2019 Liveries: The Verdict!

It’s been a bit of a stop-start livery season for us in 2019, but you knew we’d get to this eventually – so read on for our take on the colourful and (mostly) surprising 2019 grid!

First off, though, a bit of housekeeping. Regular followers of the site may have noticed that we haven’t done our usual full slate of coverage of the launches this year – we started out doing so, but then a combination of work pressures, holiday and illness meant that I fell behind and wasn’t able to catch up before all the cars were out, and by then it was a bit too late. This, coupled with a few other things relating to the site (how it’s a not-for-profit site but one that has grown in size and audience over the years) have caused me to have a bit of a rethink regarding F1 Colours and its general purpose and ongoing future – you can read more about this at the end of the post.

But for now, given that I haven’t commented on most of the 2019 liveries yet, I’m sure you’re aching to see what the official F1C take on all of them is… so let’s get cracking!

Mercedes AMG Petronas

A really pleasant surprise here, with a new interpretation of the usual silver/turquoise/black that actually feels somewhat fresh. Turning the Petronas colouring into what looks like an illuminated strip gives it an on-trend, Formula E kind of feel, the dialling down of the black (actually now more of a dark grey) to just sit at the back of the car works well too – and the new pattern of mini Mercedes three-point stars is unusual but creates a strong motion effect. The only thing I don’t really like is the white race numbers – they sit well on the side view, but it’s a real shame not having Hamilton’s red 44 on the nose. Maybe that’ll change once the season kicks in. But otherwise, top work from a team we’re not usually used to seeing push their designs positively.

Score: 8/10 – Possibly the best livery Mercedes have ever had

Scuderia Ferrari

Another pleasant surprise, given that the initial addition of Mission Winnow to a so-called “new livery” partway through last season was somewhat disappointing. But here, the big news is that black has returned as the trim colour to a Ferrari – and while I’d still prefer to see it done in a way that looks more early ’90s-ish (that is, with fully black wings), it’s good to see, and sets apart Mission Winnow from the usual Marlboro stylings. Not certain that the engine cover logo looks brilliant in black lettering, and it’s a shame those lovely retro race number boxes have gone – but still, with what looks to be a different shade of red from recent years, this is a more striking Ferrari than we’ve generally been used to.

Score: 7/10 – Marks for changing the secondary colour, even if the application doesn’t fully work

Aston Martin Red Bull Racing

Well, yes. It’s still a decent-looking livery, but the differences between this and 2018 are imperceptible – just a Honda logo where previously there was TAG Heuer. Appreciate that they want to stick with something they think works, and the matt job does that – but what’s wrong with giving it little tweaks as the years tick by?

Score: 6/10 – It’s a nice-looking car, but one we’ve seen too many times by now

Renault Sport Racing Limited

See, like Renault have done! At first glance this looks identical to last year’s superb effort, but they’ve actually made minor tweaks to make it even better. The race numbers have been filled in (just like we asked!) and there’s also the really neat touch of making the inner wing endplates yellow – just to give the colour scheme a bit more of a pop. Would still like to see some more white thrown in there, but this is still a very smart car overall.

Score: 9/10 – Looks like a Renault ought to look, and pops off the track

Rich Energy Haas F1 Team

Oh dear. On the one hand, it’s not as if a largely black car with gold and white bits is terrible-looking. But if you’re going to appropriate the JPS livery with no actual connection to it you’d better make sure you get it note-perfect, and this look just hasn’t, with the white-logo half of the car working at odds with the gold-logo half. It’s definitely the best-looking Haas so far, but that’s not by very high standards, and the antics of their title sponsor have done little to inspire affection for the thing.

Score: 6/10 – Smart enough, but could be smarter, and has a distasteful air over it

McLaren F1 Team

The 2017 car was really nicely designed but wasn’t the right shade of orange. The 2018 car was the right shade of orange but wasn’t very well-designed. This is the right shade of orange… and actually designed. It’s fantastic. The team have wisely made more of a feature of a shade of blue that counterpoints the orange beautifully, and laid it on with a smart triangle-based design arrangement. Better yet, although still lacking an actual proper Title Sponsor, there are at least enough logos all over the place that it doesn’t look like the disappointingly blank canvas of last year. Even the red rear wing, which I should hate for being clashy, kind of works – with a big bold logo that makes the car look a bit Indy-ish. And then there’s those uniforms! All around, this is a massive win.

Score: 10/10 – Gorgeous, the best orange McLaren yet and their best livery full stop since the early West days

SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team

Well, that “new era” turned out to be something of a damp squib – the 2019 livery is basically just the 2018 livery with new blue sections added to account for new title sponsor SportPesa. And… it doesn’t really work, frankly. We know that an electric deep blue and the BWT pink can work well together, because we’ve seen plenty of fan mockups that do just that – but somewhere along the way they’ve got this wrong. It feels like they should have committed more fully to the blue, maybe keeping the pink as an accent colour, because this just feels like a cut-and-shut job of two different liveries hacked together. And given that the 2018 car was already a bit of a broken-up mess (but one that just about made it work in a mid-90s kind of way), it just leaves the whole thing feeling neither one thing nor the other. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if we see a change, with SportPesa taking over more prominently, before the season is out.

Score: 5/10 – It’s still nice to see the bold pink in the sport but this is a mess

Alfa Romeo Racing

The Sauber name may be gone, but their livery spirit lives on – and it’s baffling to me why the team have chosen to keep the boring white and blue front section of this livery, when it felt like a temporary job all the way back at the start of 2018. The metallic red is gorgeous and the adjustment of the Alfa logo compared with last year is an improvement, as is the extension of the red onto the halo – but I don’t understand why it hasn’t been allowed to take over the entire car. There’s a great livery in here just bursting to get out – maybe next year we’ll actually get to see it.

Score: 7/10 – Really nice colours but only half the car is pretty, the rest is dull

Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda

As you were for Toro Rosso, but honestly, did we ever want them to change? Not really, although I think around about now is the point where they could start to do something slightly different with the layout while keeping the utterly gorgeous colour scheme intact. With McLaren hitting an absolute home run with their livery, it could be said that this is only the joint-best livery on the grid this year, rather than the absolute best as it was for the previous two.

Score: 9/10 – For the first time, we’re knocking a point off for being identical to last year

ROKiT Williams Racing

I liked this more than most people seemed to at launch, but I have to admit that on track it’s not coming off as the most inspiring colour scheme – and given Williams’ current woes, it may yet end up being associated with the final decline of one of F1’s greatest teams. I still think the main blue colour is strong, even if the blurred/spraypaint effect where it blends into the white isn’t the best; and the red of new sponsor ROKiT could be better integrated into the livery itself rather than just being part of their logo. It also suffers from a problem the last couple of Martini liveries had, which is that too much of the car is in unpainted carbon – from the front view in particular, you can barely discern the livery, it looks like they’ve forgotten to paint the car.

Score: 5/10 – Wouldn’t be surprised if, one way or the other, this livery isn’t on the grid next season

So there we have it – and a bit of a surprise as, purely on points, the Toro Rosso doesn’t take the title this time around, thanks to an absolutely brilliant effort from McLaren. It remains to be seen whether performance on the track will live up to the livery quality (it’s McLaren, so… probably not)

There’s disappointment here and there, with a feeling that the likes of Haas, Alfa and Racing Point could be doing more with what they’ve got; but with particularly strong efforts from McLaren, Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari, the current trend for a colourful grid and a spirit of invention in the livery game remains very much alive. We’re looking forward to seeing how all of these look up against each other on the track in Melbourne next weekend!

As for the update on F1 Colours in general – well, don’t worry, the site’s not going anywhere any time soon. I certainly don’t want to stop writing on here, but it is a one-man-band operation done entirely in my spare time. I was finding myself under a bit of pressure and anxiety to get the launch updates done this year, which is partly what led to just throwing my hands up and not doing it at all. But what I have found is that I still enjoy commentating on designs and rumours as they happen on Twitter. So from now on, while I will still do an annual roundup (like this one) every year, I’m not going to bust a gut doing news and launch coverage as site posts any more. Things move too quickly, teams don’t tend to launch in the same staggered way that they did when the site launched in 2007, and social media has picked up the baton for a lot of the chatter that goes on around the pre-season.

With that in mind, I’ve also undertaken a bit of a review of the archive content on the site – if we’re not doing new news coverage any more then I don’t see the point in having an outdated news section any more either, so I’ve taken the archives of news and launch coverage down (does anyone really want to go back and read a story about Toyota’s 2008 launch?) I’m also in the process of reviewing some of the older feature content, to ensure that the site is on a sound legal footing when it comes to image use, so you may notice some posts either come down or change as this is worked through (I’ve also been taking the opportunity to do minor rewrites/corrections here and there!)

In short, the site will keep on going, new features will continue to be posted from time to time (as I get the chance to do them!) including a new Livery Histories entry (finally!) that’s being worked on as we speak. And I do still intend to remain active with commentary on Twitter – possibly even moreso than before. But if you’ve wondered why some older/less relevant posts have disappeared from view, why images have changed or why there’s no new launch coverage – that’s basically the long and short of it.

Hope you enjoy sticking with us whether you’re new to the site or have been around since 2007, and I’ll be bringing you more in the way of the classic F1 Colours livery content you know and love before too long!



    March 8, 2019 at 3:47 pm

    Right…2019 favourites line up

    1.mclaren. a no brainer. A beauty. And trust legend
    2.merc. the most complete livery we have seen since mercs return. Every element of that design fits exactly where it’s supposed too not a mash of lines and light and dark spots. But for McLaren they would have been top
    Toro roso. Only here because it’s a repeat…bit still a beauty
    Renault. Again the best interpretation of this livery
    Ferarri. It’s all that much better in matte red and black
    Alfa. A decent remake of last year’s livery…but like above…it’s a livery of two halves.
    Red bull. This is a livery we can become tired of. Unlike the legends.
    Williams…this is wishing that the rokit sponsor wasn’t there. That red is so wrong. Otherwise it looks good…at least I think so
    Haas…missing that wow factor and gold is too dull. Also…they have missed a trick not covering the nose in the stag head
    Racing point…my fave team at the bottom. Plucky and smart but that is a real mess. Some features on last year’s car would have been good..but not now. I think the navy invasion screws this one over.

    That’s all from me.


    March 9, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    My top 10 is:

    10- Haas: Picking a JPS Lotus livery and destroy it. FIA should DSQ them 1/10
    9- Racing Point: Too much colours and they don’t work together, It like the 1999 BAR, 2 liveries in 1 car 4/10
    8- Red Bull: Basically the same as last year, when I looked at Verstappen’s helmet I thought they were going to do a white car 5/10
    7- Williams: The concept is good and blue, white and black are good colours, but in some way it’s similar to the 2018 livery. And WTF LOOK AT THE NOSE IT ISN’T SIMETRICAL 5/10
    6- Renault: Basically almost the same as last year, with some upgrades. I think that Sean Bull came up with a perfect livery but they said no 6.5/10
    5- Toro Rosso: I know the livery is brilliant, but it’s the same that in 2017. Some black in the car instead of blue can fix it 7/10
    4- Alfa Romeo: It’s cool that there’s more red, but it needs something more to make it perfect 7.5/10
    3- Ferrari: FINALLY SOME BLACK! But they need to do a darker red and black wings to give my seal of approved 8.5/10
    2- McLaren: I cannot understand why there are a lot of people who don’t like it, but for me it’s precious. They will have my 10/10 if they get that Principal sponsor and delete that red of Huski. 9.5/10
    1- Mercedes: Finally they went on something new, when I saw the camo livery preview I was like OMG but for some reason I prefer this than the camo. This is growing on me and I love it. 10/10

    Pls can you upload the 2018 Renault and the 2019 McLaren on the “Best Liveries Ever”? It feels empty without them :/


      March 15, 2019 at 5:29 pm

      UPDATE: with more gold in the car, the mark is now 4/10. But GOD PLS CHANGE COLOUR LOGOS


        March 19, 2019 at 6:37 pm

        i have seen that the gold in the shark fin is another type of gold, so now there’re 2 shades of gold in the car but THE LOGOS STILL WHITE AND BLUE HAAS CAN YOU MAKE A GOOD LIVERY?? Mark is now 0/10


    March 13, 2019 at 3:44 pm

    10: Williams
    With roughly the same colour the NIO FE team managed to make something that looks kind of tidy. this is awful. The blue and white don’t combine too well, and it’s made even worse by the spray paint effect. The large amount of black on the car also completely destroys any sense of balance in the livery. This looks uninspiring and backmarker-ish, and Williams lose a further point for the Rokit logo, which continues to bug me. The lowercase i looks stupid and the red in the logo, which might otherwise’ve been employed as a line between the blue and white that’d make both look better is completely unused and looks lost as a result
    9: Racing point
    I’ve always maintaned that using blue would improve this livery, but not like this. Looks unbalanced in profile, with sportpesa appearing as an afterthought, and the solid pink nose is hideous.
    8: Haas
    At least it’s better than their awfully dull 2018 car
    7: Alfa Romeo
    The somewhat more aggresive car and stylized airbox are an improvement, if not a very large one
    6: Ferrari
    Looks less dull than last year, but some of the black looks grey due to the chosen shade of red
    5. Red Bull
    Still a better visual identity than during the team’s glory years. But they might do a little more with it
    4. Toro Rosso
    The longer this lasts, the less I like it. never been a huge fan of the red. it’s a nice livery, but I don’t like it as much as I did. Just like Red Bull themselves they might do a little bit more with it
    3. Renault
    Same mark as last year. it’s not bad, it’s quite good actually, but it lacks the distinctive touch the matte-ish and coherent R.S.17 had
    2. Mercedes
    Looks like some thought has actually been put into it. subtle at parts, and very Mercedes as a whole. I do hope they bring the different coloured numbers back. I really liked that.
    1. McLaren


      March 16, 2019 at 7:50 am

      Okay, RP looks better on TV than on static pictures. 5/10

    A 1997 MasterCard Lola

    March 13, 2019 at 8:22 pm

    Right, here goes.

    10. Williams 3/10 – Seriously, who designed this? The spray paint effect is disgusting and the Rokit logo clashes so badly. It’s a masterclass in what not to do and certainly an affront to such a successful and legendary team. Already miss the Martini livery.

    9. Haas 6.5/10 – Not necessarily a bad livery, but in such a great livery season it sinks and goes unnoticed. Black and gold is a good combination but I don’t think there is enough gold, and the white/blue Peak logo looks disgusting and clashes badly.

    8. Red Bull 7/10 – Still a great livery. But there is little difference between this and their previous three. This is suffering from the Martini disease. Unlike Renault they haven’t tweaked it at all and it’s getting boring now. Give us the camo livery any day.

    7. Alfa Romeo 7/10 – In a similar case to Haas, it’s a solid livery but solid doesn’t seem to be enough this year. The front suffers from the same dullness and it is like a separate livery to the back. I still love that amazing shade of red though and the extended Alfa logo is great.

    6. Toro Rosso 7.5/10 – This livery was a bombshell when it was dropped and we all thought it looked amazing. But two years on it’s starting to get tired, especially as we’re in a phase of fast change towards unconventional design – this… its colours are still nice and vibrant but its design is getting a little boring, plus combined with the fact it’s literally identical to the previous two years.

    5. Racing Point 8/10 – Surprise? Everyone seems to hate this but I personally believe the dark blue works well with the grey and the different shades of pink. It shouldn’t… but it is just a nice glossy coherent effort. They just need to remove the white as it feels like it clogs up the livery a bit.

    4. Ferrari 8/10 – Well, credit where it’s due – I’ve been asking for black on a Ferrari for years and this is brilliant. The updated shade of red plus the matte look is everything I could’ve asked for in a modern Ferrari. However it still suffers from a lot of problems that ugly 2010s Ferraris have had e.g. the sponsors still seem incredibly cluttered around the sidepod. Plus the MW logo is vile.

    3. Mercedes 8.5/10 – Another surprise. This team shouldn’t be expected to change from the 2018 livery, which was really nice in itself, but somehow they’ve improved. I think there should be more turquoise and less black, and I think the pattern toward the back looks a little stupid however.

    2. Renault 9.5/10 – I love this. The small little tweaks make all the difference and the race numbers no longer look hideous. This year I find myself more adjusted to the brighter shade of yellow. Not that adventurous, but if they keep on giving us stuff like this, do they need to be?

    1. The winner of 2019: McLaren! 10/10 – Orange looks so good on F1 cars. The trouble is, it needs to be done right or else it looks ugly and we are all left thinking of what could have been. Case in point: McLaren’s previous two liveries. But this is perfect. Not so bright as last year’s effort which also lacked in design and I ended up despising, and not so straight-up ugly as that orange mess they made in 2017. It strikes the perfect balance between avant-garde and established design, with the triangles seeming unusual but working very well.. I’m over the fact we’ll never see an orange car as good as the early 2000s Arrows again, and this is as close as we’ll get. Also I like the black halo, change my mind.

    Zilljah (@Zilljah1)

    March 19, 2019 at 4:05 am

    From worst to first:

    10-Williams. First time I saw a photo of the new livery, I thought the lighting was off and made it look so odd. Nope, that’s how it looks. If they’re going to leave that much carbon fiber exposed, just strip all the paint of ala ATS and go full stealth. Maybe nobody will notice how far back you are.
    9-Racing Point. The blue blotch on the airbox looks like they had to quickly come up with a place to put a new sponsor who insisted on their color integrated into the car. No matter how bad it looks. Pink, white and blue could work with some thought about how to lay it out. But this? Nope.
    8-Haas. Terrible execution of a classic look. Instead of using coach stripes and segmenting the car into areas, with matching sponsor logos, we get big stripes and mismatched logos. Maybe when Rich Energy’s checks start bouncing they’ll go to all-white trim, including that stupid Peak logo. Would look incredible.
    7-Ferrari. I first thought it said “Mission Win Now” as a motivation scheme for the team. Who the heck uses the word “winnow” besides ad execs? Philip Morris’ attempt to sneak back into F1 with a smoking product was given a red card by the Australians; expect other countries to do the same. And please, can we finally go back to the proper Corsa Red that is part of Ferrari’s history?
    6-(tie) Red Bull and Toro Rosso. For a company that prides itself on being “edgy,” they’ve played it safe. The same look for the last two years? Come on, guys!
    4-Alfa Romeo. Go big or go home. Red and white are a great combo. The Alfa shade of red is brilliant; paint the whole car that color, use white for the trim, ditch the blue, and you’re my number one.
    3-Mercedes. Finally, they figured out what to do with the turquoise. The new pattern on the airbox is a huge improvement, with the black lower looking less like an afterthought and more like an integrated scheme.
    2-Renault. Fixing the biggest mistake-the numbers-makes a huge difference. The took last year’s scheme and improved it. Sticking with your classic colors works.
    1-McLaren. The right shade of orange. Lightening up the blue, adding a geometric pattern to break things up, spreading logos out so it doesn’t look so bleak on the sides. Add some old school Kiwis to the side and I’d be in heaven.


    March 27, 2019 at 11:34 pm

    10. Haas – It wanted to be John Player’s Lotus, but not quite. It wanted to be 1998’s Arrows, but not quite. It ended up being a messy mesh of those two liveries while having none of the elegance and originality they had.
    9.Red Bull – Getting tired of it at this point. No virtual changes. The fact that the camo livery wasn’t the actual livery really let me down.
    8.Williams – I don’t think it’s that ugly, to be honest. The main downside is the unpainted lower parts of the car that clearly don’t mix with the light blue of it
    7.Racing Point – I do like the dark blue details SPORTPESA brought but the whole thing is disorganized: mainly because of the silver in it.
    6.Alfa Romeo – Beauty. Shame about the front details with the dark blue lines that don’t go anywhere.
    5.Toro Rosso – Still great, but nothing has changed.
    4.Ferrari – I’ve always been more of a white and red ferrari fan but this one’s really good. Shame about the bright red matte colour though.
    3.Mercedes – As a fan of the W01 livery I’m glad they came back to black PETRONAS logo. The fade out to black is great too. Their best since the W01.
    2.Renault – They kept the beauty of the last year while having some interesting tweaks like the wing details and the top line fix. Props to Sean Bull for collaborating on making this happen, genuinely happy for the guy.
    1. McLaren – Having despised the 2017 livery I loved last year blue combination. This year’s triangle transition into blue made it even better. Their best in 10 and maybe 15 years.

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