McLaren reveals special Gulf Oil F1 livery for Monaco GP

The McLaren Formula 1 team is to run its cars in a striking blue-and-orange Gulf Oil livery for next weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix.

McLaren reveals special Gulf Oil F1 livery for Monaco GP

As part of a one-off arrangement with its fuel sponsor, Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris’s MCL35Ms will feature a full-on matte Gulf livery for the first time in F1 history.

The rebranding, which will include drivers’ overalls, retro helmets and team kit, comes in the wake of a renewed tie-up between Gulf Oil and McLaren last year.

Norris, who saw the livery for the first time earlier this week, is in no doubt the bold colour scheme will stand out around the streets of Monte Carlo.

“I think everyone can agree it will be the best-looking car on the grid by a very long way,” he said. “I said to Zak [Brown, CEO] that it was even better than our current livery. But he didn't sound so convinced by that…"

Ricciardo added: “Of course, I love it. It's cool. I mean, I didn't need another reason to get excited for Monaco. So I’ve got to control myself, save some energy for next weekend.

“But it's awesome. And as long as you look good, that's the first box you've got to tick. And we're certainly doing that.”

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, Lando Norris, McLaren
Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, Lando Norris, McLaren
1/14

Photo by: McLaren

McLaren MCL35 with Gulf livery, #41 McLaren F1 GTR Le Mans 1997: Pierre-Henri Raphanel, Jean-Marc Gounon, Anders Olofsson
McLaren MCL35 with Gulf livery, #41 McLaren F1 GTR Le Mans 1997: Pierre-Henri Raphanel, Jean-Marc Gounon, Anders Olofsson
2/14

Photo by: McLaren

McLaren MCL35 with Gulf livery, #41 McLaren F1 GTR Le Mans 1997: Pierre-Henri Raphanel, Jean-Marc Gounon, Anders Olofsson
McLaren MCL35 with Gulf livery, #41 McLaren F1 GTR Le Mans 1997: Pierre-Henri Raphanel, Jean-Marc Gounon, Anders Olofsson
3/14

Photo by: McLaren

McLaren MCL35M with Gulf livery
McLaren MCL35M with Gulf livery
4/14

Photo by: McLaren

McLaren MCL35M with Gulf livery
McLaren MCL35M with Gulf livery
5/14

Photo by: McLaren

McLaren MCL35M with Gulf livery
McLaren MCL35M with Gulf livery
6/14

Photo by: McLaren

McLaren MCL35M with Gulf livery
McLaren MCL35M with Gulf livery
7/14

Photo by: McLaren

McLaren MCL35M with Gulf livery
McLaren MCL35M with Gulf livery
8/14

Photo by: McLaren

McLaren MCL35M with Gulf livery
McLaren MCL35M with Gulf livery
9/14

Photo by: McLaren

McLaren MCL35M with Gulf livery
McLaren MCL35M with Gulf livery
10/14

Photo by: McLaren

McLaren MCL35M with Gulf livery
McLaren MCL35M with Gulf livery
11/14

Photo by: McLaren

McLaren MCL35M with Gulf livery
McLaren MCL35M with Gulf livery
12/14

Photo by: McLaren

McLaren MCL35M with Gulf livery
McLaren MCL35M with Gulf livery
13/14

Photo by: McLaren

McLaren MCL35M with Gulf livery
McLaren MCL35M with Gulf livery
14/14

Photo by: McLaren

While Gulf's iconic logos have appeared on the McLaren since last year, the idea of a full-on livery was prompted by a push from fans to do something extra special.

Mike Jones, CEO of Gulf Oil International, explained: “When we did the launch last year, the fan reaction was unbelievable and we were taken aback.

“We were having fans who'd already painted their own mock-ups, and they were sending personal messages back on social media saying, ‘why don’t you do this?’

“So Zak and I started thinking about the history of Gulf and McLaren, to look into what we can do, and it developed from there.”

F1’s rules demand that cars appear at each race in ‘substantially the same livery’, so McLaren had had to seek approval from the FIA and FOM for the one-off switch to Gulf colours. Brown said that there had been no problem getting the green light.

“They all loved it and approved it,” he said.

Brown is clear, however, that the change to the Gulf livery is a one-off, so will not become a regular feature for McLaren.

“At this point, we only intend to run it at Monaco,” he said. “I think if you're going to have a special livery, you keep it special. It's something, as you all know, that isn't done that often in Formula 1.

“I'm excited to see fans' reaction, and in Monaco I think it's going to be the star of the show.”

Gulf and McLaren have enjoyed a long relationship in F1 and other racing categories.

In the 1960s, Gulf Oil sponsored Bruce McLaren’s efforts in F1 and in the popular Can-Am sportscar championship.

The Gulf logo went on to become one of the most well-known in motor racing. It featured heavily in the 1971 movie Le Mans, with Steve McQueen driving for the Gulf-backed Porsche team.

The company went on to enjoy numerous victories at Le Mans, and in the 1990s it renewed a sponsorship partnership with McLaren and the privately-owned race team run by Ray Bellm.

The Gulf McLaren F1 GTR was dominant in sportscar racing at the time, winning the 1996 BPR Global Endurance Series and the GT Class at Le Mans in 1997.

shares
comments

Related video

Live: Watch McLaren F1's Monaco Grand Prix announcement
Previous article

Live: Watch McLaren F1's Monaco Grand Prix announcement

Next article

Ricciardo: Hamilton's hard-fought F1 wins silencing doubters

Ricciardo: Hamilton's hard-fought F1 wins silencing doubters
Load comments
The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Plus

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes Plus

How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Dec 3, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Plus

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Plus

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Plus

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Autosport's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer explains

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated Plus

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated

Humble yet blisteringly quick, Charles Leclerc is the driver Ferrari sees as its next
 world champion, and a rightful heir to the greats of Ferrari’s past – even though, by the team’s own admission, he’s not the finished article yet. Here's why it is confident that the 24-year-old can be the man to end a drought stretching back to 2008

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2021
The downside to F1's show and tell proposal Plus

The downside to F1's show and tell proposal

Technology lies at the heart of the F1 story and it fascinates fans, which is why the commercial rights holder plans to compel teams to show more of their ‘secrets’. STUART CODLING fears this will encourage techno-quackery…

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2021
How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits Plus

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells STUART CODLING about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021