McLaren celebrates new Gulf partnership with bespoke 720S

McLaren’s in-house personalisation arm has designed a Gulf-inspired 720S to mark the oil firm’s return as a strategic partner for Woking’s Formula 1 team. 

McLaren and Gulf rekindled their partnership in July 2020. McLaren said the livery acts as a tribute to the Gulf design while emphasising the racing connection between the two brands that started with founder Bruce McLaren.

The partnership will also be recognised with the use of a one-off race livery for the Monaco Grand Prix on 23 May. The livery will feature on both MCL35M cars, the suits of Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo and the wider race team kit.

McLaren Special Operations (MSO) designed the 720S with a hand-painted exterior in traditional blue-and-orange Gulf livery. The design took 20 days to hand paint, with other nods to traditional Gulf colours, including orange brake calipers.

Blue and orange stitching features inside the car, with Gulf logos embroidered on the headrests and painted on the sills. The steering wheel also features an orange centre band to match the exterior stripe, and its carbonfibre centre section is painted a solid dark blue.

A limited number of McLaren customers will be able to have their 720S redesigned in Gulf livery. 

“This project is a showcase of MSO’s capabilities and echoes the recent full restoration of the McLaren F1 GTR 25R, a car raced in the 1990s,” said McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt. 

“The 720S in such an evocative livery and interior finish, created in close association with Gulf, which perfectly shows the potential for our customers to work with MSO’s skilled team to personalise their McLaren.” 

McLaren first partnered with Gulf from 1968 until 1973, with appearances in F1 and Can-Am. The partnership was rekindled in the 1990s with the GTC Competition team’s successful McLaren F1 GTRs, which picked up victories in the 1996 BPR Global Endurance Series and the GT1 Class at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1997.