In January 2007, I decided somewhat on a whim to start a blog about F1 liveries and sponsorship. Ten years later, that blog is – somehow – still here.
It’s not the first time I’ve had a whim like that, and there are many websites I’ve started and followed through on to varying degrees of success or, more likely, failure and apathy. But this one, somehow, managed to stick.
I think it helped that I tapped into an audience that had never really been catered for, but certainly existed. Not everyone who’s into F1 cares about what’s painted on the cars, but I think a pretty high proportion of fans do; maybe a higher percentage, even, than pay attention to (for example) football kits. When you think about the iconic cars of history that are talked about so often, it’s as much about the livery as it is the shape of the car itself.
At the same time, however, before I started this site I really hadn’t seen much in the way of dedicated online livery chat, outside of a few threads on specialist F1 forums. On general-purpose blogs and in F1 magazines the liveries would get talked about, and launch season would always be a busy time for scrutinising them – but otherwise, it was under-explored as a topic entirely in its own right.
So I felt that with a bit of dedication and a pretty straightforward WordPress-hosted blog, I could devote some time to covering each new livery launch, the rumours that surrounded them, and also delve into some of the history of my favourite liveries. And so, that’s exactly what I did: and on 5th January 2007, with very little fanfare, F1 Colours was born.
And since then, it’s gone pretty well. The site picked up a pretty solid dedicated readership – nothing earth-shattering, but certainly enough to make it worthwhile keeping things going. I’ve always appreciated hugely the time people take to read, discuss and contribute to this site – some of you have written in with guest articles, and some of you comment without fail on everything we post on here. In 2012 – marking five years of the site – I moved it to its own hosting at f1colours.com, where it’s lived ever since; and in 2015 the site got another overhaul to improve navigation and archives.
This site is done entirely off my own back and in my spare time, and when I started it was one of my only real writing commitments. Since starting it I’ve gone on to become a freelance journalist and writer with regular work in several places in addition to my full-time (non-writing) day job, so it hasn’t always been easy to keep up with a site that brings in a small amount towards (without fully covering) its hosting fees through Google ads, but doesn’t otherwise earn me anything at all. But I’ve always tried to do something new every year as well as covering every new livery, and I’m grateful that so many of you have stuck with the site even through the quiet periods.
What’s more, we’re now no longer the only game in town. Since we started, some newer sites and social media feeds specifically covering only liveries have come along; and while it might feel a little like they’re treading on my patch, I’m pleased that there are others out there who feel strongly enough about the subject to want to write about it. It means that if a time ever comes where I can’t keep the site going (although I don’t envisage that being the case unless I lose interest in the sport entirely!) I won’t be leaving the genre unattended. What’s more, the brilliant blog WTF1 has emerged since this site launched, and while it’s wider-ranging in its purpose I know that liveries are a particular pet subject of its editor, so they do a great job of covering the kind of stuff we’re interested in.
As well as the readers, I’d just like to thank the various people who’ve contributed (either by sending them directly, or posting them elsewhere so that I can find them) fantasy liveries for the site – these are something I always love to see done, whether it’s speculating about future “real” designs, or coming up with something entirely outlandish. And who doesn’t love seeing classic early ‘90s liveries put on modern cars?
In these past ten years, I maybe haven’t run as many long-form features as I’d like to have had the chance to – we should have done about twice as many Livery Histories by now as we have done, for example – but here’s a run through some of my favourite articles from the last decade:
- F1 By Numbers
- F1’s TV Title Sequences: A History
- The 10 Worst F1 Liveries of All Time (Video)
- The 10 Best Liveries Since F1 Colours Began
- Livery Histories: Minardi, Arrows, Benetton, Jordan, Lotus
- Fantasy 2012 Grid
- Lesser-Spotted Liveries (by Greg Morland)
And finally, in celebration of this anniversary, it’s time to bring you something entirely new. In 2008, I did a run-through of what I decided back then were my 25 favourite liveries of all time. While I still stand by much of what I said back then, I feel like it’s about time to bring the site’s official “best ever liveries” message bang up to date – and so if you head over here, you’ll find a list of (and individual articles on) what I feel are the best individual liveries of every season from 1968 up to the present day. Consider this, from now on, the official F1 Colours word on what’s the best!
Thanks once again for all your support over the last ten years – whether you’ve been here for all of it or only stumbled across us recently. We’ll have more to come as this year rolls on, and of course we’ve got a new livery launch season to get underway very soon as well. I hope you’ll continue stick around for the next ten!