The first team to unveil their livery were – somewhat surprisingly – Haas F1. Their 2020 design is largely based on the 2018 one, but saw some further development, including the so-called ‘disrupt’ pattern. The team's designer Ryan Long let us in on the process of the 2020 livery design.
2019 was a tough year for Haas F1 for a number of reasons. While the season was definitely a decline in performance from the one before, it was probably most noticable for the saga around former title sponsor Rich Energy who first caused a lot of uproar with some rather interesting social media posts and then pulled their sponsorship mid-way through the year. This was of course particularly big news as the whole corporate design of the team had been based around Rich Energy's black and gold colour scheme.
Looking forward to the 2020 season there wasn’t any discussion of keeping it.
So while there was no immediate impact on the livery and team design in general – except for the removal of Rich Energy's logos – it was immediately clear that the team's 2020 design would go back to its origins.
As designer Ryan Long explains: ”After we parted ways, the base scheme stuck around for the rest of the season for logistical reasons, but looking forward to the 2020 season there wasn’t any discussion of keeping it.“
Going back to the drawing board also meant that Long pulled out the latest Haas-branded design from 2018 and based further iterations on this one – going back to the original black, white and red colour scheme they had used from 2015.
“Personally, 2018 was my favorite Haas livery, so it seemed like a logical starting point for a recognizable Haas look.” Long also added: ”The basic idea was there from the beginning, and most of the exploration happened in terms of looking at the details. There weren’t a lot of wildly different ideas, just more subtle variations.“
While the 2020 design thus kept the same basic lines it had in 2018, some parts of the design were further developed. Most noticeable are the simplified front of the car as well as the matte black diagonal stripes across the front wing and shark fin – internally called the ”disrupt“ pattern. The latter was actually introduced for the team kit design which needs to be defined much earlier than the livery but still made its to the car as well.
There weren’t a lot of wildly different ideas, just more subtle variations.
”It can be pretty tricky to finalize team kit elements without knowing exactly what will happen on the car, but in this case it worked out very well as those elements were repurposed for the car and also used on various other team assets as well.“
Other details include the chevron on the top of the chassis right in front of the cockpit area and re-coloured front and rear wing end plates.
Since we often have a lot of pressure, it is something that has to make sense logistically.
One of the most striking elements of the car is the aforementioned “disrupt pattern” which uses an interesting mix of matte and gloss black. In fact, looking at the Formula One cars launched in recent years, experimenting with different materials to create extraordinary finishes seems to be increasingly ’en vogue‘. Haas' designer Ryan Long has also considered that for a while but never really managed to execute that on his designs. ”Since we often have a lot of pressure to make our paint turnaround as quick as possible, it is something that has to make sense logistically.“
And while the 2020 Haas does feature this mix of materials, it doesn't quite feature the attention to detail it might seem to do at first glance.
”In reality, we’ll execute it as that satin dark grey sprayed over polished raw carbon fiber – something that is a lot easier to turn around quickly between events because it’s one application of paint versus a primer/base/clear/matte process.“
Of course, with all the preparation a livery designer can do, the final result can always be a bit of a surprise once the car has been painted or wrapped. ”I saw the engine cover/shark fin painted up for the first time at Silverstone Paint Technology last week just before it was loaded up on the van headed to the car build, and it’s a great look.“
We can definitely confirm the ’great look‘ part! What do you think about Haas' 2020 livery? Let us know on twitter @btwnracinglines and make sure to follow us for more news on design in motor racing.
Thanks a lot to Ryan Long for the time and insights.