We’ve been caught on the hop somewhat by the quick succession of F1 launches that have taken place without much in the way of advance fanfare over the past few days – but fortunately, as few of the teams in question have made much in the way of changes to their liveries, we should be able to rattle through them. Besides, most attention so far has focused on the ridiculous nose configurations they’re all sporting, but we’re not here to talk about that, so we should be alright…
Perhaps the most interesting element of the liveries this year is how the various teams have chosen to try and mask the appallingly ugly front ends with a carefully-applied paint job. Some, like McLaren, haven’t bothered in the slightest – but Red Bull and sister team Toro Rosso have both decided to paint out the very tip, in the hope that at speed and a fair distance, the car will look more aesthetically pleasing.
Aside from that, it’s pretty much business as usual for Red Bull, with just a few tweaks to the Infinity scheme of last year. The purple paint looks a bit less messily applied this time out, and former Williams title sponsor AT&T also join the team with a tiny decal on the sidepod.
Similarly, there’s little in the way of changes on the STR – Falcon Private Bank have gone, so the front wing endplate has gone blue instead of gold, and there’s a little bit of a red and gold swoosh on the side of the nose cone (not entirely dissimilar to Lotus, as it goes), but otherwise, this is an STR that looks exactly as you’d expect an STR to. Despite being a bit sick of that painted bull, I still quite like this car.
The biggest change, though, is the black area on the engine cover. I’m not entirely sure what the reason for it is, but it works quite well – although like the turquoise bits, it feels like there’s not quite enough of it to impose its presence. Nevertheless, this is probably the best-looking car on the 2014 grid so far.
No major changes for Ferrari – and let’s just ignore the vaccum-cleaner nose altogether, shall we? – with the only real difference from last year being that the black section now sweeps up over the exhaust and rear engine cover. I actually quite like increasing the amount of black on the car, although it’s unusual for modern-era Ferrari – but I think it’d look even better if the wings were black, too. Then again, as a fan of late 80s/early 90s Ferraris, I would say that…
What I really like, though, are the red/gold stripes on the side of the nose – it’s about the only place where the two colours are used harmoniously together, and it’s only a shame that motif doesn’t spread to the rest of the car, as it’s a distinctive look.
So that’s now eight out of the ten teams who’ve revealed their liveries (although I’m still expecting McLaren will unveil a tweaked version with a new title sponsor before the season kicks off… I say “expecting”, I mean “hoping”), with just Caterham and Williams to come. Once again, it’s been a bit of an anti-climactic year so far for new designs, but kudos to Force India and Mercedes for trying to keep things a bit interesting…