Twenty-one year-old Formula One driver Lando Norris is one of the fastest race drivers on the planet, even though he looks barely old enough to have a license at all. Happily, Britain’s youngest-ever F1 driver has infused a much needed burst of enthusiasm to a sport that has frustratingly evolved into a procession of the same winners race after race.
Norris, in the midst of his second full season driving for the iconic McLaren Grand Prix team, has made a welcome impact on the F1 scene with his engaging social media posts, last-lap heroics, and irresistable positive energy.
Recently, Lando planned for a special one-off helmet design to be used during his home Grand Prix race at Silverstone, England. Rather than hire a professional designer, he staged the Lando Norris British Grand Prix Helmet Design Contest. The winning entrant would receive a full size helmet replica painted with their design and signed by the driver.
When the winner was announced on his social media feeds prior to the race, the choice was equal parts unexpected and outstanding. The winning design was created by six year-old Eva Muttram, a British racing fan who submitted her amazingly coherent entry and no doubt trumped hoards of more refined and professional design submissions. But considering the source of the contest, it was a true genius move by the lovable Norris.
Eva’s design was pure six year-old savvy, including renderings of the driver’s name and a remarkably accurate reproduction of the Lando Norris logo, including the subtle number 4 that is created by the whitespace between the L and N letters. (Lando’s racecar carries the number 4.)
Her color choices mimic Norris’ orange and blue F1 McLaren livery, and the back of the helmet even features a drawing of his MCL35 racer at speed, complete with rear wing and halo device (the girl knows her Grand Prix racing).
But the greatest touch of all might just be the left side of the helmet design. In classic kid-style, she ran a little short of room for the last letter in the driver’s name. No worries, the “s” was naturally dropped below the rest of the name. (Where else would it go, right?)
In the age of super slick, hyper-detailed helmet design, Eva Muttram’s Lando Norris masterpiece is a breath of fresh air. And perhaps it’s a lesson for all of us professional designers – to grab some crayons, take a risk and think back to when a box of 64 Crayolas was all we needed. Thanks Eva, call me in about twenty years. Sports Brand Jury will be ready to pass the SBJ gavel on to you by then.