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List of international auto racing colors: Wikis


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From the beginning of organised motor sport events, in the early 1900s, until the late 1960s, before commercial sponsorship liveries came into common use, vehicles competing in Formula One, sports car racing, touring car racing and other international auto racing competitions customarily painted their cars in standardized racing colours that indicated the nation of origin of the car or driver. These were often quite different from the national colours used in other sports or in politics.



The colours most likely have their origin in the national teams competing in the Gordon Bennett Cup, which was held annually in 1900-1905. Although colours were not assigned every year, the competition in 1900 assigned blue to France, yellow to Belgium, white to Germany and red to the USA, and the competitions in 1903 and 1905 added green for the UK. Colours were definitely established in the 1920s and 1930s era of Grand Prix motor racing, when blue Bugatti of France and the red Alfa Romeo of Italy dominated many races.

In the 1930s the Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union teams did not apply the traditional German white paint, and the bare sheets of metal gave rise to the term Silver Arrows. Porsche in the 1950s and 1960s also retained the silver colouring, although other German teams in the 1960s (such as BMW) returned to white paint. Other German manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz and Audi (Auto Union) used silver paint when they returned to international racing in the 1990s. It is not known why the German teams in the 1930s did not apply white paint, although a myth developed that it was due to the need to be under a weight limit; however the first "Silver Arrow" raced in 1932, before a weight limit was imposed.

In the spring of 1968, sponsorship liveries, which already had been used in the United States for some years, were also allowed in international racing. Team Gunston was the first Formula One team to paint their cars in the livery of their sponsors when they entered a private Brabham for John Love, painted in the colours of Gunston cigarettes, in the 1968 South African Grand Prix. British Racing Green soon vanished from the cars of British private teams, although the Rosso Corsa used by Scuderia Ferrari has been in continuous use to the present day, albeit in a modified form.

Contemporary usage

Although this colour scheme was abandoned by the FIA for most racing disciplines in the 1970s, it is still informally used, especially by Italian, British and German automakers and teams that want to emphasize their racing traditions. Often, sponsorship agreements respect this. Many concept cars follow the color scheme, and many amateur racers prefer them as well.

The A1 Grand Prix series instigated in 2005 features national teams, driving identical cars with differing colour schemes. Initially, most schemes were based on the respective national flags;[1] some teams with different traditional sporting colours have since switched, including A1 Team Australia[2] and A1 Team India[3].

Historic colours


Major competitors

German Blitzen Benz (1909)
French Bugatti Type 35C (1926)
German Silberpfeile (1930s)
Japanese Honda RA272 (1965)
British Lotus 49 (early 1968)
Italian Alfa Romeo 33 (1977)
German Audi R8 (2006)
Code Country Body Numbers Marques/Teams
D Germany White Red Benz, Mercedes, BMW, Porsche
Silver (or bare metal (Silver Arrows)) Red Mercedes-Benz, Auto Union, Veritas, Borgward, EMW, Porsche, Audi
F France Blue (Bleu De France) White Delage, Bugatti, Talbot, Delahaye, Matra, Panhard, Alpine, Gordini, Ligier, Prost Grand Prix, Pescarolo Sport, Amilcar
GB Great Britain Green (British racing green) White Jaguar, Vanwall, Cooper, Lotus, Brabham, BRM, Bentley, Aston Martin
I Italy Red (Rosso corsa) White Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Lancia, Ferrari, Abarth, O.S.C.A., Officine Meccaniche
J Japan White with red "sun" Black Honda, Nissan, Toyota
USA USA White, Blue lengthwise stripes ("Cunningham racing stripes"), Blue underframe Blue Cunningham, Ford, NART, Shelby, Chaparral
Blue, White lengthwise stripes, White underframe White AAR Eagle, Ford, Shelby, Scarab

National list

The following schemes have been adopted for various countries at various times:

Code Country Body Bonnet Other Colours Numbers Illustrated example
A  Austria Blue   Black on white Auto racing color A.png
AUS  Australia Green Gold Blue Black Auto racing color AUS.png
B  Belgium Yellow   Black Auto racing color B.png
BR  Brazil Pale yellow Chassis/Wheels: Green Black Auto racing color BR.png
BUL  Bulgaria Green White   Red on white Auto racing color BUL.png
C  Cuba Yellow Black   Black on white Auto racing color C.png
CDN  Canada Traditional colours are white and green parallel stripes After the Canadian flag was changed in 1965 Red with wide lengthwise white stripes became popular Black Auto racing color CDN.png
CH  Switzerland Red White   Black Auto racing color CH.png
CS Flag of Czechoslovakia.svg Czech Republic White Blue/white Underframe: Red Blue Auto racing color 2 CS.png
D  Germany White bare metal (aluminium, "Silver Arrows") Red Auto racing color D.png
DK  Denmark Silver-grey National flag as a lengthwise stripe on bonnet Red on white Auto racing color DK.png
E  Spain Red Yellow Chassis/Springs: Red Black on yellow or white on red Auto racing color E.png
ET  Egypt Pale violet   Red on white Auto racing color ET.png
F  France Blue   White Auto racing color F.png
FIN  Finland White Two blue stripes on bonnet shaping a Latin cross Black on white Auto racing color FIN.png
GB  United Kingdom Green Scottish entrant Rob Walker used dark blue with a white noseband and Ecurie Ecosse also used dark blue; the Arrol Johnston team pre-World War 1 used navy tartan White Auto racing color GB.png
GR  Greece Pale Blue Two white lengthwise stripes on bonnet Black on white Auto racing color GR.png
H  Hungary Front: White
Rear: Green
Red   Black Auto racing color H.png
HJK  Jordan Brown   Black on white Auto racing color HJK.png
I  Italy Red   White Auto racing color I.png
IRL  Ireland Green Horizontal band of orange all around White Auto racing color IRL.png
J  Japan Ivory White Red disk on bonnet White on black Auto racing color J.png
L  Luxembourg Tricolor lengthwise stripe (red/white/blue) from front to rear Black on white Auto racing color L.png
MAS  Malaysia Yellow White Black on white/Black Auto racing color MAS.png
MC  Monaco White Red lateral stripe around car Black on white
MEX  Mexico Gold Different designs in royal blue (Not strictly an X on the bonnet) Black on white (not red on white) Auto racing color MEX.png
NL  Netherlands Orange   White Auto racing color NL.png
NZ  New Zealand Green and silver Black and silver[4]   Auto racing color NZ.png
PHI  Philippines Red and Blue yellow
P  Portugal Red Underframe: White White Auto racing color P 2 .png
PL  Poland White Underframe: Red Red on white Auto racing color 2 PL.png
RA  Argentina Blue Yellow Chassis: Black Red on white Auto racing color ARG.png
RCH  Chile Red Blue Underframe: White Blue/red or red on white Auto racing color 2 RCH.png
S  Sweden Blue bottom, yellow top, three cross bands of blue on top of bonnet White Auto racing color S.png
T  Thailand Pale blue with yellow horizontal band around body and bonnet Wheels: Pale yellow White on blue Auto racing color T.png
U  Uruguay Pale blue with large red band around the lower part of bonnet White on black Auto racing color U.png
USA  United States White with blue lengthwise stripes Underframe: Blue Blue on white Auto racing color USA.png
ZA  South Africa Gold Green   Black on yellow Auto racing color ZA.png

See also


  1. ^ "Sporting Regulations". A1 GP. Retrieved 2008-09-01. 
  2. ^ "Australia's new colours". A1 GP. 2008-08-28. Retrieved 2008-09-01. 
  3. ^ "A1 Team India brings home 2 points with 9th position in the Feature Race". A1 Team India. 2007-10-14. Retrieved 2008-09-01. 
  4. ^ Doug Nye: "McLaren, The Grand Prix, Can-Am and Indy Cars", page 73
    McLaren - The Cars by model number

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