McLaren considers historical papaya orange for its 2018 F1 car

McLaren could opt for its historical 'papaya orange' colours next year, as it closes in on making a final decision about its 2018 Formula 1 livery

McLaren considers historical papaya orange for its 2018 F1 car

The Woking-based team switched to an orange and black paint scheme for this year, but there has been a push from fans for it to run the 'papaya' version that Fernando Alonso used for his assault on the Indianapolis 500.

While a final call on colours will depend on the outcome of sponsor talks over the next few weeks, McLaren executive director Zak Brown says that a change is possible.

"We are starting to look at car designs now," he said.

"I think the fans want us to go to papaya orange.

"When we did the IndyCar we had an overwhelming amount of 'please make your F1 car like that', so we are waiting on a few sponsor decisions which can also dictate what a car looks like.

"[But] I wouldn't rule it out."

Brown added that it was unlikely any sponsor talks would result in the kind of rebranding that Force India did ahead of the 2017 season when it switched to a pink colour scheme for sponsor BWT.

"We have all sorts of designs going on, but we need to see where we land on some of the sponsor activity and that will dictate a bit of that," said Brown.

"We would like to keep some orange, we think it is part of our identity.

"But we are a commercial entity. Pink might be a bit extreme though."


Brown said he is optimistic that McLaren will add fresh sponsors for 2018, but is doubtful about there being the team gaining a title sponsor in the near future.

"We've got a lot of room on our car for partners," he said.

"I am very encouraged with the activity that we have and I would definitely anticipate some new partners coming on board next year."

Asked about the potential for a title sponsor, he said: "I have been looking at how you break down commercialising the team.

"I think the title of the team is McLaren - unlike NASCAR where the team gets referenced by the title partner - that doesn't really happen in F1.

"So to be a title partner doesn't give you the benefit that it does in other series.

"We are [thinking] more along the lines of having a couple of major partners and we should have that for next year."

When it came to outlining a timeframe regarding the colour decision, Brown said: "It is ongoing, but we need to make a decision by December 1 because you have team gear [to prepare], and we will have a new look and feel in the garage next year."

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