First look: Williams Gulf livery breaks cover as Singapore Grand Prix preparations begin

Oliver Harden
Williams' Gulf livery appears for the first time ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix.

The Williams logo on the tip of the FW45's nose.

Williams’ Gulf livery, set to appear at the next three races, has been seen for the first time in the flesh as preparations for this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix begin. 

Having agreed a sponsorship deal with the oil brand for 2023, Williams announced in May that they would compete in Gulf colours for the Singapore, Japan and Qatar races and put four potential looks forward for fans to vote on.

The winner – dubbed ‘Bolder Than Bold’ – was announced in July after a three-round vote in which a total of 180,000 votes were cast. The chosen livery triumphed by securing 51.9 per cent of the vote in the decisive final round.

Williams Gulf livery appears in Singapore

In a team statement, Williams claimed the winning livery “celebrates the boldness of those determined to make their mark, keep progressing and pushing boundaries.

“It embodies more than just being brave, heroic, or fearless. It represents an unwavering commitment to never giving up and always approaching challenges with confidence.”

Williams Gulf livery appears for the first time in the Singapore Grand Prix pit lane.
Williams Gulf livery appears for the first time in the Singapore Grand Prix pit lane.

James Vowles, the Williams team principal, vowed that the livery would “create a defining moment” for the Grove-based outfit when it appeared on track.

He said: “This competition was an incredible opportunity for our fans to actively engage and shape the visual identity of our team.

“The winning design encapsulates the essence of the Gulf and Williams Racing partnership, reflecting on the past but building on our future.”

After offering a sneak peek of the winning livery at July’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, where a showcar was put on display for fans to admire, the real thing was captured by photographers on Thursday morning ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix as Logan Sargeant’s car appeared in the Marina Bay pit lane.

Gulf is one of the most iconic sponsors in the history of motor racing, with McLaren receiving plaudits after the team competed at the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix in a Gulf-inspired livery.

McLaren celebrated the occasion as Lando Norris finished third at the principality, with Williams no doubt hoping the Gulf colours will bring similar good fortune over the next three rounds.

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Having finished bottom of the Constructors’ standings in four of the last five seasons, Williams have enjoyed their most competitive campaign in years in 2023 with Alex Albon scoring points at five races, including seventh-place finishes in Canada and Italy.

Williams current hold seventh position in the Constructors’ standings with eight races remaining, with a 10-point lead over Ferrari customer team Haas.

The Alfa Romeo-branded Sauber team – who confirmed on Thursday in Singapore that Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu will remain with the team in 2024 – sit a point further back in 9th.

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