McLaren MCL32, 2017

Pictures: McLaren reveal new car and orange livery

2017 F1 cars

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The first pictures of the new McLaren MCL32 for 2017 have been revealed.

The team unveiled their car for the first time at the McLaren Thought Leadership Centre in Woking.

Compare the 2017 McLaren with last year’s car
McLaren say their new racer “follows in the evolutionary footsteps of its two immediate predecessors, MP4-30 and MP4-31, but it has been overhauled in every area as the design team has looked to capitalise on a series of new aerodynamic regulations introduced for 2017.”

They describe the MCL32 as “an extremely elegant but aggressive-looking race car, fitted with Honda’s latest-generation power unit, the RA617H, which has been thoroughly revised by the company’s team of talented engineers.”

The car’s livery marks a departure from the black designs used for the past two seasons and a return to McLaren’s heritage orange colouring.

McLaren’s executive director Zak Brown explained this was in response to demands from the team’s supporters. “We went through a variety of designs and ultimately it was in response to fans,” he said. “We’ve had so much outreach from the fans, ‘we want to have some orange’.”

McLaren has gone four seasons without winning a race and Brown stopped short of saying this will be the car that ends their drought.

“We’re going to get there,” he said. “This team’s highly frustrated that we’re not winning races. We’ve got a new package and with these things it takes a little bit of time.”

“2015 was obviously a very difficult year, ’16 wasn’t a great year by McLaren standards but it was forward progress. And I think that’s what we want to see in 2016 is that forward progress and once we get there we’ll be pretty hard to knock back down.”

McLaren MCL32 launch video

Previous McLaren F1 cars

Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren-Honda MP4-29H/1X1, Yas Marina, 2014
McLaren-Honda MP4-29H/1X1: Early Honda test hack

2017 F1 cars

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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199 comments on “Pictures: McLaren reveal new car and orange livery”

  1. Ooh…I think I just peed a little. But in all seriously, it looks like the Virgin car from 2010.

    1. More like the 2007 Spyker!

      1. In the presentation, it looked like the Virgin for sure, but it looks more like the Spyker in the studio photos.

    2. @mashiat I’d say it’s a 2010 Virgin with a 2002 Arrows colour scheme

      1. Indeed! And I like this colour scheme.
        Hmmmz, orange Arrows… Jos Verstappen was once a F1 driver at Arrows. Is McLaren trying to lure Max Verstappen? ;-)

    3. No no no! It IS a McLaren – the 1996 McLaren F1 GTR! I love this colour scheme on a McLaren:

      The livery desing is BRILLIANT. It’s the first one to actually make the shark fin look cool and aggressive.

        1. That spyker had a better tone of orange for my taste… If only they had copied that fake MCL32…

          1. The orange McLaren have used is the McLaren Orange though

        2. @asanator Except that there’s no sense of direction as to how the orange had been layed out on the black in this car. The design is terrible. Also, it that car is so ugly that all other considerations seem pointless.

          1. @damon LOL, you have to admit that there are striking similarities. It wasn’t a comment about the cars design or performance, just it’s colour scheme.

          2. The fact that the same 2 colours have been used doesn’t even remotely mean the liveries are alike. That’s like saying the Ferrari looks like the 1988 Marlboro McLaren because it also uses red and white. It doesn’t.
            I totally get your point, mate, but I think it’s only based on orange+black not being a popular pair of colours.

    4. the drivers are photoshopped in…badly

  2. Virgin Racing McLaren Honda.

    1. My very first thought! would have liked to see the orange more dominant!

      1. Dear McLaren, please make it all orange. Pretty please. Fans didn’t want to see “some orange”. The car doesn’t look bad, but the livery is quite disappointing.

        1. Speak for yourself. This fan thinks all orange would look boring.

          1. He’s speaking for me too. But, black is the new stealth launch colour.

  3. It looks good, but maybe it would have looked better had it been all orange with a bit of black or white. Moreover, it looks more red than orange, I was hoping for the papaya orange from their 2006 car.

    1. A lot of that is about the light @mashiat, I think we might see the brighter colour better when it gets out on track.

    2. I think the black was added to obscure some important bits of aero.

  4. Oh dear… A few things…

    Is this the world council of 2057?
    Is this a Manor, Virgin, HAAS, or McLaren car?
    Where are the drivers?

    The whole reveal looked very odd and clinical…
    Bye bye Ron, Bye Bye McLaren.

    1. ha ha world council 2057….just spat my coffee over my computer.

    2. Oh dear indeed.

      Of all the options, of all the colour combinations, they seriously chose this? And they think it looks good? It’s like they couldn’t decide on a colour to use or how to apply it, so they just stuck different bits on and hoped it looks good.

      Take me out of the oven, because I am done.

    3. Yes, disappointing! usually the drivers are there to unveil the car.

      1. LOL! “@boli” I think this is what they were going for..

  5. Looks interesting. Lets see how well that Honda PU works.

  6. The Front wing struts leading into the other elements looks crazy, and the bargeboards are looking good too.

    Seriously needs sponsors though, and the racesuits aren’t orange enough

  7. Ok, disapointing livery… Looks lika a Marussia or a Virgin… But that doesn’t matter!

    Sidepods don’t look very sculpted, but the air intakes look really small! Even the one above the driver’s head. Maybe they don’t need that much cooling with this new engine.

    The rear is covered so, no opinion…. I like the front, and I like that they created shark gills to go with the fin! :D

    1. @gordess they appear to be small intakes, but some pictures are giving me a different idea.

      Lets check if someone is seeing the same as I do, because it is a very weird design approach, if my eyes aren’t playing tricks on me

      in this pictures:

      the bottom of the air intake in the sidepod appears to end in the floor, it doesn’t meet the body work in the cockpit, in other words, the entry is shaped like the letter P, that is a big big opening. Or am I seeing things

      it appears to be the same in this one:

      Black on black doesn’t help, but I can’t look at it without seeing it that way. Am I the only?

      The car overall looks very simple, but there are already differences between the car in the presentation and the studio pictures. I’m therefore expecting some changes until the first test.

      1. You know what, @johnmilk, I think you might be on to something… it does look like the letter P! Good catch! And it’s great seeing them doing something different.

        I think with these new regulations we are seeing a lot of different solutions, specially in the area in front of the sidepods and the sidepods themselves! And I think diversity is always a great thing! Now let’s just hope that all these solutions work so we can have great racing this year!

        1. Ok, got it @gordess

          there is this odd diagonal light reflection where the bottom of the air intake meets the body work that is giving me that sense of the opening.

          I was seeing this: /

          But once I saw this :

          I understood what my brain was doing (fatigue from seeing all this car launches)

          you are right @bascb, just normal intakes

          1. Hmm.. not really convinced! Still think you might be right about the “P” intake @johnmilk

          2. was @keithcollantine there? maybe he can shed some light

            I want to be right (just because it would be a very different feature), but after that one picture I don’t think I’m. But those really are some odd reflections, and the shape on the sidepod gave me even more the impression of the opening.

      2. What you see is the front part o the bargeboard that is merged into the side of the nose (where Mercedes has its “whiskers”) to form a tunnel like form, not the lower part of the side pod.

        1. that is what I thought at first @bascb, it has to be the bargeboards, but they are clearly in front of the sidepod, I do see the tunnel that you mention (where the johnnie walkers letters are). I’m telling you I cannot look at it without seeing that opening, and I’m trying to.

          especially in this one:

          I have an headache already

          1. pretty sure that is a panel / access opening below the sidepod.

          2. don’t think there is a panel there, at least not on the place where I was seeing things, like I said above the light reflections gave me that false perspective.

            funny thing is, now that I think I saw, I still struggle no to see the opening ahah. Lets chug down a bit more caffeine, that’s where the problem is, I’m running low

        2. I have the feeling this is one of those blue/gold dress kind of thing and I am seeing the wrong color

    2. +1 for shark gills, that’s great name for them.

      So far it has all the trademarks of a Peter Prodromou car, very elaborate front wing and a fair bit of rake. Unfortunately the rest of the car doesn’t look as far along in development as the Mercedes or Ferrari, as you say the side pod openings look big and not very sculpted.

      1. Are you mad? The side pod openings look tiny!

        We also have to remember that this is a press release car not necessarily the one that will race. I would expect other elements to be hidden for the press releases (ie floor holes, diffuser and other complex aero detailing)

        1. Sorry, didn’t really mean opening more front on silhouette. They seem to be wider and with less of an undercut than others.

  8. Yes, Mclaren, you gave us orange. But that’s a ridiculous livery. For a team that gloats perfection, hiring a competent graphic designer shouldn’t be too hard.

    What a horrible mess of a livery.

    1. Agreed, it’s a pretty shockng piece of design. That upward swoop onto the sharkfin nearly ruins the whole thing, doesn’t work with the lines of the car at all

      1. piece of design? where? i don’t see any design at all.

    2. I’m hoping it’s just test livery

    3. Pretty much everything is wrong. The shade of orange used is just disgusting. The shapes are unimaginative, dull and cheap. This was not done by a graphics designer. I just don’t believe it. I could have done better in mspaint in an hour. What a travesty.

    4. It’s disgusting isn’t it. What a mess. I’ve seen so many concepts over the past year, some amazing, some not so good, but almost all of them better than this mess

    5. WHAT?! The livery design is FANTASTIC! It flows so beautifully and adds to the shape of the car, even making the shark fin look fantastic.
      Just look e.g. at the white streak on the sidepods – this is a genius idea by someone who has a high level awareness of geometry and aesthetics. Very subtle, but does so much for that particular part of the car.

      BRILLIANT! I’m in awe!

      1. I think you are the only one here who likes it, but you’re so enthusiastic I’m starting to think it’s just sarcasm. It would look much better with orange sidepods and the white streak should be black.

        1. @maroonjack
          The design is awesome because it uses very simple shapes – there are basically just 2 curves (!):
          – the first one integrates the shark fin, making it spikey and agressive
          – the other one goes along the entire body, emphasizing the curvature of the nose, also creating an illusion of more weight pushed to the front of the car as if the rear tyres worked as powerful legs pushing the car forward (compare it to a jumping car – e.g. Puma logo).

          The white stripe is placed in the concavity of the sidepods regulating its shape but also making them look stronger (because of using a lighter colour on a black background). Although you should perceive it a bit differently, because there’s white under the entire orange region as well, right? The white sidepod stripe, therefore, just adds to the white that’s hidden beneath the orange. You can almost see the sidepods in fact being white with the black melting onto the white.
          And it’s all basically made with just 4 swipes of the brush! BRILLIANT!

          1. Those simple shapes are basically what every person would draw on the car on first attempt. If you asked a person to draw a line on an f1 car 60% would draw it like on the mclaren. The rest 40% would draw a straight line on the center of the car from the front to the rear. It is this extremely basic tribalistic shape that is everywhere. There is absolutely nothing special at all about it following the curves of the car. That kind of stripe is done trillion times in F1. It is a cheap trick when you can’t afford to pay a graphics designer. It is a backmarker design by design.

            The white shape is nothing more than boring stripe. It is only used to create contrast between the disgusting orange and dull black. It is not used because it improves it. It is used because without the car would look brown. The color between black and that orange? Brown. Especially in motion. Instead of creating a unique shape the white color is just used to divide the colors.

            And that white patch on the sidepod? Looks to me as some kind of patch that is removed when the car goes out on the track. It looks too angular and badly drawn to be part of the livery.

            The absolute worst thing about the livery is the use of black color. Just too much black. The car should have been orange with white and black highlights. It could have been more true to the original mclaren livery and it would have looked better. If you go look at the old orange mclarens, the only black parts in the M7A for example were the exposed engine, the tires and the wheels. Otherwise it was bright orange with white number plates. The cars after that added more white to the design. This is the most dull version of the historic orange one could think of. This fake art orange tribalistic mess is imho almost an insult towards the original clear bright orange design. Top it off by making the dull black matte. Why? Because for whatever reason everybody is making their f1 cars matte. Again the lack of originality shows here. A bright metallic black could have saved this a bit but no…

            The worst part is that the color combination of orange, white and black could create an amazing looking livery. It could be colorful, aggressive and beautiful. All that we want in F1 (?) instead of these matte black designs. This design reeks of amateur hour design where even the sponsor stickers don’t match neither the contours of the car or livery. To top it off the driver suits barely use the same colors!

            Anyways I challenge you to go to google/bing/yahoo/instagram wherever and find orange mclaren that looks worse. I’m not telling you your opinion is wrong. But I can’t agree with your assesment.

          2. And to top it off it looks like marussia in day light.

      2. No McLaren F1 car is a better looking overall package than the 1989 car. Period.

      3. Hahaha you think this is brilliant and the Ferrari ugly?

      4. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
        25th February 2017, 2:40

        Mate why are you so OTT about this livery? It is pants.

        1. He’s baiting you. He’s posting both love and hate on this page. Just happy to be involved I’d say :)

    6. Exactly, be bold with the orange! Let it envelop the car and ditch the white bits entirely. Make it orange with black sponsor logos and leave it like that. It will look great.

  9. The rendered photographs look a lot more orange than it does on the feed – if it’s that colour on track that’d be better. As it stands it looks a bit too red? Like a McVirgin Honda.

    Front wing looks really interesting, but as a whole it seems a lot less complicated than the Mercedes or the Ferrari. Whether that’s a good thing or not I guess we’ll see.

    1. Didn’t Spyker have that problem with their first shade of orange. It looked so red on some cameras and TV cameras that they were often mistaken for being Ferrari.

  10. Alonso NEEDS to change his helmet color. His light blue helmet will look hideous in this car in my opinion.

    1. spafrancorchamps
      24th February 2017, 12:18

      It looked hideous anyway imo.

    2. I disagree. The driver can’t look like he’s part of the advertisment that determines the colour scheme. He has to appear as an independent unit that sits in the car, rather than being part of it.

      1. @damon Doesn’t mean that I wanna see a blue helmeted orange car. And anyways, drivers do it all the time. Alonso did it in 2007 and 2009.

        1. I have to agree with Damon here, I’m no fan of helmets matching car liveries. I like when they stand out . Alonso’s blue helmet colours aren’t supposed to match the orange colours anyway. It would be the same to complain about Senna’s yellow helmet on a red and white Mclaren….nonsense.


    The detailing on this is seriously basic. BASIC. The race spec better be a step up or it’s another year pootling around at the back for this lot.

    1. So far, it looks like it has the level of innovation and detailing as a Sauber. I’m sure there would be new bits in testing, but overall, the chassis design and aero really isn’t exploiting the rules as well as Mercedes, Ferrari and I’m sure, Red Bull are.

      To be honest it looks like a Spyker or a Marrusia… and just like a Spyker or Marrusia, I expect them to be battling at the back of the grid just as they did 2 years ago.

  12. oh no no no McLaren.. *sighs*
    Car itself looks great.. Livery is such a disappointment.. under those lights at least :\

    They’ve even gone away with the McLaren logo anywhere on the car?
    More Honda McLaren than McLaren Honda?

    1. Look at it again. The McLaren logo thing is all over it!

      1. so small on the tip of the nose and McLaren on the rear wing?
        or am I being stupid here haha!?

        1. Look at it from the top view, the whole front of the car (yes, part is not there but …) and from the side the edges of the black are formed by orange patches that mimick the logo

          1. And from the top, the mirror are McLaren logo’s too @bascb,@nemo87

  13. spafrancorchamps
    24th February 2017, 11:03

    Whoever designed this livery should be fired immediately! Yuk!

    1. Whoever designed this livery should be given an award for the best Formula 1 livery IN YEARS.

      1. Ok, that’s definitely sarcasm. My bad, I misjudged you.

        1. @maroonjack Not, it is NOT. I sincerely LOVE this design. It is brilliant. And I can’t believe how people fail to see it :(

  14. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    24th February 2017, 11:05

    The studio pics make it look better – the lighting at the launch makes the orange look too dark. A cool car: I can’t wait to see what Vandoorne can produce off the blocks…

    1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      24th February 2017, 12:49

      I usually go with the crowds when it comes to car aesthetics. I think the most beautiful car of all time is Mk. II Jaguar E-Type. My favourite F1 car in terms of looks is either the McLaren MP4/5B or the Williams FW14B (I’ve never been able to decide). Staggeringly unoriginal choices.

      So why do I disagree with so many of you guys on the 2017 cars? Inasmuch as I wasn’t fussed my the bloated and boatish W08, I think this McLaren, and its livery, is a triumph. They haven’t overdone the orange, nor have they been bashful, and it looks great with the white separating out the black spaces. I also think the Ferrari that so sharply divided opinion, has earned a place as a modern classic of Grand Prix aesthetics; I adore it. What is wrong with me?

      1. Lol for me the Merc wins in the appearance department again, as I have felt that for a handful of years now, but overall I think all the new cars are an improvement over the previous format, and I think they’ll all look awesome once racing in anger.

  15. Is it just me, or does the car lack the sort of uniqueness and detail that the Mercedes and Ferrari have?

    1. Not just you..

      1. @mashiat indeed! except for that edgy bodywork in front of the side pods, the whole seems quite basic:

        In the meantime, more wings and flaps does not imply more performance automatically I guess.
        Could they be sandbagging?

        Also, livery is too much Marussia-like. But its not a beauty contest :)

    2. Agree. The first thought that came to mind was about how much bs comes out of the Mclaren pr department. They were apparently taking risks and introducing ‘surprise features’ and novel ideas…but if you look at the car, it looks like the least detailed, least innovative and absolutely mediocre from every angle of development and aesthetics

  16. The car, especially the nose attachement to the main wingplate looks very intreguing. The lines and general look of the car is beautifull imho but the livery itself could have been better. The orange looks a bit red in the studio lights, but I think it will look better on track.

    1. Also, the nose-proper seems to be curved around the edges wich makes it less ‘lego-like’ than cars from previous years.

    2. The front end has piqued my interest too! It flows nicely and and I like the fact they didn’t incorporate the ‘angular’ nose that featured on last year’s car. I’m a Mercedes fan but I’m pulling for these guys to get back to respectability. Let’s hope the MCL32 helps them achieve that.

    3. @jeffreyj a similar approach was made in the rear wing, it is a very peculiar design, quite interesting to see.

      The studio car is different from the one on the presentation. The studio one has a S-duct

      I can’t get my head around the sidepods, black backgrounds should be forbidden! But they don’t seem to be as sculpted as the other cars. The airbox seem to be smaller too, so maybe the design of the Honda engine has specific requirements for cooling, and that had an influence of both of those features

      And like @nemo87 says above, where is their logo?

  17. Front wing looks pretty interesting. Other than that it’s a complete mess – a fitting theme for this team.

  18. It’s orange, the internet is officially going to wet itself. Though from the launch pictures it looks like they will have the same problem Spyker had when they launched their initially very orange car…orange tends to look red on camera.

    The front wing pylons and the rear wing endplates look crazy, really nice work from McLaren. Whether the MCL32 will be any good still largely hangs on how much Honda have been able to prove their PU…

    1. I think it’s hopefull that they managed to shrink the side pod openings @geemac, and I agree on the detail of the FW pilons and the rear wing.

      Yeah, orange is a hard colour to get to look right on different levels of light and lenses. Makes me curious to see what it will look like once we see it out on track too.

    2. Agree about how it looked during launch. My first thoughts were that I’ve tuned in to an old Marrussia launch.

      Honestly, it’s ironic that they unveiled a car that looks exactly like another backmarker…. Coz that’s exactly where I expect to see them all season long

  19. McLaren fans must be the toughest people in the world to please. People wanted Orange, it has Orange. Give it a chance. I, for one McLaren fan, will be positive and say lets see what they can do on the track. Who cares what it looks like as long as it is a step forward from last year, and it gives others on the grid a run for the money.

    I’m in F1 for the entertainment as a fan of the sport. Im a McLaren fan. Lets all wave the flag a little bit for the team and get behind them.

    1. Indeed. The only thing I really care is the Honda PU performance. The car could be pink (actually I’d love a pink car!) and look like a brick, if it ends on the top step, I’ll be happy!

  20. Designer: “Ok livery almost done…looks a bit messy already – oh I got it!

    1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      24th February 2017, 11:55


    2. This white patch of white is one of the most intelligent patches I have ever seen on a racing car! This is some high level art right there, guys.

      I’m in a shock and total disbelief that none of you gets it… O_o

  21. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
    24th February 2017, 11:14

    Spyker reincarnated

  22. Marvellous. I do like that. The gills on the front/rear wing are interesting, not seen anyone else do that.

  23. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
    24th February 2017, 11:15

    I’m gutted because I don’t like it. It’s a tacky use of the colours and doesn’t capture Mclaren’s identity at all. Like others have said it’s just like the Manor’s of a couple of years ago. Orange and black should look so good as well.

  24. I love the shape. The front wing looks bonkers and are those sidepods at an odd angle? The livery could be much better though, especially given the worrying lack of sponsorship. Orange is a great colour to use on cars, but on this occasion they haven’t done anything great with it.

    1. yeah, the sidepods look angled slightly inwards. Weird.

  25. Tommy Scragend
    24th February 2017, 11:16

    Do I not like orange. Well not done like this, anyway. Looks awful under the lights, and even the orange in the renders is too deep a colour.

    Would also have preferred orange & white rather than orange & black. I won’t lose any sleep over it but seriously, where have all the graphic designers gone?

  26. Ugly!!! Serious guys??? looks like an Arrows…..holly god!!!