Formula 1 owners Liberty Media officially unveiled the new series logo at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as reported earlier on The Drive. Switching away from its previous trademark that was originally penned 23 years ago, the sport is going through a rebranding exercise after ex-supremo Bernie Ecclestone was replaced in January. The decision to replace the former logo was received with mixed emotion from the racing community, including drivers and team owners. 2017 F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton falls into that category, saying that the revised version lacks a certain something to be as great as the old one.
Hamilton admitted that he much prefers the logo that was replaced in Abu Dhabi. It had been around throughout his entire career as well as many others, first being introduced in 1993. He compared the change to other recognizable brands like Ferrari and his own team, Mercedes Benz, saying that it just wouldn't make sense to reinvent the wheel in this case.
"I think the one that we already had was an iconic logo," said Hamilton. "Just imagine Ferrari changing their logo, or Mercedes changing their logo.
"I don't think the new one is as iconic but maybe it will grow on us."
Hamilton's Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel claims the same attitude, mentioning "I liked the old one better."
Liberty Media head honcho Chase Carey expected this sort of backlash at first as he told Sky Sports early on.
"For sure, any time you change you are always going to get a mixed set of views,” he said. “What we wanted to do was provide a fresh energy to the sport, and I think have a lot of plans for the future and a lot of things we want to do."
Formula 1 commercial chief Sean Bratches explained the move as part of a switch towards digital media. He says that, much like many other major brands, F1 must move in a direction that allows for easier use online.
"A number of brands, particularly in this day and age, are trying to simplify their marks to enter the digital space. Look at Starbucks or Coca-Cola which has taken the condensation off their logo to enter digital.
"We felt we had to go a little bit further and really retool to position us on a going forward basis."
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, on the other hand, backed up the potential gains that could be brought about by this logo change. According to him, as long as it proves successful for the series' popularity and monetary growth, it's good enough for him.
"Does it talk to me? If it generates more cash it is talking very nicely," said Horner. "Obviously it is a new management and they are going through a rebrand.
"You can understand the new owners wanting to have a fresh new image and a logo epitomizes an image at the end of the day."