Williams’ latest retro livery is… a Brabham?

Well, this is an odd one. I’m still slightly wary of actually calling this the full 2012 Williams livery, because… well, because there’s so much of that dark blue, that’s usually the preserve of their testing-only liveries. But by the same token… it’s got lines on it and stuff, so it is a designed livery, so we can probably assume that this is how the cars are going to roll out at the races.

And it’s weird.

As much as I liked the Rothmans-tribute livery, I can sort of see the reasons behind not running it again (despite how great it would look with Renault logos added) – it didn’t really serve all that much purpose, and although I’ve no idea whether this was actually a consideration at the team’s end or not, there may have been a touch of sensitivity over having a Senna drive a car in that colour scheme.

Embed from Getty Images

But still, something just doesn’t feel quite right about this. Keeping red as a third colour, in deference to PDVSA, is fine – and the subtle stripe on the engine cover is a nice touch. Indeed, the whole area from the sidepod to the rear wheels, at least below cockpit height, looks really good. There, the livery actually looks like it’s been designed to fit the lines of the car. But elsewhere? I’m not so sure. It’s the airbox that does it, I think – there doesn’t seem to be a reason why there’s a completely horizontal white stripe, separating one blue area from another. Surely the airbox would look better in white, as on last year’s car?

The odd distribution of patterns extends to the nose area – okay, I know there’s barely anything that can be done to make these horrendous stepped noses look good, but the white sections on and around the nose simply feel arbitrarily-placed. They don’t serve any sort of aesthetic purpose to the livery as a whole – the nose and monocoque certainly need some white, to balance the section above the sidepods, but what’s there doesn’t do the job, and simply makes the main monocoque area feel like there’s something missing. It’s a livery that, all in all, creates a weird disconnect in the brain, because it’s instinctively not right – it just feels broken, somehow. Not keen on those incredibly cheap-looking uniforms, either.

In fact, if the livery – particularly given the shade of blue – calls to mind anything, then rather than a previous classic Williams car, it’s this:

Embed from Getty Images

… and I somehow doubt it was the original intent. Although, you know, if Williams do intend to start using their cars to pay tribute to classic racers from other British teams besides themselves, can I put in a request for a J191 livery next year?



    February 9, 2012 at 4:09 am

    Oh, I would love to see a green and blue Williams. Though I’d happily take a Williams in anything other than blue and white for the first time in yonks.

    I think it’s a bit odd too. The distribution of the colours doesn’t loom right, and the dominance of the blue makes it rather dull. Sadly, I see Williams have confirmed it’s the permanent 2012 livery. Oh well, maybe in 2013 they’ll shock us all with a rainbow car…


    February 9, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Agree completely with both Seb & Ned, although it’s on the edge of being something really nice though isn’t it? It just needs a little something – not sure what though! Have to say I’m a little dismayed at the lack of sponsor decals on the car – it has to be just about the most logo free livery aside from HRT?


    February 9, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    For me, I don’t like the livery. I’d say it runs 2nd to Sauber in the worst livery stakes.


    February 9, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    Sucky livery. Williams normally come up with something pretty decent but this is just terrible.


      February 13, 2012 at 11:10 am

      How appropriate, as Williams’ slide down the grid has been quite reminiscent of Brabham’s. How long until they take a year off, or put a pink front end on the car?


    February 19, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    I do agree there is something missing, but I almost quite like it. If it had a little more white to break up all the empty blue space I think it would be nice. Something along the lines of a white line down the side on the bottom and maybe dropping of in the rear somewhere, sort of like the other pictured car.


    February 23, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Williams updated the livery for Barcelona. Looks much better now that the navy is broken up on the engine cover. http://www.f1today.nl/foto.php?file=19642


    February 24, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Were Jordan and the J191 not Irish?

      Seb Patrick

      February 24, 2012 at 11:39 am

      I suppose you could contend either, but the team were based at Silverstone and I believe they raced under the British flag (fairly sure, though I’d need to check, that they played the UK anthem when they won races).


        February 24, 2012 at 1:09 pm

        I think I recall EJ being very unhappy that the UK anthem was played after the 1-2 in Spa, I thought it was the Irish anthem for both of Frentzen’s victories (but I was very young back then, could be mistaken)

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