The One Livery Change Teams Need To Make This Year – WTF1
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The One Livery Change Teams Need To Make This Year

F1 is soon to enter a fresh new era. Whilst we’re so interested to see the new technological changes that are meant to improve overtaking and make for better racing, there’s one small change I hope F1 teams have in mind when redesigning their liveries. 

When attending the British Grand Prix last year, there was one big thing I took away from watching the cars on track; apart from the obvious “holy shit, F1 cars in real life are the best thing ever“. It was real challenge to distinguish who was who when sat in the grandstands. 

Now, I know what you’re thinking. 

Yes, drivers have different coloured helmets, which make it much easier to tell them apart when they’re roaring past you at 200mph. 

They also have colour-coded onboard cameras that appear above the car’s roll structure. One must remain as it’s supplied to the team, with the other being a fluorescent yellow colour so they can be identified quickly. This is also a rule in the FIA’s sporting code, so teams must follow it. But, let’s be honest, how many of you really know which driver in the team has the yellow T-cam? 

The other option though is the race number plastered on the front and side of the car. In theory, this should be the easiest thing to identify who is on track.

Some teams mastered this last year, such as Ferrari with the white numbers against the darker red background – chef’s kiss 👌 However, other teams like Mercedes made it near impossible to read the numbers on the side of their cars, choosing a grey and white background behind an already thin outline of red numbers. 1/10 effort, guys. 

As per the sporting regulations, article 9.2 states, “each car will carry the race number of its driver as published by the FIA at the beginning of the Championship. This number must be clearly visible from the front of the car and on the driver’s crash helmet.” 

However, with an increasing number of fans packing out grandstands, perhaps it’s time F1 embraces the likes of NASCAR and ensures the cars have their race numbers displayed in huge numbers on the side! 

What do you think? Should race numbers be more visible on the cars? Let us know in the comments below. 

14 thoughts on “The One Livery Change Teams Need To Make This Year

  • So how come the regulations state the numbers must be clearly visible, and then for some cars you need a magnifying glass to see it? not taking a dig at Mercedes, love the team, but in general sometimes the car numbers are impossible to see

  • I really liked the way Mercedes had the flag and car number on the engine cover 3 seasons ago. Not as helpful if both your drivers are from the same country though.

  • Didn’t we just see LEDs sync’d to the wheel speed on the new wheel covers? Why not there? Failing that, go back to the 60’s and print out the driver’s name on a standard sized rectangle right under the cockpit opening.

  • Jose Goncalves says:

    You’re over complicating it fellas. Easy to spot the Mercs, is it leading? Ok, it’s Lewis then. Are they both behind someone? If it’s been more than one lap and not yet passed the car in front, it’s Valtteri. 😅

  • There needs to be noticeable contrast between the number and the car’s primary body colour. Something that Mercedes clearly seems to have forgotten.

  • I went to RedBull Ring this year for my maiden live F1 race and there were two big questions I had to ask myself. How come F3 sounds actually way better than F1, and why Mercedes doesn’t have numbers? I really couldn’t see them, and I was really close to track

  • Thomas Hébert says:

    I liked when the numbers were on the end plates of the rear wing. I make scale models and recently made Damon Hill’s FW16 – that had big blue Zero on a white endplate. Easy

  • It would be awesome to see something like the early 2000s McLarens with the name where the tobacco advert would be.

  • With you all the way.

    Watching from the stands, it’s really hard to spot car numbers. FIA needs to specify solid, contrasting colours and a minimum height of at least 200mm.

    The teams will cry about losing sponsorship space, but their marketing people are very clever and can figure out how to accommodate logos.

  • Nathan Daniel Stroud says:

    They already changed the rules to make the numbers more visible, they’ve just been lax with the enforcement. Mercedes did the best job of differentiating their two cars in 2017 and 2018, so it’s ironic that they ended up with the worst numbers in 2021. Renault did the same thing in 2018 (edit: I forgot about the 2020 Williams). The Red Bull numbers are also pretty bad, especially when they had #33 Max Verstappen paired up with #23 Alex Albon.

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