McLaren-Honda drops the bling for stealth F1 livery

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Watch a Formula One grand prix and you can instantly tell which are the McLarens, visible as they are from a mile away with their reflective chrome livery. But that's all about to change as the British team has dropped the chrome in favor of the more subdued livery you see here.

Unveiled in time for this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix, the new McLaren livery replaces the bling with a gray so dark that it borders on black. The red accents remain, albeit in a revised pattern. The new livery promises to be less reflective at sunset and flood-lit night races especially, while providing more of a visual break from the Mercedes era now that the team is powered once again by Honda.

McLaren first adopted the silver and black livery in 1997 after Marlboro (with its white and red livery) left for Ferrari and the West tobacco brand was brought in instead. The team parted company with West after the ban on tobacco advertising in sports was instituted in Europe in 2005, inserted some red into the livery and replaced the flat silver with chrome. This weekend's race will mark the first time in a decade, then, that McLaren will be racing without the chrome.

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