Today the world was introduced to the first of the brand new 2017 Formula 1 cars. Sauber were the first team to fully unveil their new machinery (Williams leaked some digital images last week, but I’m waiting to see actual photos this week before writing about it), and I’m impressed on the whole.
For the last couple of years the grid hasn’t had the same levels of colour variation as we saw in the late 90s / early 00s for example. Renault was a welcome addition with their yellow livery, but most were grey with the odd highlight of colour.
Sauber were an exception with blue and yellow, but I prefer their new 2017 to what they had before. Gold always works well on an F1 car, and this livery has echoes of the Rothmans liveries we saw on the Williams cars between 1994 and 1997 due to the dark blue base.
The gold stripes flow beautifully from the front to the rear, and the dark blue shade is really successful. The white, I’m not so sure about right now. On the rear of the sidepod there’s an odd dip where the white disappears in a ‘U’ shape, and then reappears again. I’d prefer it if it just carried on, or even just keep it blue and add some more of that beautiful gold.
Shark fins are also back for 2017, for the first time since 2010 when the teams ran the F-duct systems. Not being technically minded, I’m not totally sure why they’re returning for this year, but I believe it’s to do with improving rear end stability due to the increased speeds. Sauber have opted to keep it black, but I’d like to see it blue, again with more gold. Hopefully a photoshop will crop up soon of this.
The front wing is beautiful, just black and gold with blue endplates. The rear wing isn’t the same as it’s white, so I’d prefer more harmony between the two.
In terms of sponsorship, there’s unfortunately not much to talk about. Their main sponsor for the last couple of years was Banco do Brasil, which is a personal sponsor of Felipe Nasr. Now he’s gone, the car is looking pretty bare. As it’s Sauber’s 25th anniversary of being in F1 they have included this, but take that away and the side of the car is almost empty, with just a couple of small sponsors on the air box and rear wing. I hope they can find some more sponsorship soon.
More livery reviews to come as the cars are released over the next week or so!