Red Bull, Toro Rosso, Silver Arrows

Three launches yesterday, three launches today. No let up, is there? I’m a bit slower catching up on these – partly because I was busy at work today, and partly because none of them really involve anything we haven’t already seen – but let’s do a run-through for the sake of completeness. We’ll do the Mercedes first, as that’s the most interesting, then if you so desire you can follow the jump to read about the Red Bull and Toro Rosso.

Having now seen it in full, it has to be said – it’s a sterling example of how just a few changes can make a huge difference to the quality of a livery. This is a great looking car, and will in all likelihood be one of the best on the grid this year. The turquoise works so well alongside the silver in this new, increased quantity that I’m amazed they were so scared of it last year; this makes the 2010 car look like a wishy-washy, test prototype, while this is The Real Thing. Dropping the black “carbon” sections from the engine cover and nose has worked superbly, too – it gives the car a much more dynamic feel now that, down to the tip of the nose, it’s just one shard-like piece of silver.

There are quibbles: it’s a shame there’s been nothing done with the airbox area (how nice would a huge, three-point-star Merc logo look there?); I’m not sure the red sponsor detail works as well on the rear wing as it does on the nose (where the classic-style race numbers allow them to get away with it); I still don’t know what’s up with those black-and-yellow wing mirrors, which date back to the 2009 Brawn; and there’s something up with the way the PETRONAS on the sidepod partially creeps out into the silver. Really, though, these are minor issues. All in all, Mercedes have done a terrific job this time out.

Elsewhere, the two Red Bull-owned teams launched new cars as well. For both, it was a case of “more of the same”, although moreso in Toro Rosso’s case; I really can’t see any difference between this livery and last year’s, aside from the new sponsor added to the cockpit sides:

Meanwhile, the Red Bull is at least a little different – and I don’t just mean for the (disappointingly small) #1 that now adorns the nose. It’s the wing endplates that draw the focus – perhaps to make up for the Total logo on the front wing sides being smaller this year, there’s now a red-backed logo on the rear wing, as well – replacing the Red Bull/Red Bull Cola drinks can that was on it last year. It’s interesting how much sway Total seem to have over the teams they supply – they’ve now forced a red logo on both Red Bull and Renault, although at least in this case it’s more complementary to the overall colour scheme.

But aside from that, it’s same-old for Red Bull. It’s a design I’m definitely starting to get a bit tired of, myself; it’s always looked a bit too busy (ironically, for a car with so few sponsors) with the red, light blue and silver stripes, particularly the ones on the nose. I think the team would be better-served reverting to a simpler, classier-looking design. The yellow nose and airbox, with the red bulls on either side, are undoubtedly an unchangeable part of the team’s look, but the car could still keep them and yet be tidied up somewhat – I mean, take the Petronas turquoise off this, make the RB logo a bit bigger, and you’ve got a definite winner…

Oh, and in case you were wondering – yes, I will be talking about Williams’ interim livery at some point, but as it wasn’t a full-on new season design launch, I’ve held off for now. More to come!

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16 Responses to Red Bull, Toro Rosso, Silver Arrows

  1. Vert says:

    I really like the Mereceds livery. Can’t decide if there’s too much turquoise on the sidepods or not but overall its a great livery.

    Red Bull, like you said, was unlikely to change after such a successful year, so meh. Just like the McLaren Silver and Red, it’s getting old.

    Toro Rosso I’m really disappointed with. They have what is a nothing livery and yet they stick with it year after year. Very boring.

  2. Ed says:

    The Mercedes does look the best of these three, but I agree, it needs something else on the engine cover/airbox, whether it be a new sponsor or the Mercedes logo.

  3. Ned says:

    I actually really like the Red Bull livery. It would be nice to see them change it occasionally just because I like seeing livery changes, but to be honest I think they’re right to keep it.

    It’s an eye catching, quick looking colourful livery, and it gives them a distinct visual identity. I think in 20 years time people will look back on the Red Bull with as much fondness as the Marlboro McLaren or the JPS Lotus.

    That said, I think it’s an interesting suggestion that they could copy the old Sauber shade of blue for RBR. I think that would probably work very well

    (PS, it’s crazy looking at that 1999 Sauber how much the Red Bull logo’s have grown since then. They used to be tiny!)

    • bosyber says:

      I always liked the Red Bull livery, but I agree with Seb, seeing it for so long, I would like it to change – it is a bit busy around the nose. I have to say for me the simpler rear wing endplate. with the white on red Total and the three stripes below works much better than the flag/can thing of last year. They should look at treating the whole car in such a way. I doubt they will go for Petronassy blue though.

  4. OllieJ says:

    Wow I’d forgotten how nice the late-90s Saubers looked before Credit Suisse came along and vandalised them with their white paint.
    Is it me or is the Red Bull lettering and the ‘big bull’ on the RB7 much bigger than last year?

    • Ned says:

      If anything I’d say it’s a bit smaller now that the engine covers are shorter, but it’s hard to tell

      • bosyber says:

        I think it is a bit bigger, now coming down a bit further towards the gearbox, but I’m not sure. The smaller fin make it look bigger in any case.

  5. Vert says:

    Am I the only one who would love to see a car entirely in that metallic turquoise?

  6. Aly says:

    Well played to Mercedes for improving their livery with not a lot of effort. It looks much better this year. I would like to see Red Bull do something different but if you look at the Nascar teams and the Citroen WRC, this is the Red Bull motorsports image and it does work really well but it could do with a change, maybe they will if they don’t win the titles this year. As for Toro Rosso i wish they would change to the Nascar alternative white.silver scheme or run in the sugar free light blue colours or in the cola scheme.

  7. Ed says:

    Red Bull have now added the cans again to the rear wing endplates – like last year, one side with Red Bull Cola and one side with the Energy Drink

    • Ned says:

      And they’ve also removed the shark fin from the engine cover, which has a surprisingly big effect on the look of the livery. I like it better, it makes the red/ yellow seen more prominent

      • bosyber says:

        While I lament the return of the wishy-washy can’s on the endplates, I agree Ned, losing the bit with the tail of the Bull enormously improves the car – now the engine cover actually accentuates the sleek shape of the car, it really stand out nicely.

  8. Aly says:

    FYI

    New williams livery to be launched online on their website at 1100 hours on 24th February.

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/89540

  9. Ed says:

    Seeing the Kubica messages on the cars in Jerez, I was wondering if we have ever had a mass ‘get well soon’ message on all the cars before?

    I don’t remember anything like that for Massa surprisingly, but of course if I were to be cynical, advertising space during the GP season is a bit more precious than in testing.

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