Special paintwork will remain the exception

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McLaren had a special paint job twice during the Formula 1 season in 2021: At the Monaco Grand Prix, the MCL35M was given a retro design in honor of the partnership with Gulf; At the end of the season in Abu Dhabi, the focus was on the design of a regional artist.

McLaren CEO Zak Brown rates the feedback as positive in both cases. “The reaction from the fans was great,” he reveals and does not rule out the possibility of adding further special paintwork in the future – albeit in a well-dosed manner.

“I think it’s the right balance to do it on a very limited basis, like we did. We want to keep our identity and make a special paint job special. If we do it all the time, it loses its specialty “, the American points out.

At the season finale, McLaren let an artist swing the brush

Photo: Motorsport Images

The design for Abu Dhabi was initiated by sponsors. McLaren supported the “Driven by Change” campaign by Vuse, a brand of long-term sponsor BAT (British American Tobacco). “I think it gives it a sense of liveliness and a great message,” says Brown.

“It was a woman from the region, an artist, so a great opportunity to draw attention to different topics,” he emphasizes. “And of course our fans are happy to support us. You see a lot of people walking around wearing Gulf hats and shirts.”

“So it’s another way of getting the fans involved. Everyone voted with a thumbs-up, so to speak, with their enthusiasm for the action. That’s something we want to do and will continue to do, but not too often, because then you lose its own identity and it loses its particularity. “

With images from Motorsport Images.

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