F1 2023 launch season to ramp up with Williams x Gulf Oil partnership?

Sam Cooper
Williams Gulf Oil concept livery

Williams Gulf Oil concept livery

The third car of the 2023 Formula 1 season will be unveiled today but could Williams be about to reveal a Gulf Oil partnership?

Throughout the history of Formula 1, there have been some iconic sponsors which have come to define drivers and the eras they raced in. Ayrton Senna in the Marlboro McLaren, Rothmans and Williams, Vodafone at McLaren, the list goes on and on but one iconic brand could soon be reappearing on the Formula 1 grid.

Gulf Oil International have not just a history in F1 but in the wider motorsports world with their famous blue and orange livery featuring in many series and cars across the decades.

In 2021, they partnered with McLaren to produce a special livery for the Monaco in the company’s traditional style, the first appearance of Gulf on a McLaren since the 1997 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The livery was an instant hit with fans and the two continued the partnership into 2020 but despite the overwhelmingly positive reaction, both parties announced that would be the end of the line for their joint venture. The reason as to why would soon become clear.

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Taking to Twitter, Gulf teased an announcement relating to F1 and while it has been 24 days since the tweet and the meaning of ‘coming soon’ has been stretched to its very limit, today may finally be the day we find out what they were talking about.

Rumours of a potential collaboration with Williams have long been uttered, with the latter seemingly confirming the case by putting a webpage up on their official website before quickly removing it, but usually there is no smoke without fire.

Gulf are anticipated to come into the sport as a title sponsor of the Grove-based team which could see a major shake up to the team’s livery and is certainly a signal of intent from both Gulf and Williams.

With a new team principal in the experienced James Vowles at the helm and the potential new funding of the Gulf sponsorship, the future could look bright for a team that has so often found itself rooted to the bottom of the standings in recent years, and perhaps it is no coincidence that the American oil company has chosen to come on board during the season in which an American driver will be on the grid for the first time in 2015.

Logan Sargeant is set to partner Alex Albon for the 2023 campaign and despite not having raced in F1 yet, he already has the expectations of a nation on his shoulders and a key one at that.

Three races in the US, a US driver and potentially an American giant as a sponsor mean Williams look to be in pole position to become America’s favourite team.

Concept livery courtesy of Shaurya Nayar. For more designs head to @shauryanayarart on Twitter