Unlike other series, such as IndyCar or NASCAR, Formula 1 rules dictate that teams are limited to running the same color scheme on both cars for the entire length of the season – and that’s that.
Yet, there have been a few attempts to change things; for example, BAR (British American Racing) featured a dual-sided livery back in 1999 after their initial proposal to run a different tobacco sponsor on each of its cars was rejected by the FIA.
While speaking at a motorsport-related forum in London earlier this week, McLaren CEO Zak Brown said that it would be a good thing for teams to be able to have special liveries, according to Autosport.
“I think what you could see and what I would be supportive of – it’s not currently allowed – is changing paint schemes throughout the year and IndyCar does this, as does NASCAR.”
“I still think I’d like to see it as two cars, but if you were going to Monaco and you have a big program going with one of your partners, and for that weekend you wanted to turn it in to a Dell Technologies car or whatever the case may be, but both would be the same [you could do that].”
“So the fans still knew that’s McLaren, that’s Ferrari, whoever the team may be.”
Still, the McLaren exec understands why Formula 1 isn’t too keen on having teams run different liveries throughout the season.
“I think [it doesn’t happen in] Formula 1 because each team is so recognizable by its livery. I think if you had 20 different liveries out there it might start to get confusing as to who is who, whereas in NASCAR the fans tend to be more driver-centric, so they’ll recognize Jimmy Johnson in the Lowes car, whereas they recognize Fernando Alonso in a McLaren.”
Of course, NASCAR fans will often look at what number the cars have as a way to know who’s who, as all cars feature large and easy to read fonts, even from a distance. Due to the design of Formula 1 cars, using very large fonts would be close to impossible.
Well, different liveries might be welcomed by teams as a means of attracting additional sponsorship, but we’d rather the FIA focused on how to make the racing more exciting.