When rounding up Williams’ livery history earlier this year, I said that the team could often be considered somewhat conservative, especially when it comes to their livery choices. Generally, they’re a team who finds something they like and then sticks to it – moments where they’ve raised eyebrows with their liveries are generally few and far between (the 1998 switch to Winfield red perhaps the most striking example).
So it does feel rather like they’re making a statement with their 2020 livery – that after an annus horribilis on the track in 2019 with a livery that many felt was flat and unimaginative, they’re looking to make a real impact this year. As their own hashtag puts it: #WeAreFighting.
The new livery can be seen as an evolution of last year’s rather than a total reinvention of it – it’s still got the same shade of blue, alongside white and black. But the big addition is red, courtesy of ROKiT – our suspicion last year that they came along too late to have an effect on the livery looking like turning out to be correct – giving the team a colour scheme that they haven’t had since the 1999 Winfield car.
Despite the departure of sponsors including Orlen and Rexona, the car pleasingly doesn’t look bare – with the engine cover bearing the names of Lavazza (courtesy of Nicholas Latifi) and ABK Beer (actually another part of the growing ROKiT portfolio). There’s also a striking new number font, although I’m not incredibly keen on the way George Russell’s 63 is almost stacked one above the other.
Aside from the fact that there’s a growing amount of white on the grid again, I do like this – it’s a vast improvement on 2019, although it could be argued that it still doesn’t feel very “Williamsy”. But maybe that’s the point. It’s bold and brash, not characteristics that you’d really associate with Frank Williams, but maybe that’s just the kind of statement they’re intending to make.