Gulf will use the one-off Monaco Grand Prix livery it is running with McLaren to analyze whether a bigger deal could be possible in the future.
McLaren revealed the special throwback livery on Sunday, with the team set to run the iconic Gulf colors similar to the design seen at Le Mans in the 1990s. CEO of Gulf Oil International, Mike Jones believes the color scheme is just the next step of the partnership that was launched in July last year and could well grow as a result of how the livery works.
“It’s a strategic partnership between Gulf and McLaren,” Jones said. “There’s a lot of work behind the scenes, we are launching the joint branded merchandise as adding on to that and I think the fans are going to love that. I think Zak (Brown, CEO of McLaren Racing) and I will keep talking and we’ll see how we expand it together.”
Jones is also expecting the livery to really resonate in the United States given its history, and hints that the expansion of Formula 1 in North America could make future projects even more attractive.
“Particularly during lockdown, social media has given fans of all sports a real voice, probably more than ever before. In truth, some of the ideas that we have come from the fans. We are listening to the fans and there is a real demand out there.
“Personally, I’m really excited to see what the social media reaction is going to be like. Based on when we first launched the car last year to where we are now, certainly it’s something where fans have a voice and we need to listen.
“There are many, many Gulf fans around the world. It’s not just individuals, it’s generations of Gulf fans and of course within the U.S. as well we have a number of supporters groups, if you like, and with increasing races in the U.S. we are excited about that too.”
You asked, we’ve answered… Watch: @LandoNorris unveil the limited edition Gulf x @McLarenF1 Monaco Grand Prix livery. This truly unique design celebrates our shared heritage in motorsport ahead of @F1’s most iconic GP. Bold is Back.#GulfXMcLaren pic.twitter.com/vHtwCbDwvX
— Gulf Oil International (@GulfOilIntl) May 17, 2021
Zak Brown admitted McLaren’s other partners are excited by the design, seeing the value in the approach that means more eyes will be on the car in Monaco.
“We obviously had to go to all of our partners to say we are doing this special livery and they all love it,” Brown said. “I think their brands really pop off the car, I think the car will get a tremendous amount of exposure and hopefully, it will be talked about not only for a great result, but for a great looking race car for many years.
“They see this as us continuing to innovate and trying to bring some continued excitement and fresh thinking to the sport. And I do think, given Gulf’s history, it’s an obvious partner to work on to create an iconic paint scheme.”