The five best unconventional Gulf liveries in motorsport

As the McLaren Formula 1 team unveils its one-off Monaco Grand Prix paint scheme, here are five more times the famous Gulf Oils livery found a left-field home.

The five best unconventional Gulf liveries in motorsport

The news that the McLaren will swap its conventional papaya orange livery for the blue and orange of its fuel partner was met with great excitement on Sunday, and evoked memories of the iconic machines that it has adorned down the years.

From the Ford GT40, Porsche 917, McLaren F1 and Aston Martin DBR9, it has been associated with numerous success stories down the years.

But while most closely connected with those esteemed machines, it has also popped up in plenty of unexpected places.

Originally published in the 12 March 2020 issue of Autosport magazine, here are five of our favourite alternative Gulf-liveried machines. 

5. 2013 Subaru Impreza

Juha Salo, 2013 Rally Finland

Juha Salo, 2013 Rally Finland

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Finnish national rally driver Juha Salo (no relation to ex-Ferrari F1 driver Mika) frequently joined the World Rally Championship fraternity for his home round. He enjoyed sustained backing from Gulf, which led to his Mitsubishi E9, E10, Subaru Impreza and Peugeot 208 T16 all wearing the official livery. We’ve gone for the Impreza in this instance, though, because Salo did finish the 2013 event in 14th, as opposed to crashing out.

4. 2016 Aguri FE Spark

Salvador Duran, Aguri Formula E 2016 Long Beach

Salvador Duran, Aguri Formula E 2016 Long Beach

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Without any hint of irony, Gulf struck a deal with the Aguri Formula E team in 2016. All-electric cars wearing the branding of a petroleum company… However, this venture into FE formed part of Gulf’s slow recovery after a calamitous merger with Chevron at the end of the last century. And the tie-up had some logic as Gulf provided the cars of Antonio Felix da Costa and Salvador Duran with lubricants for the powertrain.

3. 2001 Audi R8

Stefan Johansson, Audi R8 Le Mans 24 Hours 2001

Stefan Johansson, Audi R8 Le Mans 24 Hours 2001

Photo by: Motorsport Images

For 2001, ex-Formula 1 driver Stefan Johansson bagged Gulf sponsorship for his Johansson Motorsports-entered Audi R8. Most notably, he sewed up the European Le Mans Series crown with one win. Johansson contested only half of the 10-round American campaign but still ranked ninth in the LMP900 standings. At Le Mans, however, electrical gremlins forced a retirement after only 35 laps.

2. 1976 Tyrrell 007

Alessandro Pesenti-Rossi, Tyrrell 1976 Austrian GP

Alessandro Pesenti-Rossi, Tyrrell 1976 Austrian GP

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Privateer Alessandro Pesenti-Rossi entered four Formula 1 world championship races during the 1976 season. He made his debut at the Nurburgring in dark blue Gulf colours before switching to the lighter set-up. Driving a Tyrrell 007, first introduced two years earlier, Pesenti-Rossi didn’t score a point, but did qualify three times and finished each of those races. His best result was 11th in the Austrian GP.

1. 1994 Kremer K8

Derek Bell, Kremer Porsche K8 1994 Le Mans 24 Hours

Derek Bell, Kremer Porsche K8 1994 Le Mans 24 Hours

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Topping this list is a car that tipped its hat to Gulf’s motorsport origins. The Kremer K8 employed a darker blue – as seen when the company first sponsored a car for the 1967 Daytona 24 Hours – when it finished sixth in the 1994 Le Mans 24 Hours. The K8 also reunited Derek Bell with the famous brand, he having won the race alongside Jacky Ickx in a Mirage GR8 in 1975 to conclude a three-year stint with Gulf.

shares
comments

Related video

Ferrari wants simpler solution for F1's track limits problem

Previous article

Ferrari wants simpler solution for F1's track limits problem

Next article

Senna and Schumacher among icon drivers in F1 2021 video game

Senna and Schumacher among icon drivers in F1 2021 video game
Load comments
French Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

French Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The French GP was a weekend decided by tiny margins both at the front of the field, as Red Bull inflicted a comeback defeat on Mercedes, and in the battle for the minor points places. That's reflected in our driver ratings, where several drivers came close to a maximum score

How Red Bull took French GP "payback" on a day of Mercedes mistakes Plus

How Red Bull took French GP "payback" on a day of Mercedes mistakes

The French GP has been a stronghold for Mercedes since Paul Ricard's return to the calendar in 2018. But that all changed on Sunday, as a clever two-stop strategy guided Red Bull's Max Verstappen to make a race-winning pass on the penultimate lap - for once leaving Mercedes to experience the pain of late defeat it has so often inflicted on Red Bull

The new age of sponsorship facilitated by F1’s relevancy push Plus

The new age of sponsorship facilitated by F1’s relevancy push

The age of the high-profile title sponsor is over, says JONATHAN NOBLE, but Formula 1’s commitment to technological innovation is attracting high-tech partners

Formula 1
Jun 20, 2021
How Britain’s lost Ferrari star epitomised a bygone F1 era Plus

How Britain’s lost Ferrari star epitomised a bygone F1 era

The 1956 Italian Grand Prix was over for Juan Manuel Fangio, along with his hopes of winning the world championship – until his Ferrari team-mate (and title rival) voluntarily surrendered his own car so Fangio could continue. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls Peter Collins, a remarkable sportsman

Formula 1
Jun 19, 2021
The 'surprise' Mercedes time that puts F1's victory fight back on a knife-edge in France Plus

The 'surprise' Mercedes time that puts F1's victory fight back on a knife-edge in France

Red Bull led the way after the first two practice sessions for the 2021 French Grand Prix, but only just ahead of Mercedes. There was all the usual practice skulduggery complicating the performance picture, but one aspect seen at the world champion squad gave it a ‘surprise’ lift, as it looks to leave its street-circuit struggles firmly in the past

Formula 1
Jun 18, 2021
How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working Plus

How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working

After its worst campaign in 40 years, the famous Italian team had to bounce back in 2021 – and it appears to be delivering. Although it concedes the pole positions in Monaco and Baku paint a somewhat misleading picture of its competitiveness, the team is heading into the 2022 rules revamp on much stronger footing to go for wins again

Formula 1
Jun 18, 2021
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Plus

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021
The figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again in F1 2021 Plus

The figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again in F1 2021

OPINION: An interloper squad got amongst the title contenders during Formula 1’s street-circuit mini-break, where Red Bull left with the points lead in both championships. But, as the campaign heads back to purpose-built venues once again, how the drivers of the two top teams compare in one crucial area will be a major factor in deciding which squad stays in or retakes the top spot

Formula 1
Jun 16, 2021