Williams have left the door open to a special one-off Gulf livery and Logan Sargeant said he supported the idea at the launch of their 2023 F1 car – the first after announcing their multi-year partnership with Gulf Oil.
Gulf have sponsored McLaren since July 2020 which peaked with their iconic livery design at the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix, but they’ve jumped ship to Williams ahead of the 2023 season.
Though that’s so far limited to decals on the nose and rear wing of the FW45, the partnership between two of the most iconic names in motorsport has fans dreaming of a more over-arching livery redesign.
“That’d be a pretty nice touch,” Sargeant told the press. “But we’ll have to wait and see, I think everyone wants to see it so we’ll see what happens.”
Gulf and Williams refuse to rule out special livery
Williams announced their partnership with Gulf at the same time as unveiling their 2023 F1 car, which sticks to the electric blue rebrand from 2022.
Gulf had been with McLaren for over two years, with their 2021 Monaco GP livery being the high point of the partnership. Lando Norris finished third in that race, one of five podium finishes for McLaren that season.
Gulf one of the most iconic motorsports, that started with the powder-blue Gulf Ford GT40s that competed at Le Mans in the 1960s and ’70s.
They first partnered with McLaren in the 1990s, lending their livery to the McLaren F1 competing in endurance racing.
Their return to McLaren exposed a whole new audience to their motorsport, so it was a surprise to some when they ended that partnership.
“Obviously we had a very successful three years with McLaren, and the standout of course was the Monaco livery,” Gulf CEO Mike Jones said. “But we felt that came to a natural conclusion and we’d done everything that we wanted to achieve.
“The Gulf logo is iconic, we are looking at different activations but we want them to be fan-centric and get the fans involved in terms of how we evolve that.
“So we’re still finalizing the plans which we’ll be launching very soon but I think what you’ll see is a lot of the Williams and Gulf coming together in all aspects right from Academy, e-sports, Formula 1 and across the whole different types of segments in Formula 1.”
It’s also cash boost for Williams whose cars have looked a little bare in recent years, and who have lost the backing that came with Nicholas Latifi, after he was axed at the end of 2022.
They said Williams Academy drivers would also sport Gulf branding, including FIA F3 drivers Zak O’Sullivan and Franco Colapinto, and that the partnership would extend to Williams‘ e-sports team too.
“I think we have agreed on a presence that we’ll run throughout the season,” Williams‘ Commercial Director James Bower said, “But we do have some exciting plans again based on the digitally-led fan engagement as we continue to be disruptive.”