This winter has been a case of evolution as oppose to revolution and as such, previous car launches over the past days have displayed the type of cars and liveries that we were anticipating. However, the launch of the C34 has seen Sauber adopt an all new livery, dictated by the Banco do Brazil sponsorship courtesy of Felipe Nasr – the results are an eye-popping blue and gold combination which certainly makes the C34 stand out from the crowd.
The new colour scheme is not totally unexpected. Initial speculation that Sauber could include gold on their 2015 challenger was increased when reserve driver Raffaele Marciello posted a picture of his new helmet. This featured a gold coloured carbon fibre visor strip, which typically matches the livery of a car. Meanwhile, the fact that Nasr’s GP2 car featured prominent Banco do Brazil sponsorship, with the livery adorned by the bank’s colour-scheme, it was not out of the question that this livery would be copy and pasted onto the Sauber. As predicted by many, this is largely the case.
Despite being a prediction, seeing such a vibrant liveried machine certainly prompted a double take by me. With Force India fielding a car without a green element of paint for the first time in their history and McLaren retaining their silver chrome approach, there is a growing void of colourful cars on the grid – of course, we are not asking to see a dulux colour chart every time the field forms up, but diversity is key. Cars become more easily identifiable and the while it is perhaps a minor factor, the sport becomes more accessible. Vibrant liveries of the Arrows A22, Jordan 191, or blue and yellow adorned Renault’s of the past, are certainly memorable to the fans. While a plain livery makes sponsors logos easily identifiable, a bright paint-scheme which makes great desktop wallpapers should more than makes up for this.
Speaking of sponsors, the C34 appears to have far fewer sponsors logos than its predecessor. While both Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson’s contributions reportedly provide a collective £35 million of sponsor money, the team’s four year relationship with Telmex has come to an end, on account of Esteban Gutierrez’s departure – it is no surprise therefore, that the Mexican company now feature at Ferrari. Force India have also secured backing from Telmex, as well as NEC. One teams loss is another teams gain and it is good to see that these companies continue to invest in the sport, even if their logos are absent from this season’s Sauber.
With two new drivers, bringing fresh sponsors to the team and a superb new paint scheme, Sauber are hoping for a bright 2015. After failing to score a solitary point in the previous campaign, I hope you will forgive the cliché – but – the only way is up.
Image Credit: "Sauber Motorsport AG"