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Formula One sponsorship liveries

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Formula One sponsorship liveries

Formula One sponsorship liveries have been used since the late 1960s, replacing the previously used national colours. With sponsors becoming more important with the rising costs in Formula One, many teams wanted to be able to display the logos of their sponsors as clearly as possible.


The liveries are usually changed for every season in the sport, marking the marketing ideas of the sponsors. Many teams keep some consistency over the years however, like the red colour of Ferrari, which has its origin in a shade of red known as rosso corsa being the national racing colour of Italy. Tobacco and alcohol advertising was common in motorsport, however as bans spread throughout the world teams used an alternate livery which alluded to the tobacco or alcohol sponsor, or entirely eliminated their name when in nations with a ban - this is now only seen on Ferrari's Marlboro sponsored vehicles - where the sponsor is technically banned from advertising in all host nations. At historical events, cars are allowed to use the livery which was used when the car was actively competing.


Automobiles Gonfaronnaises Sportives (AGS) were founded in Gonfaron, France, in the late 1960s, but only entered Formula One in 1986.

Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo was a Formula One constructor between 1950 and 1951, and again between 1979 and 1985. In 1950-1951 and 1979 the team used the rosso corsa (racing red) national color of Italy. In 1980 they switched to a livery sponsorsored by Phillip Morris' Marlboro cigarette brand. In 1984 the Italian clothing brand Benetton took over Alfa Romeo's livery sponsorship, which they held until the withdrawal of Alfa Romeo from Formula One at the end of 1985.


Starting in the 1970s and going for decades until ending in mid-2002, Arrows, that was known as Footwork for a few years in the 1990s, had quite distinctive liveries, like the unusual Ruffles sponsorship in Footwork, an all-black car in the 1998 season, and an orange car in its final years.


Benetton Formula Ltd., commonly referred to simply as Benetton, was a Formula One constructor that participated from 1986 to 2001. The team was owned by the Benetton family who run a worldwide chain of clothing stores of the same name. In 2000 the team was purchased by Renault, but competed as Benetton for the 2001 season. In 2002 the team became Renault F1. From the 1992 to 1993, Camel sponsored the Benetton team, but, from the 1994 to 2001 the main sponsor was Mild Seven.

BMS Scuderia Italia

In its Dallara years, Scuderia Italia raced with a livery slightly similar to Ferrari (rosso corsa with white details and black wings), but prior to the absorption by Minardi in 1993, when raced with Lola cars, had a white livery with red and yellow flames.

BMW Sauber

After having been an engine supplier in the 1980s and again since 2000, BMW entered Formula One with a works team of its own in 2006 after buying the Swiss Formula One constructor Sauber. Although the cars had many sponsorship logos on them, the main pattern was based on the traditional BMW Motorsport team colours of white with light blue, dark blue and a little red (in an almost purple shade). White is also the original national racing colour of Germany, while white and blue are the colours of Bavaria and of BMW itself.

On 27 November 2009, BMW agreed to sell the team back to its original founder, Peter Sauber. The 2010 Formula One season marked Sauber's return as an independent constructor.


Prior to sponsorships, Brabham raced in turquoise with a gold band running across the car. This later changed to green and gold, the racing colours of Australia. In 1975 and 1976, Brabham received sponsorship from Martini; in 1976 the color scheme changed from white to red. Brabham changed from red to white and received sponsorship from the Parmalat until 1984. One year later, they switched to Olivetti, a scheme retained until 1989. In 1989, Brabham signed with Bioptron, a brand of Zepter International, which continued until the team was bought by Middlebridge Group. Since then, it was sponsored by many Japanese companies like Garage Italiya, a company that imports Italian cars in Japan, Autobacs, Nippon Shinpan, and Mitsukoshi. Prior the swansong of Brabham in 1992, the team raced in blue and pink livery of the Japanese metal group Seikima-II.

Brawn GP

After Honda pulled out of F1 at the end of 2008, team boss Ross Brawn struggled to find a buyer to save the team, eventually buying it himself. A lack of sponsors resulted in the white livery, with flashes of bright yellow and black. Towards the end of the season, the team arranged one-race sponsor deals with a variety of major local companies, including Canon, Mapfre, Itaipava and Qtel.

Brawn GP dominated the early part of the 2009 season, with Jenson Button winning six of the first seven races. As other teams improved their cars Brawn struggled for pace, but still recorded several podiums during the rest of the year. Their strong start and consistent finish was enough to secure the Constructors World Championship at the first (and only) attempt, as well as the drivers title with Jenson Button. At the end of the season, the team was purchased by engine suppliers Mercedes-Benz, marking the return of the Silver Arrows after 55 years.

British American Racing

British American Racing competed in Formula One from 1999 to 2005. The name of the team was taken from British American Tobacco which provided the main sponsorship and was livery sponsor through two of its main cigarette brands. In their debut season, the team wished to have its two cars painted in different liveries (one 555, the other Lucky Strike), but this was forbidden by the rules. So the team decided on a unique two-sided design, with the blue 555 livery of the right side of the car, and the red and white Luckies livery on the left and a zipper design on the middle.


The Lotus team, which made its début in 2010, was renamed to Caterham F1 in 2012. It was formally from Malaysia but still had a livery dominated by British racing green, like the old Lotus team had for many years.


In its first years, Coloni was sponsored by Himont and Montefluos, two subsidiary companies of Montedison


In keeping with their Italian roots, Ferrari has always kept a red colour in the tradition of rosso corsa, the national racing colour of Italy, except for two races in 1964 when Enzo Ferrari let his cars enter by NART in American blue and white colours to protest against Italian racing authorities. Over the years, rosso corsa has been combined with white parts and with various sponsorship schemes, but Ferrari has never fully let their cars be dominated by the sponsorship livery like many other teams have. This changed in the 1990s when Ferrari replaced their traditional rosso corsa colour with a "Marlboro red" which is noticeably lighter; this colour remains despite the ban on tobacco sponsorship.


Haas entered Formula One in 2016.


The Embassy Hill, founded by two-time World Champion Graham Hill, raced during the 1975 season with Imperial Tobacco's Embassy brand as title sponsor. The cars were predominantly white, with a red vertical stripe behind the cockpit. The team folded following the aircraft accident in which Hill, driver Tony Brise and four other team members were killed in November 1975.


Honda first raced in Formula One from 1964 to 1968. The cars were entered in an all-white livery with a red circle, duplicating the Japanese flag. The company won several races but left F1 at the end of the 1968 season, before returning as an engine supplier in the 1980s. Honda in the 1990s never raced, but created prototypes like the RC 100 and the RA099 tested at Suzuka Circuit. After a decade away from the sport, Honda returned again as an engine supplier in 2001, before buying the British American Racing team and entering F1 as a constructor in 2006. For the 2006 season, Honda continued with the BAT sponsorship with the Lucky Strike logo, but BAT pulled out for 2007. From 2007, the only logos on the car are the Honda badge, the Bridgestone logo, and the logo of Honda's environmental awareness program, Earth Dreams. For 2007, the livery itself was a picture of the Earth on a black background. For 2008, however, there are only pieces of the image of Earth on a mainly white background, as opposed to the whole of the Earth being on Honda's car.


The HRT Formula 1 Team competed for just three seasons, between 2010 and 2012. In that time, the team competed with three different liveries, this was due to a lack of sponsor continuity.


Jaguar used green to reflect its British nationality, just like British teams in the first decades of Formula One all used British racing green.


Jordan Grand Prix competed in Formula One from 1991-2005. In 1991-1995 it featured green, the colour of Ireland. During 1997-2005, they were known for their distinctive bright yellow livery.


LEC was a Formula One team and constructor from the United Kingdom. They participated in ten Grands Prix, using a March in 1973. In 1977 they built their own car, the LEC CRP1.


Ligier always raced with a Bleu de France or Blue Livery, with red, black or white parts

Lotus (1958–1994)

Lotus was the first team to abandon the national colour system when the possibility to do so was created in 1968. Lotus also had one of the longest sponsorship cooperations in Formula One history, making the black and gold of its 1972–1986 John Player Special seasons one of the best known liveries to this day.

Lotus (2010–2011)

The new Lotus team made its début in 2010 and was renamed to Caterham F1 in 2012. It was formally from Malaysia but still had a livery dominated by British racing green, like the old Lotus team had for many years.

Lotus (2012–2015)

The Renault team was renamed to Lotus in 2012, following an agreement with Caterham F1. The team is owned by Luxembourg-based venture capital group Genii Capital and named after its branding partner Group Lotus. Its livery, introduced back in 2011 with Renault R31, was designed as a tribute to the Team Lotus cars of 1981–1986 and their famous John Player Special liveries.


Manor entered Formula One in 2016 after being renamed from Marussia.

March Engineering

In the mid-1970s, the works March team (March Engineering) often ran different sponsorship liveries on individual cars, under multiple entrant names.


Marussia entered Formula One in 2012 after Virgin Racing was renamed. The team was renamed as Manor in 2016.

MasterCard Lola

Extremely short lived team, the team folded after failing to qualify in the opening race.


McLaren had one of the longest sponsorship deals in F1 history with Marlboro, whose red-and-white pattern appeared on the team's cars for 23 straight years.


Mercedes-Benz first competed in Formula One during the 1954 and 1955 seasons. This was in the time before sponsorship liveries and the team was using an all silver livery, the national racing color of Germany. The team was absent from Formula One after this, returning in 1994 as an engine supplier.

Mercedes-Benz rejoined Formula One as a team in 2010 after having purchased the Brawn GP team on 16 November 2009. On 21 December 2009 it signed a €30 million per season contract with Petronas as title sponsor. On 25 January 2010 Mercedes GP unveiled the car livery for the 2010 season. The blueish green livery color of Petronas is just present as fine lines at the side of the car, which overall is mainly painted in silver like the old time Mercedes race cars of the 1930s and 1950s.


Midland F1 competed for only one year, 2006. They took over Jordan in 2005, but Midland sold it in late 2006 to Spyker. They were the first F1 team to compete with a Russian license. (After Spyker's takeover in mid-2006, the team changed its livery to orange and name to Spyker MF1 Racing. In 2007, the team competed as Spyker F1.)


As the longest lasting Formula 1 backrunners, Minardi had an enormous variety of sponsors during its 21 seasons, but still managed to have a predominantly black painted car most of the time.


Penske entered the Formula One World Championship from 1974 to 1976 and maintained its livery and sponsors throughout its three seasons in F1.


Prost competed in Formula One for five seasons, with similar liveries in each season, despite changing sponsors.


Rebaque is the only Mexican team in F1 to date. Named after its driver Héctor Rebaque, it always raced with a brown and gold livery.

Red Bull Racing

Jaguar Racing was renamed Red Bull Racing after the former was bought from Ford on 15 November 2004 by the energy drink company. Red Bull's involvement in Formula One dates back to 1995, when it first sponsored the Sauber team. The deal with Sauber lasted until the end of the 2004 season.

Since its first season in 2005 the car livery did not change much, always keeping Red Bull as the main sponsor. This changed in 2013, when Infiniti became the team's title sponsor and Red Bull's branding on the car was reduced.

Red Bull have used special liveries on multiple occasions, supporting the release up upcoming films and company's charity program Wings for Life.


Renault entered Formula One in 1977 and withdrew as a team after the 1985 season. Renault returned to Formula One in 2002 by buying the Benetton team. Renault had a contract with Mild Seven from 2002 to 2006, and had a title contract with ING Group from 2007 to Italian Grand Prix 2009 when ING withdrew all association with Renault. The team was later sold and became Lotus in 2012, before Renault bought back the team and returned as a constructor in 2016.


Sauber is a Swiss Formula One constructor that joined the Formula One grid in 1993. At the end of the 2005 season it was bought by BMW and from 2006 to 2009 it raced as BMW Sauber F1 Team. On 27 November 2009, BMW agreed to sell the team back to its original founder, Peter Sauber. The 2010 Formula One season marked Sauber's return as an independent constructor.


Spyker took part in only one season of Formula One. The main colour of the car did not directly reflect the sponsorships but was the orange racing colour of the Netherlands.


Stewart lasted for only 3 years before being bought out by its engine supplier, Ford, and being rebranded as Jaguar, but managed to win a race in its final season, 1999. Stewart had a tartan decoration on its cars to represent its Scottish nationality.

Super Aguri

Super Aguri was set up before the 2006 season by Aguri Suzuki, with the help of Honda Racing, to provide a drive for former Honda driver Takuma Sato. For the 2006 season's SA05 and SA06, their car was based on the 2002 Arrows A23, after which, for the 2007 and 2008 seasons, they ran cars based on the previous year's Honda chassis.

Toro Rosso

Toro Rosso is the sister team of Red Bull Racing. Since it originated from the buyout of Minardi, its name means Red Bull in Italian. At the beginning, the team used to have the same name and sponsors as its parent team, with the major difference being the presence of a scarlet "charging bull" painted over the engine cowling.


When car manufacturers started to concentrate in their own F1 teams at the start of the decade, Toyota was one of them. As main rival Honda did, they always painted their cars with the same white/red color scheme, instead of any sponsor colors.


Tyrrell Racing competed in Formula One from 1970-1998. Its traditional colour was blue and white, or a combination as such, for most of the 1970s and 1980s. The cars were more white during the mid to late 1990s.


The Virgin Group's involvement with Formula One started in 2009 when they decided to sponsor Brawn GP for that season. On 30 November 2009 it was reported that the Manor GP, one of the four newcomers teams for the 2010 season, would be rebranded as Virgin Racing.


Williams, as a major constructor, is rare in modern F1 in that they have no manufacturer backing. Over the years, their supply of engines and other major components has often changed, meaning that their livery is renewed more often than most of their rivals. Sponsors of Williams can often have the livery dramatically changed, which has helped to keep Williams competitively financed since 1978, when Williams first entered as a constructor.


Formula One sponsorship liveries Wikipedia

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