2011 Livery Speculation

Launch season is nearly upon us once again; and so what better way to kick things off than with a run through each of the teams on the grid, with a bit of speculation about how each one is going to look?

Unfortunately, 2011 seems to be one of those years where continuity, rather than innovation, is order of the day. It’s unlikely that, for livery fans at least, we’ll get another season like 2010 in a very long time – we had four new teams (if you include Mercedes), each bringing their own distinctive look to the grid, as well as a dramatic new look for Renault. In 2011, however, with the odd exception it seems like most of the teams will look very similar to last year’s models – and, of course, we aren’t getting any new teams this year. Nevertheless, let’s run down the list and see if we can spot any speculatory nuggets of interest…

Red Bull Racing
I still hold out hope that Red Bull will undergo a dramatic livery change at some point, and paint their car to look like a can o’ the red stuff, it ain’t going to happen just after they’ve won the title. Expect the car to look exactly the bloody same yet again.

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
As for Red Bull, see also McLaren. The Woking outfit sparked a bit of excitement recently, when a merchandise page on their site (apparently inadvertently, as the page in question is now empty) revealed a “new collection” of clothing that was all black with a hint of that orangey red of theirs. But no can do, apparently, according to their official Twitter: “Black livery? Er, no: the same Rocket Red & chrome finish that you’ve grown to love since Vodafone McLaren Mercedes was born in 2007…” Er, great.

Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro
After the slap on the wrist for their blatantly-obviously-Marlboro-themed design, we could reasonably expect some changes for the Scuderia this year. And so it’s possibly proving to be – although unconfirmed (and sorry, I don’t know the original source – comment if you do!), the image at left has shown up online, showing a slight change to the engine box design for 2011. Presumably to deflect accusations that it’s just meant to look like a Marlboro packet, the white bit that looks like a Marlboro packet has been slightly reshaped (but enough to still look quite like a Marlboro packet), and says “Scuderia Ferrari” on it, with the prancing horse shield on to boot. This is great, frankly – but not as great as the ’70s-style reintroduction of Italia green to the top bit of the car. More of this sort of thing, I say!

Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team
Frankly, after they made me look stupid last year by having the car look exactly like their initial mockup despite my brashly claiming it definitely wasn’t going to look like their initial mockup, I’m wary of speculating about Merc at all. But, well, it’ll probably look much the same as last year, won’t it?

Lotus Renault GP
Yeah, alright. This thing (left). Whatever. Sod you.

AT&T Williams
Could be interesting. Williams have lost/are losing a lot of sponsors this year – I think both RBS and Philips will be gone, and I don’t even know if they’re actually still going to have AT&T as title sponsors, either (despite the name being on the entry list) – even if they do, though, it’s not like AT&T actually affect the livery much, such is the nature of their odd deal. It’s therefore anybody’s guess as to what the Williams will look like this year, although if I were a betting man, I’d say it will be a fairly workmanlike blue-and-white, with a few sponsors dotted here and there. Would absolutely love it if Frank and co. said “To hell with it” and went back to white and green, though.

Force India F1 Team
They’ve got a good (by which I mean distinctive) livery now; they’ll likely stick with it. Good on ’em.

Sauber F1 Team
We can only hope the 2011 effort is a bit more exciting than the 2010 one. I suspect it will be – imaginatively-named Mexican telecommunications company Telmex are coming onboard this year, and although not necessarily as title sponsors, it’s hard to see where any other livery influence might come from. Telmex’s corporate colours are sky blue and white, which would of course look bloody lovely on a car (think ’98 Benetton), so here’s hoping.

Scuderia Toro Rosso
Whatever. Can they hurry up and get bought by someone so we don’t have this thing every year, now?

Team Lotus
If indeed it is even called a Team Lotus by the time the season kicks off. Anyway, the black-and-gold idea was nixed (in my opinion, for the better), so it looks like The Best F1 Livery Of The 21st Century will get another airing in 2011. There are no downsides to this, really.

Hispania Racing F1 Team
You’ve got to hope they go with something a bit more exciting this year, haven’t you? The car improved when it got a redesign partway through 2010, but it still wasn’t exactly very inspiring. Rumours of a possible linkup with Telefonica won’t go away, though – and in the absence of a Renault-looking Renault, perhaps another bright yellow car is exactly what the grid needs.

Marussia Virgin Racing
Despite Marussia being promoted to full title sponsor status, I can’t see them having much of an influence on Virgin’s excellent team identity beyond the way the logos were already laid out in 2010. Expect the red/white/black combo to continue this year.

And there we go. As I’ve said, there’s really not a huge amount of speculating to be done – with only Renault, Sauber and Williams looking in any way likely to offer much in the way of drastic change. But we’ll see – every year, something usually comes along from left-field, and I imagine there are still twists and turns to come in the Lotus Renault/Team Lotus story to boot.

Thanks, by the way, to F1 Colours’ army of commenters for seeking out various bits of livery speculation over the break, and alerting me to developments I might not otherwise have caught! As ever, if you find anything livery-related of interest, let me know either by email or in comments!



    January 15, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    I hope Ferrari leaves the engine cover blank, as I think it looked great like that in the second half of 2010.

    It doesn’t seem likely though, based on the helmets at least, as the new team logo has replaced the barcodes on the helmets.


      January 15, 2011 at 11:40 pm

      It did look good, but it was a huge and very visible space, and you’d think a team like Ferrari could probably make a lot of money from selling it to a sponsor


    January 15, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    I think perhaps we should be more positive!

    Renault already launched their 2011 livery (too early, imo), there’s 1. Surely Hispania and Sauber must change too, there’s 3. And with Williams getting all this Venezuelan money I think that could be a fourth. That’s a third of the field, fingers crossed, and that ain’t so bad!


    January 25, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    Looks like not only a new livery for Hispania but a whole new team image. Check out the guy’s website its got some pretty cool stuff.


      January 26, 2011 at 1:58 pm

      At least it looks like the car will be seen before the first race, and even if it isn’t fast, it might look spectacular!

      Also, Ferrari, in announcing the F150 name for their 2011 car, said they would have clear Italian flag colours on the car to go with the 150 years of united Italy commemoration name – so that looks like at least a tuned livery for them then – sure, will be mostly Red, with the Santander white, but some green should feature somewhere on it too!


        January 27, 2011 at 5:33 pm

        probably a stripe on the rear wing haha


      January 27, 2011 at 8:04 pm

      The Williams team manager Adam Parr has said their 2011 livery will be “retro”… can’t wait to see it now!


    January 28, 2011 at 9:20 am

    Well vert, you certainly have the measure of it – a small fiddly flag bit on the sidepod vane, and an ugly flag on the back of the rear wing. Sigh.


      January 28, 2011 at 5:51 pm

      not a bad guess xD


    February 1, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    The Red Bull livery has changed a lot! It seems total wanted some red of their own on the rear wing endplates – it isn’t much, but I do think that looks nice.

    The bull being bigger and not having three stripes coming out of its behind isn’t really progress. I guess those hating the sharkfin will want to cut the bulls tail too 🙂


      February 1, 2011 at 2:13 pm

      Really?! Bar the red total section on the rear wing endplate it seems almost identical to me


    February 1, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    Oh, and that Williams interim livery is once again pretty nice – the big white 11 in a circle really does look good. Pity they will probably end up with white/navy blue again.


      February 1, 2011 at 4:09 pm

      Looking at the rear wing, with the burgundy on white, it reminds me of an 80’s arrows look. Imagine that on the whole car. Would look great.


        February 2, 2011 at 11:38 am

        Yes, I think it could be great – but I suppose they won’t drop the big bull on the engine cover. Hm, maybe they don’t need to actually to make it a new livery.


    February 7, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    Seb, what do you think of the new livery?

    I like how it looks without the background tribal/rose bit, it is simpler and cleaner I think; the white and grey separation line between the red and black looks nicer than the greyish white line they had. I don’t know if the white on the nose works so well, from the front it looks a bit like a shapeless blob now.

      Seb Patrick

      February 7, 2011 at 12:10 pm

      I’ll be posting my thoughts in full at lunchtime, but the short version is that it’s not terrible, but I don’t like it as much as last year’s…


        February 7, 2011 at 1:13 pm

        Looking forward to reading your thoughts – and have a good lunch while too!


    February 11, 2011 at 7:46 am

    Is there a particular reason you skipped McLaren so far? Apart from … more of the same … ??

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