The 2024 McLaren F1 livery has been revealed, long before the covers come off McLaren’s actual ’24 racecar. Here’s a closer look.

For the first time in a long while, there’s plenty of hype surrounding the potential success of the McLaren F1 team. At the tail end of 2023, the Woking-based outfit was arguably Red Bull’s closest challenger on pace, so every (non Red Bull-aligned) F1 fan is eager to see whether McLaren can keep that trajectory up. Adding to the buzz in this early part of the year, McLaren has shocked us all with a surprise 2024 livery reveal. Importantly though, the team’s actual 2024 car design remains firmly under wraps, suggesting that this year maybe they really do have something worth hiding for a little longer.

Only time will tell if the optimism translates onto the track, but for now, here’s an overview of the colors you can expect to see McLaren wearing in 2024.

McLaren F1 2024 livery rear

2024 McLaren F1 livery details

Unsurprisingly, the new 2024 McLaren F1 livery isn’t anything radically different to that of 2023. That said, there are certainly some changes to be aware of. For a start, the sky blue accents (which I quite enjoyed) have been axed in favor of more black. I’m sure there are branding explanations that McLaren would be happy to provide, but the reality is that more black in the livery means that they can run more pure carbon fiber and less paint – and that means less weight. It’s a trend which most F1 teams jumped on a few seasons ago, and it’s not something which I expect to change anytime soon.

McLaren F1 2024 livery head-on

Other differences include the finish of the driver numbers. This might seem like an almost irrelevant point, but driver numbers serve an important role of aiding fans at home and at the circuit to identify who they’re watching drive past. Unfortunately, both Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri appear set to wear chrome numbers on their cars, which in the renders at least, are a little more difficult to read than is necessary. Perhaps it’ll be different once they’re out in natural sunlight, rather than depicted as pixels on a screen.

Speaking of Pixel, Google is once again a prominent sponsor on the car, its wheel rims painted in the colors of the tech giant’s logo. This familiar little styling cue is quickly becoming one of the most ‘iconic’ elements of modern F1 liveries, and I’m not quite sure how I feel about that.

As mentioned earlier, it’s not worth trying to analyze the details of the aero, as this is not what the McLaren MCL38 will look like.

What can the team achieve this year?

As we all know, what the car looks like isn’t hardly as important as how it performs. So far, the outside world’s optimism is being mirrored by Zak Brown and Andrea Stella, the team’s two leading lights. However, that optimism is also tempered with a sense of caution. As worrying as it might be for all the other teams on the F1 grid, the reality is that Red Bull aren’t going to stand still. The question, therefore, is whether McLaren et al. can make enough of a leap to the point where Red Bull’s own gains don’t matter. To me, that seems like a tall order…