Lando Norris didn't want to be Valentino Rossi 'copycat' with #46

Lando Norris says he steered clear of choosing hero Valentino Rossi's #46 to use on his McLaren in Formula 1 because he did not want to be a "copycat"

Lando Norris didn't want to be Valentino Rossi 'copycat' with #46

The young British driver has been a fan of the MotoGP legend since he was young, and considered Rossi's famous number for his 2019 F1 step.

In the end Norris chose #4 instead because of how the digit looked, as well as its scope for use in the social media hashtag #L4ndo.

"There is a story behind #4: but the story is that there is no story," said Norris, speaking at the launch of the new OnePlus 6T McLaren special edition phone this week.

"The hashtag is great. But there has not been a number I have used consecutively in all the series.

"I had #31, I had #11, and in karting I had #33 and #46, but none of them meant a lot to me. So I just went with the one that looked the best. That's the best reason!

"I would have had #46 but I didn't want to just be a copycat, so I chose something for myself. I have something new that fits perfectly into my logo."

The #46 has only been raced once in F1 before, when British driver Will Stevens used it for Caterham in a one-off appearance for the team at the 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Norris's support of Rossi also made him aware of the career progression of fellow Brit Alexander Albon, who raced with the #46 in his karting career and will be stepping up to F1 as well next year.

"I looked up to Alex a lot when I was young, and I liked Alex because he liked Rossi and he used to have #46, and had the colours and everything," said Norris.

"So therefore I supported Alex when I was really young. He was probably my only hero other than Valentino Rossi, which is a bit weird to think.

"But he was always a cool guy and I used to watch him in all the races from the cadets to where he is now. It's a cool thing for Alex to be on the grid too."

shares
comments
Why F1 must bring back 'bad' minnow teams

Previous article

Why F1 must bring back 'bad' minnow teams

Next article

'Completely unexpected' win was Max Verstappen's 2018 F1 highlight

'Completely unexpected' win was Max Verstappen's 2018 F1 highlight
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Alexander Rossi , Lando Norris
Author Jonathan Noble
What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Plus

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well-aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent Plus

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent

While Japan's fever for motor racing is well-documented, the country has yet to produce a Formula 1 superstar – but that could be about to change, says BEN EDWARDS

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration Plus

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration

For too long, F1's richest teams have justified being able to spend as much as they want because that's the way they've always conducted their business. STUART CODLING says that's no reason not to kick a bad habit

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Plus

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is not guaranteed

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021