Media release

AkzoNobel sparks 2019 season into life for McLaren Formula 1 team

February 14, 2019

Exciting new racing talent is being fused with AkzoNobel’s latest color technology by the McLaren Formula 1 team, who today unveiled their new car livery for the 2019 season.

Young racing talents Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz will take charge of the dazzling MCL34, which features a fresh twist on the Papaya Spark design that debuted last year. Developed by AkzoNobel’s Sikkens brand, the coatings system offers numerous performance and sustainability benefits, all with significantly reduced emissions.

Scientists and technicians at McLaren and AkzoNobel have gone the extra mile ever since the partnership began. For the new season, they’ve worked together to develop new, technologically advanced coatings features designed to specially modify the surface characteristics. This will help to reduce drag and contaminant adhesion, as well as improve surface slip and durability – which should ultimately increase performance on and off the track.

“We’re really excited about the new system we’ve developed with the experts at McLaren,” says Peter Tomlinson, Director of AkzoNobel’s Automotive and Specialty Coatings business. “Both of us believe in the relentless pursuit of excellence and the technical teams have done an amazing job. The 2019 car looks fantastic and is a brilliant example of innovation in the fast lane.”

This season’s livery retains Papaya Spark as the primary color, but the blue is a slightly different shade. Known as Vega Blue, it’s an existing McLaren OEM (original equipment manufacturer) color.

The 2019 coatings system offers numerous performance and sustainability benefits, such as the latest UV curing primer technology, low film weight, a water-based color coat and super-fast clearcoat. Adds Simon Roberts, Chief Operating Officer at McLaren Racing: “The MCL34 once again looks brilliant in its distinctive Papaya Spark livery. Our work in the off-season with our trusted partner of ten years, AkzoNobel, has resulted in a significant 14% savings of Papaya Spark compared with last year’s livery. Together we are constantly looking to make marginal gains on and off the track and to challenge our teams to innovate and find new technical developments. I’m really pleased with this season’s result.”

Continues Tomlinson: “A lot of time has been spent on chasing even the most marginal gains. The teams focused in particular on further paint weight reduction and process improvements to increase the throughput of the paint shop between races.”

The 2019 driving line-up might be new, but AkzoNobel and McLaren have been working closely together since 2008, when the company’s premium Sikkens brand first became the official supplier of paint solutions to the McLaren F1 team.

The first Grand Prix of the new season will take place in Melbourne, Australia, on March 17.

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