Glorious Orange: Part II

First up, let’s get something clear: I know not everyone loved last year’s McLaren, but I did. Okay, it wasn’t quite the right type of orange for McLaren, but it was still orange – in fact, it was a really smart and gorgeous orange and black and white livery that was exactly up my street.

But still, it wasn’t quite a McLaren. And then Indy happened, and showed everyone exactly what a proper, papaya-orange-and-blue McLaren could look like. From that moment on… this was inevitable, really.

And it is gorgeous. I actually think this shade of orange isn’t as good for a racing car (in general) as last year’s, but it’s unquestionably right for a McLaren. Introducing the blue is an interesting touch that I didn’t think they’d do – it was traditionally used by them in American racing series rather than F1, so despite it being on various fan interpretations prior to this I’m surprised to see it as the secondary colour rather than dark grey or even silver. But I’m glad they did, because it helps to make the car even more striking and distinctive (as well as creating a visual link to all the goodwill that Alonso’s adventures elsewhere have generated).

But for all of that, it does have a problem: and the problem is sponsors. There are some who will no doubt like the idea of an almost entirely plain car without any logos messing it up. To those people I say: it’s not 1958. A plain car looks like the car of a team with no money and support – and in the side-on view, the McLaren really does look weak. It needs something, and if it doesn’t have sponsors, then (like the sidepod on last year’s car) there really ought to be some kind of design element instead.

There are no such problems in the front-on view, though – which has several sponsors on the nose, lovely new race numbers, and Chandon emblazoned on the blue rear wing. From the front, this looks like a proper racing car, a great racing car, a car to bring the good times back to McLaren. Fans of the team will be hoping that it’s this car, and not the back-of-the-grid impression given by the side-on view, that’s most indicative of their upcoming performance.

So, all in all, I’m not sure if I think this is a better livery than last year. But is it a better McLaren livery? Categorically yes. They probably should have painted the halo blue as well, though.



    February 24, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    With a blue halo, sponsors and some blue stripes on the sidepod (Just to break up the orange) this would be an amazing livery!


      January 25, 2019 at 9:29 pm

      Exactly, the more I look at the livery, the more unfinished it looks


    February 24, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    Google ‘centrebus’….

    I do love the livery, but agree – there needs to be something on the side.


    February 24, 2018 at 5:59 pm

    Thank you, McLaren!

    A 1997 MasterCard Lola

    February 24, 2018 at 6:34 pm

    This is what 2017 should have been, all in all. A better shade of orange, and the secondary colour choice of dark blue should clash, but it’s great! Personally I like the black trim as it complements the colour well.

    This is the type of livery I’ve been putting on my team’s cars in Motorsport Manager, in fact pretty much exactly the same.


    February 24, 2018 at 6:34 pm

    The colours are right, but indeed, it needs something on the airbox and/or sidepods


    February 24, 2018 at 8:52 pm

    Because I absolutely loved last year’s livery (I agree with you, it was a beauty), I admit that when this one was launched I wasn’t initially sure about it, (though I was buzzing that they used papaya),but having got used to it and seen pictures of it on track it does look very pretty. A papaya orange McLaren was always going to look nice, even though it is a solid orange car with some blue on the wings, which does helpfully prevent it form being an orange Ferrari.
    All in all, another lovely looking car from Woking, but it would perhaps have been better with some design element in the livery like last year. Perhaps in this case simple is better, and it may well end up on top of my ranking again. If last year’s was pretty much perfect in terms of design, and with this one being perfect in terms of the colours used, put those two elements together (maybe even with all five colours) and it may end up being absolute perfection in my opinion (but in your opinion, would two shades of orange (papaya and tarocco), coupled with black, white and blue be too much?).

    In terms of the car itself, I’m glad that they kept the slot gaps on the nose and rear wings, and as for the sponsors, I went back to the launch pictures of last year’s car, and on the side view I counted nine sponsors (including Honda and not counting Pirelli on the tyres). This year, using the same system I counted eight, so the situation is similar to last year.


    February 26, 2018 at 8:22 am

    well summed up Seb.


    February 26, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    Shame that they didn’t at least put drivers’ names on the sidepods like they used to do in West days when they couldn’t advertise tobacco. Fernando or Stoffel in that same dark blue would look much better than blank orange space


    February 26, 2018 at 10:57 pm

    Much prefer it to last year’s (which I thought was awful and felt a bit half hearted), would have liked to be rid of the black and just have the blue accent, would unintentionally echo the current Dutch national team football kit if so though.


    February 27, 2018 at 12:41 am

    Unlike you, I absolutely loathed last year’s livery. It was uninspired, it looked like anything except a Mclaren and, more than ever, made the car look like a real backmarker… With that in mind, I was afraid they would do with the “papaya” orange, after so much teasing, the same they did with last year’s orange. I’m glad they didn’t, I really am. Yes, you can say it’s dull. Even I did when I saw the first picture released. But that changed immediately after I saw the first footage of the car on track, those colors look absolutely amazing! (I’m a bit biased here, because I’ve always loved the orange-blue combo). Of course those spaces on the side pods would look much better with some sponsors on them instead of being empty, but I guess those won’t come untill they start winning races again… And the day that happens, I think the orange will be replaced by some sponsor colors.


    February 27, 2018 at 9:39 am

    I want the blue McLaren logo at the sidepod and blue speedy kiwi at the engine cover, but the colours are perfect!


    February 27, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    imagine the blue halo and then, from the side view, a blue stripe continuing the halo downward diagonal and going to the rear while being parallel to the fin blue.

    James Crellin

    February 27, 2018 at 7:47 pm

    This would be so much better if the halo was orange (the Force India and Ferrari having the halo the same colour is much better) and ALL the black trim bits blue instead. Right now the black looks random and clunky.

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