Black Beauty

Two livery changes before the season’s even begun. We won’t see days like this again.

So it feels a bit odd trying to in any way judge the new Mercedes livery on aesthetic standards. Whether or not it looks any good – and particularly how it looks in relation to the original livery – is completely irrelevant when set against what it means. It’s a huge statement – sure, the kind of huge statement that’s ultimately meaningless unless it’s backed up by the kind of action Mercedes are saying they’re committing too – but a huge statement nevertheless. There will be (and indeed are) those arguing that F1 liveries shouldn’t be a place for politics – I would argue firstly that it’s rare that anything is truly apolitical (and F1, certainly, never is), and secondly that there are certain times when we cannot be callow about the idea of allowing people and organisations to make strong positive political statements, and this is absolutely one of those times.

So Mercedes coming out in support of Lewis Hamilton in particular and the BAME community in general by changing their silver – the only colour that a Mercedes works team has ever raced in – to black for an entire season is a big deal, and something to be applauded, and it doesn’t matter what the car looks like.

But also… the car looks amazing.

The original 2020 livery felt like it had one too many different designs and colours competing – with the Petronas turquoise, INEOS maroon and white star pattern all jostling for space against the silver canvas. Changing that canvas to black, while not actually changing anything else about the livery, solves that problem in a single stroke. All three colours (not to mention the silver trimming around the INEOS logo on the airbox) look great on black, and they look great together on black. It feels like it was always meant to look this way, and the black backdrop also means it’s possible to include other colour elements such as the #WeRaceAsOne rainbow branding on the wing mirrors.

It shouldn’t matter that this is now possibly the best-looking thing on the 2020 grid, competing even with the AlphaTauri. The fact that it is, though, is a bonus.


    Diogo Cunha

    July 1, 2020 at 1:45 pm

    A incredible good looking livery and also works as a Sauber homage: the all-black Sauber-Mercedes from the first days, the Petronas logo from, well, the Petronas and BMW days and the dark red shade from the current Alfa Romeo era 😀


    July 4, 2020 at 1:15 pm

    In my opinion it looks great in studio photos / renders, but it looks awful on TV, and even worse when we get an onboard shoot.

    Emin Zeynali

    July 21, 2020 at 3:47 am

    Nice tribute to Paul Stoddard’s era Minardis


    March 3, 2021 at 10:38 pm

    Rest In Peace Seb Patrick, F1 Colours proprietor. I had no idea until today, he died of a heart attack in August 2020.


    March 4, 2021 at 10:47 pm

    Damn, I had no idea. I loved to read Seb’s livery reviews. Every year I was expecting his articles. I have his site subscribed and only find out with your comment. Came here expecting to find a funny review about the new Mercedes livery and instead I found out this… So sad. Red In Peace Seb.


    March 7, 2021 at 8:37 pm

    RIP Seb. I’ve been reading this site for years and always looked forward to reading his thoughts during the launch season. It’s very sad to learn of his sudden passing last year.

    A Web Revolution

    March 8, 2021 at 11:28 pm

    We won’t see days like this again.

    So it feels a bit odd trying to in any way judge the new Mercedes livery on aesthetic standards.


    March 13, 2021 at 7:25 pm

    R.I.P. Seb. Without him, I wouldn’t check for new articles often.


    March 18, 2021 at 3:31 pm

    Came here looking for Seb’s content to review the new car liveries, and instead learnt of his passing. What awful news. Sending love to his family and friends.


    March 19, 2021 at 7:37 pm

    So sad. Prayers for and thoughts to family and friends.

    Lorenzo Martullo

    April 9, 2021 at 9:58 am

    RIP Seb. I came here with enthusiasm to know about your opinions on this year livreries and sadly got to know this. I’m so sad right now.

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© Seb Patrick / F1 Colours 2019