Now, I am aware that such is the incompetent manner in which F1 is run, there are far more pressing issues than what colour teams choose to paint their cars. But on the basis that there is really precious little else to talk about right now, I thought I'd compile a list of the most boring F1 liveries of recent years, for your viewing pleasure. Plus, there is a point to this at the end. I promise.
So, with that, I present to you The Official Boring Liveries Contest - That's What I Call Colourless!
There are several candidates hoping to impress you (or should that be, depress you?) enough to crown them the champion of boring livery design. It's sure to be a closer run contest than the forthcoming Formula One season, so let's meet the contestants. Starting with:
This legendary team has a lot going for it in this competition. After realising that their evocative Malboro colours, and then the West livery, were just too colourful to succeed in this contest, they've really stepped their game up in recent seasons. They began with this sterling effort in 2014, in a colour that is commonly known as 'Woking' - for it reflects the dullness of the place they call home.*
(Wait, who's that chap stood on the left?)
But then, with their new partnership with Honda on the horizon, they decided to up the dullness stakes even further. McLaren and Honda, how could they possibly come up with a livery dull and boring with two legendary names like that working together once more? Well, we should never have doubted them, because as 2015 began, they presented this.
But then they gave it some thought. What's wrong with this livery? As it turns out, there were far too many colours present on the car for their liking, so they changed it to this.
So, there we are, McLaren. A very strong candidate, and this contest is almost certainly the best chance they've had at winning something in several years.
As you're probably aware, there has been plenty of speculation about what Renault's livery would be. With a manufacturer like Renault coming back into the sport as a full works entry, you'd be forgiven for having high hopes for something spectacular. Well, sure enough, they've produced something quite spectacular...I mean spectacularly bland.
Ah yes, that evocative colour that springs immediately to mind when you think of Renault...black. I can only presume that Renault's deal to take over the Lotus F1 team was concluded so late that they had little time to paint the car a different colour. "But wait!" someone must have said. "We're Renault now, surely we must have some yellow on the car somewhere!" And so they thought long and hard, and in a "that'll do" manner, included the least amount of yellow that they could get away with, in an attempt to please the fans. Don't get too excited.
Those perennial midfielders from Switzerland are on something of a role, constantly knocking out exceptionally boring liveries over the last few seasons. They are surely one of the favourites for this title. Let's reminds ourselves of some of their best efforts from recent years.
As colourless as Ron Dennis' office. But then, bizarrely, at the start of last season they had a bit of a change of heart. They decided to use some colours that weren't grey or white or red. Surely this would mean they were no longer in contention for this prestigious title? Think again.
It must take some serious effort to keep producing these marvelously dull liveries. So well done Sauber.
Do you remember HRT? I don't really, either to be honest. But over their all too brief time in F1, they provided us with three utterly forgettable liveries. But long before 'your sponsor here' and whatever it was they ran in 2012, there was this very strong effort from their debut in 2010.
I honestly can't think of anything to say about this, so perhaps we better move on to the next candidate.
When it was rumoured at the start of 2014 that Williams would be sponsored by Martini, understandably there was a lot of excitement. Surely they couldn't possibly go wrong with such a legendary sponsor?
Now I understand this is a controversial one. But despite the Martini colours, it fails to get a great deal of people excited. What they've managed to do is come up with the seemingly impossible - a rather bland, unimaginative design for a legendary sponsor. Top marks, Williams.
Of course, boring liveries aren't just exclusive to Formula One. The WEC has attracted a lot of attention, but the liveries...haven't.
With LMP1 in rude health, you'd imagine manufacturers would be keen to come up with something eye-catching, something memorable. There have been plenty of famous liveries in sportscar racing over the years, from the Silk Cut Jaguars to the Gulf Porsches, Fords and Aston Martins. So what did Audi, the second most successful manufacturer in the history of Le Mans come up with? This.
Ah, but you're not going to take boring livery honors off us quite so easily, Porsche must've said. Audi and Porsche's on track battles have been pretty spectacular, and their rivalry has got to such a level that the two are now trying to out do each other in a fantastic dull livery competition.
For the last two seasons, Porsche has stuck with the "something written on the car that you can't read, particularly when it's doing 200mph and you don't have a bird's-eye view of the car" livery. In an unusual move, Porsche produced a red and black version of the livery for Le Mans, which were admittedly pretty nice. But the German manufacturer soon realised that these were far too colourful, and stuck with the white one for the rest of the WEC season. I still have no idea what it is supposed to say on the car, by the way.
*Meanwhile, over in IndyCar*
No, no, no. Such a garish and colourful scheme will not succeed here. Do carry on.
So there we have it. Who do you think has produced the most boring livery? Or have I left any off this list that you think are even worse?
Waiting for the inevitable "Actually, I quite like the..."
Anyway, the serious point I have is why do racing teams have such a habit of producing such boring, unimaginative liveries? I'm sure I won't be alone here, but when I was a kid and first started watching motorsport, I was attracted to the cars that looked cool. Part of that was to do with the livery. When you're young, and you're deciding who to support, that kind of thing can make all the difference - which car looks the best or has the nicest livery. So, while on the face of it, it is a very small issue, do you think that teams should do more to come up with designs that are a bit more imaginative, colourful and eye-catching?
* - No offense intended to anyone on these forums from Woking.
Edited by JHSingo, 03 February 2016 - 15:19.