The Monaco Grand Prix is always a highlight of the Formula 1 season, but the 2021 edition of this prestigious race will live long in the memory for McLaren. Our special, one-off livery celebrating our historic partnership with Gulf Oil International was the talk of the paddock – and pretty much the whole motorsport world come to think of it – and the weekend was topped off with a fine podium for the team.
Here’s what social media made of an unforgettable few days on the French Riviera…
Monaco is renowned for being one of the most stylish and glamourous places on Earth and, with our retro, Gulf-inspired livery, overalls and helmets, we’re pretty confident we looked the part.
We even asked fans to get in on the act with our #GulfLiveryChallenge, which saw loads of you transform household items with splashes of Gulf Racing blue and orange. There have been so many amazing creations, but we really do have a soft spot for the McLaren Gulf Hero Bear. Just look at this little guy! If you looked up ‘cute’ in the dictionary, you’d find a picture of him.
Our friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man swung by the garage on Saturday.
The question is, was Lando behind the wheel of the no.4 MCL35M for qualifying or was it Tom?
Either way, a lap of 1m10.601s was just 0.274s shy of pole and enough for P5: the team’s best qualifying position in Monaco since Lewis Hamilton qualified fourth here in 2012. Of the lap, Lando, who was a little lost for words, said: “Umm…that was awesome…one of the best laps I’ve done in Formula 1.”
Dogs have a sixth sense for things and, when the news that poleman Charles Leclerc wouldn’t start the race filtered through, @McLarenDoggo immediately sniffed a podium:
Dogs also look great in Gulf colours. Who knew?
Having maintained fourth place right from the start of the race, Lando’s pace was strong and he traded fastest laps with the frontrunners:
A sticking front-right wheel nut put paid to Valtteri Bottas’ race on lap 29 and promoted Lando to a podium position:
However, with 20 laps remaining, Sergio Pérez was hunting him down on tyres that were five laps younger than Lando’s.
Lando’s race engineer, Will Joseph, asked for “full concentration mode”, which apparently looks like this…
…and is essential if you want to do this at Turn 15, just like Daniel:
Some even thought Lando’s chance of a podium was gone:
But many fans were doing everything they could to will Lando onto the podium, and thanks to @SoniaRomero we even had Lucifer covered:
There wasn’t just a collective will to see Lando bag a Monaco podium. People wanted to see him and former McLaren team-mate Carlos Sainz together on the rostrum for the first time.
Reunions aside, it’s safe to say that, like many of you, @AndyWebbDJ was pretty happy with the outcome of the race:
Perhaps even more than Lando:
Nestled between France’s Maritime Alps and the Mediterranean Sea, Monaco is not short of stunning views but this weekend there was none better than Lando on the podium.
Let it all sink in…
After a challenging weekend for Daniel, we can confirm this hug was awesome but a little scratchy. Honey badgers have claws!
You know what they say: form is temporary, class is permanent.
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