The Monaco Grand Prix is Formula One’s crown jewel event, one deeply imbued with the sport’s history—and the McLaren F1 team has designed a special one-off throwback livery for the race, which is something more frequently done by the NASCAR series. And it looks pretty damn awesome on the MCL35M.
McLaren has a long-time partnership with Gulf Oil, which has seen its cars decked out in the blue-and-fluorescent-orange paint scheme since the two companies partnered up on founder Bruce McLaren’s Can-Am racing team.
“This will be McLaren’s homage to Gulf’s celebrated race car design,” McLaren Racing boss Zak Brown said. “We’re enormous fans of brave and bold design, and the striking Gulf blue is among the most loved liveries in racing, a celebrated piece of culture which transcends the world of motorsport.
“Design has always been important to McLaren—you see this in everything we do from our return to papaya to our stunning headquarters, the McLaren Technology Centre. We’re excited to exhibit this as a team and celebrate our proud association with Gulf in Monaco.”
The livery is also carrying over to the driver race suits and helmets worn by Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. The helmets will later be sold at auction with the proceeds donated to charity.
The livery is one of the most iconic in motorsport and one of the few we can still rehash in a traditional sense today, since other liveries like the Marlboro ones are banned due to cigarette advertising. But it’s going to look gorgeous when it hits the track.
I think Daniel Riccardo said it best: “Of course I love it. It’s cool. I didn’t need another reason to get excited about Monaco so I’ve got to control myself and save some energy for next week. Awesome. As long as you look good, that’s the first box you’ve got to tick and we’re certainly doing that, so I’m really excited.”
Remember that, for the Monaco Grand Prix, the on-track action kicks off on Thursday of this upcoming week instead of Friday.