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McLaren show off their one-off livery for the Japanese Grand Prix

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On the eve of this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix, McLaren have shown off their one-off livery that has been created in cooperation with their sponsor BAT’s brand Vuse and has been designed by Japanese artist MILTZ.

Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri will race with a special liveried MCL38 this weekend with the colour scheme having been designed by MILTZ. His artwork has been inspired by Edomoji, a traditional Japanese calligraphy, which he has fused with modern art and culture.

With the special livery, McLaren continues its campaign named Driven by Change for the fourth F1 season. The campaign targets to celebrate “emerging creatives through the global motorsport platform, providing opportunities to showcase their innovative artwork to the world.”

Speaking of his design, MILTZ said: “At first, everything felt so big and overwhelming, a big company, with a big name, a big client, working on a big project – I’ve never worked with so many people in such a big team – but after speaking with the teams, you felt that everybody was so nice, and I felt ready. I was treated as an artist and welcomed in as a creator. But it wasn’t just me, this was collaborative, and that’s amazing.

“I came up with several different patterns, but the process was the same. There are two types of process that I follow, which are either lettering and calligraphy, or outlining and calligraphy. For this livery, I used the outlining approach, which meant that I would draw the outline first and then fill it in afterwards.

“Lettering is the biggest characteristic of my artwork, but this wouldn’t work on an F1 car, so I turned the letters into a pattern, which was more abstract, rather than focusing on letters so that there was no conflict of design. This is how I came up with these lines that insinuate a dragon, and the clouds as well. I felt that there was an affinity between dragons and drivers. Dragons symbolise drivers competing at speed. Then, the clouds insinuate the F1 car on the asphalt and pushing against the air.”

Expanding on the moment when he first saw the final livery, he added: “Honestly, it didn’t sink in at first, it didn’t resonate with me in that moment, it felt like someone else had designed it. But as time passed, I looked more closely, and it started to sink in as I saw more closely what I had designed and drawn. All of the work I’ve done in the past all came flashing back, and I felt, ‘Oh I’ve come so far.’



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