If there’s one thing guaranteed to dampen the excitement of yet another round of new car launches, it’s the news that Toyota are the first out of the blocks.
Ever since launching their first livery in 2002, F1’s biggest-spending underachievers have steadfastly refused to show any imagination in terms of colour schemes as the years roll on. Admittedly, it’s a very neat look – the blue on the Panasonic logo contrasts nicely with the Japanese company’s corporate red and white – but it’s also very functional and dull, the sort of thing you become a bit tired of looking at after five years of service. Certainly, nothing about the car “jumps out” any more, while the jaggedy edges of the red patches – about the only thing that changes in layout each year – just scream of an attempt to look “edgy” and “hip”.
Weirdly, despite never really changing the look of the car, Toyota do seem to like playing with the drivers’ overalls. They’ve had some nice effects over the last few years, mixing the red and white with a combination of black and grey that doesn’t normally appear on the car. They’ve blown it a bit this year, though – the grey and red stripes down the legs just look a bit silly, frankly.
With the next launch on the horizon being Ferrari (a team hardly renowned for going with dramatic changes in corporate identity!) on Sunday, it seems we’ll have to wait until Monday’s McLaren launch to get anything in the way of excitement…