Orange McLaren & Sauber in red and white


Liveries and colors are an important factor for viewers. Does something look good, at does not look good? Most of us remember when the first McLaren were painted in chrome (!!) Fans are already looking forward to the release of the first picture at the end of February.

Officially teams will be introducing their new cars, but we have come to expect teams do not show their latest technical developments so far ahead of the first start, since it would give the competition too much to copy good ideas.

In the seventies Lotus innovated the field once more with their epic John Player Special look. They wanted to optimise the promotional power of the sport, and the JPS look had quite an impact. It had so much impact Lotus-Renault (the team formed when Genii Capital bought Renault’s team) copied it 40 years down the line.

Before sponsoring took over F1, the colors of the cars where defined by the nationalities of teams and drivers.

Germany used white (Benz, Mercedes, BMW, Porsche Audi) or silver (Mercedes-Benz, Auto-Union, Porsche, Audi)

French cars were blue (Bugatti, Delage, Matra, Panhard, Alpine, Gordini, Peugeot, Ligier)

British teams were painting their cars green, hence british racing green (Jaguar, Lotus, Brabham, Bentley, Aston Martin, MG)

Naturally the Italians were more rosso (Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Abarth)

While Japan stuck to traditional white (Honda, Toyota, Super Aguri)

American teams went either with white or blue, or even stripes (Ford, Shelby, Chapparal, Chevrolet)

Since the 70’s FIA gave teams more freedom in their choice of color: the advent of “real” sponsorship.

Zak Brown, McLaren CEO’s wants to make their new cars orange

Obviously, this is a strange choice since orange is a color long associated with the Netherlands (non-believers, just check the Spyker 2007 livery). So why this choice? Bruce McLaren started McLaren Racing in 1966. Bruce was from New Zealand, in their racing colors were green/silver. However, Bruce wanted something to match Ferrari’s visual impact. Orange it became. Zak Brown only follows tradition!

Another team up for a color change is Sauber. Most of you might have mistaken the 2016 colors blue/yellow for Swedish Marcus Ericsson’s national colors. This is not the case. The colors are connected to Felipe Nasr’s sponsor, Banco do Brasil. Banco do Brasil ended sponsorship of Nasr, Sauber discontinued Nasr’s contract, so we will not see the distinctive blue/yellow on the car for 2017.

For the 2017 season, what colors might we find on the Saubers? It’s new owners, Longbow Finance, backers of driver Marcus Ericsson, seem to have roots everywhere, but a little digging revealed it seems to have origins in.. Switzerland. Longbow’s CEO Raymond Baer is also of Swiss nationality. It seems that Swiss based Sauber didn’t have to look (geographically) far for a new owner.

Apart from any new sponsor obligations, TJ13 estimates Swiss Sauber and Swiss owners would want the Swiss racing colors on the cars in 2017. Will we see the characteristic red, white and Swiss cross on the car? We are few weeks away from the reveal of the 2017 car and colors!

4 responses to “Orange McLaren & Sauber in red and white

  1. I think I would settle on a orange/black McLaren. Hondas colours of Blue/Red/White for their LeMans cars a few years back would be very patriotic but a little over the top for F1. My vote Orange/Black.

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