When it comes to race liveries, the McLaren Formula 1 team had a few memorable ones over the years. There's the white-red Marlboro scheme from the 80s with Ayrton Senna behind the wheel. In the mid-2000s, they ran a silver and red Vodafone livery. Let's not forget about their current colorway in Papaya Orange. For the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix, the British F1 team decided to change their livery a bit.
Instead of the 2021 colors, McLaren will be racing with a retro livery. Specifically, both McLaren MCL35M race cars will run the familiar blue-orange Gulf Oil colors. But the changes aren't limited to the car alone. Drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris will wear matching race suits and helmets with “bespoke retro designs” as well.
The Gulf Oil Livery has rarely been seen in Formula 1 but has been a constant in other forms of motorsport. McLaren is no stranger to that as well. The Blue-Orange Gulf colors previously graced a McLaren F1 GTR Longtail at the 1997 24 Hours of Le Mans where it finished in second in the race. Last year, McLaren revived their relationship with Gulf Oil when the latter became a strategic partner. Now, we get to see the fruit of their renewed partnership.
“This will be McLaren’s homage to Gulf’s celebrated racecar design. 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,” said Zak Brown.
Best of all, there's a chance for us to own the one-off helmets that will be used by the two McLaren drivers. The team announced that they will be raffle-off the helmets for the team’s mental health charity partner, Mind.
Given how awesome the retro Gulf livery looks, we think McLaren should keep it even after the Monaco Grand Prix. At the same time, maybe other teams might want to do retro theme colors too.