The new McLaren MP4-29, set to be revealed this coming Friday, will not see the return of the orange livery, according to an Italian media report.
Following the end of a partnership with title sponsor Vodafone and now becoming just a customer of German carmaker Mercedes it was hoped by some the Woking team would revert to its traditional race colour for 2014.
“I really like the idea (of an orange livery),” Martin Whitmarsh said last year.
“If we’re lucky enough to find a sponsor who likes orange, you could see that colour again in Formula One,” he added.
However, recent changes at the top of the company, which has seen Ron Dennis return as CEO in place of Martin Whitmarsh, as well as uncertainty over who will become the new title sponsor seem to signal the return to an orange McLaren is unlikely.
It is believed Japanese electronics maker Sony are in the running, which would coincide with Honda’s return as engine supplier in 2015 as well as cosmetics giant Gillette.
Monday marks the launch of McLaren’s new team kit for 2014 so some believe an answer may come then.
The return of Dennis as CEO was confirmed with a 20 minute speech to the workforce in Woking last week, and according to tweets sent out by team members the now 66-year-old made quite an impression.
“It’s safe to say today’s news was received well!” race and test coordinator Clare Martin said on Twitter.
McLaren design engineer Giovanni Banzola added: “So inspired by Ron’s speech yesterday!”
Indeed in his speech Dennis claimed “changes” would be made as fallout from a disastrous 2013 continues, but former driver and now well respected pundit John Watson warned against expecting an immediate return to the front.
“They were subjugated by Ferrari at the turn of the century, then for two years by Renault, four seasons by Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull and Mercedes are now looking very strong for 2014,” he wrote in the Daily Mail.
“It is a difficult route to get back to the top, and it won’t be a walk in the park just because Ron is coming back.
“It will be a building process, and that process in part is going to start with this new engine formula and working towards 2015 with Honda and then beyond,” he added.
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