McLaren are optimistic for the return of occasional special one-off liveries after the success of their 2021 designs.
McLaren delivered the goods in 2021 when it came to producing special one-off liveries for select grand prix.
One of only three constructors to run with a different livery last year, the others being Red Bull and Alfa Romeo, McLaren’s two attempts were both met with great fanfare.
The Monaco Grand Prix, in which McLaren driver Lando Norris finished third, saw the team debut their Gulf tribute livery with great success. The new colour scheme quickly became a fan favourite, with many reaching out via social media asking for the team to run it as their permanent livery.
McLaren’s second special livery design for the season appeared at the final race of the year, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The team worked on the project in conjunction with sponsor BAT’s brand Vuse, as part of the Driven by Change campaign.
Vuse’s Driven by Change program provides up-and-coming artists over the age of 25, with the opportunity to showcase their work to a global audience through the use of motorsport.
UAE-based artist Rabab Tantawy’s design was conceived in collaboration with automotive media designer Davide Virdis, and was aimed at representing togetherness. Blended with McLaren’s papaya and blue livery, the special design showcased her Nubian Series.
After enjoying successful debuts of their 2021 specials, McLaren are looking to continue to produce different liveries on a limited basis, with CEO Zak Brown wanting to keep the “special livery special”.
“I think doing it on a very limited basis as we have done is the right balance,” Brown said to Motorsport.com. “We want to keep our identity and make a special livery special. And if we do it all the time, it loses its specialness.
“[Abu Dhabi] was sponsor-driven. I think it gives some vibrancy, brings some great messaging. In this instance, it was a female artist from this area, so a great way to draw attention to various topics.
“Of course our fans like to support us. You see a lot of Gulf hats and shirts running around. So it’s another way for great fan engagement. Everyone has voted with thumbs up, so to speak, with their enthusiasm for it.
“It’s something that we want to do and will continue to do, but not a on a high frequency basis, because you lose your own identity and it loses its specialness.”