I often hear about the countries racing colors. Like UK was green, germany was white.

So is there a list of what country has what color? And also, why was that color taken by that country (Green doesn't scream UK to me, so why?)

  • I believe there's a list on Wikipedia, but I'll have to check when I have more time. Asking why every country chose their colours might make this too broad, I'm not sure. There's a lot of countries. – F1Krazy Jan 22 at 7:07

The colours originated from the Gordon Bennett Cup, an international motor racing event in which each competitor represented their home country. To help distinguish which cars were representing which country, they were each assigned a colour: France was blue, Germany was white, Belgium was yellow, and the US was red.

When the UK joined the Gordon Bennett Cup in 1902, they couldn't pick red, white, or blue, as they were all already taken. They chose to race in olive green - a colour commonly used in machinery at that time - and won. The 1903 edition was thus held in Ireland, then part of the UK, and the UK team duly switched to a brighter "shamrock green". Green thus became the UK's racing colour, and over time this evolved into the darker "British racing green" still in use today.

Italy adopted their iconic "rosso corsa" red in 1907 in tribute to an aristocrat named Scipione Borghese, after he won a race from Beijing to Paris in a red Itala. I can't find a reference for when the USA switched from red to white-and-blue, but the emergence of Italy would have been the catalyst.

A full list of historic motor racing colours can be found here, but the only other one of note is Japan, who use white-and-red in accordance with their flag.

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