Scheming about colours

The soon to be completed sale of Spyker F1 to Vijay Mallya and the Mol Family, for around $130m, is going to create some interesting changes for the team as desires of the two partners must be balanced. Mallya wants the team to have a strong Indian flavour, while the Mols may well be arguing for Dutch orange to maintain the support they enjoy in Holland.

One choice is to adopt a completely new colour scheme that avoids any such discussions but that would mean searching for a new livery that would stand out from the usual blues and reds that exist today in F1. Of the primary colours green and yellow are not being used at the moment and it makes sense for the team to adopt one or the other to gain visual differentiation and instant recognition of a kind that was enjoyed by the team in its yellow Jordan days or even way back at the start with its distinctive Irish green 7Up livery.

The team owners have to decide on the name of the cars (and get that accepted) and then on the livery. There is no real logic in Mallya using his Kingfisher brand as there are serious commercial conflicts ouitside Asia, with Kingfisher plc, a company that owns DIY stores. Mallya may therefore decide to launch something completely new to fulfill his ambition of building an Indian brand for a global market. A less major undertaking would be to use some form of “Team India” branding although this does not really make sense if there are commercial ambitions beyond the sport.

The good news is that the Indian national flag features orange, white and green which means that the orange of Holland can be retained. Oddly enough this is a very clever idea because it would also give the team a link back to its Irish Jordan heritage as the colours of Ireland’s national flag are fundamentally the same. The orange in the Irish flag is actually Dutch orange because of the involvement of Holland’s William of Orange in the cause of Irish liberty.

One element of the Indian national flag that may also been used is the blue wheel emblem, known as the Ashoka Chakra. This is a depiction of the wheel of dharma, a symbol which has important meanings for both Buddhists and Hindus, but it could also be used to link the team to India.

An Indian/Irish colour scheme would certainly create a car that would stand out from the current pack.

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