In all of sports, there are a few iconic and immediately recognisable colour schemes that have risen from branding activities. More so in Motorsports, there are some race car livers that instantly distinguishable. Apart from Ferraris almost always being red, or Mercedes being the Silver Arrows, there have been sponsor based liveries that have stood the test of time after the partnerships have led to historic accolades. A few recognisable liveries include the Martini Racing livery of dark blue, light blue, and red livery on white Porsches, or the Marlboro red and white package colour scheme in F1. In Rallying, a Lancia Stratos cannot be imagined in anything other than the Alitalia’s Green, White and red colours, or a Subaru Impreza in full opposite lock through a bend as you see the dark blue with the golden ‘555’ shining through the cloud of dust. However, there is one more that stands out a little more I’m my mind and that is the light blue and orange scheme, from Gulf Oil.
Found draped on Aston Martins GT and LMP cars at Le Mans, the iconic Ford GT40 that won LeMans when it beat Ferrari but the Porsche 917, McLaren M20 Can-Am and the McLaren F1 GTR were the most notable of all racecars to have donned that that livery. In the most recent years, Gulf Oil has partnered up with McLaren and its racing programmes. In 2020, Gulf Oil and McLaren F1 Team announce their partnership to revive the collaboration it had in the 1960s during the time of Bruce McLaren. We all hoped that the livery will in some shape or form find itself on the F1 grid as well.
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Those prayers have now been answered and the 2021 McLaren MCL35M looks incredible in the new iconic colours of the Gulf branding. It is said that McLaren will use this livery as a one-off for the 2021 Monaco GP as it returns to the calendar this year. In 2020, F1 gave the principality a miss due to the covid-19 pandemic. But the Grand Prix is set to return to the historic street circuit this year and will have some spectators in attendance, albeit restricted to most likely the local population.
McLaren has also released a dramatic promo on its social media as a part of the announcement and in it, the MCL35M looks stunning. The racing team will also change its overalls and team kit to suit the new scheme of colours of its lubricant partner. Additionally, the McLaren drivers Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo will both use retro designs for their helmets. These lids are said to be auctioned off for the team’s mental health charity partner, Mind.
This year we see Ferrari is using its historic burgundy colours on some of its car, the British Racing Green returning with Aston Martin and McLaren have been using its heritage Papaya Orange livery in the last few years. The light blue and striking orange colours are said to be returning only for the race in Monaco. However, I’m sure not many complaints would arise from fans to see it remain on the car for the future.
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