McLaren has unveiled a chrome makeover for its car in the upcoming British Grand Prix, modifying parts of the car that were previously light blue to mirror the silver design used from 2006 to 2014.
The company sparked enthusiasm by updating its social media profile badge to chrome prior to the reveal, leading many to anticipate a complete return to the former design. However, the team chose to merge elements from both the old and new styles.
When questioned about the decision not to fully revert to the retro look – given the high praise McLaren’s vintage liveries received at the Indianapolis 500 – Brown explained, “We want to uphold our papaya identity.
“It’s crucial for us to pay homage to our history while also focusing on the future. There’s a limit to how often and how drastically you can modify the livery. For instance, what we did in Monaco a few years back, can only be done a limited number of times. Then, slight variations of the base scheme can occur a bit more frequently.
“Regardless of the rules, it was essential for us to maintain a semblance of continuity. We’re working on strengthening our association with papaya. Just as Ferrari is synonymous with red and Mercedes has its distinct color identity, we’re building our identity with papaya. We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from fans about the papaya, hence the amalgamation.”
McLaren MCL36 livery for British GP
Photo by: McLaren
Beyond brand recognition, the car’s performance was also considered, as paint can add weight to the car – an aspect that cannot be compromised in current F1.
“If we’d wanted, we could have leaned more towards the chrome design,” Brown added.
“Papaya is very dear to us. When the car was previously chrome, it featured Vodafone’s rocket red, which incorporated more chrome than this version.
“Factors like weight must be taken into account. We still have the carbon fibre, so it was a matter of balancing these factors. But primarily, we didn’t want to forfeit the papaya identity.”
Expanding on the idea that adopting alternative liveries can generate interest and benefit both the team and its sponsors, Brown emphasized the marketing possibilities each change brings, with unique merchandise created for each transformation.
While Brown seems to enjoy experimenting with change, he doesn’t believe F1 should permit alterations for each race.
“More teams are adopting this strategy. Red Bull did something similar earlier this year, and while everyone is trying to emulate their car, it’s nice to see them emulating some of our practices,” he quipped.
“This trend is exciting for the fans, but I believe it should be kept on a limited basis, or it risks losing its novelty and exclusivity. Each change should have a significant reason behind it.
“I appreciate the diverse cultures within Formula 1. The introductions in Miami weren’t universally loved, but it’s representative of how the US approaches sport, so it’s important to capture the culture of each location where we race.
“There are restrictions on the frequency and extent of these changes, so I believe Formula 1 has struck the right balance in terms of how often and how extensively we are allowed to do this.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about McLaren Chrome Livery
What changes has McLaren made to their car for the British Grand Prix?
McLaren has introduced a chrome livery for the upcoming British Grand Prix. Parts of the car that were previously light blue have been modified to resemble the silver design used from 2006 to 2014.
Why didn’t McLaren fully revert to the old chrome look?
The team decided to merge elements of both the old and new styles rather than fully reverting to the old look in order to uphold their papaya identity. They believe it’s important to pay homage to their history while focusing on the future.
How does the weight of the car factor into McLaren’s decision about the livery?
In Formula 1, the weight of the car is a critical factor in its performance. Therefore, even though paint can add aesthetic value, it also adds weight. This consideration influenced McLaren’s decision to limit the extent of the chrome design.
What is the benefit of introducing alternative liveries?
Introducing alternative liveries generates interest and can benefit both the team and its sponsors. This strategy also presents additional marketing opportunities, as unique merchandise can be created for each transformation.
Does McLaren believe that Formula 1 teams should be able to change their liveries for every race?
No, while McLaren’s team enjoys experimenting with change, they don’t believe F1 should allow alterations for each race. They argue that changes should be kept on a limited basis to maintain novelty and exclusivity. They also stress that each change should have a significant reason behind it.