F1 Liveries Actually Look Better With Bigger Driver Numbers, Names

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The cars spawned by Formula One’s 2017 regulations are a massive improvement over the ones they replaced, both in terms of performance and aesthetics. But when they take to the grid for the Spanish Grand Prix, they’re going to look better still.

Sunday’s race will be the first in which cars will sport slightly-modified liveries, with the drivers’ numbers and names — or three-letter abbreviation (TLA) — more prominently displayed on their bodywork. Although the changes are being made to make it easier to recognize drivers during races, they also make the liveries, which are exceptionally colorful this year, look even better.

The FIA recently announced it would clarify, and more strictly enforce a rule regarding the mandatory size of pilots’ names and numbers, though we now know what the new graphics look like. Four teams released pictures of their revised liveries Wednesday, and Haas F1 Team actually was helpful and included infographics explaining the new rules.

Red Bull Racing only posted a picture showing a profile view of Daniel Ricciardo’s No. 3 car.

Mercedes-AMG Petronas, however, released pictures of both Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton’s cars from multiple angles. We particularly like how the Silver Arrows are using partial pictures of the driver’s national flags behind their names on the shark fins, rather than small icons next to the cockpit.

It also decided to make Bottas’ number blue to represent his home country, Finland, as opposed to red, which is traditional for the Silver Arrows. Mercedes decision to do this certainly is interesting, as it usually isn’t a company that strays from tradition.

It’s slightly ironic that seemingly all teams will incorporate their shark fins into the new design, given that the FIA also moved to ban those aero elements for 2018.

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