Well, that’s… new…

Right, then. Let’s look at this in a bit more detail. Wow.

So given that they were the team with comfortably the worst livery on the grid last season, it would have been difficult for HRT to go downwards this year. As it is, with the hiring of a Hollywood design consultant in the shape of Daniel Simon, we knew something a bit exciting would be afoot. And so it’s proved.

First things first – the car in and of itself: it’s great. I worry it might get “old” quickly (and there’s something quite mid-to-late ’90s about it, don’t you think?) but at the moment it’s a breath of fresh air, something genuinely distinctive and interesting. It’s perhaps a little too self-consciously “race”-y, but you can’t deny that the fading chequered flag motif and nose-tip racing stripe are fun, quirky features. The colour scheme is great, too – you can’t go wrong with a white/red car accented by black, it instantly calls to mind certain Marlboro cars. And, of course – it’s got GREAT BIG RACE NUMBERS on it. I don’t have to tell regular readers just how much I love seeing GREAT BIG RACE NUMBERS on a car.

As with the Marussia-Virgin revealed yesterday, it’s perhaps a touch American-looking – but that’s not necessarily a bad thing (in fact, how good would this have looked as the USF1 livery instead? Try imagining the black bits as blue, instead…). Interesting to note, too, that the colour scheme’s not entirely dissimilar to the cover art of Daniel’s book Cosmic Motors. So are the colours his choice, or Hispania’s?

Now, though, to the downsides. First of all, it has to be said – we’re going worryingly back towards 2009 levels when it comes to the number of predominantly white cars on the grid. Two – in the shape of Sauber and Force India – is just about acceptable (and this is assuming FI do stick with their usual design – we’ll find out in about twenty minutes), but three (a quarter of the cars on the grid) is starting to push it. It’s at least a distinctive look (despite using the same primary colours as Virgin), but let’s hope it can stand out on the track.

Secondly, the sponsorship situation is undoubtedly worrying for anyone interested in the team. The car wasn’t exactly awash with logos last year – but this time out, everyone who sponsored the team has disappeared (presumably most departed with Senna), and there’s not even a “Hispania” logo on it. Instead, there’s just one sponsor – Tata, meaning Narain Karthikeyan’s likely in a very strong position regarding the retention of his seat – and the usual prime sponsor spaces are given over to phrases like “This could be you” and “This is a cool spot”. Are these placeholders for an upcoming deal(s)? A bit of witty self-commentary on the lack of sponsorship? Evidence of a new marketing scheme involving the general public getting their names on the car? Or really just a simple, desperate plea for new sponsors? Time will tell.

Despite these concerns, it’s undoubtedly a cool-looking car – I do wonder about Hispania’s own role in all of this (it seems their identity’s been pushed right back into the background, which leads me to wonder whether they’ll be in charge of the team for much longer or if someone new’s waiting in the wings), but it’s undeniable they’ve made an immeasurable improvement over last year. Whoever ends up joining Karthikeyan in car #23 this year is going to have one of the most camera-friendly cars out there.



    February 8, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Hurrah! an innovative new livery with a new team identity not dictated by by corporate money men lol! Cosmic Motors Rocks, well played Hispania


      February 8, 2011 at 10:42 am

      Definitely different from others thumbs up.

      Force India the only left out will surely come with their national tri-color so nothing different can be expected.

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Seb Patrick, f1colours. f1colours said: New HRT launched! Pictures up now, discussion to follow: http://f1colours.wordpress.com/2011/02/08/well-thats-new/ […]


    February 8, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Nice! One of the better liveries of the past few seasons I’d say.


    February 8, 2011 at 11:40 am

    I put it in the category “I’d never use lines like this, but it looks awesome!”
    I also find it a smart ploy to advertise the advertisement spaces. Makes the car less empty, reserving spaces, while still having a very artsy-livery. Yet, I kinda hoped they would keep a bit of the graphite-silver look. :/


    February 8, 2011 at 11:48 am

    It looks good design-wise. But more red and more white on the grid. Just what was needed… hmm.


    February 8, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    It looks like the love child of the Sauber and Virgin cars… But i like it.


    February 8, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Big improvement… but, still a tad disapointed. I was hoping for some completely new colour, like MV says we already have enough red and white cars on the grid…


    February 8, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    It looks like a very hollywood cliche racing livery don’t you think? Better than last year regardless.


      February 8, 2011 at 2:01 pm

      Dare I say generic?


    February 8, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    I love it. So what if it’s cheesy and a bit tongue in cheek. It’s great that a livery has personality again.


    February 8, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    At first I was like “WOW”, but I can’t stop thinking that on the track it will be the same old white-red car scheme, this time with a checkered flag. Really, the more I look at it the more I find it boring.


    February 8, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    From a distance this car will look like a McLaren because it will appear grey-ish with red sidepods. The Virgin and the Sauber will look a little similar too, both have missed the opportunity to have interesting paint jobs.
    Bring back Simtek, Jordan and Jaguar!


      February 9, 2011 at 11:36 am

      Somewhat true, but the big red on the engine cover and nose do distinguish it. I love it, even if it is in a way rather cliché, and it again uses white, red, and black which we already didn’t have a lack of on the grid; but it is an actual design, well thought out and effective, and the little joke texts are fun – it is so incredibly much improved from what the team had, I can only applaud it.

      I hope it inspires not only McLaren, but even makes Peter Sauber consider how much better his apparently favourite set of colours of white/red/black(charcoal) could have been applied to his cars, and get someone to do him an actual livery for next year.


    February 12, 2011 at 12:10 pm

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