McLaren has introduced a partially chrome livery for the upcoming British Grand Prix, modifying areas of the car that were previously pale blue to mimic the silver livery employed from 2006 to 2014.
The company stirred up anticipation by switching its social media profile badge to chrome before the unveiling, sparking expectations for a complete revert to the older look. However, the team opted for a blend of the old and new styles.
In response to queries about the decision against a full-scale transformation – especially given the widespread acclaim for McLaren’s retro liveries at the Indianapolis 500 – Brown explained: “We are keen to maintain our papaya identity.
“We believe it’s crucial to pay homage to our past while simultaneously focusing on the future. You can only alter the livery to the extreme a limited number of times – like what we did in Monaco some years ago – but you can tweak the basic scheme more frequently.
“But rules aside, it was critical for us to retain a certain similarity. Our aim is to strengthen our association with the papaya colour. Just as Ferrari is synonymous with red and Mercedes with their own colour, we want to do the same with papaya. The combination is a response to the numerous positive reactions from our fans who love the papaya shade.”
McLaren MCL36 livery for British GP
Photo by: McLaren
Apart from brand identity, performance factors also influenced the decision, as the weight of the paint can impact the car – a consideration that cannot be ignored in contemporary F1.
“We could have adopted a more drastic chrome approach if we wished to do so,” Brown added.
“However, the papaya colour is highly significant to us. When we previously used chrome, it was combined with Vodafone’s rocket red, which had a heavier chrome presence.
“But other factors, such as weight, need to be taken into account. We retained the carbon fibre, so the final decision was based on a mix of reasons. But the main one is our commitment to preserving the papaya identity.”
Furthermore, Brown acknowledged that the occasional livery switch can generate interest and provide marketing opportunities for the team and sponsors, with unique merchandise being produced for each change.
Despite his apparent affinity for occasional changes, Brown dismissed the idea of allowing constant livery alterations in F1.
“We are noticing more teams adopting this approach. For instance, Red Bull did something similar earlier this year, so it’s interesting to see them following some of our initiatives,” he joked.
“It’s enjoyable for the fans, but we believe it should be limited, otherwise it loses its novelty and significance. There should be a rationale behind each change.
“I appreciate the cultural diversity in Formula 1. Like in Miami, not everyone appreciated the introductions, but that’s how the US handles sports. I believe it’s beneficial to incorporate the unique cultures of the various race locations.
“The regulations impose limits on the frequency and extent of these changes, and I think Formula 1 has found the right balance in this matter.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about McLaren Chrome Livery
What change has McLaren made to their livery for the British Grand Prix?
McLaren has introduced a partially chrome livery, modifying parts of the car that were previously pale blue to mirror the silver livery used from 2006 to 2014.
Why did McLaren decide against a full return to their older chrome livery?
McLaren chose not to fully revert to their older chrome look in order to maintain their current ‘papaya’ identity. They felt it was important to balance homage to their past with a focus on the future.
Did performance considerations play a part in McLaren’s livery decision?
Yes, performance considerations did play a part in McLaren’s decision. The weight added by the paint can impact the car’s performance, which is a critical consideration in modern Formula 1.
What is the reaction of McLaren’s fans to the ‘papaya’ color scheme?
McLaren has received numerous positive reactions from fans who love the papaya shade, which has encouraged the team to strengthen their association with this color.
Does McLaren support frequent livery changes in Formula 1?
While McLaren acknowledges that occasional livery changes can generate fan interest and provide marketing opportunities, they do not support frequent livery alterations, believing it should be kept limited to maintain novelty and significance.