“This is our Christmas”, tweeted one of our readers about this launch week; and if that’s the case, then 2017 is rapidly turning into that Christmas where I got the Ghostbusters fire station AND Ecto-1 car in one go.
Because after yesterday’s fantastic Sauber launch, today we’ve had a team that I honestly expected to run basically the same livery as last year, instead improving on their 2016 effort. Last year’s almost-all-yellow Renault was quite nice, but still something of a waste of having the team in the sport – if Renault are in F1, then basically, you want a car that looks like a bumble bee. Now, the new 2017 challenger may not be as good as their 2010 car, but it’s still a damned fine looking machine.
It’s not perfect, mind. The switch to predominantly black in the back half appears to me to be driven by the need to put new partner Castrol’s logo on the car in full colour; but the additional red and green in that logo, while small, slightly throw things off – it’d be better if they were kept in a uniform white. And from the front, the design looks a little blocky – I’d prefer slightly more in the way of swooping lines and other design elements rather than simply a huge expanse of yellow.
It’s from the top, actually, that the car looks the best, with the yellow lines extending out from the nose along either side of the engine cover, creating a pleasing speed-based effect. And switching the main rear wing plate to be yellow (with black either side) is a great touch. It’s also not totally clear from all of the launch event pictures, but it does appear from that top down view that the black is matt, which in the right light could end up looking absolutely fantastic.
So there we are. Two launches down, two pretty great new designs, and the promise of more surprises to come. Are we heading for the best year of liveries since 2010?