McLaren 2021 Monaco Grand Prix Gulf livery

McLaren drivers back NASCAR-style ‘throwback’ race for retro liveries

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In the round-up: McLaren drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris say Formula 1 should consider holding a special race for retro liveries, as NASCAR does.

In brief

McLaren drivers want ‘throwback’ race

McLaren have become the latest team to present a special livery for a grand prix weekend. Following Mercedes’ part-white livery at the 2019 German Grand Prix, and Ferrari’s burgundy-hued car which appeared at Mugello last year, they will use a special, one-off Gulf livery for this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix.

At a media event last week where the livery was presented, the team’s two drivers reacted positively to the idea of holding a race especially for retro colour schemes.

“The proper old-school ones would be pretty awesome,” said Norris. However, he added, “it’s nice we are the only ones who are doing it” this weekend. “More eyes on us, unless we both crash into turn one.

“For one race, it makes it a bit more exciting. It would be cool to see everyone do something like that. Especially when you have a Williams or Ferrari [although] Ferrari would just be red. A lot of teams have had awesome and unique liveries over the years and it would be cool if everyone came up with their own.”

Ricciardo also reacted positive to the idea. “I’m aware it’s another expense for the team but that aside, for everything to be a throwback — not just our race suits, but casual wear, down to team hats, to properly do it — that would be cool for everyone to get involved.”

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Comment of the day

There was a lot of approval for McLaren’s new livery yesterday:

Very nice. Zak Brown seems very good at this marketing lark. Just a simple change of colour scheme and the team will be the centre of attention at Monaco.

Hopefully this idea of special liveries based on mid-nineties McLaren F1’s captures the imagination of someone at Harrods…
Jack (@Jackisthestig)

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Keith Collantine
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  • 20 comments on “McLaren drivers back NASCAR-style ‘throwback’ race for retro liveries”

    1. These old liveries on new cars look dumb. I think they need to work on the lesser new liveries first. These Nascar gimmicks are getting old.

    2. @darryn I believe you’re in the minority with that POV. Also, it’s not just a Nascar gimmick—many sports and championships have special one-off throwback uniforms/liveries.

      The Aussie Supercars do throwback liveries from time to time, and it takes me back to when I was a kid watching the sport with my dad; I would get all excited and after the race would go and create my own version of the race using Lego. Fond memories.

      1. Haha, same here! My brother would get the red and yellow to do D.J’s Shell Ford and I’d be going for the green red black and white pieces to do the Perkins Castrol.

        I didn’t see those linked articles from Speedcafe about Ricciardo being interested in the 12 hour at Bathurst. That’s so exciting! I think the 12 hour is becoming a better spectacle than the 1000, especially with the death of the Holden/Ford rivalry. Throw Ricciardo in the mix and it’s a no brainer.

    3. Speaking of Reutemann I think he was hospitalized recently, hopefully he makes a full recovery soon.

      1. @mantresx he’s recovering, they moved him to a common room yesterday so no longer in intensive care.

    4. McLaren drivers back NASCAR-style ‘throwback’ race for retro liveries

      It would be very surprising if, at this moment, they wouldn’t support retro liveries..

    5. I also wouldn’t mind if the one-off Monaco livery became the regular one.

    6. I really like that livery but something feels a bit off about it. The thing that strikes me is that there are very few actual Gulf logos and the ones that are there are tiny. Compared to the VUSE logos which are large and visible from any angle (not sure how I feel about this quite blatant tobacco sponsorship), in most of the pictures you can’t even see a Gulf logo.

      I guess the livery is very iconic, to the point that you don’t need to see Gulf written anywhere to know what the paint scheme means, it just feels a bit weird.

      If I were a tinfoil hat wearer, I might be inclined to ask whether this livery is designed to take the attention away from the very prominent VUSE branding. Burying the lede, as it were. Or indeed, to get attention on the car but for the sake of VUSE and not of Gulf.

      1. ColdFly (@)
        17th May 2021, 8:36

        I’m also disappointed that there are no prominent Gulf decals included. Seems a bit hollow like this.
        But I guess the main sponsor agreed with attention grabbing but only as long as their brand remains the main logo.

        1. I wonder whether the decision to go with this livery had nothing really to do with Gulf, and it’s just a brainwave by Zak Brown to get eyes on the car. Gulf aren’t the title sponsor for McLaren, and I guess it’s possible they’ve had very little involvement beyond McLaren approaching them and asking “Can we do a Gulf livery for Monaco?”, to which the obvious response would be “Sure, fill your boots, just don’t ask for more money!”

          The main sponsor for McLaren is clearly British American Tobacco.

          1. @mazdachris @coldfly I have to agree with you both. I do love this livery in general, as in, all the past times it has been used historically, but yeah, ‘a bit off,’ and ‘a bit hollow,’ are sentiments with which I agree. I do think it is pretty and it will I’m sure look better on the track, but for sure there is something missing and you have both spelled out what it is.

    7. Not sure we’ll see that many retro F1 liveries in the future.

      Most of what are considered classic liveries are made to make the car look like a cigarette box.

      They looked nice, but not exactly TV friendly anymore.

    8. I think it looks awesome. Big props to Zac Brown for pulling this off he is a sponsorship/marketing genius. Credit where its due

      1. ColdFly (@)
        17th May 2021, 9:38

        A ‘genius’ when following others in doing something similar?

        1. you don’t think he has done well at re-marketing McLaren and attracting sponsors? just interested in your opinion

          1. I was specifically referring to your ‘for pulling this off he is a sponsorship/marketing genius’ comment, @emcm5517.
            He did exactly the same what Williams (Martini), Mercedes, and Ferrari have done before him.
            As much as I like the livery, I cannot award Brown ‘genius’ status based on this.

            1. I was more referring to his over all getting where he is from his marketing/sponsorship creds rather than the one thing but in isolation I guess not genius material

    9. Pretty sure it’s just me, but that Gulf colour scheme looks slightly off. Maybe it’s just the lighting of the studio photos, but the colours don’t exactly match the classic cars on my screen.

    10. That Euroformula round 6 race was a lot of fun!

    11. Retro liveries are good for a couple of reasons (although tabacco sponsorship and team name/manufacturer changes does complicate things).

      It provides the team with added media exposure when they do a throwback.

      It gives an opportunity to teams to renew old partnerships on a one off basis generating extra income.

      It offers older fans a opportunity to reminisce about the ‘good old days’.

      Young fans can learn about the sport’s history.

      As long as it’s not overdone it can be beneficial to the sport.

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