Livery Histories #3: Benetton

August 11, 2011

The third of our Livery Histories looks at a team that were close to my heart in the mid to late ’90s – Benetton Formula. The team didn’t win a lot of friends in the early ’90s, thanks to a series of controversies including the “poaching” of Michael Schumacher from Jordan in 1991 and persistent rumours of skullduggery and technical infringements during their first title-winning season in ’94. But by 1997, they’d become underdogs of a sort, never challenging for titles but able to pick up a podium or even a win here and there and with the likeable driver combo of Alesi and Berger – so they were the ideal team to which to hitch my wagon at a time when I was disillusioned with Williams for sacking Damon Hill.

And, of course, it helps that they had some pretty smart liveries around that time. But the sky blue and white Mild Seven livery was just one in a series of multi-coloured efforts that the team would employ during their fifteen-year tenure in the sport – fitting, really, for a company whose main brand includes the words “United Colors”…

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Livery Histories #2: Jordan

December 15, 2010

Better late than never, eh? In an attempt to shift discussion on this site away from the various Lotus teams for once, let’s finally get around to something I originally planned to do about a year ago – the second of my Livery Histories posts, this time focusing on one of the most colourful and livery-orientated teams of the 1990s: Jordan Grand Prix.

The Jordan team brought a lot of excitement and character to F1 in the ’90s – and although perhaps their greatest legacy was the introduction of a startling array of driver talent to the sport (including a certain Schumacher M.), they’ll also be remembered by many for their assortment of memorable liveries, most notably the Benson & Hedges-themed cars of the late ’90s and early 2000s. But when they first arrived in the sport in 1991, the car looked very different…

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Livery Histories #1 : Lotus

November 13, 2009

The first article in this series was originally going to be about Jordan Grand Prix, but following the news about a new Lotus team’s planned entry into F1 in 2010, I couldn’t help but get thinking about Lotus liveries. After all, of all the new teams entering next year, Lotus is the name that will get even the more casual observers thinking about famous colour schemes – I can think of three or four instantly evocative classics off the top of my head that it would immediately be great to see a return of.

So in taking a skim over the history of Lotus liveries (a less detailed one than I’ll be doing for the likes of Jordan and Benetton, for whom I’ll cover each individual season – Lotus competed for 38 years, after all!), I’ll also be speculating over whether any of the classic colour schemes could feasibly make a¬† reappearance¬† in 2010 – or will we see something new entirely?

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