The person who looked at the intake of a Formula One car and said “That looks like a battery,” deserves a million dollars. There are some attractive racing paint jobs in the F1 world (or, liveries, as they like to call them), but they’re usually only clever when they’re trying to hide tobacco advertisements. This Duracell batter built into the top of the new Williams F1 car’s design is just so, so, so good.
F1 has leaned hard into becoming a reality show about luxurious people doing petty things while driving fast cars and, frankly, I’m here for it. If you only care about the racing you can be one of the 17 people who watch IndyCar, where the cars are closer in spec and the competition is way more egalitarian (at least by modern motorsports standards). This isn’t actually what the new F1 car will look, this is what’s called a “livery reveal” where they, uh, show off the livery. You’ll all notice Gulf Oil is back in the fold, albeit without the stripes.
Duracell’s bit is the best, though. It steals the show. I can’t imagine anyone doing anything better than this. Hopefully, when the actual car is shown it’ll still have the same intake shape.
The sport is slowly becoming more American, including the addition of an American driver to the Williams lineup in the form of Logan Sergeant. True to F1 form, Logan’s the nephew of a billionaire with a questionable background, so I’m sure he will get along great with the other rich kids. The other Williams driver is Alex Albon. “Drive to Survive” made me care for Albon, who sort of has has nepotism on his side (his dad raced), but clearly has had to work a lot harder than the other kids to get and keep a spot. It doesn’t even bother me that he now looks like a Swedish boy band reject with his silver-dyed hair. It’s his hair, he can do with it what he wants.
I’d argue the last time anyone was this clever in F1 was when tobacco advertising was banned from sporting events by the EU and Marlboro and Ferrari came up with the barcode workaround. I can’t imagine the EU is going to be mad at this. Also, congrats to Williams for scoring the first, and probably last, victory of the season.
UPDATE: Thanks to commenter sdstone for pointing out they did this once last year, too:
— Williams Racing (@WilliamsRacing) May 8, 2022
Photos: Williams F1