Well, this is an odd one. I’m still slightly wary of actually calling this the full 2012 Williams livery, because… well, because there’s so much of that dark blue, that’s usually the preserve of their testing-only liveries. But by the same token… it’s got lines on it and stuff, so it is a designed livery, so we can probably assume that this is how the cars are going to roll out at the races.
And it’s weird.
But still, something just doesn’t feel quite right about this. Keeping red as a third colour, in deference to PDVSA, is fine – and the subtle stripe on the engine cover is a nice touch. Indeed, the whole area from the sidepod to the rear wheels, at least below cockpit height, looks really good. There, the livery actually looks like it’s been designed to fit the lines of the car. But elsewhere? I’m not so sure. It’s the airbox that does it, I think – there doesn’t seem to be a reason why there’s a completely horizontal white stripe, separating one blue area from another. Surely the airbox would look better in white, as on last year’s car?
The odd distribution of patterns extends to the nose area – okay, I know there’s barely anything that can be done to make these horrendous stepped noses look good, but the white sections on and around the nose simply feel arbitrarily-placed. They don’t serve any sort of aesthetic purpose to the livery as a whole – the nose and monocoque certainly need some white, to balance the section above the sidepods, but what’s there doesn’t do the job, and simply makes the main monocoque area feel like there’s something missing. It’s a livery that, all in all, creates a weird disconnect in the brain, because it’s instinctively not right – it just feels broken, somehow. Not keen on those incredibly cheap-looking uniforms, either.
In fact, if the livery – particularly given the shade of blue – calls to mind anything, then rather than a previous classic Williams car, it’s this:
… and I somehow doubt it was the original intent. Although, you know, if Williams do intend to start using their cars to pay tribute to classic racers from other British teams besides themselves, can I put in a request for a J191 livery next year?