The Art Of Formula 1 | A 2017 Exclusive Review
I became interested in the cover art of Formula 1, discovering it as a "hidden gem" in the world of racing. As a singer/songwriter and an aspiring race car driver; I have also followed the path of the starving artist, engaging the passion in what I love in the pursuit of happiness instead of working at something unfulfilling in the pursuit of wealth.
Don't just tip your servers!
When I can, I try to give back to those enduring those same struggles while following their passion. I partially write this article to give those artists recognition, while I learn more about "The Art of Formula 1".
One In A Million
How do you become a lead sponsored Formula 1 race car driver? It is one in a million, kid! But once you reach those milestones and become a four time world champion, you get your name in the history books! You may also become one of the few to get paid millions!
For artists, like Formula 1 drivers, it requires passion and years of perseverance to follow something that you love with such a high risk and possibility that it leads to nothing. You are often working without a net, and you sometimes find out that it’s not what you know but who you know. You not only need the extraordinary talent, but also a unique personality to network and market yourself and your work. You need to be a savant, waiting, and always prepared for an opportunity to present itself. Sometimes these opportunities are not where you would expect. So is the story for some of the 2017 F1 Scuderia Ferrari cover artists as they step away from their works in comics to cover the Formula 1 racing season.
A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words
How do you blend your interpretation of a grand prix cover as an artist? How do you make it beautiful without being cryptic? What do you bring to Formula 1 as a comic book illustrator? All of these questions and more, led me to deep dive this "undiscovered country".
March 26th 2017
I began my virtual journey with the 2017 Australian Grand Prix .
The Art of Formula 1 | Melbourne, Australia | With Artist, Fabrizio De Tommaso
Without looking at the titling, the cover can be easily deciphered. Centered in the background is Uluru/Ayers rock, the world's largest monolith and one of the most well known Australian landmarks. You can see the lollipop man holding the kangaroo crossing caution sign as the driver pits for a quick tire change. This adds a bit of nostalgia since the lollipop man has been replaced by a traffic light system. The painted or simulated painted strokes seem to emulate the blistering heat of the location.
Fabrizio De Tommaso
Fabrizio was born in Brindisi, Italy on February 5, 1985. In 2007. He graduated from the International School Of Comics in Rome (founded by Dino Caterini). Fabrizio won a scholarship to the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry where he worked with animation. He began drawing various stories for "iComics" (Kawama Editoriale) and "Mono" (Tunuè). Fabrizio has been teaching at the International School Of Comics in Rome since 2009. He currently works for Sergio Bonelli Editore, on Dylan Dog and Morgan Lost, a series of which he is also the cover artist.
So what can a dark novel, horror comic illustrator bring to Formula 1? Well, Fabrizio is not a one trick pony as you will see from his multiple works in the 2017 season.
Fabrizio developed the cover art for F1 Scuderia Ferrari for a total of 4 Grands Prix including: March 26th, April 16th, May 14th and October 1st of 2017!
image: Fabrizio De Tommaso (Source: International School Of Comics)
April 9th 2017
Next I venture to the 2017 Chinese Grand Prix
The Art of Formula 1 | Shanghai, China | With Artist, Marco Mastrazzo
This is by far my favorite cover of the season! The red flying serpent like dragon, the sharp talons, electricity/lightning arching throughout, the great wall, and Ferrari in the center of the piece, all bring a dynamic story to this piece.
The dragon is a major symbol in Chinese culture and is well selected. The Chinese people consider the dragon as good fortune and represents many things from power to blessing and even divinity. There are many variations and meanings in the representation of the dragon from its color to the number of toes it has. In addition to the dragon we see the great wall representing the strength and history of China. The red and yellow of the Chinese flag can also be seen throughout the color scheme of the artwork.
Marco Mastrazzo was born in 1989 in Canelli, Italy. He is a self-taught artist with a background in technical studies with a focus in geometry. In 2016, Marco started his professional career after being scouted by Roberto Recchioni, (curator of "Dylan Dog", an Italian comic book series), to create a cover for the series 'Color Fest". Marco has also worked on cover art for "Universo Cosmo" comics. In 2017 he started collaboration with Ferrari Scuderia to create poster art for the formula one world championships!
Marco developed the cover art for F1 Scuderia Ferrari for a total of 5 Grands Prix including: April 9th, April 30th, May 28th, September 17th and November 12th of 2017!
image: Marco Mastrazzo
April 16th 2017
Next I visit the 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix
The Art of Formula 1 | Sakhir, Bahrain | With Artist, Fabrizio De Tommaso
This is Fabrizio De Tommaso's second cover art of the season which introduces the Bahrain World Trade Center in the background. The trade center stands over 240 meters high and is the first building in the world to integrate wind turbines into its design. The project has received several awards for sustainability including: 1) The 2006 LEAF award for the best use of technology within a large scheme. 2) The Arab Construction World of Sustainable Design Award.
The cover art also shows some of the ancient architectural designs in the road. This is a great contrast to the innovative design of the trade center. Fabrizio also incorporates the red and white colors of the Bahrain flag throughout the piece.
April 30th 2017
My journey takes me to the 2017 Russian Grand Prix
The Art of Formula 1 | Sochi, Russia | With Artist, Marco Mastrazzo
Marco's second cover of the season certainly has a sense of mystery to it! What do you know of Sochi, Russia? Who is the woman in the trees? This took a little research and I was able to find a bit of local lore of the area. This may be the ghost bride of Akhun Mountain. Legend has it that it is a bride who died during a wedding procession car crash in 2001. It is a tradition for newlyweds to venture to the top of the tower located on the mountaintop, to take pictures with the scenic background. Locals say that drivers who have stopped their vehicles out of curiosity, searching for the bride, have gone missing with their cars.
May 14th 2017
Next I find myself at the 2017 Spanish Grand Prix
The Art of Formula 1 | Barcelona, Spain | With Artist, Fabrizio De Tommaso
As I play cat and mouse with Fabrizio and Marco for the first six events, I am in Barcelona with Fabrizio with his rendition of the Spanish Grand Prix. The art displays a Flamenco dancer in pose as if she should be holding the magenta and gold cape of a traditional bull fighter in her stand off with the Formula 1 car. (could this be a subliminal message of the standoff between Ferrari and Red Bull?). With further research I found that the Flamenco dance includes cante (singing), toque (guitar playing), baile (dance), jaleo (vocalizations), palmas (handclapping) and pitos (finger snapping). All of this was very interesting. I also noticed the red and yellow of the Spanish flag throughout the color scheme.
May 28th 2017
I was excited to visit Monte Carlo for the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix
The Art of Formula 1 | Monte Carlo, Monaco | With Artist, Marco Mastrazzo
The main focus, besides Ferrari of course, is the opulence of Monaco. With that said, front and center in this cover is the Casino de Monte-Carlo. The history of this building and how it had been the primary source of income for the House of Grimaldi and the Monaco economy, sparked my interest to research further into Princess Caroline's original dream of opening a gambling casino in Monaco. The framing of this cover calls to the intricacies of the interior architecture of the buildings within the Monte Carlo Societe Des Bains De Mer.
June 11th 2017
Next I visit Montreal for the 2017 Canadian Grand Prix
The Art of Formula 1 | Montreal, Canada | With Artist, Giuseppe Camuncoli
In this cover, Giuseppe capitalizes on the cold and mountains of Montreal as well as the maple leaf. The maple leaf holds a vast history in Canada and has been used on helmets by their soldiers, on coins in currency, on jerseys in sports and most memorably on the Canadian flag.
Giuseppe was born on March 02, 1975 in Reggio Emilia, Italy. He started with self-publishing as an independent and later was hired by DC Comics and Marvel Comics working on various projects such as: Hellblazer, Robin, Batman, Captain Atom, Spider-Man, X-Infernus, Dark Wolverine, Darth Vader, just to name a few. He also worked on Diabolik and Dylan Dog.
Giuseppe developed the cover art for F1 Scuderia Ferrari for a total of 3 Grands Prix including: June 11th, July 30th, October 22nd of 2017!
image: Giuseppe Camuncoli (source: dc.wikia.com)
June 25th 2017
My journey then takes me to Baku for the 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix
The Art of Formula 1 | Baku, Azerbaijan | With Artist, Elia Bonetti
formula1.ferrari.com - Elia Bonetti
Represented in this cover of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix are the Flame Towers of Baku. These three towers (one of them being the tallest skyscraper in the country) reach 182 meters. The Flame Towers are completely covered with the LED screens that display the movement of a fire visible from the farthest points of the city. The complex was designed by the British architect Zaha Hadid one of the most famous woman-architects in the world. In addition to numerous prestigious architectural awards, in 2004 she was awarded Pittsker Prize for achievements in the field of architecture. The red and yellow of the sparks and flames flow throughout the color scheme of this piece.
Elia Bonetti was born on October 20, 1983 in Parma, Italy. He attended the art school "P.Toschi" in Parma and eventually moved to Florence to attend the "International School of Comics". He studied under the expertise of Giuseppe Palumbo, who recruited him for his studio as an illustrator for advertising and scholastic publishing.
In 2007 he illustrated a special story of "Diabolik" for the annual edition of the comic fair in Treviso, Italy. He also worked on " eyes of the panther ", both published by Astorina.
In 2009, after a short break on the pages of Star Tracks series "Trigger", he began working for Marvel on the character of Captain America with the book "Ghost of my country - Theater of War" written by Paul Jenkins.
In 2010 he collaborated on a collection of Rizzoli "Bad Subjects" a story called "Gap99" written by Wu ming 4 and in the same year he released his first album published by Soleil: "L'ordre des dragons".
His work with Marvel continued and in 2011 he worked first on a prologue written by Christos Gage titled "Fear Itself". Elia also worked on a mini series dedicated to "Agents of the Atlas" written by Peter Milligan.
He currently works for Soleil and Radical Comics.
Elia developed the cover art for F1 Scuderia Ferrari for a total of 2 Grands Prix including: June 25th and July 9th, of 2017!
image: Elia Bonetti (source: babelio.com)
July 9th 2017
Next I visit the cover art of Spielberg for the 2017 Austrian Grand Prix
The Art of Formula 1 | Spielberg, Austria | With Artist, Elia Bonetti
formula1.ferrari.com - Elia Bonetti
Elia showcases the beauty of Spielberg, Austria and the Styrian Mountains. The track had many modifications over time with Red Bull investing millions in track reconstruction. Eventually it hosted the Austrian Grand Prix on June 22nd of 2014. The cover art is certainly inviting, calling you to visit!
July 16th 2017
Next I head over to Silverstone for the 2017 British Grand Prix
The Art of Formula 1 | Silverstone, England | With Artist, Gigi Cavenago
formula1.ferrari.com - Gigi Cavenago
Gigi focuses strictly on the track in this cover art. We see the union jack on the circuit and the colors of the flag throughout the scheme. You also see pages whisking away, showing motion. The seven pages show a discoloration, possibly indicating the history of Ferrari racing with each page representing a decade (this is also indicated by the classic formula car to the left of the Scuderia Ferrari).
Luigi (Gigi) Cavenago
Gigi was born in Milan, Italy in 1982. He attended the School of Comics in Milan for two years and took up graphic design at the Rizzoli Institute of Graphic Arts. He broke into the world of comics in 2005 with issue No. 1 of the magazine Strike (published by Star Comics), with a short story called "Predator Natural". Immediately after, he worked on a new series by Jonathan Steele (again published by Star Comics) drawing on books 11, 18, 19, 34 and 47. Eventually he worked on the miniseries "Dr. Voodoo". He also worked as an illustrator for publishing houses like Cetem, Mondadori, Masson and various graphic studios. In 2014 he became the cover artist of the Maxi Dylan Dog - Old Boy series and from November 2016 he covered the monthly series.
image: Gigi Cavenago (source: dimeweb)
July 30th 2017
Next I visit Mogyoród, for the 2017 Hungarian Grand Prix
The Art of Formula 1 | Mogyorod, Hungary | With Artist, Giuseppe Camuncoli
We are back with Giuseppe and this time in Hungary
This cover depicts the Liberty Bridge which crosses the river Danube to connect Buda and Pest. Atop the four masts are large bronze statues of the Turul (a mythological bird of prey) which are considered protector spirits. The turul are used in the design of the coat of arms of the Hungarian army as well as the office of national security and the counter terrorism center.
August 27th 2017
August 27th takes me to Stavelot, for the 2017 Belgian Grand Prix
The Art of Formula 1 | Stavelot, Belgium | With Artist, Theo
formula1.ferrari.com - Theo
One has to sit and ponder at the meaning behind the representation of apples and bowler hats. I guess this cover can be best explained by a quote... "There is an interest in that which is hidden and which the visible does not show us" - Rene Magritte
Theo Caneschi (THEO)
Theo was born in Florence, Italy, on June 9th, 1973. Though he spent his childhood drawing, he never thought it would one day become his profession! However, in 1994, after high school graduation, he began attending the Scuola Internazionale di Comics in Florence to pursue a career in the 9th art. Four years later he joined Inklink, a studio in Florence, taking on a number of illustration projects as well as historical reconstructions for various museums. Then one day fortune found him when publisher Delcourt came knocking, seeking an illustrator for Le Trône d'argile, written by Nicolas Jarry and France Richemond (published in 2006). One year later, Caneschi received another proposition, this time to work on Alejandro Jodorowsky's Pape terrible (Delcourt),
image: Theo Caneschi
September 23rd 2017
Next I visit Monza, for the 2017 Italian Grand Prix
The Art of Formula 1 | Monza, Italy | With Artist, Emiliano Mammucari
formula1.ferrari.com - Emiliano Mammucari
It is clear to see that the focus in this cover of the Monza, Italian Grand Prix is 70 years of Ferrari. From 1947 to 2017, you can see a mirror of the vintage race car across from the modern formula car, similar to that seen in Silverstone. The colors are vivid and the image is sharp.
Emiliano was born in Velletri, Italy and attended the Roman School of Comics. In 1998, he started working with the label, Comic Art. In 1999 he helped found the independent publishing house Montego, in which he published his first comic: the volume Povero Pinocchio (texts by Alessandro Bilotta ). In 2000 Emiliano created the horror miniseries Il dono nero , again on texts by Bilotta. After working with Montego, he began collaborating with the magazine Selen (Edizioni 3ntini), and made illustrations for various small publishing houses.
In 2002 he joined the early stages of the John Doe project of the Eura Editoriale, with Lorenzo Bartoli. Emiliano developed the illustrations of the first issue of the series, released in June 2003.
Emiliano also worked with Sergio Bonelli Editore, and produced two issues of the Napoleone series (48 in 2005 and 54 in 2006), both on texts by Carlo Ambrosini , and in 2009 the number 5 of the miniseries Jan Dix (again on Ambosini texts). Between 2009 and 2010, Bonelli also commissioned all the covers for Caravan , a sci-fi mini- series in 12 issues created by Michele Medda , of which he also designed the number 10 (March 2010).
While working for Bonelli, Emiliano co-creates the Orfani series together with Roberto Recchioni ; he is tasked as the graphic designer of the characters, vehicles and weapons, in addition to developing the drawings of the first issue, released in October 2013 (the cover of the number is also Massimo Carnevale, thus re-composing the creative group of the first issue of John Doe).
In July 2015 he released "The new Dawn of the living dead" by Roberto Recchioni ,as well as the first issue of the Dylan Dog series - the colors of the nightmare, published by Sergio Bonelli Editore and Gazzetta dello sport.
In 2011 he published a book for Effequ editions, entitled Spiritual Lessons for young comics. In October 2016, the first Sketchbook was published by Comic Art Store during Lucca Comics & Games .
In 2017 he wrote a cycle of Orphan stories entitled Orfani: Terra.
image: Emiliano Mammucari
September 17th 2017
Next I am in Singapore for the 2017 Singapore Grand Prix
The Art of Formula 1 | Singapore, Singapore | With Artist, Marco Mastrazzo
Its always an adventure decoding the cover art of Marco Mastrazzo! As I looked at the image above, I was entranced by the vibrant purple colors which were strikingly different from the Ferrari red, predominantly used in the previous covers. At first glance the purple appears to be fireworks, however, after further research I discovered Supertree Grove!
"Measuring between 25 and 50 metres tall, these iconic tree-like vertical gardens are designed with large canopies that provide shade in the day and come alive with an exhilarating display of light and sound at night. Of the 18 Supertrees in Gardens by the Bay, 12 of them can be found here at Supertree Grove, with the tallest one measuring up to 16 stories in height. Make a trip to the top of one of these iconic Supertrees and be awed by splendid views of the Gardens and the surrounding Marina Bay area. Or, stroll along the 22-metre-high OCBC Skyway, a 128-metre aerial walkway that connects two of the Supertrees, and see the Gardens from a different point of view." - gardensbythebay.com
These structures are unique and amazing! But then I noticed the building in the background and was knocked out of my seat!
The Marina Bay Sands, 5 Star Hotel, boasts an infinity pool that is 150 meters long and is located on the roof (57 stories up). I even watched a documentary on the inner workings of the Marina Bay Sands which practically operates as its own city!
October 1st 2017
In October I met up again with Fabrizio for his cover of the 2017 Malaysia Grand Prix
The Art of Formula 1 | Sepang, Malaysia | With Artist, Fabrizio De Tommaso
The Sepang raceway was built with the concept of a natural stadium. Thousands of palm trees were incorporated into the architecture so that it could retain a scenic green look. This can be seen in the color scheme of the piece. Additionally displayed is the main grandstand and its signature roof which provides shade from the sun and shelter from the sporadic local rains. It is said that the roof was shaped to resemble the national flower of Malaysia, the hibiscus. The speed of the fast straightaways is represented by the motioning that Fabrizio uses in his depiction of the Ferrari.
October 8th 2017
On October 8th I was introduced to LRNZ for his cover of the 2017 Japanese Grand Prix
THE ART OF FORMULA 1 | SUZUKA, JAPAN | WITH ARTIST, LORENZO CECCOTTI (LRNZ)
formula1.ferrari.com - LRNZ
LRNZ focuses on the Japanese flag (Hinomaru) and its red and white colors in this cover art, with Ferrari Scuderia front and off center.
LORENZO CECCOTTI (LRNZ)
Lorenzo Ceccotti is an italian artist based in Rome. He works in different fields of visual creativity: graphic design, motion graphics, animation, illustration and sequential art. He is the founder of the "SUPERAMICI" collective and BRUTUS / CHIMP CO. design studio, and has focused on his solo art career since 2006. He is also a teacher in several industrial design and art schools (IED, SRF, ISIA).
image: LRNZ (source: triestebookfest)
October 22nd 2017
I meet up again with Giuseppe for his cover of the 2017 United States Grand Prix
The Art of Formula 1 | Austin Texas, USA | With Artist, Giuseppe Camuncoli
Giuseppe focuses on the red, white and blue of the Circuit of The Americas track and recognizes the Susan G. Komen drive for the cure, during breast cancer awareness month.
I am unsure of the significance of the nine superhero shadows. There are nine right turns in the Circuit of The Americas. There were nine U.S. circuits that have previously hosted the Grands Prix. The shadow of an eagle that flew over turn 1 during the race (supposedly was placed to represent Native American heritage).
This one may remain a mystery. I am awaiting a response from the artist for insight.
October 29th 2017
On October 29th I am introduced to French Carlomagno with his cover of the 2017 Mexican Grand Prix
The Art of Formula 1 | Mexico City, Mexico | With Artist, French Carlomagno
formula1.ferrari.com - French Carlomagno
The Temple of Kukulkan (Chichen Itza) can be seen in this cover of the Mexican Grand Prix.
"The Temple was dedicated to the Mayan God depicted as a feathered serpent. So precise was the architecture of this building that the setting sun on the spring and fall equinoxes will turn the shadows of the steps into an illusion of a serpent slithering down the banister. Adding all of the steps on four sides to the upper platform step will also equal 365- symbolic of the days in one year". - touropida.com
Also highlighted is the famous corner and grandstands of the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez
French was born in Turin Italy in 1986 and graduated from the European Institute of Design with a focus in illustration. He worked for Amando Testa from 2011 to 2015 as a visualizer and storyboard artist. French is known for his work as cocreator of the web comic "Aqualung"!
French developed the cover art for F1 Scuderia Ferrari for a total of 2 Grands Prix including: October 29th and November 26th of 2017!
image: French Carlomagno
November 12th 2017
I meet up with my friend Marco Mastrazzo for his final cover of the season with the 2017 Brazilian Grand Prix
The Art of Formula 1 | Sao Paulo, Brazil | With Artist, Marco Mastrazzo
Ferrari is front and center on this piece with a background of the Brazilian flag and the colors washed throughout the scene.
November 26th 2017
I am back with French Carlomagno for the final cover of the season - The 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
The Art of Formula 1 | Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi | With Artist, French Carlomagno
formula1.ferrari.com - French Carlomagno
This cover shows the hopes of a double podium finish, with the two Ferraris back to back on the straightaway with the Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi Hotel in the background.
This journey of reviewing the cover art of F1 Ferrari Scuderia for the 2017 season, took me places that I could not have foreseen. I traveled virtually to various parts of Italy in an attempt to track down each individual artist, try to find their biography and often times had to translate it into English. Some of the artists didn't have full names listed (ie. LRNZ or Theo).
I contacted a few that I could find to get the word out about what I was doing and to possibly collaborate with them with future articles.
Then, for what I thought would be a fairly easy part of the project, I looked at the covers so that I could interpret and give my own synopsis. This took just as long if not longer than tracking down the artists. Sometimes an in depth look at a cover would reveal a hidden message which took hours of research. All of the research was very interesting and led me to discovering new and amazing things. The weeks spent in organizing these chronicles was time well spent. I hope that you enjoyed the journey as well!
Wishing You The Best In 2018,