2008 Livery Predictions

What, then, can we expect from the various teams in terms of liveries this year? Well, to be honest, it seems like in most cases the 2008 colour schemes will show little deviation from their predecessors, but let’s have a look team-by-team and see what we might expect…

Of course, Ferrari, who unveil their car later today, are unlikely to make any major changes – and, indeed, the preview image already released would seem to bear that out. Once again, it’s the orange-red colour scheme, with a row of dashes in place of the Marlboro logo. Still, I liked last year’s design – there was something “spiky” about it, and I liked the entirely red front wing – so there’s little to complain about here, even though most of us would of course prefer a return to the darker shade of red, with black and yellow front wings…

BMW have already established themselves as a team who don’t seem to like changing their livery much – once they and Williams had settled on a design in 2001 they stuck with it until the partnership ended, and their 2007 car was indistinguishable, colour-wise, from the 2006 livery. Expect more of the same this year, with the only likely changes resulting from any potential new or ending sponsorship deals.

Renault‘s 2007 scheme was an unmitigated disaster – but despite this, I can’t imagine them changing it drastically. ING are still title sponsors, despite any sponsors Alonso might bring back with him (Telefonica, perhaps?), so unless they look to come up with something a bit cleaner (either going yellow, white and black as a Renault should be, or going more towards the dark blue and orange of the sponsor’s corporate colours), expect to have to look at the harlequin-esque mess for another year.

Williams aren’t even having a car launch this year, which suggests that their livery is unlikely to change (they’ve already stated that they have sponsor continuity). It’s a nice design, although the shade of light blue that links the darker blue with the white is a bit weak – I much preferred the greener look on the 2006 car, which was an all-round better design (but which they’re unlikely to go back to as it reminds them of their worst season in recent memory!) Simple and classic, just like Williams, but also a little on the dull side once you’ve seen it a few times.

Red Bull at least made a few changes to their standard livery last year, but don’t expect any major changes this time out. It’ll be dark blue, it’ll have big Red Bull logos on it and little else, and it’ll have those red and silver lines on it. Come on, guys, shake things up a bit!

They may have finally dumped Ralf Schumacher, but if Toyota change their livery this season, I will actually eat my hat. You won’t see Kingfisher on the car any more, so there may be a new sponsor or two – but, come on. They’ve had near-identical designs since 2002. Can you really see them changing now?

It disappoints me that Toro Rosso stick so closely to the Red Bull line when they’re supposed to be an autonomous team – alright, so they tried something a bit different with the big bull draped over the back end of the car, but let’s face it, it didn’t really work – and if they continue it for a third season it’s going ot look very boring. It’s a shame that two teams have such similar cars – I mean, given that Red Bull’s colours are blue AND silver, why not have the STRs in silver? Then again, I suppose I’d just prefer it if they were in black, yellow and white and still called Minardis…

The Earth livery was a nice idea, but I think Honda may admit that it didn’t really work out too well in practice. It’s unclear whether they’ll keep it this year – although there’s an image on their site that I can’t tell if it’s of last year’s car from a certain angle, or the new one, with black along the nose but the Earth image on the sides. If they do change, I’d be disappointed if they just went back to white and red. I’d like to see something in black and red, like the uniforms the pit crew wore last year.

Super Aguri are unlikely to switch from their colours of white and red, but last year at least showed their willingness to put a new livery out – as it happened, though, the 2007 effort wasn’t as nice as their debut season. Still, let’s hope they continue to come up with something new this year.

Unsurprisingly, JordanMidlandSpyker have yet another new name this year – and Force India have already put out an interim livery while testing drivers. Sadly, it consists of white and dark red as its main colours, meaning it looks far too similar to the Aguri and Toyota cars. Hopefully they’ll come up with something a bit more distinctive by launch date – that shade of burgundy would look nice if applied to the whole car, perhaps with the gold used to pick out sponsor names. Their website certainly suggests that burgundy will be a dominant theme – although don’t rule out use of the Indian flag colours of green, white and orange.

And finally (strange to be saying it in this order) we have McLaren. It’s unclear yet as to how many of their sponsorship deals they may have lost with the departure of Alonso – Santander is probably one – but Vodafone remain onboard, and for that reason I can’t imagine a massive change in design aesthetic, unless they decide to go for something a bit more humble in reflection of their position in the smallest garage. I’d like to see Vodafone’s colours integrated more into the design, rather than just slapped onto the existing chrome, but people have got quite used to seeing Hamilton in that car, so we’ll have to see…

A general point that’s worth making, too, is to wonder whether or not any of the teams will come up with something special to accentuate their liveries/sponsors under the lights of the Singapore night race… worth keeping an eye on, anyway…


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