Will F1 2023 launch season ramp up with Williams x Gulf Oil partnership? : PlanetF1

The third car of the 2023 Formula 1 season will be unveiled today, but could Williams be in the process of revealing a Gulf Oil partnership?

Throughout the history of Formula 1, there have been a few iconic sponsors who have defined the drivers and the eras in which they raced. Ayrton Senna at Marlboro McLaren, Rothmans and Williams, Vodafone at McLaren, the list goes on and on, but an iconic brand could soon reappear on the Formula 1 grid.

Gulf Oil International has a history not only in F1, but in the wider world of motorsports with its famous blue and orange livery featured on many series and cars over the decades.

In 2021, they have teamed up with McLaren to produce a special livery for Monaco in the company’s traditional style, Gulf’s first appearance in a McLaren since the 1997 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The livery was an instant hit with fans and the two continued the partnership into 2020, but despite the overwhelmingly positive reaction, both parties announced it would be the end of their joint venture. The reason would soon become clear.

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Take to TwitterGulf teased an F1-related announcement and while it’s been 24 days since the tweet and the meaning of ‘soon’ has been stretched to the limit, today may finally be the day we find out what they were talking about.

Rumors of a potential partnership with Williams have been circulating for some time, with the latter appearing to confirm the case by placing a webpage on their official site before quickly taking it down, but there’s usually no smoke without fire.

Gulf is expected to enter the sport as title sponsor of the Grove-based team, which could see a big change in the team’s livery and is certainly a signal of intent from both Gulf and Williams.

With a new team principal in the experienced James Vowles at the helm and potential new funding from Gulf sponsorship, the future could look bright for a team that has so often found itself entrenched at the bottom of the table in recent years, and perhaps not surprisingly the American oil company has chosen to come on board during the season in which an American driver will be on the grid for the first time in 2015.

Logan Sargeant is set to partner Alex Albon for the 2023 season and although he hasn’t raced in F1 yet, he already has the expectations of a nation on his shoulders and a key to that.

Three races in the US, a US driver and potentially an American giant as a sponsor mean Williams looks to be in pole position to become America’s favorite team.

Livery concept courtesy of Shaurya Nayar. For more designs go to @shauryanayarart on Twitter

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