Regular readers may have noticed that I haven’t written about Formula 1 for a while. That’s because there is none of it around at the moment! Yes, it is the close season. For the motor racing fan at winter there are three options:
- Keep yourself occupied with the DVD of last season’s highlights
- Watch A1 GP (not an option for me because I don’t have Sky)
- Feverishly keep track of latest winter testing and car launch news
So, keeping track of car launches it is then! On Friday Toyota launched their new car. Today it was Ferrari’s turn (does anybody else find it odd that they’ve done this on a Sunday?). And oh my goodness. Ferrari’s new car is so ugly! Ferrari have banned photographers from being close to the car yet — presumably because they are so embarrassed by the car’s ugliness.
Tobacco advertising is, of course, now banned. While most tobacco companies have bowed gracefully out of the sport, Philip Morris and Ferrari haven’t. In fact, if anything, they have upped the ante. The ‘Marlboro’ brand may not appear on the car, but an ugly “barcode”-style logo (which apparently does remind people of Marlboro!) will take prominence. You can see this in the photograph above on the rear wing, the front wing and on the nose towards the cockpit.
Add to this the rumours that Marlboro are considering putting an illustration of the Ferrari car on their cigarette packets, does it seem as though Philip Morris are keeping to the tobacco ban? Maybe they are keeping to the letter, but undoubtedly not to the spirit.
Ferrari aren’t the only team with tweaks to their livery rumoured for this year. The tobacco ban has meant that Renault lost its title sponsor, Mild Seven. Many were hoping that this would lead to the team reverting to its traditional yellow, which has been a secondary colour in recent years. But recent ‘spy’ photos unfortunately suggest that they will run with a dark blue next year.
Honda are also said to be considering a livery change in the wake of the loss of their sponsor, British American Tobacco. They to promote their supposed green credentials. I think this would be a massive mistake. The happy coincidence was that the Lucky Strike livery was almost identical to Honda’s traditional colours! But now that Lucky Strike have gone, Honda have decided to move to different, non-traditional colours.
As I said in a comment at BlogF1, do you remember the amazing ‘Impossible Dream’ advert for Honda? Can you imagine if the Formula 1 car in that was green? It would have ruined the entire advert.