McLaren is trying to make sure all of its racing teams’ efforts are instantly recognizable as being from the same umbrella heading into 2022, according to Zak Brown.
Friday night saw the team’s new Formula 1 car — the MCL36 — launched at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, with the event also including the unveiling of the IndyCar, Extreme E and McLaren Shadow Esports liveries. Felix Rosenqvist’s No. 7 IndyCar is even closer in terms of design to the F1 offering last year, and Brown admits he wants the whole team to have a clear identity.
“Yeah, we’re McLaren Racing and Formula 1 is clearly our center of gravity if you like,” Brown said. “But I think as a single racing entity if we can tie our racing programs together, the reason Pato’s (O’Ward) is different is you’re not allowed to have identical cars like in Formula 1.
“I think they both look fantastic, together with Extreme E and Esports, to be able to kook at them and go, ‘Yep, that’s a McLaren,’ regardless of what racing series you’re looking at.”
While the MCL36 livery looks to be a step towards the iconic Gulf design used in the Monaco Grand Prix last season, Brown insists it’s not a direct move towards that one sponsor as Gulf has not increased its commitment for 2022.
“We’ve been evolving our livery since we’ve gone back to papaya. We wanted something that was very vibrant, so we changed the shade of our papaya; it’s a darker blue, but the livery changes we did last year in Monaco and Abu Dhabi we got a lot of great fan reaction, that they like to see a lot of energy.
“I think it’s got some nice speeded elegance to it, that we thought would go on top of the fast race car that hopefully we’ve designed this year! So it’s a natural evolution and trying to make sure we give our corporate partners (a way) to stand out.”