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'That’s what I fell in love with' – Norris gets his wish with McLaren's special chrome livery for British Grand Prix

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Lando Norris says he has been lobbying McLaren CEO Zak Brown to introduce a chrome-inspired livery since the day he joined the team in 2018 – and five years later, he’s finally got his wish.

McLaren will run a one-off livery for this weekend’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone, with chrome and grey blended with the team’s traditional papaya in a continuation of their year-long 60th anniversary celebrations.

FIRST LOOK: McLaren to run special chrome livery for British Grand Prix

It’s a nod to one of their most iconic liveries, which they ran from 2006 to 2014 – with Lewis Hamilton winning the drivers’ World Championship in those colours in 2008, in what was McLaren’s last world title.

Speaking at the unveiling of the livery, at a special event at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking on Monday, Norris revealed that the chrome-coloured McLarens of the late 2000s and early 2010s were his favourite when he watched the sport growing up – and so it was a dream of his to one day line up on the grid in a chrome McLaren.

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McLaren will run the special livery at the British Grand Prix

“Probably over 1,300 days or something since I joined McLaren! 2018, it was one of the first things I probably said to [Zak],” said Norris. “I’m pretty sure, from what I remember, it was when he showed me the livery that we were going to have for 2019, and he asked me ‘what would you change on the car?” and I was like ‘the whole thing!’

“Just because for me, walking down the boulevard, as much as I would like the white and bright orange – that livery was amazing – I just think there’s no other car nowadays that is like the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes that we had back then.

“That’s what I grew up watching, that’s what I fell in love with in many ways. I feel like I can say it, it inspired me to be a Formula 1 driver.

“Before that, I was more into MotoGP, motorbikes, motocross, quad biking. That’s what I loved to begin with and I didn’t really know much about racing. Then I got into watching some Formula 1 and it was Lewis [Hamilton] versus Fernando [Alonso, in 2007] even though they were in the same team, and that’s what I really fell in love with.

“I’d say every year I’ve been pestering [Zak] a little bit to want to go back a little bit in that direction. I know it’s only for one race but it’s kind of cool to relive a little bit of what got me into Formula 1 in some ways and also knowing that it’s a very historic part of McLaren. They were very successful then, it’s when Lewis won his first World Championship and things like that. So, it’s very special.”

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Lando Norris is more than happy with the look of the special livery

Brown explained the reason why McLaren avoided a full chrome livery – like that used in 2008 – is because “we want to keep our papaya identity”.

READ MORE: Norris says McLaren have taken 'a big step forward' after 'surprisingly' good P4 outing in Austria

He added: “It’s very important for us that we give a nod to the past, but very much look forward to the future. There’s also [only] so many times you can change the livery into extremes, so what we did in Monaco a couple of years ago, you’re only really allowed to do a couple of times, and then to kind of have variations of your base scheme, you can do a little bit more often.

“I think the rules aside, it was important to us; we’re really trying to build our association with papaya much like Ferrari’s red and Mercedes have their colour identity. We get a lot of feedback from the fans who really like the papaya. That’s why we went with the combination.”

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