Good Oil: F1 logo font fury
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Since when has Formula 1 been so mired in nostalgia? And for a mere logo, at that?
Debate sprung from an unlikely source last weekend as the sport’s new overlord, Liberty Media, unveiled its refreshed F1 logo. The stylised F and 1 resemble what we can describe only as a fast-flowing corner from a Scalextric track.
The opinion in The Good Oil offices is that the new logo is a winner. But even a glance at social media in the wake of its unveiling suggests we are in the minority. For some reason, many fans expressed a fervent desire that it be 1993 all over again, and the previous red, white and black logo be retained in service.
Why? Compared with the new logo, the old one instantly looks every bit the 24-year-old graphic it is. Do these same folk wish for F1 TV coverage to feature songs by Toploader or M People during the title sequence? Are they pining for the return of cigarette sponsorship all over the cars? Drivers sporting moustaches?
It seems to be just another hangover from the general feeling of mistrust that shrouds the sport’s new controlling entity in many fans’ minds.
Bernie Ecclestone might have been a Machiavellian dictator who relished absolute control of the sport, but at least he was a Machiavellian dictator who relished absolute control of the sport. Liberty Media, by comparison, is a board of directors; clearly something even less trustworthy than a lone angry elf in an Andy Warhol comedy wig.
Liberty’s recently ensconced motorsport director and all-round brainiac Ross Brawn reacted to criticism of the new logo by saying the old one was “neither iconic or memorable”. To be fair, Ross, the new one doesn’t tick either of those boxes either. But it’s an improvement on the old one.
The odd blip in quality aside, we reckon Liberty Media has done a good job in its first season in the F1 driver’s seat. As long as loudmouth boxing announcer Michael Buffer isn’t wheeled out to start any rounds of next year’s championship, things will remain acceptable.
Domain of the super-rich
Here’s the vehicle that makes a “normal” Range Rover look decidedly utilitarian in comparison.
It’s the Range Rover SVAutobiography; a long-wheel based palace on wheels that has received the attentions of Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations.
(This could be described as a sort of internal Pimp My Ride customisation team, but with less Xzibit, more stakeholder strategy planning meetings).
In the case of the Range Rover SVAutobiography, the stakeholders are the world’s super-rich.
It is a $300,000-plus SUV, boasting all sorts of special veneers, leathers, colour palettes and — what with that longer chassis option — a not insubstantial 1.2m of rear passenger leg room. The rear seats recline to ridiculously near-horizontal degrees.
The centre console houses work tables that deploy at the touch of a button and there’s a drinks cabinet for those post-corporate mergers have been dispensed with for the business day. We’re unsure where the butler sits ... possibly in the capacious boot.
Will we get to drive one? Probably not. We’ve just consulted our smartphone’s address book and it turns out it’s completely lacking in oil tycoons.
Bangle’s latest bungle has us seeing REDS
Speaking of never quite being able to get it right, the car design world’s favourite whipping boy, Chris Bangle, has surprised pundits with an all-new design.
The beardy wonder unveiled his latest creation — the first vehicular-themed concept we’ve seen from him in nearly a decade — in California last week.
We’d love to report the concept is a shock-of-the-new pulse-quickener. The sort of design BMW AG could only dream of having helped bring to life. But we can’t. Because it looks like a cross between some sort of Japanese kei car “urban mobility” concept and a taco truck.
It’s called REDS and, with all the aesthetic appeal of a blood donor van that may or may not be driving backwards, we’re worried for Bangle’s sanity.
He has been in the wilderness since 2009, when he exited BMW to set up his Chris Bangle Associates design studio in Turin. REDS, it seems, is not so much a thing in which to navigate traffic, as a thing to sit in while stuck in traffic.
It’s electric, features swivelling seating and, according to the vague press release, boasts “best in class 0-50km/h acceleration”. What class that is, is unknown.
It isn’t even clear whether the cartoonish people-mover is designed to be fully autonomous. Bring back the “Bangle Butt”. All is forgiven.