Retro liveries on modern F1 cars

retro liveries on modern f1 cars

Some of the most iconic liveries in Formula 1 are instantly recognisable, like the JPS Lotuses, or James Hunt’s very white Hesketh 308. But what if those artworks were still around?

UK designer Sean Bull gave us a glimpse recently, when he transferred a selection of historic Formula 1 liveries onto current F1 cars.

The result is pretty striking, so we picked out a couple of favourites and compared them with their inspiration, to show you just how well Bull has translated the designs.

James Hunt’s Hesketh 308B

modern Hesketh livery
For someone so characterful, James Hunt’s livery was actually quite plain. The main reason for this being that Hesketh Racing was funded by Lord Hesketh rather than sponsors.

Even if the car had looked more exciting, it would have been difficult to be noticed over the loud antics of its driver.

James Hunt in Hesketh 308B

Niki Lauda’s Ferrari 312T

Niki Lauda Ferrari livery on modern f1 car
Often the direct opponent of Hunt’s Hesketh, Niki Lauda’s Ferrari 312T and its descendants helped him along to many victories, and one brush with death.

In 1976, Lauda was infamously almost burned to death when his car ended up off the track and on fire. He managed to escape, returned to racing six weeks later, and was only one point away from tying first place for the championship with hunt.

Bull’s modern recreation of that livery is a fitting tribute to a phenomenal time in F1 history.

Niki Lauda Ferrari 312t

Ayrton Senna’s Williams-Renault FW16

Williams renault livery on modern f1 car
Someone who will always be in the highest echelon of racers, Senna and everything he did will probably always be instantly recognisable to F1 fans.

One thing that’ll be hard to forget is the car he undertook his last race in.

The team’s founder, Frank Williams, is often quoted as saying “Ayrton was no ordinary person. He was actually a greater man out of the car than in it”.

david coulthard in Williams FW16

There are plenty more examples of livery swapping and redesigning on Sean Bull’s site, including some reverse swaps of modern liveries on old cars.

One of our favourites in that regard is this one, a Lotus 97T with the 2016 Red Bull livery on it. Does Danny-Ric like metal-flake paint? Who knows?

2016 Red Bull livery on Lotus 97T

Historic image sources:
Hunt image
Lauda image
Williams image

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