Back in the day, BAR Honda tried to run a dual-liveries with Lucky Strikes and 555 brands but as Autosport pointed out in their article, the FIA put the brakes on that idea. Now McLaren boss, Zak Brown, reckons F1 could make more money and appeal to more sponsors if the series would allow for special one-off liveries and if memory serves correctly, and the article didn’t mention this, I seem to recall them already doing this for a Star Wars movie several years ago.
“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,” said Brown.
“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 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.
“I think that might be a new innovation with partnerships in Formula 1 that’s not quite to the extreme of seeing different cars in totally different liveries, because I think those fans are more focused on the driver.”
As the article points out, NASCAR runs different liveries within a multi-car team so would that be something Zak is talking about because that could be confusing.
“I think [it doesn’t happen in] Formula 1 because each team is so recognizable by its livery,” he added.
“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 Jimmie Johnson in the Lowes car, whereas they recognize Fernando Alonso in a McLaren.
“So I think the sport is different.”
It is an interesting perspective given that one of the recurring discussions over the past several years in Formula 1 has been about driver identification even resulting in a helmet design limitation, so fans could ID their driver easier. The larger numbers on cars or the yellow camera mount above the drivers head versus the all-black version.
For me, I think running different liveries for each car within a team is not that big of a deal for 20 cars and it makes ID’ing a driver even easier. We’re talking about 20 cars, not 43 like in NASCAR. That’s just me, I am capable of following slight more complex things than just 20 differently painted cars.
Hat Tip: Autosport