There was a time, and it wasn’t so long ago, that you couldn’t miss a McLaren on the grand prix circuit. They were usually somewhere at the front of the field, and they sported unmistakable liveries. These days, though, the British team’s cars are typically languishing somewhere near the back, wearing a nondescript color scheme that makes them all too easy to ignore.
If McLaren is ever going to return to prominence, it’s going to need more than a fresh coat of paint. But it’d be as good a place to start as any. That’s why we’re suggesting that the team ditch its current black and red livery and paint its cars orange instead.
Why orange, you ask? Because that’s the color that founder Bruce McLaren used to paint his cars back in the day. Orange wasn’t the national racing color of his home country of New Zealand, nor that of his adoptive base in Great Britain. But the color served him and his team well, and helped make their cars stand out from the crowd wherever they raced – in F1, Indy, Can-Am, and elsewhere.
As sponsor logos increasingly dictated the liveries racing teams used on their cars, McLaren adopted a changing array of color schemes. It wore white with red chevron stripes under Marlboro sponsorship, black and silver in its West tobacco days, and a shining chrome livery while Vodafone footed the bill. But the team needed to make a visually clean break when it parted ways with Mercedes and brought Honda back into the fold. So it ditched the silver and kept the red and black. But we think that was a mistake.
The Automotive division responsible for those fantastic supercars has embraced orange as its signature color. So has the GT racing division. It’s time for the F1 team – around which all the group’s other operations revolve – to get on board. It’d help us all keep an eye on its cars as the storied team claws its way back up to its former glory that has made it the second most accomplished team in F1 history – second only to its arch-rivals from Maranello, whose iconic red livery is never lost in the crowd. At very least, it’d keep the McLarens from looking too comfortable in the back or middle of the field where it finds itself today.