2010 feels so long ago, doesn’t it? A few short years after one of the best livery seasons in living memory, we’re now at a stage where almost every car’s look can be, in the main, predicted weeks before launch. There are still a few decent liveries on the grid, but in general there’s a quite “samey” feel to proceedings, and a disappointing general lack of good colour. It’s also notable just how few cars are based around a particular sponsor’s corporate identity these days.
Anyway! Lamenting aside, let’s have a look at how all the cars from 2013 stack up alongside one-another, using the patented F1 Colours scoring system developed last year, as follows:
Colours: Have the team just stuck a few pins in a Pantone chart, or have they actually picked hues that look good on a car and complement each other?
Design: Racing car livery, or spray-painted nightmare?
Sponsors: Not just whether there are any (although there bloody should be at least a few), but also whether they’re integrated into the colour scheme or not.
Originality: Ferrari need not apply.
Thoroughly splendid vector images of the cars from from Pieczaro, by the way.
Infiniti Red Bull Racing
Good blue, good red, good yellow, good GRIEF WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON WITH THAT PURPLE?
Paint application (c) “El Barto”
A simple and effective batch. Interesting that the words “Red Bull” don’t appear at all in profile view, now.
A point up on last year for at least doing something a bit new, but even so…
Total: 10/20 (last year: 12)
Last year, I said it was “only missing a dose of black”. Well, hello. And I’m sure that’s a much closer approximation of rosso corsa than previous years.
It’d be even better without the white separating the black from red, but this is definitely up on last year. Italian flag stripe on the nose a great touch, too.
Badly-placed UPS logo and that godawful fake Marlboro thing ruin an otherwise good portfolio.
One up on last year for actually being a little bit different.
Total: 13/20 (last year: 11)
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
Apologies, I couldn’t find a picture of
the 2013 McLaren, so I had to use this
one of the 2012 car with a new race
number stuck on it instead. Sorry about that.
Total: 10/20 (last year: 11)
Lotus F1 Team
It’s not just me, is it? The gold is less, well, gold than last year, isn’t it?
Over-application of the lipstick really not a good look at all. Takes astonishing effort to ruin a classic, but somehow…
The clashing yellow Lotus logo has gone, but it’s overcrowded placement of others that now stops this being spot on.
I guess it has to have a point more than last year for changing things up, but… come on…
Total: 11/20 (last year: 14)
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team
Great shade of silver, great shade of turquoise. As I said last year, they have no right working together, but they do.
Knocking a point off last year’s score for the unnecessary spray-painted sliver on the nose.
BlackBerry a good addition to the portfolio. Still wish that Petronas logo looked a bit better, though.
Barely changed since 2011.
Total: 14/20 (last year: 15)
Sauber F1 Team
I’d rather it be closer to full-on black, but this is a pretty cool combo.
Stylish lines. A bit plain on the nose and rear, but pretty inoffensive.
Another area improved, in as far as integration into the livery. Feels wanting for a single major sponsor, however.
It’s new! Okay, it’s not a total revolution, rather a vast improvement of the existing idea, but: it’s new!
Total: 13/20 (last year: 9)
Sahara Force India F1 Team
Still a great combo. Love orange on an F1 car.
As pleasant-yet-slightly-dated as it was a year ago.
Blue logo on the airbox is a misstep. Also, despite having lots of names, are any of them not Mallya-owned brands?
Exactly the same as last year – but at least it’s very distinctive to them.
Total: 11/20 (last year: 13)
Williams F1 Team
Can’t go wrong with a nice dark racing blue and white, with red hints. Simple and classic.
This design seems to get flatter and duller with each successive year’s tweaking, sadly.
Depressingly few. Where would they be without Maldonado? All look good on the car, mind.
Diminishing returns, really. Would have appreciated more tweaks to last year than the swapping of the Renault/PDVSA engine cover strips.
Total: 10/20 (last year: 12)
Scuderia Toro Rosso
Love that shade of blue, like that shade of gold, less keen on the pinky-red.
A lot of the extraneous nonsense is gone, and for the better. As with last year, though, more gold at the rear and/or more red at the front would balance it better.
Only a handful of names, but prominently-displayed and well integrated.
Looks exactly as you’d expect a Toro Rosso to look.
Total: 13/20 (last year: 11)
Caterham F1 Team
Point lost for the slightly lighter green. Point regained for the excellent retro dark grey wings.
Only oddity is the lack of yellow in the front view compared with the profile: it should be either in both, or neither. Again, though, the wings save it.
Definite improvement on last year, and all colour integration spot on, but the placement of a few of them is a bit odd.
The same basic template of the last two years gets a slight freshening thanks to – you guessed it – those wings, plus a new kind of nose stripe.
Total: 15/20 (last year: 14)
Marussia F1 Team
Seriously, get a better shade of red, guys.
Bland and F3000-ish. A disappointment compared with previous efforts. Dangerously close to Midland territory.
Would still prefer Marussia to move away from the Virgin Racing colour scheme, but at least they do make effort to change the design year-on-year.
Total: 10/20 (last year: 14)
So, despite taking victory last year, Mercedes’ unwillingness to change things up much has led to them being overtaken by Caterham, who take the F1 Colours crown for 2013 with 15 points out of 20. Kudos as well to Ferrari, Sauber and Toro Rosso, who have all made improvements – albeit to varying degrees – that have impressed me this year.
All in all, though, it’s not what I’d call a vintage batch – and I’d see that as continuing a trend from last year. The average score for each livery across the 11 teams in 2012 was 13.45, and with HRT removed from the equation this time out, the 10 remaining teams make for an average of 13.00. There’s nothing out there that looks particularly awful – save perhaps the Lotus – and McLaren’s low score of 10 is largely due to the sheer (and almost insulting) lack of invention or effort.
But it does feel at the moment like liveries are in something of a repetitive rut – we can only hope for some major sponsor and/or team shakeups to change that in the coming years…
So that’s enough of my yakking. What do you think?