I really wish that F1 teams would experiment more with their liveries…

I really wish that Formula 1 teams would experiment more with their liveries.

A pretty pointless statement, you may argue. But you have to delve deeper to look at what the liveries were like in the past and look at what designers are creating as thrilling concept ideas.

A simple question I then pose: if they were exciting in the past, why are they on the dull side today? The terms sponsors and professionalism springs to mind, but that doesn’t stop a team making identical liveries year after year.

The striking 1986 Benetton BMW


Take the 1986 Benetton BMW for example. That livery is bold, daring and iconic. While it may not have been to everyone’s taste, the design was memorable and it was ultimately a shame that Benetton only kept it for a year.

Another more recent gem was the 2009 Brawn car. Quite frankly, it didn’t feel like it was going to be a bog standard livery when the team fist revealed it. This was coupled with constant rumours that the team would replace it was a ‘proper’ livery at some point. Thankfully, they never did. Only sponsors were added to the car, but the overall impact remained constant. It was beautiful.

To this day, those colour combinations have only appeared on the grid once, and that was with Brawn in 2009. That makes it even more exciting.

The 2009 Brawn GP car. Credit: Shiny Things

Back to 2018 and two cars have been launched thus far: the Williams and the Haas. Both liveries have merely been tweaked, despite it being a new season. The new Williams looks awfully like it did in previous seasons, despite the team promising that the challenger will perform differently. It’s the same story for the Haas too.

Haas F1 concept liveries from Sean Bull Design

The thing that makes the revealing of the new cars so disappointing is that numerous fantasy liveries have been circulated online. And these are exciting, dare I say breathtaking.

Sean Bull is one particular name that springs to mind. His creations are slick, clean but still brilliant to look at. The sponsors are all there, but as is the aesthetically pleasing element as the car looks beautiful. And that isn’t just because you know it’s a Formula 1 car.

His designs create excitement among the F1 community on social media, so I can’t help but wonder why the teams don’t take a leaf out of his book. Even if it’s the smallest of leaves.

So what will it take for a team to make a daring and drastic change? Major rule changes perhaps? Hardly not. We’ve been there before and that didn’t get us very far. We get that Ferrari represent red, but…

The point is, F1 is so often alluded to as the pinnacle of motorsport. If this is the case, then why does the appearance of the cars end up being mediocre? Perhaps you may suggest that cars speak for themselves with their superb engineering. But that doesn’t stop me from wanting a bit more je ne sais quoi.

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