2011 Liveries: The Verdict(s)

March 14, 2011

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…

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Are You Midland In Disguise?

February 7, 2011

The 2010 Virgin was one of the best-looking cars on last year’s grid, so it was always going to be interesting seeing what sort of livery they’d roll out with this year in their new, Marussia-Virgin incarnation. The answer is that the 2011 car features an evolution, rather than a revolution, of last year’s design – and yet somehow, even though the changes are largely small and subtle, something about it doesn’t quite feel right…

I think the main problem with it is that the sleek matte black of last year’s car is no longer the dominant theme – the subtle shifts here and there (from the way the black section on the sides now starts further back along the sidepod and loops up at a sharper angle, to the increased amounts of white, to the fact that it just looks downright shinier) detract from it somewhat. The most notable change, of course, is the white section on the nose – where the blue in Marussia’s logo throws the whole thing off to a significant extent – along with the addition of grey to the white lines that separate the red and black. These additions, along with an increased number of smaller sponsor logos, make the whole thing somewhat reminiscent of the short-lived Midland team’s 2006 car – strangely, the last time a Russian company whose name begins with “M” bought into a small team with an established amount of character and spirit.

It’s certainly not a terrible car, by any means – and I quite like the driver’s uniforms, even though it’s a disappointment to see yet more drivers wearing white, particularly as there was nothing wrong with last year’s black-and-red suits – but after the gorgeous, simple effort last year that projected a clear, stark, unified team identity, this one already feels like it’s throwing too many different elements into the mix.

Above anything else, frankly, I think it looks more like a ChampCar racer than an F1 car…


2010 Liveries : The Verdict!

March 10, 2010

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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Virgin Racing launch the VR-01

February 3, 2010

Well, it took long enough to get to see the thing – the planned online launch didn’t happen, and even after the unveiling, pictures have (at the time of writing) yet to appear on the team’s site, leading to the suggestion that they may have lost their FTP password! – so you can insert your own jokes about the timeliness of Virgin Trains here, but we’ve finally been granted a look at the VR-01, and it’s a beaut:

Adorning a chassis that’s quite conservative by (so-far) 2010 standards, it’s nevertheless a lovely-looking livery. The engine cover layout calls to mind the ill-fated Midland team, with the side of the nose reminiscent of a mid-2000s Minardi; and the combination of red and black is basically exactly what you’d have expected from the team from day one. But nevertheless, it’s all come out rather classy-looking. Not sure what that grey pattern at the rear (also in red on the uniform legs) is all about, mind; but it’s also nice to see a new car that’s actually got a fair few sponsors on it (although it seems strange that a brand new team, even with Branson behind them, can attract sponsors where the likes of Renault and Sauber can’t). Still not entirely convinced about the team’s ability to compete this season – but the car’s there, it looks good, and it’s got a number 24 on it (which is pleasing for those of us looking forward to there being more than ten teams on the grid!) Top stuff. Just sort your website out next time, boys!


2010 Livery Speculation

January 5, 2010

The 2010 season is looking to be one of the most exciting in years for those of us interested in the changing face of F1 liveries – with four entirely new teams joining the grid, two others rebranding, and at least one other set to change colour scheme as the result of a defunct sponsorship deal. As we wait for the launches season (now that it’s been confirmed that the mooted “joint launch” won’t be happening) to begin in earnest this month, I thought it high time to go through team by team and try to get an idea of how the 26 cars might look…

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