And almost as quickly as it began, the 2013 launch season is over. That’s what happens, I guess, when the number of teams is reduced, AND when half of them choose to “launch” by rolling out their new cars amid little fanfare on the same test day.
With the demise of HRT, we’re now left with just two of the new teams who joined the grid at the start of the 2010 season – and they both have different names. But both Caterham (as Lotus) and Marussia (as Virgin) had stonkingly excellent liveries upon their original launches, so how are they shaping up as they go into their respective fourth seasons?
Let’s look at Caterham first, then. In both 2011 and 2012, they disappointed me by moving away from the amazing 2010 car to a slightly weaker variant. I was never especially keen on the diagonal profile strip they introduced in 2011, nor the way they deployed the nose stripe after that first year. Interestingly, however, they seem this year to have moved partly away from the green-and-yellow styling, without ditching it entirely.
On to Marussia, meanwhile, and there’s further evidence of what was once a striking and superb red-and-black livery being reduced to… well, just something wholly bland, really.
And finally, although they haven’t yet held a proper launch, Williams have shown us their 2013 livery by sticking it on their 2012 car at the first round of testing:
And, well… it’s just a bit depressing, really, as a fan of the team, to see so few sponsors on the car and on their completely uninspiring new uniforms. Obviously the departure of Bruno Senna hasn’t helped much in that regard, and it’s not like the cars of the previous couple of years were plastered in names, but this feels even more stark. It sure feels like a long time ago that this was happening, eh?
Apologies for the lateness in catching up with these launches, by the way – real life got somewhat in the way over the last week. But I’ll be back to do a full roundup – and, most importantly, ranking the things – later in the week…