tweak a couple of things here or there, but I guess if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

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That said, I hope we see something at least a little different next year. I know we can’t hope for much, they have a brand identity they will always stick to, but we can hope at least for a livery that isn’t identical. Aston Martin becoming their own team next year is a sign of hope, but the likelihood is that they’ll just replace their logos with a new sponsor, or just more Red Bull stickers.

★★★★

BWT Racing Point F1 Team

So it seems this may be the end of the pink panther in Formula 1! Sure, some pink may feature on next year’s car if BWT stay on as a sponsor, but Aston Martin will almost certainly dictate the colours, so enjoy it while it lasts.

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It’s very difficult to beat last year’s livery, which I thought was pretty much perfect. The departure of SportPesa means the lovely deep metallic blue is gone and BWT are back to using their lighter shade of blue, which I don’t think provides as good a contract to the light, bright pink.

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That said, they’ve gone against the grain with the BWT logo diagonally covering almost the entire side of the car, which is more common in oval racing. It makes the side look a little lacking in terms of design and kind of empty, although the angled white and pink lines along the logo are sufficient albeit basic.

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The white around the cockpit is nice, and very nice on the underside of the halo, although it ends a little abruptly. There just isn’t the same level of intricacy when compared to some of it’s predecessors, and it makes this livery look a little bland in comparison.

★★★☆

Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team

Well I don’t think anyone expected this! Perhaps at Hamilton’s request, who has in recent years become outspoken and a great activist for human rights, animal rights and other great causes, Mercedes has for the first time entered an F1 season in a colour other than silver.

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The black livery supports Black Lives Matter and in supporting a great cause, they’ve created a stunning design. I’m so surprised to see so many white cars on the grid this year, when every time a black car is launched, everyone falls in love. This is no exception.

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Everything that was great on the silver livery is even better here. The turquoise flashes of colour pop incredibly well against the black. The silver arrow pattern along the side and rear look even more elegant as a light on dark combination. The additions of red for Ineos blend in so much better here than they did on the silver version.

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Everything works and looks fantastic. I can’t imagine they’ll stick to black for another season (but who knows with Hamilton still in the seat), so let’s enjoy this while it lasts. They’ve absolutely outdone themselves with this effort, in all aspects.

★★★★★

McLaren F1 Team

McLaren started the season with a bang, and with the team moving to Mercedes engines next season, it seems the only way is up. Sainz may need to make hay before he leaves for Ferrari! That said, the papaya is back for another year and it’s as wonderful as ever.

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I for one am quite sad to see the triangle pattern ditched for this season. It quickly became the teams identity and was loved by fans, so I’m surprised they didn’t keep it in some form for 2020. That said, my disappointment quickly subsided as the new livery is also very, very good. As mentioned the lovely papaya remains, although the blue used this year is a little lighter, and doesn’t have that neat metallic look. The contrast isn’t as strong, but doesn’t bring the livery down much.

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This livery is quite traditional, with the long, simply segmented sections split along the side of the car, as has been done for many decades. The complexity comes within these sections, with the piano key like designs (now in rainbow colours for #WeRaceAsOne) on the sidepod and on the engine cover spicing up the bold solid sections, rather than a simple fade to black. Another great thing is they’ve finally painted the halo in papaya, rather than black, which was the only real downside of last season’s livery.

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What I’m not a big fan of is how the black section is brought up onto the nose. While it frames the logos well, I’d much prefer this secondary colour not spill onto the ‘top’ of the nose, and rather done like how the black is used on the Renault’s nose. I know it has to do with hiding the ugly nose tip and supports, but the Renault method is much nicer, and is in fact the one McLaren used successfully last season. It’s another papaya stunner from McLaren, but just not quite at the same level as 2019!

★★★★☆

Haas F1 Team

You know, what I said earlier about all black cars being stunning may have been an exaggeration, because the 2019 Haas wasn’t the prettiest or most elegant livery we’d ever seen. For that reason, I’m quite glad their factory colours are back, and in a slightly different fashion to its predecessors.

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We’re back to black, white and red (no grey this time) and it’s nice to see. The classic Haas design has returned, with the black section on the sidepod half way up the main logo – it’s always looked great.

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There’s a lot more black on this effort than it’s previous iterations (not including the Rich Energy livery) with the side sections in front of the sidepods in all black. The nose, which was my big gripe with the previous Haas cars, is also far cleaner. The black being on top of the nose isn’t so bad here as it start way back, not as abruptly as on the McLaren.

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There’s a little red arrow arrow breaking up the black and white in front of the cockpit too, which is a nice touch, although probably could’ve been utilised elsewhere on the livery too. Overall, it’s a corporate livery done well.

★★★★

Scuderia Ferrari

Ferrari started the season with the shock announcement they wouldn’t be extending Vettel’s contract, and later announcing Sainz as their new driver. Given recent results, it may be a blessing in disguise for the German!

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The team has been unable to use Mission Winnow logos on the car so far this season, leaving a gaping, empty hole on the engine cover. More than ever, this exposes the Ferrari for the giant moving red billboard it really is. The only design elements are the sponsor logos and I’ve never been a fan of Shell, UPS and Ray-Ban slapped on to the sidepod together in a row.

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I lie, there are some subtle design elements on the car. There is a carbon fibre stripe along the bottom of the car featuring the technical sponsors, as well as some more carbon fibre on the halo and the wing tips. There has indeed been some effort put into the livery other than sponsor logos.

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The only other thing to talk about really is that they have kept the matte red from last season, and I guess I can’t be mad about it. At least the red they’ve chosen is bright and really stands out from the rest (as usual). I can also mention that the numbers aren’t very nice, but pinstriping isn’t really my thing.

★★★

Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda

AlphaTauri was the one real unknown going into the new season. There was talk about a black livery and we all got pretty excited at the thought. It came out white and navy blue, and I have to say was a little underwhelming, especially when the Toro Rosso has been beautiful the last few years.

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I was surprised to see so much white! If I was to make a statement as a ‘new’ team, promoting a new brand, majority white wouldn’t have been my first choice. That said, the main design feature on the car is one big ass AlphaTauri logo on the whole side of the car, so it’s not like they aren’t getting exposure.

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The other is just the big swooping navy blue section acting as the background to the giant logo, which ends abruptly in front of the cockpit. There’s another logo each on the front and rear wings, in case you missed it on the whole side of the car. The design just seems a little uninspired, and quite frankly I think a plain navy blue would have looked way better and distracted less from the logo, which they clearly want to be seen as much as possible.

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The only other annoyance is the Honda logo being in red. A perfect chance for a two tone livery ruined, and sure, while it makes it stand out more, it kinda disrupts the livery. Yeah, I’m a little disappointed by this one. It might be a little boring, but a plain navy blue version nice, doesn’t it?

★★

Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen

It’s been a disastrous start to the season for Alfa, struggling with Ferrari’s engine performance advantage all but gone. They’ve really been nowhere, which is a shame!

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One upside this season is that with the arrival of Kubica as a test driver, Orlen has also jumped on board, filling the sponsor gap in their sidepod. Another good thing to see is they’ve kept the lovely shade of red from last season, which looks terrific under the shining sun.

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Sadly it looks as though almost all reference of Sauber has now disappeared, with the navy blue stripes and Swisse references on the rear wing all gone. Just the Sauber Engineering logo remains is very small writing. Unfortunately, they’ve kept the same pinstripe design along the nose and changed it to red. Another annoying aspect is that Orlen and Huski are very slightly different shades to the main colour of the car. Curse those brand guidelines!

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There is one nice new addition though, with some white flashes working as a very slight gradient on the engine cover, adding some complexity to what was a straight forward design the last couple of years. That said, it feels like two liveries in one, with the front and the rear not gelling perfectly at all. I wish they’d just use a solid chunk of red on the nose rather than those thin little stripes. It’s also a little cluttered, a little wordy, but not enough to lose points over.

★★★☆

Bonus Awards

Best Looker Award – Mercedes

They really have outdone themselves this year. At least it’s a beautiful car that will be winning every race!

Least Attractive Award – AlphaTauri

Maybe it has a little to do with high hopes, but this was a real disappointment. Could have been a really fantastic livery, but who knows, it will probably grow on me.

LARGEST LOGO AWARD – AlphaTauri

Who would’ve thought Racing Point’s BWT logo wouldn’t be the biggest? The AlphaTauri logo literally takes up half of the car, and there are two others on there to boot. When you have enough money to not need any other sponsors, you can do whatever you want!

Blessing in Disguise Award – Williams

Rokit are a no good company, and them leaving lead to an even better livery! We’re all winners in this one (apart from William’s probably not getting as much money as they’d expected).

So which was your favourite? Vote down below and leave a comment!

Livery Mockups – 2020 Formula 1 Field

It’s that time of year again, and whilst I’m no graphic designer, I love having a go at mocking up some realistic-ish liveries for the year ahead. I take as much from the latest news and announcements in terms of sponsorships and try to stick to a team’s ethos as much as possible, with some artistic liberties here or there.

Alfa Romeo

Starting off with Alfa Romeo this year, and something a little more adventurous than last season. I had toyed at using as much of the lovely red as possible, but it ended up looking way too much like Ferrari, so went with a split design, keeping the Sauber spirit with the navy blue on white. It’s one long swoosh from nose to tail, changing abruptly between white and blue depending on the background. The car is quite sponsor heavy in the end, but based on last season’s design, it will probably continue that way.

Alpha Tauri

We’ll be introduced to the second generation of the “Red Bull B Team” in 2020, and the second Alpha (kinda) at the same time. Alfa Tauri, Red Bull’s fashion brand, will be taking over the car, and many are predicting a black and white car based on their branding, which I ran with. It’s a colour combo that’s been pulled off well in the past, especially when black is the main colour. I’ve used simple sections of black and white, accompanied by some more complex small parts of colour, with the diagonal lines breaking up the smooth flow. The graphic logo takes over the traditional big bull on the engine cover, although it’s soul remains, faintly behind the text logo.

Ferrari

My inspiration ran a little dry when it came to Ferrari this year, but I’m optimistic for the real thing, seeing as their last couple of liveries have been increasingly modern and experimental. They’ve ditched most of the white in their livery, so I’m continuing with a dark theme, white limited to sponsors only. The wings are black, along with a large strip starting from the exhaust to just in front of the cockpit. As with the Alfa Tauri livery, I’ve added some thin lines which mimic the Mission Winnow logo and help add some complexity to the otherwise simple livery. I for one hope they ditch the matte paint in favour of gloss this year.

Haas

I was disappointed when Haas’ calamitous relationship with Rich Energy ended, without really turning the great colours and (stolen) logo into an awesome design. It looks as thought we’re headed back to traditional Haas colours, but hopefully with a little more jazz than we’ve seen in the past. I’ve gone for a very simplified camouflage paint to the car in different shades of black and grey, with a long, sharp light grey/bright red accent line through the middle. The Haas logo also has a small red outline/shadow, to help it pop further from the dark background. I think it’s keeps things interesting in a subtle way, and not too outside the box for the team to realistically run.

McLaren

If any livery was going to be way off, it would be this one. McLaren are thankfully going to keep the papaya, but to what extent, nobody knows. My thinking is they’ve created a very strong brand image with the blue triangular pattern, so expanding on this would make sense. I’ve removed the black sections and made it just papaya and blue, but with new sponsors hopping aboard left and right, there’s no saying what colour will feature alongside papaya in 2020.

Mercedes

I must have been a fan of the logo pattern on the car last year, cause I’ve used it in hope that Mercedes will run with it again in 2020. It works really well on a dark background, fading into silver. I’ve kept it subtle with the turquoise as Mercedes always have, the thin line bouncing above and below the black section along the bottom of the car. Other turquoise flashes also appear on the car in a similar fashion.

Racing Point

Everyone was happy to hear that Racing Point will be renamed Aston Martin in 2021, but what will the car look like in 2020? Not sure the level of investment they’ll put into the team this year; maybe it will just be a logo on the side, just like last year’s Red Bull, or perhaps they’ll wait it out entirely til 2021. I’ve banked on them putting in some coin straight away, and dictating the livery from next year, with the twist of BWT also keeping some pink on the car. I’ve also gone against reality to an extent using majority British racing green as opposed the neon green from their sports car liveries, which is only used sparingly as a highlight. So do dark green and pink go together? Decide for yourselves. I’m biased but I kinda dig it in a very weird way.

Red Bull

So what do you do to a livery that already works very well, for a team with strict branding, that doesn’t change it’s liveries very often? It’s very restrictive. What I’ve tried here is a neon-ish theme, with outlines only for the areas of the car normally filled with colour, apart from the text and graphic logos. It’s not much of an evolution on last season’s livery, but enough to keep it interesting year on year. As good as it has been for the last few years, it risks getting stale without some form of evolution.

Renault

For Renault, it’s more of a refinement than a major change. I love the effect the current car has in being majority black from the side and yellow from the front, so I’ve kept this theme in my design (although you can’t really tell given the angle. I’ve kept each yellow section solid, rather than having pinstripes, and have kept the colour as vibrant as possible. I’ve added some extra yellow to the airbox area, as well as the halo, which more teams should start exploit with their designs as opposed to attempting to hide, now that everyone is used to its appearance. A little unrealistically, I’ve kept it entirely two tone, including sponsor logos. A man can dream – it’s a visual effect not seen often enough due to strict branding guidelines.

Williams

Finally, a team down in the dumps, without any real hope until the regulation changes in 2021. Traditionally, Williams will keep a livery design for 5 or so years (sponsorship permitting) without much variation at all, so given Rokit is still around, I don’t see much change afoot. That said, with a couple of new sponsors in thanks to Latifi, I do predict a couple of amendments. I’ve assumed Lavazza will appear on the sidepod, so I’ve had blue fade into Lavazza’s darker blue, to act as a background to their logo. What bothered me about the livery last year was that the blue looked like it was sprayed on top of everything at the very end, and how it looked a little careless on the nose. I’ve made sure the blue fits in better with the sponsors, and have broken up the gradient with a sharp transition to white from the side to the top of the nose and cockpit section. It’s a little bare, but not too obviously so.

Looking forward to an exciting year of racing ahead, and hopefully some pretty liveries to go with it.

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..

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!

Round-Up – 2018 Formula 1 Field

The 2018 F1 season is well underway now, with the guy just below snagging the first two wins of the year. It’s looking up for Ferrari in the fight with Mercedes, but who wins in the livery stakes?

Ferrari

Ferrari 2018 3

I rejoiced at the news that Santander would not be sponsoring Ferrari in 2018 for one simple reason – there would no longer be a requirement to have tonnes of white on the car. However, for the first time since the Vodafone era, I think I kinda miss it. Plain red has worked very well in the past, notably in 2007 in Raikkonen’s WDC year, but it doesn’t quite hit the same mark in 2018, and it mostly has to do with the shade of red that has been used. While it’s quite nice in the somewhat enhanced image above, it’s a little more obvious below in an image closer to how it would appear to the naked eye, that the red is too flat to look that awesome on its own.

Ferrari 2018 2

Where the 2007 car was a slightly darker and slightly metallic red, the red used for the last few years just doesn’t excite on its own. Add to this the cluster of large, clashing sponsors on the sidepods and the varying additions of white and black along the side and you can see why it doesn’t come close to hitting the highs of 2007. This was also a great chance to add black as a prominent second colour, but it wasn’t taken.

★★☆

Force India

Force India 2018 2

After what was a refreshing 2017 livery,  Force India have exceeded expectations with this cracker. The shade of pink used is more or less the same, but there is now a significant amount of white in the mix, helping to break up the bright pink. The design is also far more interesting, incorporating the white sections and new vibrant pink stripes very well to the shape of the car.

Force India 2018 1

It’s also far more unique than the generic swoops of last year, with some odd choices, most notably the pink on the nose which breaks to white a couple of time, likely for sponsors and the driver number to stand out better. Only thing that is slightly annoying for me is the BWT logo not sitting on a single solid colour on the sidepods or front wing end plates – still attractive, but its the unevenness that irks me. Reinvigorating to see such an against the grain design.

★★★★☆

Haas

Haas 2018 1

No surprises from Haas, who have whipped out black, white and red for 2018. However, it’s a huge improvement on last year’s yawn inducing colour scheme. The white opens up the livery making it far more pleasing to look at, in comparison to the grey in 2017 which was just drab.

Haas 2018 3

The design itself hasn’t changed significantly and still draws the same pros and cons. The black/white split half way up the sidepod is great and a simple way of keeping the plain colours from being boring. However, the nose is still an area that could be improved as it just doesn’t quite suit the rest of the car, and isn’t so pleasant on its own anyway.

★★★☆

McLaren

Australian Grand Prix Qualifying

After complete and utter disappointment last year, we can all rejoice after McLaren listened to the people and painted the MCL33 papaya orange. Based on the fondly remembered McLaren Formula 1 and sports cars of the 60s and 70s, and after putting out the feelers with Alonso’s drive in the Indy 500 last year, McLaren have pleased the fans with their colour choice for 2018.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Australian Grand Prix - Practice Day - Melbourne, Australia

I say it a lot – colour choice is vital. This design is incredibly simple, with the only non orange elements being the rear & front wings, as well as the shark fin. I found out myself how difficult it can be to work with this colour, unable to put any complexity into it without destroying it, so I have full respect for the simplicity. The slightly reflective blue is a nice touch and does work well alongside the orange, which I have to reiterate, looks terrific on the car. If only the halo was blue (or didn’t exist)!

★★★★☆

Mercedes

Mercedes 2018 1

Not much change for Mercedes, who have stuck with their silver and neon blue/turquoise swooping design. However, it is an evolution, with the neon lines far thicker than last year, and requiring less background turquoise fill the car with colour.

Formula One F1 - Australian Grand Prix

The wispy black remains on the engine cover to help the Mercedes logo stand out, but still wish they’d explore an alternative because it just ends up looking a little dirty. It’s certainly a slight improvement overall, but will likely be unable to get excited about a silver Mercedes livery unless significant changes are made, however unlikely that may be.

★★★

Red Bull

Red Bull 1

So year three without change for Red Bull and I’m still OK with this. Only major change is with Aston Martin coming in as a main sponsor, and popping their logos on the rear wing and disrupting the red line in front of the sidepods.

Red Bull 2

Am I still as in love as I was last year? No, but it’s still fantastic. No complaints, but hopefully we see some sort of evolution next year.

★★★★☆

Renault

Renault 2018 3

Now THIS is an evolution! Last year’s livery was neither here or there, but they’ve really made some positive changes to finesse the design in 2018. I’m quite partial to a warm yellow, but the cooler shade used this year also works very well, and is a nice change. However, the change with the strongest impact to the car’s good looks is keeping the yellow just to the top of the nose and leaving the sides black. It’s a great effect that I’m a huge fan of.

Renault 2018 2

They’ve also added two nifty black pinstripes from the tip of the nose to the cockpit which looks nice. The line around the edge of and sweeping along the bottom of the sidepods I’m indifferent to, but the added yellow to the front wing is nice. Great overall, especially when viewed front on.

★★★★

Sauber

Australian Grand Prix Practice

One of the great pieces of news for 2018 was that Alfa Romeo were going to be sponsoring Sauber, who have been on the edge in F1 in terms of performance and sponsorship for a number of years now. What this meant to livery buffs like myself was that there was a strong chance of red on the Sauber in the new year. Our prayers were answered with the unveiling of the livery, which proudly displayed a beautiful ruby or candy apple red on the engine cover. While this is a lovely colour, I’m disappointed it wasn’t extended all across the top of the car, like I’d hoped in my mockup earlier this year. It would have been a great effect to see the red from nose to exhaust, but instead, white is prominent toward the front of the car.

F1 Winter Testing in Barcelona - Day Two

The result, however, is that front on, the car looks suspiciously like the Williams with the navy blue lines on the white. The design here is actually the same as last year, where it was gold on blue, but almost looks like two liveries on the one car as the red is barely visible from front angles. A bit of a missed opportunity given the colours they had to work with, so unfortunately is a downgrade from last year’s very complete livery.

★★★

Toro Rosso

Toro Rosso 2

For the first time ever, I’m glad that Toro Rosso have retained their livery. It was stunning last year and it’s still stunning this year. The borderline-purple-in-particular-lighting shade of blue is great, the vibrant red and reflective silver complement it perfectly and the placement of each of the colours is wonderful.

2018 Australian GP

No significant change to note, although the rear wing end plates have a slight update, with the Red Bull Simply Cola logo better fitting the design, where it was plain red last year. I’m satisfied!

★★★★★

Williams

Williams 2018 2

As above, but disappointingly in this case, Williams have also retained their livery. Season 5 has already begun for this Martini livery and whilst iconic, could use a refresh of some sort. There have been some changes albeit of minimal impact, the most significant being the increased volume of the black section sweeping along the bottom sides of the car.

Williams 2018 3

Another big one is that there are fewer sponsors present on the car. This could be an alarming trend for the years to come as we’ve seen a sharp drop off in performance for the team, where it seemed they’d brought back their former stability since the new engine rules. Let’s hope their fortunes improve.

★★★

 

Bonus Awards

Best Looker Award – Toro Rosso

Toro Rosso go back to back. However, I hope they don’t get stuck into old habits and now keep this colour scheme for the next 70 years.

Least Attractive Award – Ferrari

Perhaps this is a little harsh, but I just don’t enjoy so much of that particular shade of red. Some more black would have been fantastic.

Most Likely to be an Ice Cream Flavour – Force India

With so much pink and white on the car, it looks like it would be a tasty flavour. Some sneaky chocolate brown and you’ve have Neapolitan on the grid for the first time ever!

Fan Favourite Award – McLaren

Righting the wrongs of 2017 and the years before, McLaren has certainly pleased the fans this year.

Missed Potential Award – Sauber

Could have been incredible with more of that candy apple red on the car, but alas, there will hopefully be many more years of improvements to come.

Livery Mockups – 2018 Formula 1 Field

A day late and a dollar short this year unfortunately! While I’d started to design these a couple of weeks ago, time got the best of me and alas, I’ve missed the boat in terms of getting these out before the launches. However, I can assure you these designs were started well before the launches, and therefore haven’t taken inspiration from any of the recent launches. In any case, here are my F1 mockups for the 2018 season, in reverse alphabetical order for something different.

Williams

Williams 2018

Every year I try to give the Williams a different look and feel, and while I went retro last year, I’ve gone with something (just about) substantially different for 2018. The Martini stripes are a lot more versatile than they look at first glance, and by simply placing them diagonally and against the grain of the car as opposed to the usual sweeping curves, it gives the livery a fresh new look.

However, I haven’t ignored the curves of the car entirely, sharply ending the stripes along the natural body lines on the nose, sidepod and rear wing endplate, as well as to leave a space for the Martini logo.

The actual 2018 car has followed the same theme of the last few years, they have added a large sweeping chunk of grey to fill up some white space. I wonder how it would have looked in navy blue.

 

Toro Rosso

Toro Rosso 2018

This is one livery I would be very happy to see stay the same in 2018. The vibrant blue and red, and sleek silver were a welcome change after 11 years of bleh, so I’ve made sure to keep true to the 2017 colour scheme.

The simple silver bull stays, and the red line isn’t too different from the actual 2017 livery. The slight changes are that it ends at the sidepod and the second half is moved to the sidepod from above it, and that there is a bull pattern in a slightly darker red just for something different.

For the first time ever, don’t change, Toro Rosso!

 

Sauber

Sauber 2018

Everyone was excited by the possibilities opened by Sauber’s new partnership with Alfa Romeo. Red was on the cards with the launch of the partnership and the actual 2018 didn’t deviate much from this, but my heart was set on the beautiful metallic dark red.

I thought it was a waste to not expand that lovely colour further along the car, so took the liberty to place it all over the top, whilst keeping the sides mainly white. Extending the red along the top helps the flow of the car, where keeping it just on the engine cover gives the impression of a lack of care in the design (just seems a little boring in application in the link above). Some extra flashes of red line the larger red sections and helps fill up the car, despite the void that is the Sauber sidepod of late.  I’ve also managed to keep this two tone, although realistically I should have added some blue, given that is Sauber’s team colour.

So glad to see this colour for the first time since Force India’s first winter test.

 

Renault

Renault 2018

Keeping the Renault two-tone wasn’t the plan originally, but it ended up working quite well. The black and yellow contrast enough for logos to be perfectly visible and the combination is one that just about always works perfectly.

I’d attempted a mainly yellow car, but ended up with the opposite; a sleek black design with a fair amount of yellow piping. I’ve attempted to make good use of the newly introduced halo (which is universally regarded as hideous) with the piping. How teams make use of this feature with their 2018 liveries will be a key factor in overall looks.

Simple and not overly complicated designs executed well can be some of the most memorable.

 

Red Bull

Red Bull 2018

Red Bull have unleashed a monster recently with the all blue ‘disruption’ livery which will almost certainly only be used in winter testing. Realistically, we’ll be seeing the navy blue and red for the 2018 season, and I’ve daringly avoided yellow too where possible. I’ve taken a chapter from the new Toro Rosso book in doing so, keeping the bull and logo super clean in red only, where the yellow outline almost looked out of place in 2017 in comparison to the rest of the livery.

The other elements of the design, being the red lines along the body, are slightly thicker and are cut off at an angle. There are also additional lines, underlining the Red Bull logo, as well as on the wing end plates.

 

Mercedes

Mercedes 2018

Mercedes always presents a challenge, in that I can never seem to make a good looking silver livery. Every single time it ends up looking plain and boring, so I go to colour extremes. As I did last year, and the year before, I’ve piled on the black, as it adds some interest to what really is a bit of a dull colour in silver.

I’ve kept true to Mercedes’ love for the airbrush gradient application of colour with the turquoise on silver, whilst keeping the edges between the black and turquoise sharp along the sidepod and nose lines of the car. There’s also a subtle black section along the bottom of the car, slightly reducing the amount of silver used, whilst accentuating the natural curves of the car.

The black also helps many of the logos pop out to the viewer, where they stand out less on the silver. Plain black also looks better than the dirty looking airbrushed black on the engine cover in recent years.

 

McLaren

McLaren 2018

This is probably the car I’ve had the most frustration with in terms of design. I believe McLaren understand that the strong orange livery in 2017 wasn’t very well received, so perhaps in hope, I’ve gone with papaya orange that everyone rightfully rages about and wishes to see in 2018.

The design is rather plain as the papaya orange is surprisingly difficult to complement with other colours. I’ve gone with black instead of the blue used in IndyCar as that was more a Indy throwback, but kept it to a minimum, with flashes on the halo, airbox, very rear of the engine cover and wing end plates.

Again, not in love with this by any means, but am sure McLaren will want to move on from their Honda disaster with a turn in the right livery colour direction.

 

Haas

Haas 2018

This design is seemingly irrelevant now as I’d started it back when the Maserati Haas rumour were lingering. Either way, I’ve followed the main Haas theme in splitting the colours half way up the sidepod, but in this instance, half charcoal grey and half blue.

The blue adds a bit of colour to what has was a very dull affair last year, with the white wing end plates especially opening the car up slightly. The white flashes act as a partial separation of the blue and grey, with some extra white sections wholly in the blue on the engine cover and rear of the sidepod. All white sections bordered on one edge with a red pinstripe.

A shame that this rumour never turned out to be true, but at least we’re in for less grey in 2018.

 

Force India

Force India 2018

Or is it FORCE F1? Either way, the pink panther has also been very tough to design. I attempted using just two shades of pink which didn’t turn out very well, and ended up with just pink and black, this time with a vapourwave (quite a stretch, I know) feel.

The four sections of  angular lines work in layers, and use odd shapes to fill up sections of the car without logos. They both create a feeling of unease, jutting against the grain, but also a sense of calm, cutting along the cars curves, especially on the nose section. The black wings work well against the largely bright pink car.

 

Ferrari

Ferrari 2018

Finally, Ferrari, in ditching Santander, have opened us up to the hope of getting rid of the majority of white on the car and reintroducing black as the secondary colour. This paired with the removal of the suspiciously Marlboro looking Scuderia logo from online media channels means we may even have an attractive engine cover too.

I have gone with some more black, mainly on the engine cover and wing end plates, but also along the bottom of the car. Flashes too have been added on both ends of the halo, as well as the tip of the nosecone.

I don’t know how Ferrari get away with it year after year, perhaps we get used to it very quickly, but their logo arrangement on the sidepod is quite jarring and makes designing a complete and beautiful livery very difficult. Red, white, brown and yellows of different hues is a bit of a nightmare. They’ve been doing it for years but somehow, it never specifically receives much negative feedback. Perhaps there will be more hope next year.

 

So they were my mockups for the 2018 Formula 1 season. Any in particular that you liked, or perhaps didn’t? Do you feel you have any improvements of your own? Let me know below!

Livery Round-Up – 2017 Formula 1 Field

Melbourne Pack

Formula 1 is finally back, and it looks like the Mercedes stranglehold is over…at least for the time being. A terrific win for Vettel, but at the same time, a lot of our fears have been realised with very few overtakes, and following closely proving very difficult.

Racing aside, how lucky are we in terms of liveries this year? Easily the most colourful grid in 15 years and after a few years of dull, dark grids, I couldn’t be happier.

Ferrari

Australian F1 Grand Prix

After the big white engine cover brought little success in 2016, it has been swiftly relegated to the shark fin this year. A bit of a shame if you ask me, as it was a nice change from the solid red of recent years, but it’s good to see that they’ve at least kept it in a smaller form. The tricolore design on this white section is a great touch.

Ferrari 1

The red remains standard and I’m disappointed not to see a more exciting shade, but it does look nice in real life. The logo placement is looking increasingly cluttered, especially on the sidepod. While the Ferrari sidepod has always been a billboard for various logos, it hasn’t often looked this messy. The Ray Ban, UPS and Shell logos just don’t blend very well. Elsewhere on the livery there’s a pinstripe spike jutting out of the cockpit which would look better solid, or perhaps as a variation of the tricolore. A typically above average Ferrari livery.

★★★

 

Force India

Australian F1 Grand Prix

Who in their right mind would have predicted a pink car on the grid this year? The beauty of this is two fold; we wave goodbye the ugliest livery on the grid and in its place is a fresh, exciting and unique sight. Pink is one of the most uncommon colours in F1, seen on a car on just a few occasions and never as a majority colour, so it’s so refreshing to see it in 2017.

On the other side of the coin, the design has remained largely the same. However, this just exemplifies how important colour choice is on a livery. Whilst the black and silver was universally regarded as ugly, the pink in its place makes the design more than acceptable.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Australian Grand Prix - Practice Day - Melbourne, Australia

What was the orange line has now been split into two lines, with a lovely dark pink contrasting well against the light pink, but the silver accompanying it gets a little lost and would have looked at least a little better if it were black, matching the rest of the livery and logos a lot better. The added lines on the shark fin are welcome, as it was a very empty section on the launch livery.

The BWT logo is the only blue on the car, and while it would have matched the livery a lot better if it were black, you can understand the sponsor limitations. The black around the sidepod openings look fantastic, as do the wings, which further prove to me that black would have been a better option than silver elsewhere on the car.

★★★★

 

Haas

Haas 1

Very few teams will receive a lower rating than last year, but Haas is probably the worst offender. They launched last year with a questionable silver, before updating with a lovely mostly white livery. This year they’ve gone with Hispania grey as the majority colour, which is a baffling decision to me. The car already looked great last year, which makes me wonder why they’ve thought a change was required in the first place. This grey is a generally unattractive colour, especially in Motorsport against the tarmac background.

Haas 2

The design itself is largely unchanged, with the red on the side of the nose dragged a little further back, as well as the rear wing end plates being split between red and black, and the shark fin having a very interesting WEC looking design. I’m surprised the latter element wasn’t spread to other areas of the car, namely the wings, as it could have added some life to an otherwise incredibly dull livery.

Once again, very few sponsors on the car, but luckily the Haas logo is terrific and adds some good looks to the sidepods and rear wing. Overall, this is a super dull livery, looking as though the designers took advice from Ron Dennis. It’s not ugly, but definitely boring.

★★

 

McLaren

McLaren 1

After weeks of hype, McLaren unveiled a largely orange car to the world in February and have kept with it for the first round in Melbourne. While part of me is very excited to see a brightly coloured McLaren on the grid after a few years of dim cars, it has left me wanting more.

The orange itself is rather strong, whereas I would have much preferred to see a slightly lighter, Papaya orange. That said, McLaren may have gone with an evolution rather than a throwback, so fair play to them. The shade of orange does change slightly depending on lighting, but looks best when it looks lighter.

Formula One Australia - Race, Melbourne, USA - 26 Mar 2017

In terms of design, what we’ve got is a classic generic look, like a standard choice from a video game, which doesn’t do the historic colour justice. This is exaggerated in my eyes by the white outline, which it could do without, or at least in a different form. It’s a shame that they couldn’t put something more involved on the car.

However, it’s not to say there shouldn’t be any white on the car, as the white section along the sidepod looks fantastic. My final gripe with this livery is the orange that is broken in up front of the cockpit, where it would have looked just fine as a continuous section all the way along the top.

★★★☆

 

Mercedes

Australia F1 GP Auto Racing

After all the exciting change above, Mercedes is still Mercedes. The usual silver is this time accompanied by some interesting looking neon lines, in varying shades of Petronas turquoise along the sidepods and wings.

Australia F1 GP Auto Racing

They are sticking with the airbrushed black on the engine cover and airbox which I’ve never really liked. It’s an overall standard livery, which we’ve grown accustomed, if not indifferent to.

★★★

 

Red Bull

Red Bull 1

Red Bull have seen little change from 2016 and everyone should be more than OK with this. It’s still a stunning livery and if anything, has had some minor improvements made for the new season. A big reason for this is Mobil 1 replacing Total as oil supplier, meaning the wing end plates are now navy, and this has allowed a thin red line to now extend onto the rear wing. This leads to a far cleaner look overall and takes it that one step further.

Red Bull 2

Only questionable thing is the Bull not extending onto the shark fin, which would be the logical thing to do, but this doesn’t take away from the livery.

★★★★★

 

Renault

Australian F1 Grand Prix

Renault have made some considerable changes this season, with the car being split just about 50/50 between yellow and black. This split is made right at the start of the sidepods, with just one tail of yellow running all the way toward the rear from this point, on both sides. This would work a lot better if the end of the yellow wasn’t so abrupt, and there was a slightly more gradual introduction of the black. Instead it leaves the yellow stripes looking a little out of place, rather than totally integrated. The yellow along the top of the shark fin works a lot better. Some black stripes on the nose also could have gone a long way to complete the livery here, but I wouldn’t put the house on it.

Renault 2

There is definitely a Mild Seven feel to this livery, and with some black on the top of the nose, it’s a lot more similar than I had initially thought. It’s a decent livery in its own right, but not enough to make it better than last year’s simpler design. Colour choice keeps it above average for me.

★★★☆

 

Sauber

Sauber 1

Sauber have been in the same boat as many these last few years; having seemingly endless options but producing below par liveries. To everyone’s surprise, they’ve bucked the trend this year and created a real stunner.

With Banco do Brasil ditching Felipe Nasr and ending his hopes of a drive, we thought a dull blue and white livery was on the cars. Instead, Sauber have chosen a beautiful deep metallic blue to adorn the car, matched with a clean white along the side of the nose and sidepods. It’s a nice crisp contrast between the two, although the gap in the white for the driver numbers is a little odd.

AUTO-AUS-PRIX-F1

Another surprise was the choice of gold as a third colour, introduced to celebrate their 25th season in Formula 1. Whilst I’d have preferred a slightly stronger or yellow-er gold for lack of a better word, it matches the livery very well and adds a bit of spice to complete the look. The pinstripe placement of the gold actually works on this occasion and just looks really nice.

It’s another year with few sponsors on the car, but at least this season the cardoesn’t look too empty.

★★★★☆

 

Toro Rosso

Toro Rosso 1

Now I’ve spoken about surprises throughout this post, but none compare to this. I’ve been begging Toro Rosso to change their livery for years, but my hopes slowly waned until there was none at all. There were whispers of a colour change at the start of the year, but not enough to get me believing. Then they pop up with this.

It’s not a simple colour change, but a total overhaul of the tired, dusty Toro Rosso design entirely. In comes a new, beautiful blueberry main colour which shimmers purple in the sunlight, accompanied by a vibrant red and incredible chrome silver. All the colours gel superbly with each other and stand out so well in their own right.

Toro Rosso 2

Everything that I hated about the old livery is history. The bull graphic past its use by date – gone. The boring, dull gold – gone. The generic, half hearted designs – gone. Replacing this is a super simple design; one thick red line along the side, with a bull on the engine cover matching the new edition cans and red wing end plates I can now enjoy.

Everything on this car works so well and is compounded by the sheer surprise and joy I felt upon seeing they’d actually made a change. If I could give more stars, I would. You know what, I enjoyed this so much they can have gold stars. Oh, and it looks fantastic in real life too.

★★★★★

 

Williams

AUTO-AUS-PRIX-F1

It’s hard to follow that up. Williams are the complete opposite, having stuck with the same livery for another year. We’ve already spoken about this, they need to mix it up, hopefully we get some change next year.

Formula One World Championship 2017, Round 1, Australian Grand Prix

The only real difference this year is the Martini stripes extending and spreading out on the shark fin. Like I’ve said before it still looks good but is now dangerously close to becoming stale.

★★★

 

What a grid we have for 2017. So many colours but more importantly, so many good looking liveries. The happiest I’ve been going into round 1 in a number of years. Let’s hope the championship fight stays close and the racing gets better and better.

 

Bonus Awards

Best Looker Award – Toro Rosso

Both of the Red Bull teams look great this year, but Toro Rosso is simply beautiful and my pick of the 2017 grid.

Least Attractive Award – Haas

Nothing particularly offensive this season, but Haas is just dull and boring, which is disappointing considering what they had last season.

Biggest Nagger Award – McLaren

A potential beauty here, but is let down by a generic design.

Is This Real Life? Award – Toro Rosso

A day I thought would never come. They’ve made significant changes and pulled them off spectacularly.

Potential Barbie Sponsorship Award – Force India

Not just pink, but baby pink! I wonder if Mattel would be interested in a sponsorship deal?

 

Livery Launch – Renault Sport F1 R.S.17

Renault has revealed it’s 2017 contender:

renualt-2017

The all yellow livery was great last year, but to evolve the livery needed more black, and that’s what they’ve delivered. While I wouldn’t say it’s quite as nice as the 2010 bumblebee livery, it is very pleasant. They’ve stuck with the matte paint and the design is actually very reminiscent of the Mild Seven era liveries, minus the outline and obviously the blue.

renault-2017-2

It is quite simple at the end of the day, but that isn’t a bad thing. My biggest gripe with this livery is Castrol. Renault had finally got rid of Total’s (and PDVSA’s) red requirement last year and have now moved on to another oil supplier that won’t conform to a colour scheme.

Up next are Force India, hoping to steal the orange hype away from McLaren!

Livery Mockups – 2017 Formula 1 Field

The most exciting part of the year for us livery junkies is just around the corner; F1 launches! Big changes in the regulations mean the cars will look very different, but there’s every chance liveries will be quite different too. With a bunch of driver and sponsor changes, I’m very excited to see what the teams present to us this year.

After last year’s successful post, I’ve decided to get a few other designers from International Motorsports Graphics to draw up their thoughts, and explore liveries from a number different design angles. Thanks for your contributions WhiskyTangoFoxtrot and LiveriesAreTheBest!

Special thanks to StylePixelStudios for the beautiful template and without further ado, here are our 2017 Formula 1 field mockups, followed by a short description from each designer.

Ferrari

ferrari-wtf

WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot – Knowing that Ferrari is going to get rid of the white part in their livery – which I consider a mistake – I have chosen to keep it in this rather angular design. I have also added a cheeky touch of green to include all the colors of the Italian tricolor.

ferrari-latb

LiveriesAreTheBest – I made 2 other takes of what a Ferrari 2017 livery might look like, but this all-red one suits the best, taking inspiration from the 2007 Ferrari. A much different Scuderia Ferrari logo on the engine cover looks somewhat better for me than the original one.

ferrari-jarnooo

The Livery Blog – In the 2000s I got sick of the Marlboro/Vodafone white on the Ferraris and ever since, I had an aversion to the combo. This year, however, I discovered that I may have overcome it. Instead of going for black as a secondary colour, which I always thought looked best, I’ve played with distribution of white. Since the rumours in the Italian media (which are often true) say that the white engine cover will be gone, I’ve gone with small sections of white behind the airbox, in front of the cockpit and along the bottom side of the car. I’ve also kept the Italian flag on the airbox, which was a nice touch last year. The red used is also a slightly different hue. The Marlboro Scuderia Ferrari logo will inevitably remain , as will the white wings. That said, perhaps they will try to mimic the black of the 1990 Ferrari. Because emulating and old livery brought them so much success last year.

Force India

force-india-jarnooo

The Livery Blog – I’m not sure how big an investment Johnnie Walker have actually put into Force India, but here I’m assuming they’ll be on the sidepods. I’ve taken inspiration from the Force India liveries of 2009/10 which I really liked and applied swooping bright green and orange lines along the car, but with a black base, in line with their current image.

So what if Johnnie Walker had a beefy sponsorship and decided to promote one of their brands?

force-india-jarnooo-2

My alternative is a Johnnie Walker Black Label livery. I’ve tried my best to minimise the JPS/Renault/Lotus resemblance but the similarities can’t really be avoided. I’ve used the bottle label on the sidepod, a design I’ve always been a fan of, so no real need to mess with it. On the rest of the car, I’ve used two different shades of gold, a lighter shade on the logos and shape outlines, with a darker shade half filling those shapes. These colours just work incredibly well together.

force-india-latb

LiveriesAreTheBest – This one is inspired by Force India’s 2008 testing livery. Silver/orange at the front and orange/green at the back.

force-india-wtf

WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot – For Force India, I have created a very straight-lined design that attempts to have a place for each one of their many minor sponsors. The old combination of orange, white and green has replaced their predominantly black-and-silver designs of recent years.

Haas

haas-wtf

WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot – I made the American flag an integral part of the design on the Haas car while creating a splatter-based design using their old color scheme, only changing the shade of the red to match that of the Stars and Stripes.

haas-latb

LiveriesAreTheBest – Haas’ 2016 livery was with grey as main colour, but why not shuffle up these three colours? Red was the eventual pick as the base colour.

haas-jarnooo

TheLiveryBlog – I have to start by saying Haas’ current livery is great and I’d be happy to see it retained for another year. That said, I’ve tried to use their current colours in a new way. With the fondly remembered Compaq/HP Williams cars in mind, I’ve placed a flat design of alternating black, grey and red over multiple surfaces of the car. This is only interrupted by white sections on the ‘top’ surfaces of the car. I’ve used red as a highlight, placing it on the top edges of the car (engine cover, wings and mirrors), as well as extra accents on the nose and headrest. Only issue for Haas at the moment is the lack of sponsorship, so a complex design is required to stop the car looking empty.

Manor

manor-jarnooo

TheLiveryBlog – Although Manor are unlikely to race at this point, I’ve decided to make a livery anyway. Whilst the livery is similar to 2016, I’ve slightly altered the colours, going with a lighter blue and a brighter orange. I’ve also gone with white alone as a third colour (no black), using a major chunk of it along the side of the car which I feel brightens the livery a little. The logo on the engine cover remains, which looked great last year. However, I wouldn’t be disappointed to see the 2016 livery used again, which was a fan favourite…should they race 😦

manor-latb

LiveriesAreTheBest – It’s sad that we won’t see Manor on the grid…

manor-wtf

WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot – Without an idea of who their drivers and sponsors will be – and whether we’ll see them on the grid at all – I created a swirly flame design for Manor with last year’s sponsors and color scheme.

McLaren

mclaren-wtf

WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot – I still want to see an orange McLaren! As I feel like they will not have a main sponsor once again, I have just used McLaren, placing it in something of an awkward place for the benefit of the design. The orange part is meant to be pearlescent.

mclaren-jarnooo-1

TheLiveryBlog – Before all the orange speculation, I reverted back to 2015. I always loved the sparkly black colour seen on the majority of the McLaren that started the year. I’ve used this over the whole car, whilst retaining the dayglo design on top of the sidepods. I’ve also added a thin dayglo trimming on the entire side following the nose and engine cover, outlining the car and contrasting well with the sparkly black (which I may have put a bit too much blue hue in).

mclaren-jarnooo-2

However, the orange McLaren hype is real! So this design features a lot of the paler orange seen in the 70s, along with the current charcoal colour which I’m totally indifferent about. It’s a bit of a mish mash in my opinion, but Ron is gone so who knows what we might see next year. Perhaps it will be entirely orange?

mclaren-latb

LiveriesAreTheBest – I also made two other takes of a McLaren 2017 livery, but following the latest news that McLaren may go orange this year, I decided to make this all-orange version.

Mercedes

mercedes-jarnooo

TheLiveryBlog – For the second year in a row I’ve decided to throw caution to the wind for my Mercedes deisgn. I’ve cut down on silver again and included a lot of black and Petronas turquoise, the latter in thick strips along the engine cover, sidepods, rear wing end plates and wrapping over the nose. The silver is in two distinct sections, one engulfing the cockpit and the other the rear of the car. While there’s zero hope of this being even remotely similar to the 2017 livery, you can’t let the man get you down.

mercedes-latb

LiveriesAreTheBest – I actually do like Mercedes’ 2016 livery, but why not add some more turquoise to the livery? This is what it could look like with a black “Vodafone McLaren-ish” sidepod.

mercedes-wtf

WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot – For Mercedes, I have just created a simple design of swirly stripes while brightening the background color to almost white.

Red Bull

red-bull-wtf

WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot – Keeping Red Bull’s combination of matte black and bright red that was introduced last year, I have created a splatter design hoping to make it seem more aggressive, playful and exciting.

red-bull-jarnooo

TheLiveryBlog – I’ve stuck fairly close to last year’s livery, which was my favourite of the 2016 field. The major changes here are the removal of the Total red on the wings, extension of the thin red line to the end of the sidepods and removal of the Bull’s yellow outline, which I felt made the car look a little unbalanced, considering the Red Bull text didn’t have an outline. Another addition is having the cockpit all in yellow, which gives me happy Sauber 1999 vibes.

red-bull-latb

LiveriesAreTheBest – Nothing slightly different compared to RBR’s 2016 livery. Couldn’t think of anything else.

Renault

renault-latb

LiveriesAreTheBest – Inspired by the classic Renault liveries from the 1980’s. Replaced the Total logo with BP following the announcement that they will use BP/Castrol fuel.

renault-wtf

WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot – A plain yellow car has its merits, but that would not be very rewarding to create. Thus, a traditionally colored Renault with the addition of white in a swooping design.

renault-jarnooo

TheLiveryBlog – I struggled a little with the Renault, because I don’t think it will be as plain this year. I’ve added three main black sections; straight along the top edge of the engine cover, wrapping over the nose, and in the very rear of the sidepods (as well as the wings). These black sections are outlined by three shortening strips of reflective gold.

Sauber

sauber-jarnooo

TheLiveryBlog – After some pleasant emails with Sauber last year, where they explained the process behind the design of their livery and that their team colours are blue and white, I’ve designed a livery using a pleasantly vibrant blue with white the only other colour, assuming no major sponsors are coming on board this year. I’ve kept the design minimal, with just five white lines strategically placed across the car. There is one major white section, on the top of the nose, giving some significant contrast to the abundance of blue on the car and is a subtle design throwback to arguably my favourite all time livery.

sauber-wtf

WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot – Please do not adjust your computer screens – this car is not supposed to have color. With the withdrawal of Banco de Brasil, one can only guess what the 2017 livery will look like. Nonetheless, this one draws inspiration from their 1994 livery and upgrades Silanna to the position of main sponsor – of course, this could be any company.

sauber-latb

LiveriesAreTheBest – I decided to make a new take on the Sauber so this one is plain metallic blue.

Toro Rosso

str-latb

LiveriesAreTheBest – I seriously can’t think of a super-cool Toro Rosso livery so I made this one. Just a “blank” livery with a big bull they used from 2006 to 2008. This one is based off of my 2016 Toro Rosso concept.

str-jarnooo

TheLiveryBlog – Every year we labour to make nice STR liveries and every year we are left discouraged. Inevitable disappointment aside, this year I’ve added a whole bunch of white to the livery. The engine cover (where the cartoon Bull has once again been removed) features a Red Bull can style background, breaking up the navy blue. The gold used is a little lighter whilst the red has been nudged a notch or two lighter. The Red Bull logo on the sidepod sits on a large white section which is pointed at the tip. There are also large white sections on the bottom and on top of the nose/cockpit. Each of these white sections feature a fade to gold.

str-wtf

WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot – I’ll admit that I have no idea how to design a livery for STR. However, I am getting tired of the dark colors of their liveries, so I totally changed it. Also, seeing how they have previously used gold in their design elements, I made it into one of the main colors to create a unique color scheme that sets them apart from the other teams.

Williams

williams-wtf

WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot – Just another Martini design, nothing else.

williams-jarnooo

TheLiveryBlog – Finally, I’ve gone a little retro with Williams. As I’ve mentioned before, a fourth year of a nearly identical Martini livery would be too much. This time I’ve used straight horizontal lines and a retro logo harking back to the Martini liveries of the 70s. The Martini stripes extend to the wings and straight along the top of the nose. A welcome change in my opinion!

williams-latb

LiveriesAreTheBest – Same opinion as the Toro Rosso, so I ended up making this. This one is inspired by the 2008-2010 Williams liveries.

So that’s it for another year. Would love to get people’s thoughts and opinions, so let us know what you think! Here’s to some lovely liveries this season.

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-16-17-2

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.

ds-virgin-16-17-3

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.

★★★☆

NextEV NIO

nextev-16-17-1

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.

nextev-16-17-3

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.

nextev-16-17-2

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

venturi-16-17-2

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.

venturi-16-17-3

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.

venturi-16-17-1

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

faraday-dragon-16-17-2

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.

faraday-dragon-16-17-4

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.

faraday-dragon-16-17-3

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

renault-e-dams-16-17-2

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.

renault-e-dams-16-17-1

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-schaeffler-16-17-2

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.

abt-schaeffler-16-17-1

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

mahindra-16-17-2

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.

mahindra-16-17-3

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.

mahindra-16-17-4

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

jaguar-16-17-3

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.

jaguar-16-17-2

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.

jaguar-16-17-1

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

★☆

Techeetah

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.

techeetah-16-17-1

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

amlin-andretti-16-17-1

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.

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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.

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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!