RACE DEBRIEF

    McLaren are bringing the iconic blue and orange colours of Gulf Oil back to Formula 1 with a special one-off livery for next weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix.

    The British team’s initial association with Gulf dates back to the days of team founder Bruce McLaren, with the two companies working together in F1 and Can-Am racing in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

    They renewed their relationship last July, when Gulf Oil came on board as a strategic partner, and ahead of F1’s showpiece event, McLaren have unveiled their take on one of motorsport’s most famous and iconic liveries.

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    The MCL35M will carry the famous blue with neon orange stripe throughout the Monaco Grand Prix weekend in what is the second time a McLaren race car has carried these colours. The McLaren F1 GTR ran Gulf’s racing blue and fluorescent orange colour scheme when it finished second at the 1997 Le Mans 24 Hours.

    Gulf MCL35 hero (7).jpg
    McLaren have run in full Gulf colours only once previously - at Le Mans in 1997, with the McLaren F1 GTR

    McLaren Racing boss Zak Brown said: “This will be McLaren’s homage to Gulf’s celebrated race car 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.

    “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.”

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    The Gulf Oil colourway will carry through to Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo’s race suits and the race team kit. The drivers will also have one-off bespoke retro helmet designs, which will later be raffled for the team’s mental health charity partner, Mind.

    “It’s beautiful,” said Norris of the livery. “I think everyone can agree it will be the best-looking car on the grid by a very long way. It’s awesome, it’s a cool opportunity for both of us, and especially at Monaco, so I think it brings it all together, it’s pretty unique.”

    Ricciardo added: “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.”

    The action gets underway on Thursday, when you can see the new-look McLarens take to the track for the first time.