Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

Alternative F1 livery designs for 2015 // A more colourful, more interesting selection of cars to look at this season

Published by Stuart Taylor

We’ve all waited patiently over the winter for the latest model F1 machinery to spread their wings for our pleasure and - once we’ve all had a good laugh at their stupid noses - we check out their liveries. This year has been a little bit disappointing, I must say.

We were hoping, with McLaren free from Mercedes (and title sponsors!) that it would jazz up its livery: perhaps its rekindled relationship with Honda would bring back its Marlboro colours; after all, Lotus were all too happy to use completely irrelevant cigarette branding for its renaissance! Some of us even hoped it would return to its roots - the dazzling orange of the Brucey days. But no: with Dennis the entirely Unmenaced in charge we got grey. And black.

In fact, grey and black seems to be a running theme for this year’s plumage with McLaren, Force India and Mercedes all painted in steel, and with Williams in white and Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Ferrari in the same colours as usual it was up to Sauber of all people to bring some razzle dazzle to the party.

So, I decided to have a little play of my own to create a more colourful grid, just for my own amusement. The only rule was that I had to appease the sponsors, keeping them in the same rough size and position as they’d paid for.

Mercedes

I threw in some racing stripes and used bolder block patterns to add some menace to the car

Mercedes are the Silver Arrows and Petronas are turquoise, so I wasn’t all that bothered about changing a colour scheme that works pretty well together. The brushed turquoise across the sidepod was getting pretty old though, so I thought they could do with a more striking arrangement - they’re world champions, after all! I threw in some racing stripes and used bolder block patterns to add some menace to the car.

Red Bull Racing

The blue chequers are bright and much more fun than their previous decade of dark colouring

Honestly, I do like Red Bull’s racing stripes and I almost painted the whole car purple (as RBR have been sliding towards in recent years). But I really did like their original testing livery - the energy drink skin was pretty cool and distinctive. Sure it’s got silver in it, but the blue chequers are bright and much more fun than their previous decade of dark colouring. Simply oppose the sponsor colours for an effective finish!

Williams

Williams should play with the Martini racing stripes, year-on-year

I knew I couldn’t better Williams' current scheme, but I thought I’d add a twist to make it less white and more like their rally colours. I think Williams should play with the Martini racing stripes, year-on-year, just for fun.

Ferrari

I had a play with their prancing horse, who now rides the engine cover like Red Bull’s bull

Make it red! Ferrari should be red - blood red. I did away with all the silly white bits, including that god-awful Ferrari/Marlboro logo on the engine cover and darkened the whole thing back to scarlet. Much nicer. It almost looks like velvet, now. I had a little play with their prancing horse, who now rides the engine cover like Red Bull’s bull.

McLaren

Bold, block patterns that are based on the Marlboro skin

Bam! Orange! You’ll see this machine coming from a mile away, blazing in the midday sin. I decided to go pure racing livery on this one, with bold, block patterns that are based on the Marlboro skin. We’ve got plenty of space for sponsors but until McLaren woo someone with money, we’ll just slam a Honda ‘H’ right on the sidepod while McLaren “make history”.

Force India

Force India have really just scatterbombed their car in logos

As one of the few teams to actually reinvent their livery, I wasn’t prepared to take that away from them. I did miss the green though - green and orange have been a big part of FIF1 and, as one of the only national teams, I wanted to get it back in. One thing I noticed while making this livery is that Force India have really just scatterbombed their car in logos, haven’t they?

Toro Rosso

A lovely chemical blue, with some Tron lines running through it

The thing about Toro Rosso is that they can do whatever they want with their livery design, can’t they? As long as it says ‘Red Bull’ in massive letters across the body, they aren’t beholden to any colour scheme or title sponsor demands, so why not have some fun with it? I like their painted bull, whom I shall call Bullsworth Bullion III, so I’ve kept that in. But after that, I decided to brighten the car up a lovely chemical blue, with some Tron lines running through it, because why not? And again, you’d spot this car out of the pack.

Lotus

Lotus deserves to be green so instead I’ve coloured it a deep, dark metallic green

I never really cared for the John Player Special style black and gold design, but it’s kind of the team’s signature now so I don’t want to completely take it away from them. However, Lotus deserves to be green so instead I’ve coloured it a deep, dark metallic green that will look black until the sun catches its contours and we see the racing green shining through. The gold stripes? I made them electric yellow - and I’ll be sure to make them ultra reflective for Singapore and Bahrain. Shimmer!

Sauber

Spatter it with sparks and show you’re a mean, exciting racing team

I’m glad Sauber have decided to go blue and yellow for this year. It’s different and it’s more classic racing - the same way I like old school helmet designs that are block-designed like flags instead of today’s helmets that look like surfboards. Having said all that, Sauber have just one big sponsor to house, so why not have some fun with the rest of the chassis? Spatter it with sparks and show you’re a mean, exciting racing team.

Marussia

A metallic engine cover over a matt body should be just the striking plumage Marussia need

This is my fantasy grid and in my fantasy, Marussia are still here, thanks to a healthy injection of cash from the Coca Cola company. Sure, it’s silver and black - but the black is matt. I’ve done my research on the Marussia cars and they love a bit of red and matt black. A metallic engine cover over a matt body should be just the striking plumage Marussia need.

Caterham

Caterham are green and yellow and I’ll hear nothing to the contrary

Yes, Caterham are back on the grid too! Thank goodness for Colman’s Mustard, coming to the rescue of their East Anglian brethren, eh? Caterham are green and yellow and I’ll hear nothing to the contrary; they deserve a car that looks every inch the flavour of their bodge-tastic British motorsports heritage and that’s what I’ve given them.

So that’s the grid in my head. Granted, I threw it all together in a few hours and I’m no professional designer - not yet anyway. I just wanted a more colourful, more interesting bunch of cars to look at beyond the absurdity of their noses. Let me know what you think on Twitter or what designs you’d have preferred to have seen and maybe I’ll try and mock some of your own fantasies up for you.