McLaren have no plans to use their special Monaco Grand Prix livery again – even though it brought them some luck.
There was nothing fortuitous about Lando Norris’ podium finish, as he took a thoroughly deserved third place, but the one-off Gulf-inspired colour scheme will certainly be looked back on fondly from a results perspective even though Daniel Ricciardo was only 12th.
But for now, the orange and light blue, which was also replicated in Norris and Ricciardo’s race suits and other team clothing, is not destined to appear for a second time.
Monaco was chosen for the retro-style livery to commemorate Gulf’s history in motorsport and to reflect their partnership with McLaren – and it proved extremely popular among F1 fans, many of whom would like to see it stay.
However, team principal Andreas Seidl confirmed the regular papaya design will be back for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku next week and, as far as he is aware, all of this season’s races thereafter.
“On the livery, the only thing I want to say is it was clearly a one off-livery at the moment,” said Seidl, quoted by Motorsport.com.
“It was planned for the iconic race in Monaco, celebrating the historic partnerships we have with Gulf that goes back to the 1960s with Bruce McLaren.
“That was the idea behind this project between Gulf and us. That’s all I can say at the moment in terms of future plans.”
The McLaren livery fared better than a couple of one-off colour schemes Formula 1 had seen in the previous two seasons which recognised big landmarks.
In 2019, Mercedes celebrated their 125th anniversary, and 200th grand prix as a constructor, with a livery paying homage to their origins – but they achieved only a P9 and a retirement as team principal Toto Wolff described it as a “f***ing s**t, awful day at the office” on Netflix docuseries Drive to Survive.
Last year, Ferrari reached their 1,000th race at the Tuscan Grand Prix and temporarily switched to a burgundy livery, their drivers Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel finishing eighth and 10th respectively.
Norris, therefore, will look back with happier memories even if the Gulf livery never sees the light of day again.
“It’s unique,” said the Briton. “The pictures look pretty awesome as well. So it’s just cool to be part of the history of Gulf and also to have it be one of the first liveries to do something that different as well.”