Fantasy 2012 Grid

As someone who runs a site whose main purpose is to sit here and critique the livery designs of other people, there’s a reasonable question that could be put to me – “Well, what would you do differently?” So for once, I’ve decided to put my money where my mouth is – and come up with a set of liveries for the 2012 teams that I would like to see out there.

Some of these are ideas that I’ve already thought for a while that the particular teams should run (longtime readers may even recognise some suggestions that I’ve made in earlier posts!) In other cases, for the sake of rounding out the article, I’ve stopped to think about what might or might not work. As you’ll see, some are fairly close to the teams’ 2012 designs – others, however, are drastically different. Wherever I can, I’ve stuck to the 2012 (or 2011, where not yet launched) sponsor configurations of the teams – but on occasion I’ve imagined theoretical new sponsors.

I’m no professional designer, so my efforts might not be the most startlingly imaginative – you’ll probably note some recurring design themes, even – and I’m aware that the images don’t exactly look photo-realistic. Nevertheless, this is my representation of what I’d like to see…

(Oh, and the designs are pasted onto a generic 2011-looking car template that I found, rather than a 2012 stepped-nose variant… but I think we can all agree they look better that way!)

Red Bull

This is one that’s been a bee in my bonnet for years – although I don’t think the current Red Bull livery is especially bad or ugly, I’m disappointed in the lack of variety in recent years, and I think it would be great if they had a blue and silver paint job, echoing the design of a can of the fizzy energy drink. They used it as their test livery following their purchase of the team in 2005, and while it was slightly lacking in vigour, with a few tweaks it could work. Obviously in a quite flat, Paint Shopped-picture as above, it looks grey rather than silver – but with an actual, shiny silver, I think it could be quite dramatic.


You can accuse me of being too backwards-looking with some of these liveries if you like – but given that they have a primary sponsor whose main colour is red, and that the chrome livery has arguably outlived its freshness… come on, wouldn’t a slightly Marlboro McLaren-themed livery look pretty darned awesome?


Another retro job, but a Ferrari just doesn’t look like a Ferrari to me unless it’s got black and yellow on the front and rear wings. We can lose that daft Scuderia Ferrari DefinitelyNotMarlboro patch from the engine cover, too.


I really like the current Mercedes livery, so I see no major need for change aside from expanding the amount of turquoise on the sidepod so that the Petronas logo doesn’t “leak” out into the silver. It needs to look a bit more solid, rather than just feeling like it’s been washed loosely onto the car.


Only two things I’d really change about the retro Lotus livery, as I already mentioned when discussing the launch of the 2012 version: I’d change the yellow Lotus badge on the airbox to be simple gold text (as seen on the rear wing), and I’d lose the red endplates. Looks a lot neater, no?

Force India

This isn’t an idea that would have occurred to me before Force India launched a more heavily orange car the other week – but if anything, I think they didn’t take it quite far enough. But we know how great predominantly orange cars can look, don’t we? Hence, this dramatic design – with orange as the main colour, but white sections allowing certain sponsors to integrate a bit better, and green reduced to an accent rather than a primary feature. I’m quite pleased with this one.


Slightly on to a loser attempting to integrate the team’s current sponsors with their chosen white/black-or-grey/red colour scheme… I can almost sympathise with how badly the 2012 car has come out, in fact. In an ideal world, this would be Telmex blue, but I tried to play fair and stick to Peter Sauber’s desired colours. Still don’t think it’s great, but it’s a bit of an improvement, maybe?

Toro Rosso

Obviously, this only makes sense when viewed next to the “parent” team’s car – but yes, this is a “Sugar Free” variant. Well, why the hell not?


This is basically the car that made me want to do this article in the first place – I wanted to see if the classic Camel/Canon livery could be applied to Williams’ current set of sponsors. And hey! I think it works. What with PDVSA’s red taking the place of Canon, and Embratel going nicely on the yellow engine cover… this almost seems like too perfect a combination. You could argue that doing liveries that call back an incredibly successful era when Williams are going as badly as they are is a bad idea… but if they were going to keep doing it, this would seem a natural way to go. Oh well.


I don’t have huge problems with Caterham’s 2012 livery, although I do think it’s odd that they carried over the 2011 colour scheme given their eagerness to change the (utterly perfect) 2010 design after one year. So basically, my ideal Caterham would be the 2010 Team Lotus paint job, but with 2012 sponsors. Simple.


Biggest “leap” out of all of the designs, this. I couldn’t really figure out what to do with HRT, given their lack of sponsors and apparent lack of identity. So I thought, what the hell – what if they suddenly tied up a big new sponsorship deal, with one of the biggest companies in Spain? This was nearly a Repsol car, but instead I’ve gone with Telefonica – but flipped the corporate colours from the way the 2000 Minardi (still can’t decide if I love or hate that car, incidentally) used them. Well, it’s something different, at least.


I don’t see a problem with having two red teams on the grid – so long as the second one isn’t too close to Ferrari’s shade – and so that’s the predominant colour I’ve gone with for this Marussia design. And in the interests of variety, I went for right-angled lines on this one, rather than simply following the car’s contours. At the time of writing the team have yet to launch their first car as main owners of the team, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they do stick with red/black/white – but if they were looking to shift more towards their own colours, I reckon they could do worse than this…



    February 15, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    Out of all of them, Ferrari is the one I’d most like to see in reality.

    Sauber looks like Minardi reincarnated!

    And seeing pictures of the new HRT logo and driver suits lead me to believe that their car will feature some gold on it!


    February 16, 2012 at 11:54 am

    I absolutely love the McLaren idea. A good shout, iconic.

    HRT – I’d swap the navy and lime over, and give them something amazing, and easy to spot (given there are a few navy and black cars on the grid already).

    Marussia – Not convinced. I think a Danka Arrows 1997 design, with more red sections. Some sort of cyrillic text and Vodka sponsorship deal too!


    February 16, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    I also agree that Ferrari is the best of those. A lot of people want the return of black wings!

    McLaren: I love the classic Marlboro livery, but I think that going retro don’t work sometimes. I would be a little fake if Marlboro isn’t putting the money. Ok, Lotus did the same… but 2 teams doing that is too much.

    Williams: the problem I see is the shade of blue they’re using. Its too dark. And dark colors hide the shape of things instead of enhance them. A lighter blue, like the one they’ve used in the glory days would be fine.

    HRT: I would LOVE to see a Repsol livery in F1. (with orange rims!)


    February 17, 2012 at 10:53 am

    That HRT livery is far too good for the team!
    The ‘Diet Red Bull’ idea for Toro Rosso would be great, though it would be nice if they kept the big bull. It’d work well with the Cepsa red as well.


    February 18, 2012 at 10:40 am

    I’d have to agree, that HRT livery is gorgeous and makes far better use of the checkered section than the current overstyled one. But then I do miss the Ligier/Prost era.

    Also, the McLaren idea isn’t very Marlboro-ey at all, just a nice red & white livery and would be a lovely refresh for them. However, as has been said before, Red Bull & McLaren designs seem to be set in stone so nothing so radical would happen to either of them barring extreme circumstances. It’s a shame.

    […] know, it’s funny – back when Marussia took over Virgin Racing, I said on more than one occasion that they should mix up the livery by adding in some blue, to match their corporate colours. But […]

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