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…
Did they know the Hispania was also going to be white and do this consciously? Kudos, anyway, to Force India for taking their basic colour scheme and actually changing it year on year. Although from the front at least, you can’t help but wonder if they’ve employed the same graphic designer that used to work for Toyota…
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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You have to be a bit eagle-eyed to spot it, but there is a bit of a difference between this year’s car and last…
Aside from a bit of sponsor-shuffling (and the addition of Reebok to the rear-wing endplate [EDIT: except of course, as has been pointed out, that was added partway through last season!]), if you compare it to last year there’s a slight change in the layout of the orange and green – with a smarter, curved shape – on the side of the nosecone. Can’t argue with what they’ve done here, though – as I mentioned in my pre-launch speculation, the team have hit on a distinctive visual identity that clearly marks out what they’re all about (and, perhaps against expectations, the colours don’t look at all bad together), so expect to see evolutions of this design (and they are at least making tweaks to it, which is something) for a while to come.
So that’s nine down, and only four to go! With Red Bull launching a car that will almost certainly follow their standard livery tomorrow, we’ll just be left with three out of the four new teams to launch (although we’re still not even sure of the identities of all of those three, with the apparently-increasing possibility that Stefan GP will take the place of Campos Meta). Which are you most excited about (I personally can’t wait to see the Lotus)? Which has been your favourite 2010 livery so far?
A guest article by Greg “Ned Flanders” Morland
Some F1 liveries are iconic. The ‘rosso corsa’ Ferrari, as used for decades. The red and white Marlboro McLaren, raced by legends such as Senna and Prost. The variations of the blue and white colour scheme used by Williams during their glory years in the ’80s and ’90s. The Silver Arrows Mercedes which was synonymous with both Mercedes in the ’50s and McLaren over 40 years later.
But not all designs reach this level of prominence. Some are consigned to the dustbin after no more than one or two events. Some are never raced at all. Others are never even intended to be raced! Created for reasons as varied as charity promotion, sponsorship changes and regulation disputes, this is a collection of obscure F1 liveries.
Right, then – let’s round up those missing livery launches, starting with the car driven by my New Favourite Namesake Driver, Seb Vettel, the Red Bull :
Everything as you’d expect, here – a tweaking of the usual blue livery with the red/blue/silver corporate lines. Note the rear wing, though, being used to advertise Red Bull Cola. It’d be quite nice if one of the two teams (if not the main one, then perhaps Toro Rosso) decided to deck their whole car out in that red/white/blue colour scheme for a bit of variety, don’t you think?
Elsewhere, Force India have clawed back some respect from this website after their shocking McLaren copy-job last year, by going for something a bit more distinctive :
Alright, so there’s still too much white – but in the absence of Honda (of whom more later) and Super Aguri, that’s not quite such a bad thing. I like that they’ve gone for a scheme that’s more in keeping with their team’s name and theme, making it clearly and immediately identifiable. Although it does look rather “cheaper” than last season – you can’t help but feel it has more of the look of a sponsorless, financially-struggling back-of-the-grid outfit. Oh, incidentally, confession time – images of this livery leaked a while back thanks to FI’s official 2009 calendar, which a reader kindly emailed me, and I COMPLETELY FAILED to get round to covering it, despite it being exactly the kind of scoop the blog was set up for!
So too, in fact, were those leaked pictures of the Williams livery that were around a short while back. Once again, the Grove outfit have eschewed an official launch, but have been running on-track at Jerez in what would seem to be their definite ’09 colour scheme. It’s pretty much as you’d expect – the usual blue and white of recent years, with the sponsors shuffled round a little :
As ever, I like it. It’s perhaps a bit simple (like almost every team, it’s low on sponsors – not inherently a bad thing, of course, but it does leave the car looking a bit un-dynamic), but I like the shade of blue (I can’t tell if they’ve changed it this year, though – on-track it looks the same, but in those promo pictures it’s rather lighter) and the shifted swooping lines are neat. Gawd knows what’ s going on with those shark-fin things, though.
And finally, although there’s not been a launch, and there are no pictures or anything to share, I’ve heard murmurings that the soon-to-be-renamed former Honda team, possibly to be known as Brawn Racing, could be running a light-blue and white livery this year. Which would make for a nice bit of variety, I’m sure you’ll agree. Hopefully we’ll find out if/when they show up for testing, but if it does turn out to be correct, remember that you heard it here first. Unless you didn’t.