The off-season is often a haven for rather absurd rumours when the flow of news slows down in Formula 1 land, and McLaren was quick to reject one doing the rounds that it would abandon its traditional chrome livery for the 2011 season.
Reports had drawn a rather tenuous link between the team’s launch of largely black and red team clothing for the 2011 season and rumours that the Woking squad was wanting to differentiate itself from its former works engine partner Mercedes, which now operates its own team using a similarly grey paint scheme.
Mercedes GP has been quick to reclaim the ‘Silver Arrows’ moniker as a throwback to its heyday in the early F1 era when the nickname was associated with the silver Mercedes-Benz works cars piloted by the likes of Juan Manuel Fangio, Stirling Moss and Hans Herrmann.
McLaren assumed the nickname when it secured sponsorship from West cigarettes, two years after it had lined up its Mercedes-Benz engines engine supply deal.
Despite the European ban on tobacco advertising – and West departing McLaren’s list of corporate donors – in 2005, the team has continued to use the distinctive undercoat.
There had been suggestions that the 2011 cars would run with a black livery, but that was quickly quashed by the team through its social media channels.
“Black livery? Er, no,” the team wrote via its official Twitter feed, TheFifthDriver.
“[We will run] the same Rocket Red and chrome finish that you’ve grown to love since Vodafone McLaren Mercedes was born in 2007,” they added.
[Original image via The Cahier Archive]