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…
So, then. The new Williams is basically a continuation of the team’s post-BMW identity (with the layout of the nose section in particular deviating little from the 2010 version), but infused with a deliberate nod back to a certain era in the team’s past. Although, blimey, it’s a weird day when “mid-90s” can be straight-facedly referred to as “retro”.
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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Cor, it’s all very exciting, isn’t it? We’ve had the new Mercedes (of which I won’t bother reposting pictures here, as despite a drastically different chassis shape it’s still the same livery as seen last week), plus an official launch for the Toro Rosso and a quiet rollout of the new Williams. As there’s not been an official “launch” of the latter, we’re not sure that it’s definitely the final livery, but have some pictures anyway:
Same as you were, basically. It’s a nice livery, but it’s a little dull to see nothing in the way of refreshment – aside from that “Williams Hybrid” logo on the side of the monocoque. Maybe they still have a new sponsor to pull out of the bag… but I doubt it. I think what you see is what you get with Williams at the moment.
Meanwhile, not much to report from Toro Rosso, either – it’s much the same as last year, only with a new red nose pattern. But unless Red Bull are planning some changes, it’s still disappointingly similar to the “parent” car. It’d be really nice to see the team strike out with their own identity a bit more – something like this (artwork by “Jezson” of F1fanatic), perhaps?
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.
About a week late on this, but apologies, I’ve been busy elsewhere! Anyway, it’s not hugely far removed from the livery we got pictures of a little while back (the one that the team denied unconvincingly was the actual design)…
Interestingly, though, Mappin & Webb – the jewellery company whose logo appeared so prominently on that test livery – are nowhere to be seen. Instead, toy shop Hamley’s have increased their presence, taking over the sidepod, a result of parent company Baugur increasing their investment in the team.
As for the livery itself… well, as I commented when we saw the “test” livery, I like the design generally – the increased amount of blue is good, as is the fact that it’s a bit darker. It makes the car a bit more distinctive (standing out from the other white and blue cars on the grid), and it almost looks black-and-white in certain light. The use of silver in places is a bit nondescript, though – it might look better if that were gold, or a lighter blue. But I do also like the retro-ish race numbers, and all-in-all it’s a very Williams-ish design. Keep an eye on this car – it could well be this year’s “best of the rest”, if testing is anything to go by…
Meanwhile, here on F1 Colours, expect a bit more content again as we build up to the season. The first “Livery History” article – featuring the Jordan team – will be posted at some point over the next month, and I’ll also be featuring some general F1 commentary in both the build-up to, and aftermath of, the Australian GP. Only one week to go, folks!