Felix Rosenqvist 2023 Indy 500 livery

McLaren unveil special Indy 500 ‘Triple Crown’ liveries


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McLaren have unveiled a special set of liveries its three full time cars will run in next month’s Indianapolis 500, commemorating its victories in each of the three ‘Triple Crown’ races.

McLaren will run four entries in this year’s Indy 500. Full-season drivers Pato O’Ward, Felix Rosenqvist and Alexander Rossi will be joined by Tony Kanaan in a fourth car entered for his final attempt to repeat his 2013 victory in the race.

McLaren will run O’Ward, Rosenqvist and Rossi’s cars in special liveries across the month-long event, each commemorating a different win McLaren achieved in each of the three races of the Triple Crown – the Indy 500, the Monaco Grand Prix and the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Rosenqvist will race a tribute to McLaren’s MP4/2 livery that Alain Prost raced in the 1984 Monaco Grand Prix – the team’s first Monte Carlo win in a race that was infamously cut short by a red flag due to rain as Ayrton Senna hunted down Prost for the lead in his Toleman.

O’Ward’s number five McLaren will ruin in a black livery reminiscent of the McLaren F1 GTR BMW that won the 1995 Le Mans 24 Hours, driven by Yannick Dalmas, Masanori Sekiya and JJ Lehto. Rossi’s car will reflect the McLaren papaya orange livery that 1974 Indy 500 winner Johnny Rutherford raced to victory in the McLaren M16C/D that year.

McLaren CEO Zak Brown said the special livery series was intended to celebrate the team’s historic achievements in its 60th year of competition since the team was founded by Bruce McLaren.

“We are proud to have achieved motorsport’s prestigious Triple Crown as a constructor,” Brown said. “In our 60th year, we are shining a light on the legacy of the team that Bruce McLaren built and role this plays in fuelling our ambitions for the future of the team.

“As a lifelong McLaren fan, I fondly remember watching Alain Prost’s dramatic 1984 Monaco victory and the incredible moment when the team conquered Le Mans on its debut entry. Meanwhile Johnny Rutherford’s first Indy 500 win in papaya is one of the most important moments in McLaren Racing history. I can’t wait to see our four-car star-studded line-up flying the colours of our Triple Crown victories at this year’s Indy 500.”

Alexander Rossi’s 1974 McLaren Indy 500 livery

Alexander Rossi 2023 Indy 500 livery
Alexander Rossi 2023 Indy 500 livery
Johnny Rutherford, McLaren, Indianapolis 500, 1976
Johnny Rutherford, McLaren, Indianapolis 500, 1976

Felix Rosenqvist’s 1984 McLaren F1 livery

Felix Rosenqvist 2023 Indy 500 livery
Felix Rosenqvist 2023 Indy 500 livery
Alain Prost, McLaren, 1984
Alain Prost, McLaren, 1984

Pato O’Ward’s 1995 McLaren Le Mans livery

Pato O'Ward 2023 Indy 500 livery
Pato O’Ward 2023 Indy 500 livery
Yannick Dalmas/Masanori Sekiya/JJ Lehto, McLaren F1, Le Mans, 1995
Yannick Dalmas/Masanori Sekiya/JJ Lehto, McLaren F1, Le Mans, 1995


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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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19 comments on “McLaren unveil special Indy 500 ‘Triple Crown’ liveries”

  1. Rosenqvist’s 1984 livery is beautiful.

  2. Rossi’s livery is what the current F1 car should be painted like. They absolutely ruined the glorious livery they had in 2020/2021 with that horrible light blue.

  3. This company is an empty husk, glorifying the achievements of people long departed because they have not achieved anything of note in well over a decade.

    1. The Philip Morris money must be nice though.

  4. It clearly says in the video McLaren produced that Alex Rossi’s livery is based off of the 1974 McLaren M16C Indycar, not the 1976 one.

  5. WOW!!!!!!!!
    That pseudo-Marlboro livery is also a tribute to IndyCar Marlboro painted cars raced by Penske.

    But WHY on earth is the tip of the nose black?! That paint scheme makes no sense!! UGLY!!

  6. Reminded me of a one-off livery, also in the wrong colour, on Keke Rosberg’s car to promote some health-boosting Marlboro product at the 1986 Portuguese Grand Prix.

    1. Yes very much this.
      Although also reminds me of Andrea de Cesaris’ Alfa Romeo!
      And the Le Mans livery looks like the old pre McLaren takeover Schmidt Peterson livery for Janmes Hinchcliffe

  7. I hope to see similar liveries in Monaco on the F1 cars.

  8. I’d love it if they spent more money on design for their car instead of paint jobs.

  9. One wonders whether Zak the Marketing machine is only a single gifted person. So far he hasn’t achieved anything but Marketing campaigns. I was sceptical when he entered the scene and have been lulled to sleep by his kindness and marketing power, but it is clear nothing else has been achieved since.

  10. Can’t read “El Plan” on it though.

  11. Graham Hill considered the F1 World Championship to be the Grand Prix racing part of the Triple Crown of motorsport. Seeing as how nobody else has done it; his word carries weight.

    The Indy 500 is the highlight of the Indycar season. So too is the Le Mans 24h the highlight of the endurance racing season. The Monaco GP is just one of many race on the F1 calendar.

    Not that it matters for this livery selection, as McLaren also won titles with that livery.

  12. Love that All Papaya….

  13. How is that Marlboro livery legal?
    Also, a Marlboro livery at the Indy 500 reminds me a lot more of Penske.

    1. Why would it be illegal? They’re not pushing cigarettes.

    2. That’s not a Marlboro livery! It’s McLaren’s papaya colour – Marlboro is red.

  14. I think the effort made to connect new fans to the heritage of this company is warranted and reminds me of greater days when many now gone chose this ride towards glory and some never came back to the pits. So why not celebrate one’s heritage when presented as entertainment for the masses. It think they look fantastic. Clever and a reminder. Of what once was a dominant team. Look at the list of those who drove McLarens. High marks for this effort.

  15. All very nice, but I’d like to see a bit more contrast on O’Ward’s car.

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