Written by James Harding, Edited by Nakul Naik
The internet is a daily source of news, socialising, and entertainment, and content creators in the Formula 1 world are not uncommon. In my second instalment of ‘Internet Icons,’ we’ll be looking at Formula 1 driver Lando Norris.
Formula 1 driver and gaming? They’re not words that you would often hear together. But the McLaren driver has abundantly expressed his gaming values in the first lockdown in 2020 due to COVID-19. He took part in the Virtual Grand Prix in 2020 on the F1 2020 game, participating against friends and stars such as Charles Leclerc and George Russell.
He has also frequently streamed games on live streaming platform Twitch, where he has over 1.2 Million subscribers. In 2020, he delighted fans with content streamed with Russell, Leclerc, and Alex Albon leading to the four of them being nicknamed as the ‘Twitch Quartet’. Their brilliant relationship carried many of us through our boredom being locked in our homes.
Norris has also done great charity work for the mental health foundation ‘Mind’. He opened up on mental battles he faced in his first season in Formula 1. He said that he was “questioning [his] own self-belief… it screws with your head.” He also said that “we don’t talk about mental health as much as we should.” He emphasised his support of Mind, by him and then teammate Carlos Sainz wearing special self-designed helmets for the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix.
Norris has also started an F1 esports team called ‘Quadrant’. The group consists of motorsport content creators including himself, Formula Three driver Max Fewtrall, Aarav Amin, Steve Alvarez Brown, Niran Yesufu, Maria Bish, and Ethan Pink. Norris’ aim is to “compete on the biggest esports stages against some of the biggest names in the industry.”
With Quadrant only being founded in late 2020, they have over 400,000 subscribers on YouTube, uploading F1 based videos. They even hosted their own virtual Monaco Grand Prix with YouTube giant ZerkaaHD. And if that's not enough, they’ve also launched their own clothing brand.
With Norris streaming himself playing video games and expressing himself to a live audience, he has invited a multitude of fans to F1. He has now become the face of F1 social media, amassing over five million followers on instagram, which further signifies that F1 has grown through video games. With his personality, devotion, and enthusiasm to Formula 1 and games, Lando Norris can undoubtedly be branded as an internet icon.