Matte finishes! If you thought you were rid of them in all their boring dullness in 2008, sorry. Without Infiniti to add purple highlights to this year’s Red Bull F1 car, the eXtReMe energy drink folks have opted for a plainer, duller livery rendered in the aftermarket’s terrible bro-finish of choice. It’s awful!

It’s not that I’m 100% against the use of matte on a car. Designers can create interesting effects with it, particularly when they use an appealing mix of finishes or colors that highlight the details or contours on a car.

This one doesn’t do any of that. It’s just flat, a fact which is exacerbated by Red Bull’s primary-color-heavy aesthetic. The simplified logos might have looked half-decent had they been rendered in anything but complete dullness, but even those just fade into meh on the matte car.

Expanses of blue not directly lit up by the stage lights just look black, and not even a nice black. It’s the same kind of flat rattle-can-style finish you’d find on a half-finished project Civic that’s been listed on Craigslist because that lazy bum kid isn’t paying his share of Grandma’s rent.



They could have played that up! They could have given an F1 car a rat rod/project car/apocalypse-mobile aesthetic to make the matte finish more cool than played-out. They could have even added roughed-up spots of (fake, illustrated) bondo and rust into the design—but they didn’t.

Opting for an entirely dull car is just lazy. Red Bull surely has some of the best design talent in the world on speed-dial and they whip this snoozer out? C’mon. I expect more from these guys.

At least Red Bull’s new racing suits are a little interesting with the subtle bull silhouettes in the background. Daniel Ricciardo seems to be swimming in his, however, Puma’s top-of-the-line F1 suit fit the same way on Sebastian Vettel last year. Perhaps they’re finally realizing that racing firesuits are just onesies for grown-ups and are making them fit like comfy pajamas accordingly. Pajamas rule. Why not?


All-matte cars, though? That’s a groan-worthy flashback to the last decade that no one needed. Naturally, this is the new livery applied to an old car, as Red Bull doesn’t want to give away anything on their 2016 design away until the last minute. The new RB12 F1 car will finally debut at the Circuit de Catalunya tests on Monday, according to Sky Sports.

Here are some more details from the team’s livery reveal today. Fair warning: you may want to have one of Red Bull’s drinks before scrolling down in order to keep from falling asleep.

Photo credit: Red Bull

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