Haas livery launch, Royal Automobile Club, 2019

Haas didn’t want new livery to be a “complete copy” of Lotus

2019 F1 season

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Haas team principal Guenther Steiner said the team wanted to differentiate its new Formula 1 livery from Lotus’s famous black and gold colour scheme.

[retrompujps01]The team revealed its new colour scheme yesterday having attracted title sponsorship from Rich Energy, whose brand colours are black and gold. The colours scheme was made famous by Lotus’s John Player Special branded cars between 1972 and 1986. The colours returned to F1 between 2011 and 2015 without the tobacco company’s branding.

Speaking to media including RaceFans at the launch yesterday Steiner said the colours had “sentimental” appeal but Haas wanted to distinguish their car from the famous Lotus livery.

“It is a good-looking colour the black and the gold,” said Steiner. “We made an evolution out of it, we added the white in it because otherwise it would be a complete copy of the eighties.

“Now we made an evolution with the white so we just try to take it forward. I think it looks very clean.”

The new livery replaces the grey and red colours of Haas owner Gene Haas’s company which branded the car previously. Steiner said Haas had no objections to the redesign. “As long as the car is nice and Gene’s company Haas Automation is represented as a sponsor he’s happy,” said Steiner.

Rich Energy CEO William Storey described the team’s car as “beautiful” and said he believes sponsoring an F1 team will provide great exposure for his brand.

“Since I was a kid I grew up watching [Ayrton] Senna, [Alain] Prost, [Nigel] Mansell. Mansell was probably my favourite driver, hard-charging Brummie.

“I think it’s always been a staple of British sport. For me it’s the ultimate platform for any brand. We haven’t got where we’ve got by following the crowd. We are a bit contrarian by nature. When others are fearful, be greedy.

“There’s an awful lot of people who are querying Formula 1 as a platform at the moment and I personally believe it’s going to go from strength to strength. There’s been an awful lot of talk about ownership, previous regime and the future. But I think ultimately it’s going to remain for the long-term.

“It has a brand value, F1, which is unprecedented in sport and therefore for us it’s a great platform and we intend on being in F1 long-term and we believe that Haas absolutely are a dream partner for us. They’re a David taking on Goliaths within Forumla 1 and we’re doing the same with the drinks business.”

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Past black and gold F1 liveries

Emerson Fittipaldi, Lotus, Osterreichring, 1972
Emerson Fittipaldi, Lotus, Osterreichring, 1972
Mario Andretti, Lotus, 1978
Mario Andretti, Lotus, 1978
Ayrton Senna, Lotus, Monza, 1985
Ayrton Senna, Lotus, Monza, 1985
Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Yas Marina, 2015
Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Yas Marina, 2015

Video: Haas 2019 F1 livery launch

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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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40 comments on “Haas didn’t want new livery to be a “complete copy” of Lotus”

  1. The JPS Players Special have always been great looking cars, I think Senna’s bright yellow helmet added some contrast made them look the best of them. Haas aren’t trying to do that, no-one can make a car look like that, only my personal opinion but the mid 80’s JPS cars are my favourite livery ……….. but that first Jordan was nice :)

    1. Thats clandestine cigarette advertising right there, say the name, show the old JPS pictures……and hey presto cigarette advertising is back in F1. So where does Rich Energy’s money come from exactly……………

    2. Thats clandestine fag advertising right there, say the name, show the old JPS pictures……and hey presto JPS is back in F1. So where does Rich Energy’s money come from exactly……………

      1. I wouldn’t be surprised if they actually won’t pay promised money and Haas will drop their sponsorship somewhere mid year.

  2. It definitely is a good looking car.

  3. Even in JPS colours we can see ‘evolution’ i.e. it getting worse and worse.

    Man, all that money in F1 and no one can hire a graphic designer to get close to the Gulf colours, Martini, Allitalia, Marlboro of the past without ape-ing them

    1. I really don’t get this. My ex-wife is a graphic designer and most of these liveries look like the amateurish work she would do when she was first starting out. It’s not like hiring the worlds best designer would take up a lot of their budgets. It also reminds me of restaurants that have cheap pictures of their food. You’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to start up a restaurant and then save a few hundred bucks on hire a photographer.

      1. @darryn and Mr. Mansell: Indeed. However, modern F1 is known as the pinnacle of motosport spending, not the pinnacle of graphic design.

        1. The cars themselves are moving billboards and have been for 50 years now. I think it is shortsighted not to have good graphic design when a large part of your income is based on selling ad space. Besides why can’t you be the pinnacle of both especially when it is simple to outsource the design aspect.

      2. I thought exactly this (but more so) when I saw the amateurish poster put out recently for the Chinese GP.

  4. And yet everyone will continue to say it “looks like a Lotus”…

    Because it does.

    Just an ugly one.

    1. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
      8th February 2019, 14:39

      Can’t say Haas ever nailed their livery
      2016 was bland.
      2017 started out okay (IMO), but got worse as the red was replaced;
      And the 2018 car looks like someone thought about how to make the 2016 even more bland….

    2. Wait– I thought it looked like a Ferrari? So now it looks like a Lotus?

      The Lotus and the Ferrari don’t look anything like, so how can this car look like both?

      1. Jesus wept.

        The design of last years car aerodynamically was very very similar to the Ferrari, the actual shape of the car.

        The livery of this years car is very close to the old Loti. The livery.

        It’s really not that difficult to grasp.

        1. hahaha

  5. If they want to challenge Red Bull for branding, this is a fail, because all it evokes to me is a Lotus. Some of the other concepts would have taken them away from, but for me, this a fail on their part.

  6. Let’s face it: The old cars were just plain better looking AND easier to design a livery for. Today’s cars have so many odd contours and tacked on appendages that many people would agree with me that they aren’t really beautiful. Okay, form follows function, but with all of the intensive aero work that’s done on these cars, there’s very little room to make allowances for aesthetics. It brings to mind the old saying that if you put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig. Having said all of that, I think the car looks just fine, and that Peak is definitely getting their money’s worth.

  7. If they were so concerned, they could have inverted the colours.

    Black on gold, instead of gold on black. Now THAT would have been a striking car.

    1. A bit like the Warsteiner Arrows from the early 80s!

    2. I agree. Like the gold mirrored finish on James Hinchcliffe’s Schmidt Peterson Indycar.

  8. When stealing chassis’ isn’t enough…

    Kind of expected that their car would have rich energy colours.. But there’s a proper fool in Rich energy’s marketing team who has now increased Lotus’ brand recall value.

  9. What is so noticeable is really how similar the 1972 car is to the 2019 car the whole essence is led by aerodynamics , you would need more than a passing interest in F1 to really notice a difference. Before you all go crazy ,my good wife who has been to Grand Prix with me all over Europe and has good eyesight mixed the 1985 car with the latest offerings. My favourite would be the 49c but then that’s Gold Leaf Team Lotus.

  10. Changing colors won’t make it a winner. To make it a winner, Grosjean must go.

    1. Mission WinGroGoNow?
      This livery makes me want to smoke in a Lotus and drink Tab Clear.

    2. To make it a winner,both the drivers should change. More Magnussen as his peak is mediocrie.

      1. Sorry for the poor spelling

  11. Should have gone gold metallic base with black accents, or have the black be in matte. This is just a black advertising banner with no character. Honestly I’m surprised at how many people are liking this livery after all the rage at too many boring black cars just a few years ago. But I guess this is the Internet.

    1. @pastaman I guess people (and I include myself) want variety. Not long ago we had a lot of black/grey cars on the grid and that was kinda boring (grey specially being a very boring colour).

      I agree tho that they should’ve done something different…

  12. If you want to be unique, you don’t half-assedly evolve something that’s so iconic and very much present in people’s memories like the JPS Lotus.

    I think they could’ve done a much better job at that… they didn’t need to make people remember the cars of another constructor featuring another sponsor.

  13. WOW!!!! A fake Ferrari in fake JPS livery.

  14. Nice try. For the moment the most beautiful f1 car of 2019 yet.

  15. Duncan Snowden
    8th February 2019, 18:29

    Okay, everyone thinks it looks like a Lotus, and to be fair that is the inspiration. But, as I noted yesterday on the piece about Williams, Lotus weren’t the only team ever to use black and gold. The (FWRC) FW04 and 05 had a very similar livery with no major sponsorship, and that was continued after the Wolf takeover, ultimately with Olympus. Also, although everyone remembers the predominately gold Arrows A2, the A1 had a lot more black on it.

    As Steiner says, it’s a good look. I’m glad it’s back on the grid.

    1. Yeah– the rush to be “cool” by pronouncing the car to look exactly like the JPS Lotus is kind of annoying– anyone with three spare brain cells that remembers the JPS Lotus will also remember that car.

      Personally, I like the brg/yellow of the earlier Lotus cars. :)

      My question is, how many ways *can* do you a good looking Black & Gold livery on an F1 car?

      1. grat, you could also argue that the comparison is technically wrong, as contemporary photographs show that the original Lotus JPS livery generally did not use gold paint.

        I believe that what Lotus more typically used on their cars is what is called “signwriters gold”, which is in fact light yellow. It was deliberately designed to account for the poor quality of TV broadcasts at the time and was therefore a much lighter shade to create a much sharper distinction with the background and to make it look roughly gold coloured on a TV screen.

        What is noticeable is that, in more recent years, those classic Lotus cars which are sometimes used for displays are often repainted with gold paint to make them look more like how people think they were at the time – but that is a more modern phenomenon, and shows how the belief that is how something should have looked is a powerful factor in how we reshape the past.

        In some ways, I’d say that the livery Haas are using is a bit more reminiscent of the liveries that Shadow Racing used, at least in terms of the styling of the white text on the black background.

        1. I do love it when a voice of reason pops up… especially after all the emotive comments have been (almost) exhausted…

  16. It’s a gloss black car with some gold bits and some white text. It’s boring af.

    They could have had parts showing the carbon weave beneath (Mclaren have done this with their roadcars). They could have used more gold, or a similar accent colour. They could have hired someone with some design skill. But no, this is what they went with.

    About as inspirational as the sponsor. Maybe they just didn’t have enough stock to keep the design team energised?

    This is also part fault of Rich Energy for wanting to enter F1 with black and gold. It’s not unique enough to use if F1 is your advertising board. Everyone’s just saying oh look, Lotus colours. They had the opportunity to develop a brand and have fluffed it with both the logo and colour scheme. Rich Energy won’t beat RBR on track, and are certainly a few laps behind off it.

  17. Well, they get most of their car from someone else, so why not the livery as well …

    1. I can’t imagine Whyte bikes being too happy about that, at least until after the out-of-court settlement…

  18. I can’t help but wonder if Rich Energy are competing in a different “F1” championship? That’s quite a few African rounds on the map…


    The image is called temp, but still, attention to detail is lacking!

Comments are closed.