How Williams almost had a different livery

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How Williams almost had a different livery
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Feb 12, 2019, 4:50 PM

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

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Alan Jones, Williams

Alan Jones, Williams
1/42

Photo by: Williams F1

Alan Jones, Williams FW07

Alan Jones, Williams FW07
2/42

Photo by: LAT Images

Alan Jones, Williams

Alan Jones, Williams
3/42

Photo by: Williams F1

Alan Jones, Williams

Alan Jones, Williams
4/42

Photo by: Williams F1

Keke Rosberg, Williams FW07C-Ford Cosworth

Keke Rosberg, Williams FW07C-Ford Cosworth
5/42

Photo by: LAT Images

Ayrton Senna, tests the Williams FW08C for the first time

Ayrton Senna, tests the Williams FW08C for the first time
6/42

Photo by: Sutton Images

Keke Rosberg, Williams

Keke Rosberg, Williams
7/42

Photo by: Williams F1

Keke Rosberg, Williams

Keke Rosberg, Williams
8/42

Photo by: Williams F1

Nelson Piquet, Williams FW11 Honda

Nelson Piquet, Williams FW11 Honda
9/42

Photo by: LAT Images

Nigel Mansell, Williams FW11B Honda

Nigel Mansell, Williams FW11B Honda
10/42

Photo by: LAT Images

Jean-Louis Schlesser, Williams FW12

Jean-Louis Schlesser, Williams FW12
11/42

Photo by: LAT Images

Thierry Boutsen, Williams FW13

Thierry Boutsen, Williams FW13
12/42

Photo by: Sutton Images

Riccardo Patrese, Williams FW13B Renault

Riccardo Patrese, Williams FW13B Renault
13/42

Photo by: LAT Images

Nigel Mansell, Williams Renault FW14

Nigel Mansell, Williams Renault FW14
14/42

Photo by: Sutton Images

Nigel Mansell, Williams FW14B Renault

Nigel Mansell, Williams FW14B Renault
15/42

Photo by: LAT Images

Alain Prost, Williams

Alain Prost, Williams
16/42

Photo by: Sutton Images

Damon Hill, Williams FW16

Damon Hill, Williams FW16
17/42

Photo by: Sutton Images

Damon Hill, Williams FW17 Renault

Damon Hill, Williams FW17 Renault
18/42

Photo by: LAT Images

Jacques Villeneuve, Williams FW18 Renault

Jacques Villeneuve, Williams FW18 Renault
19/42

Photo by: LAT Images

Jacques Villeneuve, Williams FW19

Jacques Villeneuve, Williams FW19
20/42

Photo by: LAT Images

Jacques Villeneuve, Williams FW20

Jacques Villeneuve, Williams FW20
21/42

Photo by: LAT Images

Alex Zanardi, Williams

Alex Zanardi, Williams
22/42

Photo by: Sutton Images

Jenson Button, Williams BMW FW22

Jenson Button, Williams BMW FW22
23/42

Photo by: Sutton Images

Juan Pablo Montoya, BMW Williams FW23

Juan Pablo Montoya, BMW Williams FW23
24/42

Photo by: Steven Tee / LAT Images

Ralf Schumacher, Williams

Ralf Schumacher, Williams
25/42

Photo by: Russell Batchelor / LAT Images

Juan Pablo Montoya, Williams BMW FW25

Juan Pablo Montoya, Williams BMW FW25
26/42

Photo by: Sutton Images

Marc Gene, BMW Williams FW26

Marc Gene, BMW Williams FW26
27/42

Photo by: Steve Etherington / LAT Images

Mark Webber, Williams F1 BMW FW27

Mark Webber, Williams F1 BMW FW27
28/42

Photo by: Sutton Images

Alex Wurz, Williams FW28 Third Driver

Alex Wurz, Williams FW28 Third Driver
29/42

Photo by: Sutton Images

Nico Rosberg, Williams Cosworth FW27

Nico Rosberg, Williams Cosworth FW27
30/42

Photo by: Sutton Images

Nico Rosberg, Williams FW29 Toyota

Nico Rosberg, Williams FW29 Toyota
31/42

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / LAT Images

Kazuki Nakajima, Williams FW30

Kazuki Nakajima, Williams FW30
32/42

Photo by: Sutton Images

Nico Rosberg, Williams FW31 Toyota

Nico Rosberg, Williams FW31 Toyota
33/42

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / LAT Images

Nico Hulkenberg, Williams FW32 Cosworth

Nico Hulkenberg, Williams FW32 Cosworth
34/42

Photo by: Andrew Ferraro / LAT Images

Pastor Maldonado, Williams FW34

Pastor Maldonado, Williams FW34
35/42

Photo by: Sutton Images

Valtteri Bottas, Williams FW35

Valtteri Bottas, Williams FW35
36/42

Photo by: Sutton Images

Felipe Massa, Williams FW36

Felipe Massa, Williams FW36
37/42

Photo by: Sutton Images

Valtteri Bottas, Williams FW37

Valtteri Bottas, Williams FW37
38/42

Photo by: Sutton Images

Valtteri Bottas, Williams FW38

Valtteri Bottas, Williams FW38
39/42

Photo by: Sutton Images

Felipe Massa, Williams FW40

Felipe Massa, Williams FW40
40/42

Photo by: Mark Sutton

George Russell, Williams FW41

George Russell, Williams FW41
41/42

Photo by: Zak Mauger / LAT Images

Williams FW42

Williams FW42
42/42

Photo by: Williams F1

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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About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Williams
Author Scott Mitchell