F1: McLaren livery may change before Australia

Side view of the new McLaren Honda MP4-30.

Steven Tee

After rumors that the car would be black, McLaren’s silver/grey livery caused something of a stir on Thursday with many observers surprised that the team opted for colors that were so closely connected with the team’s partnership with Mercedes from 1997 to 2014.

The team noted that the MP4-30 “features an evolved color scheme that firmly contextualises McLaren’s brand in the 21st century.” At first glance it would appear that Ron Dennis is convinced that the world associates the current livery with McLaren as a team, and not Mercedes, even if others in the camp may believe differently.

However, while the team has not stated that what we saw today is an interim or testing livery, the car could yet look different by the first race in Melbourne – and at the very least the option still exists to change.

It’s worth noting too that while Santander remains on the team’s website it did not feature on the car or drivers today. Apparently negotiations are still ongoing, and the death last September of the company’s former boss and huge F1/Alonso fan Emilio Boton may have complicated matters. Intriguingly, Jenson Button Tweeted recently that he was filming a Santander commercial.

It remains to be seen whether a new deal with Santander or perhaps another yet-to-be-announced sponsor means that what we saw Thursday is a temporary livery that was a quick and easy solution for the launch.

It's here! The new McLaren MP4-30 is unveiled

It was certainly one that will match the transporters and so on that will be in the paddock at the three upcoming tests in Spain. If there is a late change of car livery before Australia then there is plenty of time to repaint the transporters before they are next seen again at the Spanish GP in May.

Meanwhile, a pre-Melbourne reveal of an all-new livery would be a second bite of the PR cherry for both the team and Honda.