Right, then. We’ve now seen all twelve of 2011’s Formula One liveries. I wanted to wait, before doing the usual summary post, until we’d seen them all running on track in testing – but frankly, from the looks of things we may not see the HRT in motion before Melbourne itself. So there’s no point waiting for it, and I might as well run through each of the cars now and give my thoughts. It’s fair to say that 2011 isn’t really the vintage year for new liveries that 2010 was – but there are still some interesting paint jobs out there, and some teams have even managed to improve on the previous year. Let’s take a look in detail, then…
… no, not really. It’s a Ferrari, and it looks like one. Have some big lovely high-res pictures, anyway:
The main point of interest, of course, is the big Italian flag that takes up the rear wing, in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the country’s unification (a fact that also gives its name to the car, the F150). It’s an interesting feature – although I can’t help but think it may end up looking more Irish in certain light, given the orange-red Ferrari currently employ; and I have to say I’d have preferred an Italian flag motif to be worked into a more stylised, racing-livery context – perhaps with a more ’70s style engine cover.
As it is, while the new Scuderia logo is undoubtedly an improvement on the Marlboro one, on the car itself it really doesn’t work in that configuration. I can imagine the rectangular version looks good on trucks and suchlike, but on the car itself I think it’d look immeasurably better if the top left corner were chopped out, the “swoop” moved up and left to be in line with the shape of the car, and the prancing horse shield moved to the right. But hey-ho.
One more point to note is that sponsors Etihad are now completely absent from the car. Their three-year deal, signed in 2008, ended at the close of last season, and evidently it’s not been renewed. Are they pulling out of the sport altogether, or can we expect to see them show up on another car? Perhaps they might be the new title sponsor for a team currently missing one? Or will they just be concentrating on their sponsorship of the Abu Dhabi GP from now on?
Oh, and one last thing: are all the teams’ tyres going to have the Pirelli logo straight-on in that way? Weeeeeird…
I suspect they wouldn’t have been so quick to do this if they didn’t already have Santander splashed across the rear wing (and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Spanish bank make it on to the engine cover before too long), but this is as close to an admission of “Yeah, alright, you got us” as you’re ever going to get from the Scuderia.
Got to reproduce this final parting shot from them, though, as it might just be the funniest moment of the whole “saga”:
Together with Philip Morris International we have decided to modify the livery of our cars starting with the Barcelona Grand Prix.
This decision was taken in order to remove all speculation concerning the so-called ‘bar code’ which was never intended to be a reference to a tobacco brand.
By this we want to put an end to this ridiculous story and concentrate on more important things than on such groundless allegations.’
I mean… if the barcode had nothing to do with Philip Morris, then what exactly, pray tell, did they have to do with the decision?
Greetings, F1 Colours readers! I know we’ve entered the typical “livery launches out of the way, season started” lull that this site has, but seeing as sponsorship and liveries have – in a rare move – made it into F1 news lately, I really couldn’t sit back and comment as about the only blog dedicated to the subject. So here’s my take on this whole “the Ferrari barcodes have nothing to do with Marlboro” nonsense.
In case you’ve missed it, the basic gist is this – UK newspaper The Times recently ran a report on something that those of us who’ve followed F1 since the late ’90s or earlier have known for years: that the “barcode” pattern on Ferrari’s cars is a cunning way of masking the fact that they still receive sponsorship money from Marlboro, despite the fact that tobacco advertising in F1 was outlawed entirely in 2007. Laughably, Ferrari – sorry, “Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro”, to give them their full, officially-registered title – president Luca di Montezelmolo has since claimed that:
It is verging on the ridiculous to claim that the colour red or a graphic design which shows a barcode could induce people to smoke.
While an official statement from Ferrari claimed that:
The bar code is part of the livery of the car, it is not part of a subliminal advertising campaign.
All of this shows remarkably short memories on the part of Ferrari personnel. So in order to explain why people might possibly think that a red and white and black bar code logo has anything to do with Marlboro, let’s give them a bit of a history lesson…
Well, with all 12 teams’ liveries now unveiled, and the season opening race mere days away, I thought it time to take one last look at all 12 together, to see how they compare to one-another – and to the history of liveries in general – and give them all marks out of ten. It’s undoubtedly a more colourful grid than last year, with plenty of new colours thrown into the mix and only two cars that are predominantly white – but at the same time, we’ve suddenly been hit by a surfeit of silver/grey, and you wonder if certain teams could have done a little more to distinguish themselves. Here, then, is the full grid lineup :
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Well, look – it’s a Ferrari, it’s got a bit more white on it than last season (I quite like the touch of having the front wing supports be white as well as the wing itself), but aside from that it’s exactly as you’d expect, even down to still having that quite dated-looking Marlboro barcode thing. So there’s not really much else to say about it – to be honest, the Red Bull-esque nose is probably a more interesting aspect than the livery. Here it is, anyway :
What I do find rather amusing, though, is the way the uniforms look like they’ve been designed to give Massa and Alonso the look of rather womanly hips…
Spanish sports paper Marca, suddenly taking an interest in all things Scuderia (I suspect it’s to do with a certain driver and a certain bank), seem to have uncovered the first picture of a 2010 livery! It’s a Ferrari, so don’t expect too many surprises, although it is a little different, which is nice :
I’d imagine that picture must have come from the filming of an advert, as Valentino Rossi’s test session today in last year’s car (which, shape-wise, the above seems to be – presumably teams can’t get round the testing ban by running their new season cars on film!) saw it run in ’09 livery. But anyway, it’s quite interesting! Slightly more radical than we might have expected, in that Santander have been allowed to paint the wings white (calling to mind the late ’90s/early 2000s cars) but the thick white strip along the endplate, smartly matching the height of the wing, also lends it a slightly retro feel (I’m picturing that uncharacteristic 1993 car, though I doubt that’s a deliberate invocation!)
But yes, I generally approve – if even Ferrari can make tweaks to their usually-largely-unchanging design, then it bodes well for potentially the most exciting livery launch season in years…
(thanks to Greg for the heads up!)
UPDATE: Despite not having officially unveiled the car yet, Ferrari have issued press photos of the drivers’ new overalls, at the same time confirming Alonso’s helmet design for this season.