Williams reveal special Gulf livery chosen by F1 fan vote

The Williams Formula 1 team has revealed the special Gulf Oil livery that will be used on its FW45s at the Singapore, Japanese and Qatar GPs later this year.

Williams FW45 livery detail

It was chosen via a fan vote that was launched over the weekend of the Monaco GP.

Gulf was keen on the eye-catching experiment it conducted at Monaco in 2021 when a partner of McLaren, but the company added a twist by leaving the final choice up to Williams fans and running it at a different series of races.

The four options created by the Williams marketing department were called Heritage, Contemporary, Visionary and Bolder than Bold.

The first was somewhat reminiscent of the 2021 McLaren livery and reflected Gulf’s long history in the sport and its legendary stint in sportscar racing with Ford and Porsche. The other three were all modern interpretations of the Gulf theme.

At the project launch team boss James Vowles indicated that he liked the Heritage option best, but in the end, fans chose the Bolder than Bold version in a narrow victory over Heritage, with more than 180,000 votes cast across the three knockout rounds.

The new look was unveiled in London on Tuesday evening and will be previewed on a Williams show car at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend before being applied to the race cars for Singapore and the two events that follow.

“This competition was an incredible opportunity for our fans to actively engage and shape the visual identity of our team,” said Vowles of the outcome.

Williams  FW45 Gulf livery

Williams FW45 Gulf livery

Photo by: Williams

“The winning design encapsulates the essence of the Gulf and Williams Racing partnership, reflecting on the past, but building on our future. This livery will create a defining moment when it takes to the track later in the season.”

“It has been a pleasure to collaborate with Williams Racing and place the fans at the core of this campaign,” said Gulf International CEO Mike Jones.

“The response has been incredible, and would not have been possible without the fans, making this competition extra special.

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“Gulf and Williams Racing share a vision of a bright modern future on and off the track and we look forward to sharing what else we have in store for 2023.”

Williams head of creative Ed Scott, who led the livery design team, said that the winner reflected its bold name.

“Bolder than Bold was an excuse to just break the mould and do something a little bit more quirky,” he noted.

"It is what it says on the tin. It is very bold. It used the Gulf branding in a way that's not typical. The brief was wide open. We could do what we wanted with it, but it still needed to look very Gulf.

Williams  FW45 Gulf livery

Williams FW45 Gulf livery

Photo by: Williams

"We had to do something really bold, and so we had a lot of fun with this design. We wanted to do something that was exciting.

"The way that we tackled that was by taking inspiration from past concept liveries gone by. Breaking up the Gulf stripe into a Chevron and then incorporating that into a camo pattern. Then finishing it off with nice, solid orange Gulf-coloured lines and angles going across the car."

Scott noted that it wasn’t straightforward to incorporate the camouflage look into the design.

"Camo on F1 cars does just look mega!,” he noted. "But we have to be careful how we use it because camouflage hides stuff, and we don't want to hide too many sponsors.

“So this is a good chance to actually build it in a way that complemented the car without affecting too much of the real estate.

"I like how it all flows, and as a livery that then crosses over into other content, so I think it's really cool and different. It's quite simplistic as well as not, if that makes sense?

“Obviously, it's not simplistic because of the amount of stuff going on in there. But it's executed in a way that has a clean look and feel."

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