Renault’s Livery Development: 2002 – 2009

Renault’s Livery Development: 2002 – 2009

Given the popularity of the Toyota Livery Development post from Thursday last week, and also given that Sidepodcast have made a request, here’s a quick run down of Renault’s liveries over the years. Of course, the French marque have set themselves a standard just as Toyota have, although Renault are clearly not afraid to experiment with their choice of colours, which can be clearly seen with the 2009 livery unveiled earlier today. Let’s just say, the days of the blue and yellow were much kinder to my eyes…

This isn’t Renault’s first foray in Formula One, the French car manufacturer having raced between 1977 and 1986. In the mid-eighties, the marque took a step back from the sport although they did supply world championship winning engines to Williams and Benetton. In 2002, Renault purchased the Benetton team from the Italian family and returned to the sport in the guise you see today.

Early Liveries
1977 RS01 & 2007 R27 ’30th Anniversary’ Edition

The original livery consisted mainly of Renault’s yellow with only hints of white and black as contrast. With fewer sponsors to keep happy, the cars remained fairly clean looking with only two brands really visible: Renault and partner company Elf.

When Renault’s Formula One team reached the grand age of 30, the team produced an exquisite livery based around the original colour scheme, but molded onto the modern R27. With a return of the black combined with the yellow, it is a great shame this livery and car combination (R27) never raced.

Renault R22

Upon Renault’s return to the grid, the company purchased the Benetton operation and over a period of two years, transformed the team into Renault. The squad were sponsored by Mild Seven, which is where the blue comes from. However, wanting to incorporate the traditional yellow of Renault, a darker shade of blue was also introduced to break up the contrast between the colours. The R22 had a white front wing, which looked a little out of place and was soon re-coloured. The livery was simple, yet very effective, and the colours soon became synonymous with the team thanks to a driver who was yet to drive for them. The red flash on the tip of the nose was to help identify between the team mates; one car had it, the other didn’t.

Renault R23

Very little changed with the 2003 livery, the team still being sponsored by Mild Seven and therefore carrying the blue. The white front wing remained and future world champion Fernando Alonso was brought on board. The reason why the Mild Seven blue would outlast the sponsorship deal was its closeness to the colours of Alonso’s home town of Oviedo. As if by fate, the flag of Oviedo almost exactly matches the blue and yellow of RenaultF1, and the colours would remain with the team while Alonso was winning world championships, even though the cigarette brand would eventually be forced to part company with the squad.

Renault R24

A minor overhaul of the team’s livery happened in 2004, with the front wing finally being matched up to the rest of the car. With Renault becoming more comfortable with Formula One and popularity rising, as well as the imminent loss of Mild Seven, more of Renault’s yellow was incorporated, particularly at the front of the car where the yellow is extended into the darker blue which is now more pronounced. Sponsorship by Telefonica also added to the darker blue at the rear of the car on the wing. It should be noted that the photos of the R24 look a little washed out, but in reality the blue remained unchanged as far as I am aware.

Renault R25

Very little changed for 2005 with the exception that Renault and Alonso would finally win the championships. Fernando Alonso took on the mantle of having his camera and nose painted red, which went well with the rouge in his helmet design. A few more sponsors clutter up the design, especially on the side of the nose as it curves back to the monocoque.

Renault R26

Erm… spot the difference, anyone!?

I absolutely love this photo, hence its inclusion.

Renault R27
2007 Interim Livery

Before the team overhauled their livery prior to the 2007 season, they ran Giancarlo Fisichella in the new car with a sort of in between livery. It was much darker than normal, successfully eradicating the Mild Seven blue but retaining the Renault yellow. Many thought this was the final 2007 livery, which resulted in a surprise when the ING look was unveiled a few months later.

Renault R27

With Fernando Alonso no longer driving for the team, and Mild Seven now just a memory, the team completely overhauled the livery. New title sponsor ING had their corporate colours of white, blue and orange integrated with Renault’s yellow and the result was lambasted by fans the world over. It seemed messy and without structure, although I have to admit, I actually quite liked it. The yellow remained, of course, as did the dark blue, although slightly altered for ING. Combined with the snug design of the car, I thought the livery worked well, but I’m well aware I am in the minority on this one!

Renault R28

No change as far as I can see (aside from mirror and vanes colour), and to prove it, I’ve put the two overhead shots close together for your viewing pleasure. Or not, if you didn’t like this livery.

Renault R29

Woah! Renault! Sorry, I’m still in shock…

No wonder Flavio’s wearing sunglasses!

Photo Credits:

– RS01 is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0.

– R29 © RenaultF1/LAT Photographic.

– All studio shots are © RenaultF1.

– All other photos shamelessly stolen from various sites around the Internet. Please get in contact if this poses an issue – BlogF1 is more than happy to acknowledge copyright (if proven) or remove images if requested.


  • that black and yellow is soooo lovely.

    i hated the r27 when it debuted, and it took a good six months to grow on me. i wonder how long the latest one will take?

  • that black and yellow is soooo lovely.

    It looked so good on the modern car. The sexiest livery/car combo to have never raced, me thinks.

    i wonder how long the latest one will take?

    Never! Giving in means they won’t change it. Rise up. Revolt. Send them a letter of complaint if necessary! 😆

  • Another cracking post Ollie, this could make a great series

    Thanks Bassano. 🙂 I found the Toyota one quite easy as they’ve documented all their official launch photos from the studio. Renault haven’t though, as far as I could find. I got there in the end though.

    I have a Williams one on the go, but understandably, that is gonna take some time if done properly. I copped out of this Renault one by largely ignoring the 1977 – 1986 liveries, even though they did change during that time. Speed was of the essence though as I wanted an impact on the Renault launch.

    I hope for it to become a small series, but don’t want to commit because I’m terrible at making promises on BlogF1 and failing to keep them (so many series have fallen by the wayside/remain in my ‘unpublished’ folder). A Williams one will be posted soon I hope, and I was thinking of a Tyrrell/BAR/Honda tribute.

  • I really loved the livery of the test care prior to the 2007 season. It whole car was covered in that beautiful dark blue that was used on the nose of the R27. Do you have any pictures of that scheme?

  • Well, I’ve missed the odd splash of yellow since Jordan left the grid. Too many of the teams use the same red & white or blue & white or blue & red colour scheme, so when someone does branch out into other colours I give them points for trying. Honda excepted, of course !

    And lets face it, you’ll never be squinting at the TV trying to figure out if it WAS a Renault that just flew past !

    I think more teams should be inventive with their livery colour schemes. Pink is a very underused colour 😉

  • I go with bfos7215 … best livery on any modern renault to me has been that dark blue-yellowish interims-livery they used between 2006 and 2007 for the R27.

    Surely that car looks like an alien, but well… so aggressiv and full of passion.

    Of all Renaults that raced, the R23 was in my humble opinion the only good looking. The sequels would have been nice without the dark blue nose and rear wing, but that Telefonica/I-Mode engagement really destroyed the look.

  • Do you have any pictures of that scheme?

    Well remembered! I’ll add to the post later today.

    Edit: Added. 🙂

    Pink is a very underused colour

    I agree. Every October, BlogF1 goes pink to help raise awareness for breast cancer, but I always struggle to find a suitable image for the header of the site. I think I’ve used Albert Park’s gravel once, and a mod of the current header as well. As for pink cars, only the Brabham that Damon Hill drove in his first season springs to mind. Aside from the odd promotional car, of course…

    I go with bfos7215 … best livery on any modern renault to me has been that dark blue-yellowish interims-livery

    Great link empii. It was a good livery, particularly as at the time we all knew Renault were changing, but weren’t sure what it would look like. I thought this was it when I saw the team run at Silverstone. And then they eventually launched with the ING livery. It was a surprising winter that year!

  • Thank you :). Just thought of it while reading your review and finaly found my soulmate in bfos7215… So I knew I had to post this :).

    Sorry for my not so well english by the way, I’m from Germany ;).

    I was also a bit shocked when I first saw that ING-Livery but it still looked a lot better than the new one. Surely, it’s outstanding from the others, but the Renaults have always been outstanding since they came back with the blue ones.

    There are some Indy-Cars with pink-livery on… the most famous pink/rose-racecar out there might be the Porsche 917-20 – but we surely don’t have a real F1-car with that colour on :). Beside that horrible Brabham for sure… Oh and remember Pacific-F1-Team with those Pink stripes on it…

    As Renault decided to completeley go away from the brighter blue… we also miss this colour in F1 now (as the Williams looked more blackish/very deep blue in 2008).

  • Jepp, and as far as I remember, I loved these cars as a child. Don’t know why but… I loved the shape and the colour-combination of these. I never really loved the top-cars at all (speaking about the looks). Most beautiful car to me in the late 90s was nor the Ferrari or the McLaren (even if the silver/black was an amazing livery)… it has been the Acer-Prost AP03 with its clear form and that grat looking blue… interestingly the same kind of blue, renault had on that interims-car some posts above :). We really need a car with this kind of blue again! Hopefully, Williams will do so.

  • Most beautiful car to me […] the Acer-Prost AP03

    Finally, someone else who agrees with me! 🙂 I loved the shape of the Prosts, and the fact they didn’t have many sponsors towards the end, so the blue really stood out.

  • Great to see someone else thinking this way, because I finally found nobody else here in germany in many years who has the same opinion about that Prost :).

    As I now remember… haven’t there been a lot of artwork-liveries in 2005 and 2006 on both the Renaults, especially on the european Grand Prixs? You know, all those white stripes, where normally their main Sponsor was… each Grand Prix a different one? Surely, the basic-design still wasn’t different, but I liked that idea…

  • As I now remember… haven’t there been a lot of artwork-liveries in 2005 and 2006 on both the Renaults, especially on the european Grand Prixs?

    I don’t remember those. I knew they changed the Mild Seven replacement logo a few times with something different, but I never noticed the lines on the top of the monocoque and front wing. I will investigate this evening when I get home from work.

  • Looks like a lot of people agreed with my fondness of the dark blue livery. I wonder how many will stick with me when I say I liked the Honda Earth livery.

  • I wonder how many will stick with me when I say I liked the Honda Earth livery.

    Hahaha. The second one was okay, the red flashes on a predominantly white car with only a little bit of earth. But the 2007 car? I didn’t like that one so much!

  • Yes, I agree with that… A bit thicker stripes on the RA108 and a red line on the sharp edges of front and rear wing would have looked amazing – or better say outstanding to the others.

    But that Google-Earth Pic on the 2007 car really was shocking…

  • That is a good idea Ollie. Every october the teams should have pink featured on their cars for Breast Cancer month. In november, they could have a Mo on the cars for Movember.

    Other sports do it – the Aussie cricket team recently wore pink instead of white in support of Breast Cancer research, and to support Glenn McGrath whose wife Jane recently died of breast cancer.

    Gestures like these might restore F1’s reputation a little, in the wake of the battering it has taken in the last few years.

  • I am not saying the 2009 livery is great, but I do find it better than the 2007-2008 version …

    the Renaults looked best in the yellow black though …

  • It is amazing how often fans prefer an interim testing livery to the eventual livery that is raced. I had forgotten completely about the Renault interim livery. The best livery by a long way of those shown is the 30th anniversary one that never raced.

    It may be worth considering a post on interim liveries. The current Williams dark blue livery should be kept by them. Like some of the commemorative liveries they ran last winter it looks far better than their race livery. Other outstanding interim liveries include the black Honda and the orange McLaren

  • At first I wasn’t keen on the new Renault livery (2002) – too much lightness, but the last two years of Mild Seven (05 and 06) with the dark blue telefonica bits are simply gorgeous and it still makes me sad that Renaults have become so ugly.

    Somebody made a livery from this year’s car using the original yellow and black Renault colours with ING sponsorship and it looked wicked. Come on Renault – you know you want to!

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