Evolution Not Revolution for McLaren, Mercedes and Williams

As the various teams prepare to get pre-season testing underway tomorrow, the weekend has seen a deluge of new car launches and livery reveals. So let’s deal first of all with the three existing teams, who’ve given us liveries that are to varying degrees fairly straightforward evolutions of what they had last year.

First up it’s McLaren, who it’s fair to say we’ve given a significant amount of stick to for their liveries ever since their Vodafone deal ended. But this 2016 effort… well, it’s certainly the best they’ve had since the chrome job went away:

mclaren-honda-mp4-31-2016 mclaren-honda-mp4-31-2016-c
It is, essentially, the same basic design as their second 2015 livery, but with a few tweaks that on the whole improve it – that annoying nose stripe is gone, and the bigger race numbers on the lower part of the nose are certainly to be welcomed. It’s smart and tidy, and I like the “graphite” shade of black/grey.

You still get the sense that Ron Dennis feels like livery designs and sponsorship are something that should happen to other teams, not his. But if we accept that we’re never going to get either a white/red Marlboro homage nor an orange McLaren ever again, then this is an ongoing team identity that’s much easier to get behind than the terribly bland silver and black that preceded it. Certainly, if they’d launched with this back at the start of 2014, I think we’d all have been a lot more favourable about it and them. Can they give us some more interesting team uniforms to go with it, though?

On to Mercedes, then, who unsurprisingly stick with the silver-with-black-and-turquoise that’s served them so well so far. Again, though, this might be the best implementation of it that they’ve yet had:

Mercedes-w06-2-e1456046389438 Mercedes-w06-3
I’ve never felt that the black background on the airbox/engine cover was incredibly necessary, but the way it’s painted here is better than before; and I really like the way the turquoise now extends from the sidepod out onto the monocoque. The black rear wing endplate, too, seems to unify the design a bit better. Once again, there’s absolutely no red sponsorship on the car any more – though I suspect they will probably stick with the red race numbers, as they stand out quite well.

And finally, we come to Williams, who unsurprisingly have made basically no tweaks whatsoever to their 2015 livery, despite some minor changes in sponsorship placement:

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So yeah, nothing to say about this really, other than that it’s still very nice, but still a little bit conservative. Maybe next year they could shake it up with a bit more blue or red or something?

And of course, we’ve had another team launch their car today… but we’ll have more on that one a bit later.


    K. Spatharas

    February 21, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    I really like the Mercedes livery reveal, I think it’s a great improvement on their classic livery!

    McLaren is a bit hit and miss, I liked their 2015 designs, especially the 1999 homage with the first livery they rolled out in, even though everyone else seemed to hate it XD This one, I really love the big numbers, but otherwise, it’s ok, nothing great for me. I do wish Ron Dennis would finally let some colour back and give us orange ffs

    Williams Martini remains great, so nothing to say on that front, glad they’re keeping it)

    And hoo boy, Haas… I’m really interested to see what your opinion on not!Manor-Marussia is 😛

    bert van marenswoud

    March 17, 2016 at 12:41 am

    Mercedes – Stuck mostly with their old livery, I can understand that. Not too bad.

    McLaren – Should up their game, now they just remind me of the disappointment of last year, who on earth wants to sponsor the dull back car. Thank god the orange nose stripe is gone.

    Williams – Love this team, but they should have made a better livery, last year already. But sponsorship dollars count for them so I won’t fault them for it, but I do think it is a pitty.

    General note :
    We need bigger numbers on all the cars.

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