McLaren reveal livery for Australian Grand Prix

2014 Australian Grand Prix

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McLaren have revealed the colour scheme they will use for the first race weekend of the season in Australia, having used an interim livery during testing.

The team will use the livery to mark 20 years of support from sponsor Mobil 1.

“We are privileged to have worked closely with ExxonMobil over a very successful 20 years and counting,” said chief operating officer and acting CEO Jonathan Neale.

“During 332 races together we have achieved four world championships, 78 wins, 229 podium finishes and 76 pole positions, which is testament to our powerful technology partnership. Seeing the Mobil fuels branding alongside Mobil 1 on the MP-4 29 is a great recognition of the relationship’s contribution to performance over our two decades together.”

McLaren are without a title sponsor this year following the departure of Vodafone at the end of last season. Last week McLaren Group CEO Ron Dennis said he expects to have a replacement in place “in the new few events”.

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Image © McLaren

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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99 comments on “McLaren reveal livery for Australian Grand Prix”

  1. Glad they aren’t racing with the testing livery. Other than that…..meh

    1. Indeed, but I’m hoping for cheaper black and white tickets. Anything to reduce the extortion at the British GP!

  2. This livery could be perfect if they just had a few touches of red or orange in few places. Just to accentuate few details. This way it seems completely bland.

    1. I think in real life it will look much better with the chrome. Generally though I think this is very average.

  3. I like it. It reminds me a bit of the Hakkinen days! Now if they could write “Jenson” on the side…

    1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      13th March 2014, 3:57


    2. Hear, hear!

  4. Shame that its not orange and black instead of grey and black

    1. They probably didn’t want the car to look like a 1998 Arrows…

    2. Yes, i prefer orange too

    3. It’s like they cannot accept there’s a new Mercedes factory team…

      Maybe next year they will go wilth Honda’s red and white and bring back the classic livery…

      1. Honda may bring white, as it’s Japan’s racing colour, but the red was part of their Marlboro sponsorship.

        Granted, there may be a bit of a throwback, but McLaren doesn’t seem the team to live in the past.

        1. Aren’t Japan’s racing colors red and white?

          1. I think they’re typically swathes of white, occasionally with red highlights. But Toyota have used blue for highlights instead sometimes. Japanese manufacturers never did a huge amount of international racing back when national colours were being used.


  5. Jack Flash (Aust)
    13th March 2014, 4:08

    Well… how bland is that?
    Following McLaren with Mercedes in close proximity will be like watching historic old black-n-white films of F1 in the 30’s. All that would be missing is the Auto-Union cars. JF

    1. Jack Flash (Aust)
      13th March 2014, 4:10

      Correction: Grand Prix in the 30’s.
      (Before some wiseass points that out: F1 championship didn’t begin until the 50’s)

      1. Oh, rats. You caught it. (delete, delete, delete)

    2. Williams would have been there too, had it not been for their racing stripes.

      This year’s F1 grid at the sharp end will remind us of the 2013 GP3 season..white and silver cars..

    3. Until half a lap later, when the Red Bull and the Toro Rosso pass by.

      1. On the top of flatbed trucks…

        Oh I kid, isn’t this all exciting. I get to watch F1 again.

  6. They probably don’t want any color associated with them until they have a title sponsor, that’s why it’s so bland.

    1. They say the’re honouring Mobil 1, their colours are silver and black!

      1. Isn’t at least the O supposed to be red?

  7. Seriously. Am I the only one who saw this and went “YES”? Looks badass to me. Simple yet flowing, but also very aggressive looking. You can never go wrong with black on a race car if you ask me. Granted, I’ll admit this is all subjective because Ferrari red looks boring yet people go gaga over it for reasons beyond my grasp.

    1. Agreed, I think it looks fantastic. I imagine Ron Dennis was in deep consultation with the design team to make sure the shades of silver and black were *just so*.

    2. The Blade Runner (@)
      13th March 2014, 8:30

      Me too. Very purposeful.

    3. Said it before the livery change – I liked the car new nose and all. This morning like you saw this pic and thought “yes”. Making cars photogenic is of course an art in itself which is why manufacturers choose colours very carefully for brochures. Will be interesting to see what will eventually be a colour version with final sponsor.

    4. petebaldwin (@)
      13th March 2014, 10:01

      @joey-poey – No I thought the same as you and was equally surprised to look down at the comments and see everyone say it was boring.

      In all fairness, the picture doesn’t look great because it makes the car look grey instead of chrome. Obviously chrome will reflect the colours around it so in a dull studio environment, it’s going to just look grey.

      You can tell Ron Dennis is back in charge can’t you…!

    5. Is there some FIA regulation for change of livery mid-season?

      1. I think one-off comemorative/special liveries are allowed, Red Bull already did this on a few ocasions (charity liveries and DC retirement).. I dunno what the regs says about this

      2. 21.1 …any [major] change to this livery during a Championship season may only be made with the agreement of the Formula One Commission.

        So essentially they could already have an agreement to change the livery already. Who knows!

    6. I like it quite a lot, although for me some colour in it would have been nice. But its an improvement over the vodafone livery last year that was getting as old as the red Bull one, and its far better than the bland testing livery.

      Seeing the glossy shine on those sidepods, its going to look a lot better in real than on the studio picture (or render?) its above.

    7. I also agree. I think in real life it will look mean
      As for the Ferrari red I appreciate the meaning

  8. There is a difference between minimalism and blandness. This car just simply looks like it’s a poor team’s car.

  9. Jeez! At least use actual mobil 1 colors. A little color won’t hurt you McL.

    1. Am I the only one to notice that the graphic is in black & white, not colour, and, you might say so what? The tyres, look at the tyres. They are in black & white also but we know they have coloured writing etc. So, I would expect there will be colour on the logo when you see the car proper.

      1. Good point. Didn’t notice that. But what the hell are they doing releasing black and white photos? Liveries are all about the design and color. A black and white photo is useless in that regard. I think it will be in color otherwise Mobil 1 is going say “thanks for nothing!” Corporations what their brands to be easily recognizable, and that means getting their colors right.

  10. It reminds me of a penguin in an oil slick.

    1. Hello… GreenPeace!!

    2. Exactly! Celebrating Mobil1! :D

  11. I got it right they wouldn’t race that livery but i wasn’t expecting they wouldn’t have a major sponsor but this ias a nice solution, in the end a good opportunity to show their appreciation to Mobil who stuck with them.

  12. I like it. It’s a little plain , but looks classic nonetheless

    1. These are my thoughts as well. Maybe not ‘classic’ in the strictest sense, but clean, simple, and looks pretty good.

      I’d rather see a bit of colour (I wish McLaren would adopt more of that Orange-Arrows livery using their McLaren orange colour) but for a monochromatic design, I like it.

  13. That looks great! I would even go as far as saying that’s the second best livery of the year.

    1. … however, it’s just to cover the fact that they don’t have a title sponsor. Thankfully Honda will fix that next year, and if McLaren do well at the start of 2014 they might attract another new big sponsor.

      1. Ron Dennis has already stated that their title sponsor for the rest of the year will come in a few races time.

        1. …and Whitmarsh stated that they would announce their new title sponsor on 2 December 2013….oh, wait a minute?!?


          1. Richard Howson
            13th March 2014, 11:10

            They did have a title sponsor in place. The issue was that said sponsor thought they would try and renegotiate the the terms of the deal, given McLaren’ poor showing last season. They obviously didn’t bank on Ron saying, screw you we will go without you and look elsewhere.

          2. And that probably fell through when they dropped Perez.

  14. I think its a shame that there are so many teams now and yet so few different colours. The grid looks bland with most teams using similar colours, even the iconic red Ferrari had alot of black on it now. Id love to see a yellow back or a lime green… or even a bright pink just to change things up a bit!

  15. It looks like a generic livery that someone would use to represent McLaren in an unofficial and unlicensed F1 video game.

    1. O.o Conspiracy is at hand!

  16. Does anyone else think that it would look a million times better if the white stripe on the side would be red?

    1. Oh wow. Yes!

    2. Ridhwan Al-Yahya
      13th March 2014, 7:50

      Nice! I added the kiwis on top of the sidepod and inverted the sidepod and rear wing main plane colour to make it ala West livery.

    3. No. Is it me or the sidepods on this cad shot are much smaller than the testing spec?

    4. I’d jump in that

    5. Oh gosh!! Yes definitely. Any colour would work! Even… orange.

  17. I’ve said for over 20 years now that McLaren are dull, corporate and stiff. This livery is so…dull, corporate and stiff.

    No imagination, flair or fun. Just professional. It’s more Mercedes than the Mercedes.

    F1’s liveries have seriously suffered since the tobacco advertising regulations. Cigarettes may well kill you on the inside but at least they looked pretty.

    1. So fitting for a return to the Ron Dennis era, then?

    2. Corrado (@)
      13th March 2014, 8:31

      Come on, it seems that you’re judging a book by looking at its covers ! Doesn’t matter if they’re corporatistic, kinda dull and stiff, but what their contribution to the auto industry. And I’m talking mostly about Mercedes !

      1. It seems that you’re judging a book by looking at its covers.

        We’re talking about the livery here, so it’s kind of the point. To me this car looks like a suit and I’m not surprised that some people think it’s a very “corporate” livery. Some people like suits. Some people think that suits are classic, that they make you look sharper, more aggressive and purposeful. Some people think they are uniforms of the corporate aristocracy. I just think they are bland and boring. Luckily this livery is a one-off.

    3. To be fair, chrome doesn’t strike me as reserved and corporate.

      1. The Blade Runner (@)
        13th March 2014, 12:00

        I agree. Was the T-1000 from Terminator 2 bland? Chrome refelcts colour and light and is one of the most exciting finishes on any product whether that be a phone, TV or, er, car.

        Just to make the point a bit clearer, the car ain’t grey, it’s chrome!

  18. This is brilliant! I feel 5 again!

  19. Looks like Lewis Hamilton’s old F3 car.
    On Ron’s orders it’s not black – just a very, very dark grey.

  20. I can’t believe Ron let this shot of the car be released with what appear to be used tyres on it.

    1. At least they’re lined up this time!

  21. Love it

  22. This is a black and white photo, yes ?

  23. petebaldwin (@)
    13th March 2014, 10:34

    The main thing for me is that their testing Livery made the car look like a Mercedes. This now looks 100% McLaren.

  24. … Until i see it on track I’m going to keep hoping that McLaren just sent over a black and white photocopy…

    1. McLaren banned photocopiers after 2007…

      1. Nice COTD for me!

  25. It looks like someone took a good colour photo and then desaturated it in Photoshop.

    1. Not saying it hasn’t been photoshopped, but it’s a colour image (5535 colours) and the FR wheel nut is definitely gold (well in colour anyway — tech regs don’t allow exotic materials and cost-cap rules it out too…)
      I rather like its classical appearance, very Merc-like.

  26. McLaren have revealed the colour scheme they will use for the first race weekend

    I can’t see any colour.

  27. I presume McLaren are working on new body work so the extra kilos of paint wont matter on the final car/sponsor package.

  28. And the McLaren badge is where?
    Anyone not familiar with the teams would take this as a Mercedes, with the Tri-star on the nose and Mercedes-Benz in large letters right behind the cockpit.
    Is Ron telling Mercedes to make sure McLarens engines are as good as the works team engines?

  29. It’s very… Mercedes-y.
    Nonetheless it’s pleasing on the eye.

  30. They’re hoping to bland the other teams into submission.

  31. Well, meh.

  32. Why It couldn’t have been orange?

  33. I will greatly miss the orangey-red stripes. Especially on the nose tip.

  34. So, where are all the sponsors?

  35. I had to look back at the testing livery as I couldn’t remember the differences, though I knew it looked better. The black now more clearly reminds me of the late 90s and early 2000s McLarens, though I must say I rather liked the chrome testing livery to this black one.

  36. Nice that they took the color-blind into consideration. On a more semi-serious note, I’m a sports photographer, and the old McLaren electric orange drove most photographers absolutely nuts, especially when we all went digital, since even the high-end cameras had a hard time capturing that color without having it blow-out. (I use a Foveon sensor, so no problems.)

  37. It’s certainly an improvement, but why are they still running the chrome at all when there is a full fledged factory Silver Arrows team? Could’ve been much better if they had gone with something orange. If this is a one-off livery just for this race though maybe there will be something else new for Malaysia.

  38. A bit basic, but nice for a one-off. I’m more curious as to who the new title sponsor will be!

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