Renault could go retro with new livery

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Renault put a 1977-style livery on its F1 car in 2007 - but never raced it

New rumours this week claim Renault is planning to redesign its cars’ liveries following the departure of title sponsor ING.

Renault has had one of the most unattractive cars in the pitlane since it introduced ING’s brand two years ago. Could we finally see a return to Renault’s smart liveries of the seventies and eighties?

The team recently revealed its new Formula Renault racing car in the company’s colours – which I think the current car would look great in:

2010 Formula Renault car - click to enlarge

Two years ago the team gave us a tantalising glimpse of what a modern F1 car would look like in an all-Renault livery:

Renault's 30th anniversary livery from 2007 (click to enlarge)

To me, this is what Renault F1 cars shoud look like:

Jean-Pierre Jabouille in the original 1977 Renault F1 car (click to enlarge)
Rene Arnoux driving at Interlagos in 1980 (click to enlarge)

Alain Prost in action at Silverstone in 1983 (click to enlarge)

Patrick Tambay in 1985, the year Renault pulled out (click to enlarge)

The new design on Fernando Alonso’s Renault cap at Japan last week may have been a nod towards the new look.

The Mild-Seven-blue-and-Renault-yellow clash they used in the early 2000s always looked like an awkward compromise to me, though it had its fans (and was, conveniently, the same colours as the flag of Alonso’s Oviedo homeland). The ING branding was even less successful.

With ING gone, there’s no longer a need for the cars to have the Dutch bank’s white and orange colours on its flanks. Will Renault make a quick change before the end of the year, or wait until 2010 to reveal a new look on the R30?

Read more: More pictures of the stunning retro Renault

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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45 comments on “Renault could go retro with new livery”

  1. Judging from Alonso’s cap, the cars would be all-black with yellow accents, and probably some red for Total. Which would be cool, since we haven’t had a predominantly black car since the early-2000’s Arrows.

    1. And Minardis.

    2. i think alot of cars dont choose black as a base colour because it makes the car even hotter than lighter coloured cars. (because black doesn’t reflect heat as well as white)

      1. Loving the colours – but why does it look like Alonso’s cap was designed in 5 minutes… or thats how it looks to us who are designers.

  2. thats a gorgeous livery.

  3. Prisoner Monkeys
    14th October 2009, 8:04

    They’re not going to, at least not this year. Renault engine cowlings have been sighted in Interlagos – after all, the cars went straight there from Suzuka – and they’re no different to what they were in Japan.

    I’d be hard-pressed to make a case for Renault to change their livery just for two races, much less two away races whenthey’re in the middle of an offshore stint. The cars would have to be flown back to England, stripped down and repainted. New decals would have to be produced and applied, and then the cars flown back to South America. It might be possible within two weeks, but here’s the catch: Renault already have a “Renault” livery. It already does everything that the special livery would do, so how can you justify the expense?

    I expect Renault will run something new in 2010, and I admit I would like to see them go back to their roots. For me, Formula One has beome a bit too corporate; the emphasis is wholly on the sponsors, and it kind of detrats from the race. That’s why I like Brawn so much: they’ve been able to forge a team identity, one where corporate backing plays its part, but doesn’t overshadow the fact that they are, first and foremost, a racing team.

    I think that if Renault want to fully distance themselves from the investigation and the fallout, they need to do this. They need to renvent themselves as a racing team, and then start thinking about sponsors. I personally think that he 30th Anniversay livery is ugly as sin; it might look half-decent standing still, but it would be a mess when in motion. There’s too much fine detail in those thin black bars, and for something so simple, it’s actually pretty busy. It’s at odds with itself.

    I think the 2010 Formula Renault design looks god, but is perhaps a little too Brawn-ish. It’s the use of graphite-silver that makes it, with the yellow kept to a minimum. I think a Formula One car would look more than just good like that, it’s look fantastic. I also like the RE60 design from 1985, except for the digital numbers. I’ve wanted to see a jet-black car for a long time.

    If it were down to me, I’d probably go with the Formula Renault livery. But in the place of the graphite, I’d run with a Honda-esque finely-detailed design that looked like raw carbon fibre, as if the car hadn’t been painted save for the gold and white sections. And then I’d go in a completely different direction with sponsors; rather than banks and financial groups, I’d follow the trend of telcom groups or oil and gas companies. With Renault signing Robert Kubica, I could see a renewed interest coming from Eastern Europe and the forer Soviet Bloc. Maybe MegaFon Renault, or Lukoil Renault? For some reason, I just want to see Russia invovled in Formula One …

    1. I think it’s not for these 2 remaining races, but for next year

    2. Jet black all the way… maybe with thin yellow stokes along the edges. It would look sharp.

  4. I have a feeling we are all going to be disappointed with Brawn’s livery next year as they are bound to get a big sponsor and go ‘Corporate’ on us….
    However, I have to agree, the retro-Renault look is great, but I always liked the bright yellow of the turbos, when all the other teams were in blues and reds, they stood out a mile!

    1. It’s practically all but announced that the Brawns will be silver next year, whether or not they keep the black and lime green is another thing.

      The McLarens were seen in their traditional orange during the 2006 pre-season testing, I can’t remember when was the last time they raced in this colour, as they raced for a very long time in Marlboro red and white followed by the various forms of silver/black/red/white of Mercedes/West/Vodafone…

      1. That WEST mclaren was the best of the lot. they should revert to black & chrome.

        1. I preferred that on the Mclaren’s, what they have now is nice but that’s it, just nice, it doesn’t make me stop stunned and think ‘oh wow how stunning’.
          And Brawn’s livery hasn’t been that great. It’s blank with a bit of highlighter around it. Hardly shows what the artistic mind is capeable of

          1. yeah silver and black was so much better than silver and red.

      2. As far as I am aware the last two times McLaren have used the orange livery has been when they were changing their main livery. It was in testing between the 1996 and 1997 season when they changed from the Marlboro red and white, and between the 2005 and 2006 season when they changed from the West white/grey/black to the chrome livery.

  5. At least we are sure Ferrari will be Red, and Red Bull will be purpleish.

    1. What kind of red? Ferrari’s been using Marlboro red (very similar to 1981 – 1996 McLarens) during the Schumacher years, then recently changed to Rosso Scuderia (and Rosso Corsa in late 2007), both darker shades of red. Maybe they’ll change to Santander Red next year?

      Red Bull on the other hand is obssessed with making everything look like a can of product, just look at Vettel’s lid! :D

  6. That formula Renault car looks beautiful. Is it me, or are sidepods slowly seeming to become redundant? They’re definately shrinking.

    The only thing I don’t like about the Formula Renault livery is the graphite colour. It needs to be much darker, almost black. That would make the car look more agressive.

    Hopefully they’ll come up with a proper 80’s themed livery next year, with the traditional Renault yellow and black. The shade of yellow they use on that Megane Cup car at the roadshows is lovely, and I hope they use that shade.

    And I have to disagree with Prisoner Monkeys. I love the red digital LCD calculator style numbers on the front of the 1985 car. Maybe it’s just because I’m a 1985 child.

    Either way, black and yellow next season please Renault, and keep it simple.

    And McLaren… when you dump Mercedes, please revert to orange cars!

  7. That yellow and black looks fantastic!

  8. It will not happen this week — not even this year, I suspect — but I really love this new Formula Renault above.

    HERE, a pic of Interlagos garage and a preview of how this classic livery should look like in the R29.

    I think this car is so ugly that even this beautiful color scheme cant do anything about it…

  9. If they do change their livery, then i will probably forgive them for hiring Flavio in the first place… oops no i’d bee too generous then… but those colors would look nicer than what they had….

  10. Talking of McLaren and yellow cars, who remembers the car Keke Rosberg drove in 1986 at Estoril? I began to think this was a corrupted memory on my part, but yes, I’ve just confirmed he did race a yellow version of Marlboro colours (something about the Marlboro Lights brand). I too would love to see McLaren race again in orange.

    1. Thanx for refreshing my memory. Here is a photo.

      1. That would be gold on white, today, which wouldn’t look bad, I guess.

        1. But gold looks brown on television – look at the early B&H Jordans, which spent 1996 in the same colours as the brand but switched to yellow the next year.

      2. Thanks for reminding me how good those McLaren TAG-Porsches looked. :-)

  11. looks good, change of pace

  12. I think the yellow, white and silver is ideal – much better than yellow, white and black

  13. Ah, the Yellow Teapot. So called due to its dumpy looks and whistling turbo :)

    1. And the fact that early on the engine blew up with such frequency it looked like a teapot with the steam coming out!

    2. Leaf is right. They used to stick the fire extinguishers up the Renault’s exhaust when the engine was on fire. The steam that came out made it look like a teapot…

  14. I don’t understand why everyone seems to like the white, black and yellow Renault livery- I don’t think it’s a great combination of colours.

    On the other hand, I reckon the yellow, red and orange of the 2009 livery works well. It gives the (otherwise ugly) car the appearance of a flame, and it’s nice and colouful.

    1. Hi-dilly-ho Ned! Different strokes for different folks.

      The current Renault livery isn’t bad, but it breaks the main rule of having more than 3 colours. Only a handful of cars have managed to pull this off sucessfully, notably the late 80’s Benettons.

      I think if the current livery ditched the orange stripes, it would look better. It makes the livery too busy with all the horizontal bands all over the place.

    2. Ned agree with you (although I do actually like the shape of the car this year, esp the front :S).

  15. It looks like Jordan of 2005

  16. Here’s a link to some photos of the McLaren in orange…

    Very nice, I like it a lot. Maybe just needs breaking up a bit with more black or a dark carbon effect and the top face of the front and rear wings shouldn’t be flat black.

    Amazing how a different shade makes all the difference… imagine a car painted entirely in Renault ING orange! That’d just be offensive.

  17. I think the fact that there are only two races left in the season and both are fly away will probably mean Renault won’t change the livery, although it would be nice if they did.

    I don’t really like the Formula Renault livery as I don’t think the silver works with the yellow and white, I liked the blue and yellow livery Renault used in the early 2000s.

    While I think the 30th anniversary livery is good and better than what they have at the moment, which wouldn’t be very hard, I wouldn’t rate it as great, the original 1977 livery looks much better.

    I think next years livery will be based around the sponsors colours as usual, though they will probably work some yellow in somewhere.

  18. LOVE IT!!!
    There’s not nearly enough diversity in liveries at the moment.

  19. I think Renault’s livery from 2004-2006 with the last generation of Mild Seven’s sponsorship was one of the best schemes in the sport. Yeah, the one from 2007-09 was a bit bad, especially in 2007, but 2008 was pretty great, as was Alonso’s helmet that year.

    I like the retro rumor a lot. I first saw Alonso’s hat two weeks ago and found it curious. Hope it happens.

  20. Love the retro look.
    They can do some decals work overnight .. let’s hope ;)

    The mild seven cars of the Alonso championship years were nice looking imo, but yeah the ING car wasn’t a big hit.

  21. It looks good.

  22. I simply love it.

  23. I remember in the 80’s that I have a GOBOT (transforming toy from car to robot — like transformenrs) named Slick. he was a Renault Formula Car RE-20 to be exact.

  24. That Renault looked mega in the retro livery…

  25. Having black accents on any F1 car is winner for attracting heat from the sun. Especially when every detail matters.

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