Lotus Come Close To Fixing Their Livery

Long-time readers of F1 Colours will know that I have a… complicated relationship with the livery that Lotus (formerly Renault, formerly Benetton, formerly Toleman) have run since 2011. I was initially annoyed that they ran the JPS-influenced colour scheme in the first place, before admitting that they did a pretty good job with it. The first car was somewhat spoiled by the red wing endplates, but the design had grown on me by its second year in 2012. The 2013 car, by contrast, was an absolute mess – throwing more red onto the car but in an incredibly ugly fashion – that was then tweaked and improved significantly for 2014. Last year’s car moved the furthest yet away from the “JPS” style, but at the same time the team had actually worked the colours together better, and the black/red/gold scheme had become something that was new and distinct to them.

What I didn’t expect, therefore, was that for 2015 they’d make a shift back towards the livery’s initial inspiration. And while it’s still got problems… well, it’s probably the best stab they’ve had at it yet:


Several of us livery fans have been saying since 2011 that the Lotus would be a near-perfect livery if only they ditched all of the red (and other clashing colours, such as the green and yellow of the Lotus logo). They haven’t quite done that this year, but the volume of red on the car has been drastically decreased, and unsurprisingly, it looks a whole heck of a lot better as a result.

lotus15-2 lotus15-3
Unfortunately, it’s just now that one sponsor that throws it off again: now that red is no longer a main part of the livery (it’s not used in the stripes the way it was in 2014), but is only used for the PDVSA patches, it’s become a bit of an annoyance again. But other than in those sections, the car looks great – the simplified gold lines, and the completely blended sponsor logos (even the Lotus badge is now completely in black and gold) make it look smart and sleek.

lotus15-4 lotus15-5
I’m minded to imagine just how good the car would look if Maldonado and his sponsor weren’t around – although of course, it’s very probable that right at the moment they’re basically the only thing keeping the team afloat…



    January 26, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    I agree that this is the best Lotus livery since it was introduced in 2011, although the red under the gold stripe up the tub behind the front wheels was a nice touch last year that hasn’t been carried over.
    Love the new angled gold go faster stripes and the new gold and black lotus nose badge.
    My biggest gripe is the PDVSA logo on the engine cover, the red outline spoils it.
    The team have said they will have new sponsors added to the car before the first race so hopefully that won’t ruin this too much.
    No burn logos on the car this year??

    So far the 2015 liveries have been great!

      Seb Patrick

      January 26, 2015 at 3:49 pm

      Yeah, that red stripe along the side of the tub last year was the thing that made me think they’d finally clicked the “red and gold” combo in a way they hadn’t before; so I’m surprised they haven’t used it here.

      On the other hand, maybe they know Pastor/PDVSA aren’t around forever, so are shifting towards a car with no red on it at all for when he does leave? That’d be nice.


        January 26, 2015 at 4:44 pm

        With as much red they should have gone with a gold leaf tribute rather than sticking religiously with the black/gold JPS scheme.
        Last year and this year’s is a lot better, I’m glad they stuck with it. They will get it right eventually, just hope they don’t replace Pastor with another ride buyer and a non black/gold conformant sponsor, like Nasr/Banco de Brazil!


    January 27, 2015 at 1:48 am

    I have to disagree. I think this is their weakest livery since the horrible 2011/2012 ones.
    It’s just so bland and uninspired. There are so many natural curves and lines on an F1 car and they’ve used none to their advantage. It looks like a 5 minute job. I seriously can’t imagine someone looked at this more than once and said “Yep, that’s the best I can do, it’s perfect”.

    While red was the enemy (for most), the 2013 livery is still the strongest in my opinion. It was actually a good design whereas this one looks amateur in comparison.


      January 30, 2015 at 1:58 am

      I completely agree with you. I love the black/gold with the red but this year’s version is horribly boring and uninspired. Your “5 minute job” statement hits the nail on the head. Car looks pretty good from the front but any other view is boring, especially the side view. The gold lines make no sense with the contours of the body. I would’ve liked to see the gold lines run front to back over the body like the old Renault yellow stripes did on the blue body back in the day.

    forti corse

    January 27, 2015 at 5:05 am

    The livery looks gorgeous, having said that I still dont understand why the jps livery is still used, the colours belong solely to the tobacco company and bears no actual link to lotus cars other than our personal addiction to the 98t.

    I still dont see this team as lotus, its yet another team trying to relive dead nostalgia


    January 29, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    As much as I love the classic JPS livery, I’d like to see where they could go if they just moved on.

    Augusto B. Tremarin (@augustobt)

    January 31, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    As usual, loved it with the exception of red.


    February 5, 2015 at 2:43 pm


    If they insist on using red and gold on the Lotus then they have to use something like the above (don’t know how to hyperlink but copy and paste into the address bar, saw this on a forum, not my work but pretty spot on)

Leave a Reply

© Seb Patrick / F1 Colours 2019