Okay, this is getting crazy. It’s mind-boggling enough that McLaren might actually be switching to an orange livery this year (and incidentally, the latest issue of F1 Racing goes as close to confirming it as you could hope for)… but now we’re hearing chatter that Toro Rosso, who’ve had basically the same livery for the entirety of this site’s life, might also be making a change.
And not just any change. Us livery fans have been clamouring for a light blue “Sugar Free” variant pretty much ever since the team came into the sport, and people have been mocking them up for years (the one at the head of this post is a classic example, by an artist called Jezson, aka Jez Hancox, but I did a much more ham-fisted one myself in 2012, too) but I’m not sure anyone ever seriously expected that it might happen. Only it turns out, according to F1 blogger Joe Saward, that it might finally be on the table. Joe writes:
There are now suggestions coming out of Italy that Scuderia Toro Rosso is going to switch from the dark blue that it has used to a new lighter colour, which will help to sell Red Bull’s sugar-free product, as opposed to its usual drink. This has existed since 2003 and has all the same ingredients of Red Bull except sugar, which is replaced by sweeteners. It is still only a small part of the overall Red Bull sales which amounted to $43 billion in 2015. The company has a 30 percent share of the global energy drink market and as such is obviously likely to be a target for sugar-free campaigns and such things as taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages, based on the links between sugar and heart disease. This debate seems to be ramping up and so drinks companies are responding by trying to build more sales of sugar-free products.
Take this, of course, with a pinch of aspartame. But this is the closest indication we’ve ever had that one of the longest-serving fan livery ideas could yet become a reality – and if it happened the same year as McLaren’s much-vaunted touch of brightness… well, 2017 could turn out to be an unexpectedly classic livery year.