The 2019 livery season is underway, with Haas unveiling their Rich Energy-driven, Lotus-inspired black and gold colour scheme. We’ve got a few days’ breather before the next set of car launches (or, we should say, “livery reveals” – since there’s an increasing trend these days to unveil liveries separately from taking the covers off the new cars themselves) but we’re already getting some hints of a number of potential new identities for other teams.
Ever since it was announced that Williams’ deal with Martini would come to an end at the close of 2018, we’ve been wondering what 2019 onwards would hold for the team. We’re hoping they don’t simply go back to a dark blue and white scheme, but various bits of movement of late have suggested that that may not be the case. They’ve posted a teaser video for their 11th February livery reveal:
— ROKiT WILLIAMS RACING (@WilliamsRacing) February 7, 2019
… which implies that the lighter blue that’s been part of their identity since Martini came onboard may remain.
This is something that’s borne out if you take a look at the merchandise sale currently going on on their website – anything that has the Martini name on it is slashed in price, but there are some items with a Martini-inspired scheme, making heavier use of that light blue, that are still full price. So perhaps that’s the direction they’ll go in? We’re also keen to see if they manage to pull off an actual title sponsorship deal, or if the departure of Martini (and any Lance Stroll-associated sponsors) leaves them looking desperately bare.
Speaking of Stroll, his new team have also announced plans for the reveal of their new identity. Having confirmed that their new name is indeed going to be the disappointing “Racing Point” (following reported attempts to license a “legacy” name), the team formerly known as Force India formerly known as Spyker formerly known as Midland originally known as Jordan will unveil themselves to the world on 13th February.
Just one week. pic.twitter.com/AtPKoNxroE
— SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team (@RacingPointF1) February 7, 2019
The teases that they’ve posted on social media have been deliberately stripped of any branding or colour implication – but that in itself carries an implication, with the complete removal of anything relating to Force India’s BWT-inspired pink livery. It’s not yet confirmed whether that deal and/or the livery colour will continue, but at the moment signs seem to point towards it not doing.
It would be a shame to lose such a dramatic and striking colour from the grid, but if we do, let’s hope Racing Point replace it with something equally memorable. By which we mean we really hope it’s not just a white car with a couple of JCB logos on it.
Another team with at least some measure of a new identity will be Sauber – or, rather, the team that used to be Sauber, as they’ve announced that their name is fully changing to Alfa Romeo. Last season’s car was something of a half-and-half job that reflected the combined name – it was very business in front, party at the back – so let’s hope that with the full Fiat/Alfa takeover we lose the last lingering shreds of Sauber’s dedication to dull liveries, and get a nice all-over shiny metallic maroon or similar. We’ll find out on the day of the first test, 18th Feb.
New name, same game! ⚡ We're excited to announce Sauber and Alfa Romeo to keep fighting for ambitious results in 2019 @F1 World Championship as Alfa Romeo Racing. ? + info: https://t.co/1RUddkPMpj #AlfaRomeoRacing #SauberMotorsport #Bwoah pic.twitter.com/0gzgwgpl66
— Alfa Romeo Racing (@alfaromeoracing) February 1, 2019
We don’t expect big changes from any of Toro Rosso (11th Feb), Mercedes (13th Feb) or Red Bull (13th Feb), while it’ll be interesting to see if the first full season under Ferrari’s Mission-Winnow deal sees a major change. It likely won’t, but we’ll see on 15th Feb. We wonder if Haas long-announced plans to run a black car might see any changes to the Renault livery (revealed 12th Feb) – if it means they go back to an all-over yellow car we won’t be unhappy at all.
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) January 28, 2019
And that just leaves McLaren, who’ve delighted us all with orange liveries over the last two seasons but – it’s fair to say – are in increasing danger of that colour being associated with one of the worst-performing periods in their history. If there continue to be changes behind-the-scenes, and with the departure of Fernando Alonso, we wonder if they might decide to move away from it and start afresh. All the branding they’ve used in association with their 14th Feb launch so far has included orange (alongside black and white), though, so here’s hoping not.