Renault launch the R29

… Actually, let’s do the Renault first, since it’s the only one of the new launches really worth talking about with any urgency.
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Well, I suppose the best you can say is that at least they’ve bothered to change the livery.

Actually, let’s be fair. The main problem with the 07-08 Renault livery – although, I’ll admit, it did eventually grow on me a bit by simple virtue of hanging around for so long – was that it was a combination of colours that didn’t make sense. Yellow, orange and white – fine. But throwing in the dark blue just made it all off-kilter. They should have either dropped the orange or the yellow. Well, for 2009… they’ve dropped the dark blue, and replaced it with red, courtesy of new sponsor Total (who you may recall as a long-time Jordan sponsor in the mid- to late-90s).

Now, on paper, the combination of red, orange, yellow and white doesn’t sound too bad. I still don’t agree with an F1 car having four “main” colours (three should be the maximum), but at least they could be said to complement one-another. No, the problem here is in the application of the colours. Over the monocoque, it’s not bad at all – taking away the blue means it still wants for a defining colour, but there’s no clash and everything blends quite nicely. The two main problems I have, though, are in the use of the red, and with the engine cover.

The red, first, is clearly a mistake. Yes, the endplates immediately mark out the car as looking different to last year – and in a climate where we’ve only got nine definite teams, and at least half of those are expected to run near-identical designs, that’s something for a livery buff to cling onto. The problem is that they’re the only use of red on the car, and so they stand out absolutely horribly. Even moreso than the blue parts on the old car, they simply look like Renault have run out of wingplates and nicked them from another garage (a Jordan garage circa 1997, perhaps). They also ruin the effect of the new, yellow rear wing – something which would otherwise be quite nice and traditional in a “classic Renault” kind of way.

Theย  engine cover, meanwhile, is a bit of a mess. Orange and yellow stripes? Really? What are they there for? They seem completely at odds with the theme in the car’s front half of using the orange to separate the yellow from the white – here, orange is just liberally strewn wherever. The reddish nature of the orange means that from a distance, it looks like the team are being nice and patriotic for Fernando, but I can’t imagine that Nelsinho is hugely happy with that…

And then, finally, there’s the nose. Now this is bizarre. Quite aside from the ugly shape of it (and I don’t know what’s going on with these new regs, but all the teams seem to have taken them as a cue to make their nose cones hideously ugly in completely different ways), the weird thing is the way there’s a quite good, simple white-to-orange-to-yellow pattern running down the top half… and then suddenly on the nose itself, for no apparent reason, you’ve got a sudden cut to white, as if they suddenly ran out of paint, or something. Honestly, I bet you we see that altered and flashed with orange before the first couple of races are out. It’s just sloppy-looking.

Overall, while I was pleasantly surprised to see the Renault livery change in quite significant ways – particularly as it no longer looks like the Mild Seven car with the blue bits tipp-exed out – it’s clear that they’ve still got no idea what they’re doing. The new regulations means that F1 cars are all going to be naturally ugly this year – and it’s the job of the livery designers to counteract that with simple, effective designs. The time for swooping, dramatic layouts that follow the lines of the car is gone – because there are no nice lines on the cars any more. It’s why the Ferrari will probably turn out to be the only half-decent one – one colour, trimmed with another. Not FOUR, all vying for attention.

Come on, Renault. Ditch ING. Back to yellow, black and white. You know it makes sense.



    January 19, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    I like it better this way. It’s friendlier and looks nice and sunny. Creamy, even. Female, maybe. Smooth. Summery. Aaahhh.

    Watson Waterstone

    January 20, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    Lol, I love your writing style. This site is the only reason I hope there will be more UGLY liveries, because I like the way you burn them with a good choice of words.

    And with this financial crisis going on, it won’t be long before ING collapses anyway. (I should know, I’m Dutch…)


    January 27, 2009 at 2:27 am

    I like that they got rid of the blue. The red is better, but should replace the orange or not be there at all. And as you said it, The only good part is the yellow rear wing. The white on the nose is very random and out of place. I might make my own site like this!!!!!


    February 4, 2009 at 9:05 am

    Gotta disagree here, I think the red on the end plates is needed and Orange would be the only other colour they could have realistically used (actually it is Renault, they could have gone for purple) and I don’t know if that would have worked. I like the extra flash of red in the middle of the car with the mirrors too.

    I think the yellow rear wing is a crime against humanity, maybe because it looks like the ‘RENAULT’ is in black, which doesn’t match the ‘ING’ in blue elsewhere. The stripes on the engine cover I think are actually quite interesting and work for me.

    But I could not agree with you more about the nose cone – what idiot decided to not have an orange stripe between the white and yellow, as there is evereywhere else on the car?

    Oh, and wlecome, back, it’s been too long ๐Ÿ™‚


    February 20, 2009 at 5:50 am

    Hi. I disagree with you as this is the best Renault livery in the late years. Maybe they should ditch Renault as it proves more lack of imagination then ING. The will get rid of ING at the end of the year so be happy, maybe we will get an ugly black and yellow car. Bad combination of colors, cold, unimaginative, sharp and mechanic. Really ๐Ÿ™‚


    February 20, 2009 at 5:52 am

    And by the bad combination I meant the black and yellow. Sorry to disagree with you as I know you really like that old livery.

    The Last Pope

    February 21, 2009 at 2:10 am

    My prediction. If they continue in 2O1O they will keep the same livery design just like they did in O7 swapping the Mild seven for ING. But this time the white changes to red and a big yellow M is painted over the ING. Oh and the drivers overalls are designed to look like Ronald McDonalds clothing. Drivers are also forced to wear red wigs when on the podium lol


    February 21, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    @The Last Pope:
    bad joke man, not on the subject, really…

    The Last Pope

    February 21, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    Huh? How is my previous post not on the subject?

    Subject is how terrible the renault livery is. Subject includes ING announcing they are ending their sponsorship at the end of the 2OO9 season which will need replacing if they are to continue in F1. Maybe my prediction was a joke maybe not, but there is no reason why it couldn’t happen (remember the superman Red Bull driver overalls and DC on the podium with a cape at Monaco?)

    My prediction is just a valid as yours saying black and yellow could make a comeback. But. Renault needs money and that means selling big advertisement on their cars. Fast food chains are some of the few companys that are still doing well at the moment. Who better to target than McDonald’s. Changing the white on the current livery to red could transform the look into something pretty good I think.


    February 25, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    Come on man, McDonalds are too cheap to try and waste money on F1. Same for any food chain. And sorry I pointed at your joke, heard it too many times and really makes me tired to hear it again and again.

    but sincerely, I think that Renault’s 2009 livery is the best yet since their return to Formula 1.

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