Great Martini racing cars in pictures

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One of the most iconic liveries in motor racing will return to Formula One this year courtesy of Williams.

The Grove team’s cars will appear in the colours of new sponsor Martini, who have a long tradition of supporting teams in Formula One, sportscars, rallying and more.

The distinctive blue and red stripes on a white background last appeared on a Formula One car in 1975. Carlos Pace and Carlos Reutemann carried them to victories at Interlagos and the Nurburgring respectivaly.

Brabham retained Martini’s backing for four more seasons, but favoured a predominantly red colour scheme during that time. In 1979 Martini also sponsored world champions Lotus, adding their stripes to the team’s green cars, then pulled out of the sport.

Martini’s logos had a modest presence on the Ferraris of 2006 and 2008. But it has been in other forms of motor racing that their livery has had the most impact.

Their association with Porsche in sports car racing has been a long and successful one. Their colours adorned the 917K which claimed Porsche’s second Le Mans 24 Hours victory in the hands of Helmut Marko and Gijs van Lennep. Martirni’s backed Porsche 936s also triumphed in 1976 and 1977.

Martini did not enjoy quite the same success when they switched their allegiance to fellow Italians Lancia soon afterwards. The later LC2s in particular went as well as they looked but were plagued by technical glitches.

While Lancia’s sports car programme proved a disappointment, their rallying venture was entirely the opposite. Between 1987 and 1992 Lancia set a record for winning six consecutive constructors’ championships with the Delta, examples of which were resplendent with now highly recognisable stripes.

The classic colours returned to rallying with Ford in the 2000s. They have appeared in other series since then, notably on Sebastien Loeb’s Porsche Supercup racer last year. Continuing their association with Porsche, the colours have also appeared on the new 918 Spyder.

In an field of increasingly colourless F1 cars, the return of this instantly recognisable livery is surely going to stand out.

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Images © Ford, Lancia, Porsche, F1 Fanatic

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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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25 comments on “Great Martini racing cars in pictures”

  1. You left out the 94 DTM Alfa???

  2. Ohhhh that lancia S4 just presses all the right buttons ;)

    1. Lol for me it’s the 918 Spyder.

      1. Yeah, that’s not to shabby either Robbie :)

    2. I don’t like the studio pictures. It looked far better in race trim with the rear bumper removed and spoilers.

      1. really? I think it looks so weird without the bumper – so tall, and clumsy. With the bumper it’s like a delta on steroids.
        But I prefer pictures in it’s natural element too – rally cars look the best when dirty :)

        1. To me the bumper makes it look too bulbous at the back, whereas without it and showing the mudflaps make it look more lithe and stripped like a proper racing machine.

  3. @keith-collantine why don’t the pictures work outside of the F1 cars when I click them to see a bigger image? It keeps leading me to this page doesn’t exist or crashed page rather.

    1. I get the same error. Cant view the full picture.

  4. The Lancia 037 . Wow . just Wow.

  5. It’s Delta for me. Best Lancia ever by far. Beautiful car in these colors.

  6. @keithcollantine
    Thank you for this great collection of art, as for me the Lancia’s are my favorite especially the Delta

  7. 917 for me, but I really can’t wait to see the Williams in this livery

  8. Has to be McRae’s Focus for me!
    Such an iconic car in my youth!

    1. Likewise, driving that car on the Colin McRae rally games.
      Those were the days.

    2. I remembered the colour scheme from that Focus, but I didn’t associate it with Martini. It doesn’t seem to be so prominent as the other cars.

  9. That 917 long tail is one seriously good looking car!

    1. And it’s a very nice interpretation of the Martini livery. I find the one shown here on the 917K to be one of the most disappointing liveries. I don’t like the 918 one either, but I think that’s mainly because to me that car doesn’t suite ‘blocky’ colours. It needs something metallic that looks like it has depth to it. It looks far superior in a grey, or silver to keep and complement the Martini decals.

  10. The No.50 LC1 Lancia is Riccardo Patrese winning the Silverstone 1000km (or was it 6 hours?) May 82. The photo looks like the old Becketts where i always used to spectate

  11. It’s a toss up between this and the gulf racing livery as my favourite every so I’m over the moon that this livery is coming back to F1

  12. Martini collection racecars are on display at Louwman Museum, The Hague right now. From feb 15th – may 4th 2014. Martini liveries are just amazing to see :-)

  13. i still play colin mcrae just for driving the lancia delta

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