Livery of the Day – Tyrrell 012

Tyrrell had a season to forget in 1984. What had some promise, including a podium for Brundle in Detroit, turned into an exclusion from the championship, when it was discovered (ironically after said podium) their cheeky tactics were outside the rules. They had been running their cars underweight during the race, before adding lead to the water tanks to meet weight requirements in scrutineering. Despite this disappointment, they had at least one of the best looking cars on the grid.

bellof 1984 tyrrell monaco

It’s unusual to see teams run different liveries on their cars in F1. It’s often a once off, such as David Coulthard’s Red Bull in the last race of his career, but Martin Brundle and Stefan Bellof had different liveries for the whole 1984 season. Despite some sponsors being shared by both cars, the two didn’t have many other visual similarities.

bellof tyrrell 1984

Bellof’s livery looked to have significant inspiration from his own helmet design. While Maredo brought a base of black to the car, it took Bellof’s signature red and yellow lines, and placed them along the top sides of the car, from nose to engine. It may be the best helmet to car colour coordination of all time! The massive number on the nose is not my favourite part of the livery – not that it looks awful, but that the yellow, red and white lines end so abruptly above the number.

That aside, the colours on this car work really well, with the sponsor colours also blending in very well for the most part. Even the DeLonghi blue even fits in pretty well, as it’s so subtle against the black. It’s simple, uncomplicated, and objectively attractive!

On the other side of the garage, Brundle’s car had a very different approach. Yardley had a fairly rich history in Formula 1 up to this point, sponsoring both BRM and McLaren in the 70s, and had a brief (and final) stint in the sport on this car. It meant their brown aftershave bottle design was translated to an F1 car. It is surprisingly not appalling and actually quite memorable, bordering on good looking. It gives off some brown JPS Lotus vibes with the gold piping, and the black wings are a welcome relief from the almost flat brown. I always thought the nose design was a little strange, but have just realised it is meant to be a gold medal. Not sure if the design was ambiguous or if I was just clueless!

DeLonghi, which appears on both cars, works fairly well here too. It stands out a lot more on Brundle’s car and even works quite well wrapped around the front of the cockpit, but the blue rectangle could have been placed a little more thoughtfully on the side. The section near the front suspension is especially careless and would detract significantly from the livery if it wasn’t partially hidden by the tyres.

It was a doomed season for Tyrrell in the end, but at least gave us F1 and livery buffs something to talk about, even 25 years later!

Let me know what you think in the comments below! If you have any suggestions for future liveries, pop them in there too.

Livery of the Day – Tyrrell 012

Livery of the Day -Tyrrell 025

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

Tyrrell 1

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

Tyrrell 2

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

Tyrrell 3

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

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

Tyrrell 4.jpg

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

Livery of the Day -Tyrrell 025