Kurt Verlin
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McLaren Has Actually Done It—Their 2017 F1 Car is Orange!

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2017 McLaren Honda MCL32

I was going to wait until all of the 2017 Formula 1 cars were revealed to do a recap with all the photos, but after McLaren revealed its new MCL32 car this morning, I just couldn’t wait.

It’s orange.

Yes, I know, orange is just a color, but this is the first time since 1996 that the livery of a McLaren F1 car isn’t predominantly black or grey.

For fans, this is important for a few reasons. First, orange heralds of a time when McLaren Honda was actually good (unlike the last two seasons), and many hope that with orange will come competitiveness. Obviously liveries and engineering have nothing to do with each other, but we can always hope.

Second, McLaren’s decision to finally go orange—after declining to do so over the past two years despite the renewed partnership with Honda—is a sign of change at the company now that former CEO Ron Dennis has been kicked out.

I don’t want to make that seem like a wholly good thing: without Dennis, McLaren wouldn’t have anywhere near the prestige and history that it enjoys today, even outside of the sport. But the man was divisive, possibly tyrannical, and in more recent years probably a detriment to the Formula 1 team (not unlike Bernie Ecclestone, who also stepped down just a month ago).

With Dennis gone, McLaren may be entering a new era of increased open-mindedness, creativity, and—hopefully—renewed competitiveness. There’s no way to tell just yet, but pre-season testing will begin soon and give us a glimpse of what to expect.

In any case, the fans are excited, and so am I.