McLaren change car's colour scheme for first time since 1997

New McLaren livery
The team describes the new livery as 'a dynamic, predatory graphite-grey colouration'
By Andrew Benson, Chief F1 writer
Spanish Grand Prix
Venue: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya Dates: 8-10 May
BBC coverage details here

McLaren have unveiled the first fundamentally new colour scheme on their Formula 1 car for 18 years.

The team have ditched the predominantly silver livery they have sported since 1997 in favour of graphite grey, with day-glo orange highlights.

It is only the second major change of colour scheme for the team since 1974.

A spokesman described the new design as "a dynamic, predatory graphite-grey colouration, complemented by McLaren day-glow 'speedmarks' and key lines".

He added that the idea was to "optimise (the car) not only for bright sunshine but also for floodlights used in twilight and night races".

The livery will make its first appearance at this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix.

New McLaren livery
McLaren chairman Ron Dennis hinted at a change of livery during pre-season testing

The team hope for a step forward in performance at the Circuit De Barcelona-Catalunya, following a troubled start to the season in which they have begun a new engine partnership with Honda.

McLaren have failed to score any points so far and have only once managed to get a car through the first knock-out part of qualifying.

The team have upgrades on both chassis and engine for this weekend's race.

Racing director Eric Boullier said: "We know that one fix or upgrade won't provide a significant upturn in performance, so we're united in our continued efforts to bring further gains to both chassis and power unit, in terms of both reliability and outright performance, step by step."

McLaren liveries down the years

Bruce McLaren sits on a wheel of the M14A in 1970
While team founder Bruce McLaren's first F1 car - the M2B of 1966 - was predominantly white, a papaya orange livery came in for 1967
Emerson Fittipaldi contests the 1974 British Grand Prix for McLaren
By 1974, sponsorship deals dictated the livery as McLaren adopted a red-and-white colour scheme
Mika Hakkinen drives through a gravel trap
The red-and-white paint job stayed until 1997, when McLaren's cars first turned silver

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