On the bright side, Sauber have got a new livery. On the down side, it’s not that new.
At this point I’ll direct you to what I said about this in our What to Expect in 2018 piece:
While the colours used are not without their charm – putting us in mind of the unused Force India test car – the application itself is (in true Sauber fashion) a bit bland and flat, especially after the delight that was their 2017 car. So here’s hoping when the car actually comes to rolling out, it’s had a bit more work done to the paint job. Of course, this is Sauber, so chances are this is exactly what we’ll see.
And sure enough, there we have it. There are differences between this version and the December version, but they really just amount to a couple of additional new sponsors here and there. It’s also worth noting that this one doesn’t have the race number on it, but the launch version was actually the first car to show the new “rear of the engine cover” placement that really does seem to have become standard this year (as demonstrated by Renault, more of whom later), so we’d be amazed if the actual race version of the Sauber doesn’t have it too.
But yes. I’m torn on this one, because I really like about half of it – specifically, the metallic red half. But the white and blue area is just back to Boring Old Sauber, and takes up far too much of the car – and given what a fantastic livery they had last year, it’s a shame that they’ve regressed a bit here. It also means that with Williams and Hass already having unveiled predominantly white cars, already 30% of the grid will be that main colour – which is all starting to feel a bit 2008-ish.
One utterly terrific thing about Sauber this year, however, is the new helmet design for Marcus Ericsson:
Here it is! My first ever F1 Helmet for @Ericsson_Marcus ! clean, retro and minimal, with a great nod to Ronnie Peterson!
what do you think?
— Sean Bull Design (@seanbulldesign) February 20, 2018
… which comes from one Sean Bull, a designer well-known to us for his fantastic fan-livery creations. Like many of his fellow fan designers, Sean has in recent years begun actually creating liveries for professional teams and drivers, and we’re hugely pleased to see him make the step up into F1. Given how good his work here is – demonstrating how solid colour-block helmets really are better than modern ones – we can’t wait to see more of this sort of thing in the future. Maybe Sauber could start by getting Sean to spice up the car a bit?