Haas Get Rich

It’s very easy to be cynical about Rich Energy’s title sponsorship of Haas – we’ve already asked the question of whether they’re going to turn out to be another Red Bull (as they claim) or another T-Minus (as many suspect). So let’s put that to one side for now, and instead focus solely on the team’s new livery, unveiled yesterday, on its own merits.

As an attention-grabbing exercise, painting the car black and gold to evoke the classic JPS Lotus livery has certainly worked – and has also attracted many admiring glances from fans on social media. But just as when the “Renaultus” team began using the livery in the first half of this decade, it’s hard to shake the feeling that they’ve somewhat missed the point of what made that classic colour scheme work.

Black cars are hard to get truly wrong – you can cover for a lot by having your car painted a sleek black, even if you’re having to deal with a number of conflicting sponsor considerations. But the way you make a black car truly iconic is to have it be two tone – to have every single logo that appears on your car be in one colour. It’s what worked for Lotus, and it’s even what worked for the 1998 Danka Arrows.

But that’s not what Haas have done here. Instead, Rich Energy’s logo appears in the same gold that’s used to trim the livery – but Haas’ own logo, as well as those of sponsors Jack & Jones and Richard Mille, are rendered in white. And Peak, who adorn the rear wing endplates, get to keep the blue in their logo as well.

As such, the car comes off as slightly ill-thought-out. It’s understandable that Rich Energy, who use the black and gold as part of their branding anyway, would want to have this kind of impact on the car – and so we wouldn’t suggest that they switch their logo to white (although alongside the other logos that would look much better). What really seems to throw it off is using Rich’s gold for the trim on the nose and mirrors, and for the race numbers, but having all the other logos in white – it looks like two different liveries have been jammed together.

It could be argued that having Rich’s logo itself in gold, but keeping everything else white, would have worked much better. Or alternatively, come to some kind of arrangement with the other sponsors to render them in gold – of course they’ll have their own brand guideline considerations, but would any of them really have objected to being made a part of a properly successful recreation of such a classic livery design?

Given our general level of disappointment with Haas’ liveries to date, we’d still call this comfortably the best-looking car they’ve put out. But the sense that it could have been so much more, coupled with the slight sense of unease over the nature of the sponsorship deal (whoops, it slipped back in there a bit) means it’s hard to really call it a success.



    February 8, 2019 at 1:11 pm

    The fake-Lotus/Renaults of the early 2010s really spoilt this colour scheme for me!


    February 8, 2019 at 1:27 pm

    Well put, that elegantly puts my impressions of the livery into sensible words,so thanks for voicing it 🙂


    February 8, 2019 at 5:29 pm

    This may be Haas’ best livery yet, but that’s not saying much. It’s just a mess of clashing white & gold. And that peak logo is a crime.


    February 11, 2019 at 2:40 pm

    Nope. I don’t like it. I get what they were going for but it looks terrible even as a render.


    February 11, 2019 at 3:34 pm

    at least it looks better than the horribly dull 2018 car


    February 13, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    Not a fan. They had so many other options and they chose something that boaring. WT actual F. Where they thinking

    Arthur Alford

    February 15, 2019 at 11:12 am

    The gold is too dark, and doesn’t contrast enough so the logos and numbers are hard to see. And they really should have made all the sponsors the same color. The Peak logo sticks out, and not in a good way.

    If you’re going to borrow an iconic look, at least study why it worked.

    Bert van Marenswoud

    February 15, 2019 at 7:34 pm

    Unfortunately it will always be a copy of the real JPS, that is exactly the problem with this livery.

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© Seb Patrick / F1 Colours 2019