I Never Want to See Another Gray, White, and Red Race Car Livery in My Life

Illustration for article titled I Never Want to See Another Gray, White, and Red Race Car Livery in My Life
Photo: Claude Paris (AP)

Race teams, I know it’s tempting. I know you think it looks sleek. I know you all want to introduce your own version of the Batmobile. But I’m asking—no, I’m begging—you. Please. Please stop with the gray, white, and red liveries.


They were cool, once, back when they were a brand new Thing and no one was doing it. It was pretty slick. Hey, look at this cool livery! Very edgy and cool, and it doesn’t even need a speck of black or a racing stripe to prove it!

It’s like pet rocks or Tamagotchis. The first kid to have one of those bad boys at school—they were the shit. Everyone wanted to be them. They were the unspoken rulers of the classroom. And then two weeks later, everyone and their mother has a Tamagotchi, and they’re not cool anymore, and it’s starting to get annoying that you have to feed this pixelated keychain creature all the time.

That’s right, race teams. Your red-white-gray liveries are Tamagotchis. And no, they are not in a position to make an ironic comeback.

Remember the year when every single LMP1 team in the World Endurance Championship looked exactly the same because Porsche and Audi both had the revolutionary idea to use red-white-gray as a paint scheme that no one had ever done before?

Remember the season where the Mahindra, Venturi, and Dragon teams all donned red-white-gray liveries in Formula E? And how that hasn’t really changed? And how now, with manufacturers like Nissan and Audi getting ready to make their season five debut, they’re probably all about to do the same thing?


Or—God forbid, don’t even remind me—about the painfully dark, drab, angsty, emo-phase liveries sported by Haas, Sauber, Mercedes, and McLaren in recent years. There was more gray and red and white seeping in there than you’d find in a coked-out black metal musician’s Satanic eyes.

America, we’re not exempt, either. Don’t just assume this is a posh European problem. Oh no: I’m looking at you, Verizon-sponsored-Penske-cars. I’m looking at you, Newman-Haas racing. Just because we haven’t been affected with the tricolor disease quite as heavily as our friends across the pond doesn’t mean we won’t be susceptible to an outbreak in the future.


This plague on our racing series has got to stop. There are so many colors of the rainbow, folks. So many shades and hues on a color wheel to choose from. So many new and different and exciting things you could be doing! The options are endless! My God, the things we could do with just a little bit of imagination and creativity!

I know that sponsorship is important. I know it is very crucial to a team to faithfully represent their own colors. But is there really no other way? Have we really run out of options? Are you really going to look me in the eyes, Race Team, and tell me that you want your car to look exactly the same as everyone else’s?


It’s time to bring some personality back into racing, folks. Let’s get wild and wonderful in 2019.

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.



Easy. Un-ban tobacco sponsoring.

Who cares about health. All hail to cool racing liveries!