One of the greatest F1 liveries of all time belonged to the unloved HRT F111. With so few sponsors behind the financially struggling team, they needed a creative way avoid looking like a joke at the first race of 2011. They hired German-born Hollywood-movie concept-car designer Daniel Simon to conjure the livery. He created the most spectacular blank canvas ever.
Normally a white car with red and black accents would be considered a derivative, copy-cat, pseudo-Penske rip-off. However, the F111’s creative use of a checkered flag embellishment emphasized the curves of the body work. The elongated red panels contrasted against the muted colour of the sidepods, calling out “THIS COULD BE YOU”
The rear wing endplates didn’t have the name of the engine oil supplier, instead pointing out that the area could be a “COOL SPOT” for a company logo. For those who couldn’t take a hint, the words “YOUR LOGO HERE” on the front wing endplate showed this car was a rolling billboard in search of products. And it looked cool.
Sponsorship is so critical to motorsports. Sure, you need talent and speed to get you to the top of the podium, but without funding, you can’t even make it to the race track.