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Why F1 fans didn’t get desired Gulf livery



Williams F1 Gulf livery

The inclusion of the Gulf logo on an otherwise familiar Williams Formula 1 livery is likely to disappoint fans who were hoping for the revival of a traditional color scheme.

On Monday, Williams declared a new “long-term partnership” with Gulf. The agreement includes some on-car branding, such as logos, and an involvement with the Williams driver academy and esports team.

The partnership with Gulf had been speculated for a few weeks and appeared to be inadvertently confirmed ahead of the launch on Monday due to an error where a partner page on the Williams website was made live prematurely.

This error sparked hopes that Williams would incorporate Gulf’s iconic blue-and-orange hues into its 2023 car livery, especially since the team has a history of reviving traditional sponsors, such as when it used the Martini colors from 2014 to 2018.

Gulf is a highly recognizable sponsor in motorsports, having emerged in the 1960s and 1970s in endurance racing. It was associated with iconic vehicles such as Ford’s GT40 and Porsche’s 917, which raced in Gulf’s colors at events like Le Mans and Daytona 24 Hours, as well as in F1 and US racing series with McLaren.

Gulf’s recent visibility was mainly confined to sportscar racing until it rejoined forces with McLaren in 2021 with a two-year “strategic partnership” that included McLaren racing in the iconic Gulf livery at the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix.


However, that was an exceptional case, and the situation at Williams is similar in being visually understated. Gulf’s logos are part of a livery that is almost identical to last year’s, and according to Williams, this is a “presence that will remain throughout the entire season.”

The new Williams appearance introduced last year was meant to establish a long-term identity for the team during its era under Dorilton ownership, hence why it has been retained.

Neither Williams nor Gulf have been forthcoming on the possibility of a special livery like McLaren’s being used at a later date. Gulf’s CEO, Mike Jones, maintains that the Gulf logo itself is “iconic” and “easily recognizable.”

Both parties have hinted that there may be a chance for something “innovative,” but the focus has been on this being the unveiling of the major elements of the partnership, rather than the full extent of it.

Jones stated that any future endeavors must surpass previous efforts.

Jones stated that they have a lot of supporters around the world from the Gulf region, and they frequently receive requests for their distinctive livery. The goal is to make their livery truly remarkable and unparalleled.

“We are introducing several fan-focused activation initiatives as we believe that Gulf is a popular choice among fans and we want to involve them in our journey.”


“We are focusing on launching various fan engagement initiatives, as we believe Gulf is a popular brand among fans and we want them to be involved. We are exploring various options within the Formula 1 community and will announce our plans soon.”

The Gulf partnership with Williams does not include a title sponsorship, a position that has been vacant since the team’s split with ROKiT in 2020. The separation resulted in a $35 million award for Williams, covering unpaid debts and damages.

Since acquiring Williams, Dorilton has not pursued a title sponsor, resulting in limited external branding on the team’s cars, aside from its owner and former driver Nicholas Latifi’s main sponsors.

Williams’ efforts to rise from the bottom of the standings are likely to impact its commercial appeal. However, the branding choices are also being positioned as a calculated effort to highlight the team’s heritage and boost its marketing efforts.

According to James Bower, the commercial director of Williams, “The most important aspect for me is to showcase the performance of the brand.”

According to Formula 1’s metrics and those used by several other teams, Williams is currently ranked as the fifth most popular team in the sport.

Williams is one of only three teams that have maintained the same brand and been consistently participating in the sport for over 40 years.


A significant part of the role is to highlight this legacy. Furthermore, to secure partnerships with world-class brands like Gulf that are sustainable in the long run.

This is a component of a long-term strategy and the focus is shifting away from short-term thinking. The objective is to build a more robust portfolio of commercial partners over a longer period.

Read also – Williams F1 Racing 2023 – A Long To-Do List Ahead

Read also – Williams F1 Racing has revealed its 2023 livery

Williams F1 Gulf livery Williams F1 Gulf livery Williams F1 Gulf livery

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