The Lando Norris livery request he has raised ‘several times’ to McLaren boss Zak Brown

Jamie Woodhouse
Lewis Hamilton drives McLaren F1 car. England, June 2008.

Lewis Hamilton driving his 2008 title-winning McLaren. England, June 2008.

Lando Norris said he has asked McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown on more than one occasion for a return to the livery from their most recent title success.

McLaren join the likes of Ferrari and Williams as iconic and wildly-successful Formula 1 teams in the past that are now suffering quite the barren spell.

Williams’ last triumph was the 1997 Drivers’ and Constructors’ title double, while Ferrari last won a title in 2008 when they clinched the Constructors’ crown.

As for McLaren, it was that same year when Lewis Hamilton won the first of his seven World Championships in dramatic fashion, overtaking Toyota’s Timo Clock through the final corner at Interlagos to snatch the 2008 title from Ferrari’s race winner and home hero Felipe Massa.

That honour was achieved driving a McLaren MP4-23 in its silver and red livery which has long been one of Formula 1’s greatest liveries in the minds of many fans.

McLaren stuck with that design until 2013, after which there was the return to the silver and black of the era before black, silver and red then came to the fore.

But, in time for the 2017 campaign, McLaren rolled out an MCL32 which returned the team to its papaya colour scheme, McLaren’s original colours.

Norris, though, in conversation with GQ’s Adam Baidawi said that McLaren’s “cool” silver and red was what sparked his interest in Formula 1 as a kid, and he has tried multiple times to get the current boss to bring it back.

“This is what got me into Formula One,” said Norris as he gave a tour of the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking.

“I’ve asked Zak many times to go back to this.”

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Norris is looking to emulate his compatriot Hamilton by being the driver who takes McLaren back to the summit of Formula 1.

And following the 2023 Saudi Arabian GP, Hamilton and Norris were actually out golfing together, Hamilton making that reveal on social media as they were joined by Hamilton’s uncle Terry.

As it turns out though, it was not planned that the F1 stars would meet for a game.

“I was on the range and he rocked up,” said Norris on his Twitch chat. “He was with his uncle or something and he asked whether I would like to join him.”

After that time to wind down the third round of F1 2023 at Melbourne’s Albert Park is now approaching fast, with both Norris and Hamilton having suffered frustrating starts to the campaign.

Hamilton said he had prepared to challenge for a record eighth World Championship this season, though a pair of P5 finishes to start, combined with Red Bull’s all-conquering pace, means that goal is already looking unlikely.

Spare a thought for Norris though who is yet to score a point this season, the same is true for his rookie team-mate Oscar Piastri as McLaren’s push to return to the title scene in the coming years continues to stumble.