How Imola’s 2023 F1 race being cancelled impacted McLaren fitting its ‘Triple Crown’ livery


The British team will run a temporary colour scheme at the next two F1 races in Monaco and Spain, which incorporates the three livery designs of its cars that won the 1974 Indianapolis 500, the 1984 Monaco GP and the 1995 Le Mans 24 Hours.

It had faced a tight turnaround to change the vinyl wrapping that McLaren uses to add its livery to its chassis aerodynamic surfaces given the Imola event was set to be the first round of F1’s first triple header of the 2023 season.

Once the race in north-eastern Italy was cancelled, following what has been described as the worst flooding in the country in a century, teams were eventually allowed back into the paddock to retrieve their cars and equipment and send that on to Monaco for this weekend’s race.

McLaren had always planned to change its livery at a facility in Italy following the Imola event, but instead was able to get started a day earlier once the bodywork panels from MCL60s that Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri will use in Monaco and at Barcelona had been recovered from the Imola track.

The work also included changing the colours of the spare panels and wings the team had been planning to transport through the first part of the planned triple header.

When asked to explain how it had to adapt its plans for incorporating the new livery onto the MCL60s by Autosport, McLaren Racing COO Piers Thynne replied: “We were in full ‘delivery mode’ into the Imola event and it was a very tricky situation for everyone in that region.

“It is important that we just reflect on was it the right call? And it absolutely was the right call to cancel that event.

A view of the wet track

A view of the wet track

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

“Having been at the circuit on the Monday and Tuesday, by Tuesday afternoon it was untenable and I’m absolutely very pleased that the decision was made so that they could support the local people and the infrastructure to recover.

“We obviously then went into re-planning mode – because logistically we had people booked on to flights to come to the event.

“So, we had to work on adjusting the entry to the event first, but also we had to adjust how this project was going to be delivered.

“So, we were able to get back into the circuit on Friday morning to collapse our kit and equipment, and extract the right parts.

“And we made some adjustments there and then by Saturday we were into that project at an external facility. And so that project hadn’t due to be started until Sunday night.

“So, essentially we adjusted the logistics plan to start it on Saturday morning and it was done through Saturday night, Sunday, Sunday night and all the parts are complete now and in transit to Monaco.”

Thynne also explained that the ‘Triple Crown’ livery is had been under development at McLaren “for some time” and it follows the team running a special one-off livery as part of its deal with the Gulf Oil company that won favour with many F1 fans at the 2021 Monaco race.

McLaren MCL60 Triple Crown livery for Monaco GP

McLaren MCL60 Triple Crown livery for Monaco GP

Photo by: McLaren

“We are probably the forerunners of doing this kind of thing and certainly we’ve had some good results in the past from an engagement perspective,” Thynne added.

“The team who do it, obviously you’ve got the creative input which I think is absolutely fantastic and really does nod to all aspects of the Triple Crown.

“But we should just take a moment to acknowledge the actual physical challenge, because extracting ourselves from Imola under control in what was quite a difficult situation, and doing this piece of work to all of the stock, was quite a moving target over the last three or four days.

“So, definitely a shout-out to the guys who have done it in the field, and really looking forward to seeing it roll out of the garage later this week.”



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