As the new Formula 1 season fast approaches, one of the traditions fans salivate over is the unveiling of the latest machines for the respective teams.
This year, not so much.
Fans, experts, even companies that manufacture spectacles – more on that shortly – are noticing an increasingly common detail of the new vehicles and it’s not going down well.
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Ayrton Senna’s red and white McLaren, Nigel Mansell in a blue and yellow Williams and, of course, the iconic Ferrari red are some of the more instantly recognisable and beloved car liveries in F1 history.
This year, however, there is a consistent colour across many of the 20 cars set to line-up on the grid and it’s the decidedly boring black.
There’s a reason for it, as F1 cars are built almost entirely from black carbon fibre.
While cars used to then paint the liveries in their team colours, the various outfits are now doing everything they can to reduce the weight of the cars.
Hence, exposed carbon fibre with minimal colour added.
Some of the teams have released images of their cars with the background awash with colour, perhaps in an attempt to trick the viewer.
Sauber’s new machine has even been spotted with the line “green is the prominent colour on the new 2024 car” in a car that is at least 50% black.
More concerningly, the release of the Sauber, Alpine and Renault teams show cars with virtually the same sparse colour scheme surrounding the black.
Keen F1 fans will have noticed the cars becoming less and less recognisable as they race around the track at more than 300 km/h and they are starting to voice their concerns.
When Alpine launched its new car on Thursday this week, it didn’t go as the team had hoped.
F1 journalist Chris Medland retweeted the image with the caption: “It’s ‘bold’ and ‘brand new’ according to Alpine from a technical point of view and it’s following the trend of more and more bare carbon fibre for weight saving.”
Some of the responses have been brutal.
“I‘m not sure I’d use the terms ‘bold’ and ‘brand new’ … however ‘hardly painted’ and ‘terrible’ are terms I’d use,” was one sharp comment.
“Definitely not ‘brand new’ as every car so far is made of exposed carbon,” added another.
Many fans also noted the Alpine car is seriously lacking pink, a colour it has become associated with.
That included glasses company, Specsavers, as you can see below.
Another F1 journalist, Matt Gallagher, also tweeted his disgust at the colour schemes.
Half of his post on X was all in caps, so you know he was serious, but we’ll spare you from that here.
“F1 has gone too far with the carbon now,” Gallagher wrote.
“Can someone just add a rule so we can get colourful liveries again please?”
Among the replies was this glum prediction from X user Kevin.
“Only colour will be the helmets in 2025,” he wrote.
Originally published as The launch of the latest Formula 1 cars is revealing an ugly trend