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.
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 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.
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?
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.
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.