McLaren could switch to 'Papaya' livery in 2018

Baku, October 20, AZERTAC

McLaren could paint its Formula 1 car in its historical ‘Papaya Orange’ colours next year, as it closes in on making a final decision about its 2018 livery, according to

The Woking-based team switched to a bright orange scheme this year, but there has been a push from fans for it to run the ‘Papaya’ version that Fernando Alonso used for his assault on the Indianapolis 500.

While a final call on colours will depend on the outcome of sponsor talks over the next few weeks, McLaren executive director Zak Brown says that a change to ‘Papaya’ is possible.

“We are starting to look at car designs now,” he said. “I think the fans want us to go to Papaya Orange for sure. When we did the IndyCar we had an overwhelming amount of 'Please make your F1 car like that'.

"We are waiting on a few sponsor decisions which also can dictate what a car looks like. I wouldn’t rule it out."

Brown said that the extent of orange on the car next year would rest on what sponsors arrive, but he said it was unlikely there would be the kind of total rebranding that Force India did this year when it turned pink for water sponsor BWT.

“We have all sorts of designs going on, but we need to see where we land on some of the sponsor activity and that will dictate a bit of that,” added Brown.

“We would like to keep some orange. We think it is part of our identity, especially moving forward. But we are a commercial entity. Pink might be a bit extreme though."

Brown has said he is optimistic that McLaren will add fresh sponsors in 2018, but he is doubtful about there being a title sponsor in the near future.

“We’ve got a lot of room on our car for partners,” he said. “I am very encouraged with the activity that we have and I would definitely anticipate some new partners coming on board next year.”

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