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Lando Norris: At the forefront of the new generation of F1 drivers

What a sensational start to the 2021 season it has been for Lando Norris. After only six races, there have already been a number of highlights for the young driver. From an amazing climb from seventh to third position and a podium at Imola, to a spectacular podium at Monaco, to signing a new long term contract with McLaren - and he is the only driver this season so far to have scored points at every race.

The brand of Lando Norris is powerful and innovative

Lando Norris is at the forefront of a new generation of FORMULA 1 drivers. He has natural talent in abundance, he has the marketing appeal that many brands crave, and he has already built up a huge loyal fanbase that he engages with in a way unlike many other drivers - and he has the backing of one of the most successful teams on the grid emerging from their slumber of recent years.

 

The brand of Lando Norris is powerful and innovative, engaging with fans by creating modern content via online streaming platform Twitch, as well as his own gaming and lifestyle brand, Quadrant, along with more traditional methods such as representing uber elite brands like high-end watchmaker Richard Mille. He’s a far cry from the standards set by other drivers posting bland images to Instagram or snapshots to Twitter.

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All of this would not be possible if he was not delivering results on the track. That talent for racing started with karting when he was just nine years old and continued for six years, culminating in him winning the CIK-FIA World Championship in 2014 aged 15, narrowly ahead of Nikita Mazepin (you may have heard of him...). The success continued in the following years, as Lando went on to win a further five championships in junior and lower Formulas, including winning the FIA Formula 3 European Championship in 2017 before going on to be runner-up to George Rusell in Formula 2 in 2018. An impressive CV for someone still in his early twenties. Both sides of the successes of Lando Norris - the driver and the brand - go hand in hand.

 

Quadrant, Lando’s aforementioned slick, urban and gaming focused lifestyle brand, is breaking down boundaries set by the previous generations of FORMULA 1 drivers with their partnerships with often pretentious and lavish high-end brands. Think Nico Rosberg and Sunreef Yachts, an elite yacht building firm that probably only the mega-rich have heard of. Or Sebastian Vettel and the Japanese high performance luxury car manufacturer, Infiniti, a brand that the majority of people rarely engage with. With Quadrant, Lando Norris has taken a different approach, a more connected and accessible approach, driven by youth culture whilst utilising platforms that deliver content in new ways and can draw in huge numbers of followers. On Twitch alone, Lando Norris has over nine hundred thousand of them. Prior to the first race of the 2020 season in Melbourne, as the COVID pandemic took hold and FORMULA 1 and the FIA decided whether the race would go ahead, Lando had to pass the time somehow, and so decided to hold an unplanned live stream. 70,000 viewers tuned in to watch Lando take part in an F1 e-sports video game, setting new records for the number of viewers on an e-sports Twitch stream.

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In fact, that stream may have been the light bulb moment that pinged in Lando’s head and made him realise there is a future for him in streaming - and from that emerged the Quadrant brand. Their logo is now blazoned across Lando’s race helmet and the brand has a team of five young like-minded individuals running the company, creating online content, limited edition merchandise drops that sell out immediately, and living the Quadrant brand across multiple social media platforms. And the more success Lando has on the track, the faster Quadrant will grow. 

 

There’s no doubt that the early part of the 2021 season has been a huge success for Lando, comfortably outperforming his highly respected new team mate, Daniel Ricciardo, in every aspect from qualifying to race results. He has already accumulated 66 points points so far this season and is well on his way to beating last season’s points tally of 97. With McLaren’s newly Mercedes-powered car, and with his confidence levels higher than ever, Lando is set up nicely to have a very strong season. It can’t be long before Lando secures his first win in FORMULA 1, surely?