McLaren Reveals New Formula 1 Livery
If you weren’t fond of the livery McLaren-Honda used in the first four races of the 2015 Formula One season, then you’ll be happy to know the Brits just unveiled a new paint scheme for the MP4/30 race car. Initially launched with a chrome-and-black livery highlighted by a red stripe, which McLaren described as a combination that "firmly contextualizes McLaren’s brand in the 21st century," the Honda-powered single-seater switched to a more sinister appearance. The change is quite dramatic, as McLaren abandoned the two-tone paint scheme for a full Graphite Grey suit complemented by Fluorescent Red stripes and "speedmarks."
Don’t let those names fool you, though, this new livery is a lot more badass than it sounds, as the grey is dark enough to appear as black, while the bright red has a strong hue of orange in certain light conditions. The layout itself is also unique, with the trademark "speedmarks" on the side pods looking like a pair of butterfly wings from above.
In case you’re wondering why McLaren chose to change the livery only four races into the new season, it’s because drivers had issues with the chrome paint due to both sunlight and floodlights used during night races.
"We have revised our car’s livery, improving its visual impact, optimizing it for not only bright sunshine but also for the floodlights increasingly used in twilight and night races," a McLaren spokesman told Motorsport.
The new livery will make its official race debut at the Spanish Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya on May 10th.
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Why it matters
There’s no doubt all manufacturers put a lot of thought in their liveries, but, for some reason, this year’s F1 cars aren’t exactly inspiring in that department. Moreover, with Mercedes-AMG, McLaren-Honda, and Force India all using silver-based paint schemes, telling them apart during a race wasn’t exactly easy. With McLaren switching to black and orange, this year’s F1 grid just became a bit more varied and colorful. The new racing suit is by far the most menacing to date, although the same can’t be said about the team as far as performance goes.
Sure, McLaren fans would rather have the team return to its iconic orange racing livery, or at least the white-and-red of the mid and late 1980s, but at least the new black wrap will help the MP4/30 stand out on the track. With a new, cool livery in place, McLaren can now focus on performance and improving the so-far disappointing Honda engine.
The new MP4/30 marked the return of one of Formula One’s most successful constructor-engine supplier partnerships. The new McLaren-Honda alliance reunites the brands that won four back-to-back world championships between 1988 and 1991. It all began at the end of the iconic Turbo Era and continued well into the 3.5-liter, naturally aspirated engine period, when McLaren had two of the greatest drivers in history: Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost. The partnership ended in 1992 when Honda retired, only to return with BAR and Jordan between 2000 and 2005. In 2015, the MP4/30 is being driven by Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button, two former F1 world champions.