Formula 1

How Williams almost had a different livery

The Williams Formula 1 team considered reverting to its "traditional" navy and white colours for its 2019 car but picked its new livery to reflect a more modern status.

Williams unveiled its new light blue-and-white look on Monday at a launch event that included the reveal of its new title sponsor ROKiT.

It replaces the famous Martini stripes that had adorned Williams's cars from 2014 to the end of last season, and deputy team principal Claire Williams said thought had been given to returning to the navy/white colour scheme that the team has used at various points throughout its history.

Williams's first cars were white with green branding, but the team grew to incorporate more blue (and yellow) through the 1980s and early 1990s, raced red Winfield liveried cars in 1998 and 1999 and settled into a run of blue-and-white cars since.

"This year is such an important year for us," said Williams. "We spent quite a lot of time on this livery, it's all done in-house – we have a very good creative team at Williams.

"I wanted a livery that told a story as to where Williams is. I think a lot of people are fully aware that Williams's traditional colours are navy blue and white.

"I wanted to move away from that and show the world we're a fresh, revitalized brand.

"Just reverting to our traditional navy and white didn't really tell that story. F1 is your shop window to the world so I wanted to make sure we came out with a really bright livery."

ROKiT co-founder Jonathan Kendrick said he was initially uncertain about the livery as his company has a black and red colour scheme.

However, he said he was won over as soon as he saw the alternative.

"Claire said it was blue, and I said 'I don't quite get that Claire'. She said, 'Well, here's a black version, a red version, a white version – just come and have a look at the blue version.

"So, I went downstairs and I saw this beautiful car and thought, 'I'm in again'."

Photo gallery: Williams' liveries through the years

Williams said she was nervous about showing her father Frank, who founded the team in 1977 after his own initial efforts and is still officially team principal, the new design.

She joked that if he was not a fan of the livery she would not still be in her job.

Williams said: "Frank loved it! You might be surprised to hear that but he did.

"I was a bit nervous going to present it to him because Frank is very traditional and protective of that navy blue and white.

"But understanding the argument behind it, that this is telling the world a very clear story and delivering a clear message as to where we are as a company, he is fully behind it.

"And I'm still here! If he didn't like it he probably would have fired me."

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