2014 Launch Roundup

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…

Red Bull

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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.

Toro Rosso

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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.

Mercedes

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Slightly more in the way of change over at Mercedes, although it’s all tweaks rather than a new philosophy – the sponsor lineup is still basically the same as last year. Petronas have a new logo font, and to go with that there’s a change in style of the turqoise area on the sidepod. They’ve also stopped putting the driver numbers in a white circle, which is a shame – they’ll just be red-on-silver instead.

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.

Ferrari

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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…

Lotus

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Again, tweaks from last year rather than an entirely fresh approach. I didn’t like the increased amount of red on the car last year, and I don’t like it again this year either, as PDVSA conveniently replace the now-departed Total. That said, while the PDVSA splodge on the engine cover is particularly annoying, the sidepod and airbox feel less obnoxious this time around.

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.

Sauber

Sauber F1 Team C33 PressI can’t see any changes on this from last year’s, except for Telcel no longer being on the rear wing endplate. So far, so Sauber.

Force India

Motor Racing - Sahara Force India F1 VJM07 Studio Shoot - Silverstone, England Motor Racing - Sahara Force India F1 VJM07 Studio Shoot - Silverstone, England
We covered this the other day, but just a quick look at the front, now that it’s been seen in public, and… well, it’s not as nice as in the profile view, that’s for sure. I think it could stand to lose the white from the nose altogether, but in general I still like this a fair amount. It’s just too damned ’90s not to, frankly.

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…

4 Comments on 2014 Launch Roundup

  1. Is the Sauber actually black now, instead of grey?

  2. Pete Baldwin // January 30, 2014 at 3:16 pm // Reply

    Marussia to come soon as well. I really hope the caterham livery is just a testing livery but I guess, with a car that ugly, the just decided to not waste money on yellow paint.

  3. I REALLY LIKE THE NEW MARUSSIA. WHAT.

  4. Apparently Johnnie Walker is going to be the title sponsor of McLaren this year I’ve heard along the grapevine and they are straight line testing a new nose that should improve the lap times by 1 sec!

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