With the departure of Ron Dennis, McLaren enters a new era in 2017 under the stewardship of Zak Brown. The team looks set to reflect this boardroom revamp in the paint shop.
Suspicions are growing that McLaren could run an orange livery in 2017, with the MP4-32 set to be unveiled on 24th February.
The above tweet surfaced two days ago, causing a stir at the time. The story has since gained momentum with Autosport and Motorsport.com subsequently publishing articles in relation to the rumour.
McLaren last ran an orange livery in 2006, while they tested the MP4-21. It was hugely popular with fans as McLaren referred to their heritage, having run the same colours from inception up until 1971.
Ron Dennis has in the past rubbished the idea of a retro-inspired livery. This is a man who in 2015, stated “it was the old colour of McLaren,” in response to calls for a red and white McLaren-Honda livery. “Why the hell do we want to go backwards?”
With Ron ‘No Nonsense’ Dennis out of the hotseat at McLaren, creativity in the paint shop may be back on the agenda. After all, Zac Brown has already hinted at an aesthetic change. At last weekend’s Autosport International show, Brown stated that “We’ve just signed off on the car livery and I think the fans will be excited to find out what the car looks like both technically and visually.”
For those anticipating the introduction of an all-orange McLaren-Honda in February, I have a few words of warning. McLaren have, in the past, touted significant visual changes, only to deliver subtle tweaks. 2015 was a case in point.
In addition, we know that the teamwear for 2017 is grey in design. A photo of Stoffel Vandoorne sporting what seems to be the latest McLaren team kit surfaced on Twitter yesterday.
A pragmatic fan should head into the car launch expecting to see a typically chrome McLaren-Honda, potentially featuring orange accents. A step in the right direction for traditionalists, if not quite what fans of F1 2002’s technicolour field of cars are quite hoping for.