Toro Rosso and Brawn – a late catchup

Hi folks, sorry once again for the delay – I was busy around the time Toro Rosso launched, and figured it would be worth waiting for Brawn to unveil their new car in Australia before doing a post about both. Only… Brawn never did, did they? They raced with the same car as they tested with, only with a couple of Virgin logos stuck in surprisingly small and subtle places :

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… and there’s not really a huge amount to say about it, is there? The fluorescent stuff is alright, and gives the team a distinct identity, but it looks like nothing other than a test car. The arrival of Virgin gave hope that there’d be some kind of rebranding exercise… but thanks to Button’s win, that car is the most famous thing in motorsport, and I honestly can’t imagine them changing it dramatically between now and the end of the season – I know they’ve only had a week since Australia, but if it was going to change, it would have been for Malaysia, and it hasn’t. If, as expected, Richard Branson ends up buying out the team and renaming it, then maybe then – but that can’t happen until the end of the season anyway. So it really does look like we’ll be stuck with a plain white car – with just a couple of sponsor decals and a bit of fluorescent yellow – heading the field this season. Nice helmet redesigns, though.

At least Toro Rosso have made some changes this year. The painted Bull remains, but it’s shifted solely to the engine cover, and there’s now a large Red Bull text logo on the sidepod. Unfortunately, coupled with the Red Bull Cola advert on the rear wing, it has the effect of making the STR look even more like the RBR than it did previously. That said, it’s arguably a slightly nicer looking car than its big brother – and the text against a darker blue background puts me in mind of a mid-90s Sauber, from before they took on the turquoise Petronas branding.

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So that’s our full grid of cars. Winners for 2009? Williams, I reckon. It’s not that different to previous years, but it’s a very smart car, and I really like the curved and swooping lines as seen in the side-on view. Losers? It’s got to be Renault – the grid’s ugliest machine sits under its ugliest livery, and while it looks like far less of a patchwork than the 07/08 cars (in that all the colours on it look a bit more like they’re meant to go together) it’s still mildly vomit-inducing. And the nose is appalling.


    Timothy J

    April 4, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    Now that the season has started, I’d definitely say the 09 Williams blue is significantly lighter than in 08. I’m not sure I’d agree it’s the nicest livery though, I think I prefer the Red Bull/ Toro Rosso’s, even if they do look a bit similar.

    Overall, it’s not been a great winter for colour changes. I was hoping Brawn would come out with something a bit innovative, but in reality it’s a bit of a non livery. Shame they didn’t just paint it all fluroscent or all yellow or something- at least then it would be distictive.

    I hope this website keeps going through the season. There may not be many livery changes during 2009 -though we can always hope Brawn does rebrand itself mid season- but there are plenty of things to talk about. 2009 overalls and helmets, 10 worst F1 colour schemes, seasons with great liveries, etc…

    I’m going to shut up now in case I sound like a complete livery nerd.

    Seb Patrick

    April 4, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    Still hoping to keep it going, yeah! I want to do more in the way of articles on past liveries – I know I’ve been crap with that since the Top 25 list! Helmets are also a plan (meant to do THAT last season too, but never got to it), and yeah, I didn’t really cover uniforms with the launches, so they could be worth looking at. I’m also open to accepting reader content – hence my call for fantasy livery designs, but also any other stuff (artcles etc) people might want to submit, I’d be happy to look at…


    April 4, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    I think there are way too many white liveries, but of all the brawns has the most distinct look. Admittedly it was meant as testing livery, but I’m glad they raced it in Melbourne and I don’t mind it being used for the rest of the season. It underlines how bizarre the beginning of the year and the last couple of month were. Either way, it looks different from all other teams, because of this emptiness. You usually know this only of backseaters. Tyrrell 94 comes to my mind. Having such a car in the frontrow and winning races is unique 🙂


    April 5, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    Here’s an article by an actual livery designer. It’s an interesting look at the value of liveries from a sponsors perspective.


    April 6, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    I like the Brawn GP livery in that they are establishing the team colours without any corporate influences. I think the red Virgin logos on the car ruin it a wee bit (would they be better being larger and be in black?) but hopefully if the title sponsership goes through the cars will be red instead of white, keep the black bits and replace the yellow flashes with white.

    I like the Toro Rosso livery this year but it is now too similar to the Red Bull, I would like to have seen the Toro Rossi (!) run in the red bull cola colours with some of the painted bull influences.

    Keep up the good work Seb

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