The trend for 'special liveries in F1 will continue in Barcelona next weekend's as Lotus pays tribute to famed Spanish painter El Greco.

Both Lotus and McLaren have tweaked their liveries from race to race this season, giving greater exposure to particular sponsors or partners, and the Enstone team's latest initiative, at the behest of team owner Gerard Lopez, will see its E22s carry branding on behalf of the major El Greco exhibition currently taking place in Toledo. The event commemorates the 400 years since the death of the painter, a leading figure of the Spanish Renaissance.

El Greco, whose life was commemorated in an soundtrack by Chariots of Fire composer Vangelis some 16 years ago, is regarded as one of the greatest artists of Western civilisation, although that particular accolade has only been formed over the last hundred years, changing opinions previously held regarding his paintings during the two-and-a-half centuries following his death. Previously, he was regarded as an eccentric painter marginal to art history.

Related Articles

"This is the first time an F1 team has publicised a Spanish cultural event so prominently," owner and team principal Lopez claimed.

As well as being one of the world's leading entrepreneurs, Lopez, the son of Galician immigrants, is well known as a philanthropist and art-lover, and is no stranger to mixing art and sport.

"We will promote the El Greco exhibition - for no commercial fee - to a global TV audience of over 600 million people," he continued, "Through this, the legend of El Greco will be displayed in support of Spanish culture and cultural tourism in Spain."

To further mark the anniversary, a special commemorative helmet will also be presented to Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy in La Moncloa on 8 May, and another to His Majesty King Juan Carlos I during a planned visit to the Lotus F1 Team motorhome at the Circuit de Catalunya next Sunday (11 May).

The "El Greco" exhibition in Toledo currently receives thousands of visitors as one of the largest ever to gather together practically every work by the sixteenth century painter.