December 14th, 2017
We Review the New Formula E Liveries
The first two races of the new Formula E season were held in Hong Kong last month, and though many teams had already shown their liveries during testing or the weeks before the first race, a couple of teams decided to show their new colours during the race weekend. Here's our review for the 10 teams and their new liveries for season 4:
Venturi Formula E Team
The Monegasque team may be the one with the simplest livery in Formula E this season. Having always used black as a background, they have now added gray on the back half of the car and removed the blue lines along the car. This makes the livery much less interesting compared to last year's. Lack of primary sponsors makes the design look empty, yet the ZF and Rhom logos feel cramped inside tilted squares which seem to be only there to keep the background colour of the brands. The Venturi logo on the side of the cockpit has been made bigger. Similar to last year, the cars have colours to differentiate the drivers: red for Engel, and black for Mortara as can be seen on the front wings and top roll structure.
Our review: The design is simple. Yet it made a step backwards from the elegant car we saw last season, as it lost the vibrant blue colour and gained a gray background instead of what would have been a more interesting shiny silver.
Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler
Manufacturer involvement from Audi in the team means now they take over the livery, and an adaptation of the Audi Sports racing lines has been aplied to the livery one a white background, which the team had never used before. Green remains on the car as part of Schaeffler's brand colours, but is only featured as backgound of the logo. The team has decided to differentiate both cars with the colours in the liverie, with Di Grassi racing the white/black/green car, while Abt drives the white/green/red car. DHL gives a bright touch to the car with it's brand yellow on the front wing. An interesting part of the car are the rims, as they feature cutted vinyl lines in green/red, which sadly looked much brighter in the press photos.
Our review: The new Audi Sport livery seems to be the one you either love or hate, but it makes it difficult to pick it as one of the best out there. The classic Audi Sport racing lines feel forced in the Formula E car combined with the Schaeffler colours.
Losing manufacturer involvement from Faraday Future meant the american team had to ditch the "polar forces" livery from FF, which had been one of the most creative liveries Formula E has had. Now, they reached out to designer Sean Bull, who created a different version for each driver. The design is simple and looks very elegant in white, but in red looks more reminiscent to the red livery from season 2. López will drive the white car at least in Marrakesh, while d'Ambrossio will be in the red car. The lines, also seem similar to the ones proposed in the build-up to season 1.
Our review: Much more could have been done after last seasons livery, but going the complete opposite way may have been what Dragon Racing was looking for, with the need to go away from Faraday Future's image after a tough breakup.
Mahindra Racing may be one of the two teams with the most recognizable liveries in Formula E, yet... they don't seem happy with what they have but keep looking for it in the wrong place: social media contests. Just like last year, Mahindra launched a competition looking for this seasons livery, and just like last year, the winning design was changed, only this time, more drastically thanks to a new sponsor, Renesas, who most likely, asked for a blue background behind their logo. The new livery (created by designer Sean Bull) features almost the same orange lines over a white background, but now almost all of the black is gone, left only for the front and back wings, which feature Renesas logo... but not over blue. The blue is used, instead, only on the roll structure and on the tip of the nose. The indian flag colours are still on the rims, which is a nice touch.
Our review: Mahindra has the identity part of a livery nailed down, now they just have to get the design part done and they could have a classic livery on their hands.
MS&AD Andretti Formula E
The Andretti Formula E team has updated it's white background to teal and has now added blue and teal details thanks to the update in primary backing, from MS Amlin, to MS & AD Insurance. Andretti Formula E has had very interesting liveries, and blue has always been their main colour (except for the orange season 1 update), but after a season in white, switching now to teal now makes it confusing to tell their car apart from the NIO and Jaguar Racing cars. Well have to wait and see how much of this livery remains next season when BMW joins Formula E as a partner in Andretti's team.
Our review: MS&AD Andretti Formula E's livery does have some very interesting blue and teal details on the sides of the cockpit, wings and nose, but sadly, they do not make it stand among the other teams with similar colours.
Another very simple livery, makes it very easy to distinguish amongst the other teams, which makes it mission accomplished for e.dams. It seems pretty clear that the team wants to draw away from the classic Renault racing yellow, and wants to stablish the blue as the electric racing colour, just as the one they have on the Zeo e-sport concept, but now minus the yellow details. The hexagons have also been removed from the sidepods. Black remains in the design, and now has white lines incorporated over it. Also, the now classic black rims remain, making the whole car instantly recognizable, though this will be the last season this design is on the track, since next season, the team will run under the Nissan banner, which may bring a very interesting livery to Formula E.
Our review: A simple update makes the Renault e.dams car even cleaner and elegant, as well as aligned with Reanult's electric car strategy.
DS Virgin Racing
DS Virgin is the Formula E's definition of "if it's not broken, don't fix it", as there was little to no update to their livery, which is in my opinion one of the best in FE: Small changes on the texture on the sidepod, and the addition of the Total brand, adding red to the side mirrors.
Our review: The most consistent livery in Formula E keeps looking great after very small updates were done to it this season.
Newest team on Formula E, Techeetah, kept their original colours, gold and black, and turned gray details into white, while adding the silohuette of a cheetah to the sides of the cockpit, as well as updating the angles of the golden lines. Techeetah also moved their logo to the roll structure and removed the flag in it, leaving only the driver's abbreviation. There's a big blank space on the sidepods, hopefully for some sponsor in the future.
Our review: Techeetah's changes to the car are a slight upgrade, and the car definitey stands out from the rest of the field, but this design feels far away from the best in Formula E.
NIO Formula E Team
From red to gray, to black and teal, to black and white, then back to black and teal, and now, to teal and blue, NIO, as a company, not just a Formula E team seems to have a lot of trouble defining their identity. The team first launched as China Racing Formula E Team, then was renamed to NEXTEV TCR Formula E Team, then to NextEV NIO and now just NIO Formula E Team. The team has settled for teal and blue this year and kept the diagonal line from last season, as well as some black on both front and back wings. They kept a coloured ring on the roll struture as a driver differentiator. The car looks great, and has space on the sidepod for a sponsor, though it is smartly used for NIO's social media tag in the meantime.
Our review: The chinese team which now runs under a british flag, looks amazing in it's livery, but has a big negative point as it runs in very similar colours as the Andretti and Jaguar teams.
Panasonic Jaguar Racing
Only slight changes were made to another very interesting livery in Formula E. Many of the series fans were expecting a design related to the F1 years of the marque, but were surprised when last seasons car and livery was launched, and it's fair to say some of those fans were dissapointed. But it's a design that "grows on you" and it's becoming one of the best in Formula E, with all the brand design around it, added to the fact that the car looks great on the track. A small minus is that, on TV and from a distance, the car looks similar to Andretti's and NIO's. Let's hope this gets solved for next season somehow.
Our review: Very small update to the british team's livery, keeping intact a livery that looks great on track, though can be confused with a couple other teams.
Formula E is a growing sport. With manufacturer involvement increasing and audience numbers growing, sponsors will look at the series and will surely be interested in being part of it's cars and liveries. Look at Panasonic and MS & AD Insurance tanking primary sponsor spaces on cars, and many secondary ones. Hopefully, that will mean that soon we will not see only the names of teams and manufacturers on the cars, like Venturi, Mahindra, Dragon or NIO and Audi, but the names of sponsosrs that will bring money and support to the sport... as well as many more interesting colours and liveries.