Norris “pestered” Brown for years to bring back McLaren’s chrome livery

2023 British Grand Prix

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Lando Norris says he has been lobbying urged McLaren’s chief executive officer Zak Brown into bringing back the team’s chrome livery since he joined the team.

McLaren announced today it will use a chrome livery at this weekend’s British Grand Prix, inspired by the look of its cars during the years Lewis Hamilton drove for the team.

The team uncovered its special look in an event at the McLaren Technology Centre today. It maintains the black-and-orange over most of the chassis that the MCL60 is usually adorned with, but the engine cover and front wing is now finished in a chrome silver colour.

Following the presentation of the livery, RaceFans asked Norris when he started asking Brown to create a chrome-coloured McLaren for him to driver.

McLaren 'chrome' livery for 2023 British Grand Prix.
Pictures: McLaren ‘chrome’ livery for 2023 British Grand Prix
“Probably 1,300 days ago or something, since I joined McLaren,” he replied. “I think even 2018, probably, it’s one of the first things I probably said to him.

“From what I remember, it was when he first showed me the livery that we were going to have for 2019, and he asked me ‘what’s up dude’ – in a much deeper voice, then like a high five – ‘what would you change on the car? What would you change with it?’. And I said ‘the whole thing’.”

Norris said the look of the chrome McLarens was partly what attracted him to F1 when he was younger.

“For me, walking down the boulevard [at the MTC], as much as I love the white and the bright orange, that livery was amazing. Nowadays, there’s not a car which is like the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes that we had back then. That’s what I grew up watching, so it’s kind of what I fell in love with. In many ways, I feel like I can say that it inspired me to be a Formula 1 driver.

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“Before that I was more into Moto GP and motorbikes, motocross, quad biking. That’s what I loved to begin with. I didn’t really know much about racing and then I got into watching some F1 and it was Lewis versus Fernando [Alonso] – even though they were in the same team – and that’s what I really fell in love with.”

Norris kept reminding Brown of his preferred livery. “I’d say every year I’ve been pestering him a little bit to go back a little bit in this direction. I know it’s just for one race, but it’s kind of cool to really have a little bit of what got me into Formula 1 in some ways.

“Also knowing it was a very historic part of McLaren, when they were also very successful, when Lewis won his first championship and things like that. So it’s looked very special.”

McLaren has run several special liveries on its F1 cars and IndyCars in recent years. It revived Gulf’s heritage livery for the Monaco Grand Prix two years ago, used a special ‘Triple Crown’ colour scheme for that race this year and ran three heritage liveries at the Indianapolis 500 on the same day.

Felix Rosenqvist, McLaren, Indianapolis, 2023
Rosenqvist’s Indy 500 design appeals to Norris
Norris was especially taken by the livery raced by Felix Rosenqvist at Indianapolis, which was based on the 1984 McLaren MP4/2 which Alain Prost and Niki Lauda drove, and said he’d like to drive a similar design himself one day.

“Obviously we had a great one in Monaco two years ago, that was a pretty cool one, I think it looked very unique. Any old-school stuff I think is pretty, pretty cool.

“But also the more simplistic it is, the better. I love the Rosenqvist style from IndyCar where it’s just a white-and-orange one. As much as I love the Triple Crown, I think just this one alone is a nice one to have. But I guess this is like a Google Chrome throwback of McLaren’s 60th anniversary.”

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Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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4 comments on “Norris “pestered” Brown for years to bring back McLaren’s chrome livery”

  1. The first few years of the Papaya it was a bit washed out and flat. But this year’s McLarens I think look quite striking—and really stand out in the pack.

  2. Nah, bring back the West livery.

  3. “ and he asked me ‘what’s up dude’ – in a much deeper voice, then like a high five – ‘what would you change on the car? What would you change with it?’. And I said ‘the whole thing’.”


  4. Don’t know how they’re getting away with that livery on Rosenqvist’s Indy car (even if we like the throwback aspect), but Philip Morris must be delighted with the free not-very-subliminal advertising.

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