2010 Livery Speculation

The 2010 season is looking to be one of the most exciting in years for those of us interested in the changing face of F1 liveries – with four entirely new teams joining the grid, two others rebranding, and at least one other set to change colour scheme as the result of a defunct sponsorship deal. As we wait for the launches season (now that it’s been confirmed that the mooted “joint launch” won’t be happening) to begin in earnest this month, I thought it high time to go through team by team and try to get an idea of how the 26 cars might look…

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
It must be hard for McLaren not to feel like every aspect of their corporate identity is being shared out – with Mercedes now having formed their own team, and Santander (probably their second main sponsor after Vodafone) shuffling over to Ferrari. But Vodafone are still present, which means that a healthy dose of orange-red will still adorn the car. And despite the Merc split, I’d expect the chrome to remain, too – it’ll still be a different sort of silver from whatever we see at the Brackley-based team, and it’s become a distinct part of the McLaren identity since its introduction in 2006. So I can’t imagine the 2010 model looking too different from 2009, but I would expect more changes if and when they switch engine supplier in the future.

Mercedes Petronas
The team have already offered us hints of what their 2010 car might look like, with some quick photoshop jobs knocked up on their website – first to show a Brawn chassis in silver, then to add a hint of turquoise courtesy of new title sponsors Petronas. The details will change, I’m sure – and I doubt there’ll be much of the turquoise – but it’s a fairly safe bet that we’ll see the Silver Arrows in a somewhat darker shade than during the McLaren years.

Red Bull Racing
It’d be nice to see Red Bull change their livery to a greater extent than the little tweaks they’ve made since entering the sport in 2005, but I can’t really see it happening. More of the same here, particularly after the team’s current image was associated with so much success last year. I bet we’ll get new driver uniforms, though.

Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro
I think this might be red. And it’ll have Santander on it.

Williams F1
Williams seem to have settled into a colour scheme of blue and white since the BMW split, and I can’t see that changing this year. Little is known about what their sponsor portfolio will look like (RBS are supposed to be leaving at the end of 2010, while I don’t know whether Philips will have the same prominence as in 2009), but unless they sign a major deal who wants to entirely rebrand the car, look for another smart and simple livery this time out.

Renault F1
Unless Renault manage to sign a new major sponsor, then I can see them going one of two ways. The obvious, and preferred, option would be to revert to classic corporate black and yellow (possibly with white in there too). It’d be distinctive, and can’t fail to look great. However, there’s also a chance that they might stick with mainly white and yellow, with hints of red due to fuel sponsor Total – basically the 2009 design, but with the orange of ING removed. It wouldn’t be amazing, but it’d certainly look better than the four-colour mess of recent years. Personally, I’d say it’s about a 50/50 call as to the likelihood of those two styles. But I’m still hoping for yellow and black.

Force India Formula One Team
Having hit on an impressive and distinctive livery for 2009 (after the disappointing 2008 effort), I can’t see the Team Formerly Known As Jordan And Midland And Spyker making too many changes in 2010. And the fact that we’ve already lost three predominantly white cars from the grid – Toyota, BMW and Brawn – might even make them stand out a bit more.

Scuderia Toro Rosso
See Red Bull Racing. It doesn’t matter that the big red bull has already become a bit tiresome – it’ll be on there again in 2010. A bit more imagination, including possibly promoting other Red Bull brands, might be nice one day, though.

Lotus F1 Racing
Now that the logo has been unveiled, a matter upon which I’d previously been speculating becomes clear – it looks a fairly safe bet that the 2010 Lotus (or, if you like, “Lotus”) will be green, with white and yellow trim. Right? Well, probably. You can’t take anything for granted with a startup team that’ll probably kick off the season short of funds (should a new sponsorship opportunity present itself, I’m sure they’d happily paint the car whatever colour they wanted – and that goes for all the new teams, in fact), but the logo seems like a massive clue. Which is nice – my fondness for green cars is well-documented, so let’s hope this one’s another cracker.

Campos Meta 1
Not a huge amount to go on here, as we know little about potential sponsorship. Still, it’s a Spanish team, so don’t be surprised to see a liberal amount of red and yellow. And indeed, looking at Adrian Campos’ F3 team, we can see a mainly white car, with very early-mid-90s style black wings, and a touch of Spanish-flag trim. Don’t be surprised, therefore, to see something similar on the F1 car – especially if the team are having to paint it on the cheap!

Well, it’s probably not going to look like this, although they’d become everyone‘s favourite team if it did. Is it too predictable to say – particularly given rumours that Youtube branding will be prominent on the car – that it’ll probably be mostly white, with red and blue trim? Failing that, I’d expect something in red and blue, in similar fashion to a 1996 Footwork – or, if you want to be a bit more geographically topical, a 1985 Lola-Hass?

Virgin Racing
I’d have expected a red and white car from the newly rebranded Manor outfit, but at their “team launch” (a weird concept in itself) the clear indication is that Virgin Racing will be predominantly black, red and white and/or grey. Which, y’know, would have been my second guess. The team have also recently linked up with Lloyds Banking Group, although whether its distinctive not-quite-prancing horse (and associated green colour scheme) will make it onto the car remains to be seen.

(BMW?) Sauber
While this team works out what it’s called, the rest of us will simply be hoping for a return to that lovely all-black colour scheme that adorned Peter Sauber’s cars before Red Bull and Petronas showed up in the mid-’90s. Even if technicalities do mean they end up having to be called “BMW Sauber” rather than simply “Sauber”, you can bet it’ll be a cold day in hell before the left-in-the-lurch team feature a Beemer logo – or the old white/blue/red colour scheme – on their cars. I’m expecting something akin to the Stoddart-era Minardis, as the team, so late to the grid, struggles for sponsorship with an ever-changing roster of small decals on a black car. But hopefully they’ll get something proper sorted out before too long.

So there we go, those are my rough guesses for how the grid will look next year. I still haven’t seen any firm dates for any team’s actual car launch, but I’ll stick ’em up in the sidebar once I do – and keep checking the site for updates as each new livery gets launched. Also in the meantime, before the launch season properly gets underway, I’ll have that first guest article – on the fascinating subject of rarely seen liveries – ready to post as well.



    January 5, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    Does that mean we will no longer get those awful adverts with Lewis Hamilton having a staring competition with a large dog? Thank christ.

    Ed Greenhalgh

    January 7, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    It will be interesting to see if the rumours that Kobayashi had money from Panasonic were true, as this could obviously lead Sauber towards a blue livery.


    January 7, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    I personally loved the old blue and turquoise Saubers. I’d be happy if they used that livery again, but presumably they won’t now that Petronas have defected to Mercedes.

    Also, over on F1 Fanatic we’ve been doing a bit of livery speculation ourselves. The general consensus seems to be that Toro Rosso shouldn’t look so similar to Red Bull- and someone posted a very nice livery based on the lighter blue colours of Sugarfree Red Bull


    Seb Patrick

    January 7, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    Nice! I really must get round to doing some posts about “fantasy liveries” at some point, there’s some cracking Mantovani stuff out there…

    James K

    January 8, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Racing liveries are, i think, what attracts people to follow the teams. Yes, this is a pretty fickle way of registering your support, but the emotive colours of a red ferrari or a ‘silver arrow’ is what gets supporters going. The scenes at every italian gp are tremendous. anyway, thanks for the very informative article and I suggest everyone takes a look at http://www.farcecars.com/category/motorsport as they’ve got some pretty funny F1 jokes and pictures posted up there.


    January 8, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    I am really excited. From 2008 to 2009, only the car-shapes changed a lot, but now there are many driver changes, new liverys, AND slightly modified car-shapes (bigger fuel tanks).

    McLaren will for sure have a 2009-like livery, as I read in a statement of Mercedes or McLaren. There it said that despite McLaren is not the works team of Mercedes anymore, they are allowed to keep the silver on their car. Secondly, Santander will sponsor both McLaren and Ferrari.

    The temporary website of the Renault F1 Team is mainly black, with yellow and a little white. Looks pretty good to me! (Hopefully the livery does so, too)

    As for Lotus F1, Tony Fernandes stated via Twitter: “choosing colours for lotus race cars. Green or black or yellow.”

    Virgin I think will have a great livery. They showed on their presentation that they know what style means. Their website is also great… compare that site to the one of lotus f1 and you’ll know what I mean! And by the way, I think black, red and white is a great combination.

    And about Sauber: There are rumors that Nespresso could get main sponsor, which would probably make their livery brown.


    January 21, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    I see the new teams (except lotus) all looking alike to an extent.

    Hope Red Bull change a bit and I like that idea Torro Rosso, perhaps
    a light blue car next year? That would be a dream lol.


    January 29, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    It seems like whatever way it goes, there will be pairs of two teams that will paint there car mostly in the same colours. There are already two silver cars with Mercedes and McLaren, and very likely three navy ones with Red Bull, Williams and Toro Rosso. There could also be two white ones, two blue ones, or two black ones. Lotus might paint their car yellow, but ever since I’ve seen the logo I think (and hope) they’ll go with (dark) green. By the way, did you notice that if you cut off about half of that Lotus logo, it says USF1?! Speaking of USF1 meanwhile, I was hoping for a red and blue livery first, then I read something about United States racing stripes and thought a simple blue or light blue car with two vertical white stripes would look classy too.

    Let’s be surprised!! Here’s to a great new year, both cosmetically and in terms of the racing.


    February 8, 2010 at 10:23 am

    My idea of the USF1 livery


    February 8, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Interpretation of the USF1 livery with likely sponsors from drivers and partners noted on the website.
    USF1 Livery


    February 8, 2010 at 10:33 am

    OK so i’ll try again
    USF1 Fantasy Livery

    Seb Patrick

    February 8, 2010 at 10:41 am

    I can see the link! Nice job! I can see the Williams on your Flickr too, but have you got any more fantasy liveries?


    June 18, 2010 at 7:04 am

    That was very interesting. This is one of the funnier one’s I’ve heard: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3j7uSbccSc

    Black Lotus MTG

    October 4, 2011 at 9:07 am

    Magic the Gathering Black Lotus…

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