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Formula One

McLaren is back at it with the one-off liveries again

Japanese artist hired to create livery inspired by ‘a dragon racing through the clouds’

Published: 03 Apr 2024

Picking up from where it left off last season, McLaren will run this one-off livery at Suzuka this weekend carrying work by a Japanese artist.

The livery, which uses the team’s usual scheme but with decals on the front wing, airbox and sidepods, is the work of MILTZ, who quit his job to pursue his passion and more than a decade later finds himself decorating a 200mph, carbon fibre canvas.

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“When I first became a freelance artist, I never thought an opportunity like this was possible - this is the biggest international project I have ever done,” he explained. “As I continue to build my profile as an artist, I want my artwork to champion the rich traditions of Japanese writing culture, such as Edomoji, but with a modern twist.”

Edomoji, in case you didn’t know, is a traditional form of Japanese calligraphy, and nothing to do with the smiley faces on your phone. Notice how the ‘4’ on Lando Norris’s car above now looks hand-drawn?

“From my work with local businesses in Japan to the McLaren Formula 1 Team, there are so many beautiful stories to tell through art.”

MILTZ got his chance via McLaren and Vuse’s Driven by Change campaign, which you may remember has brought various Tate Modern-worthy designs to the grid in recent years.

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Apparently what MILTZ was going for here is ‘the speed of a Formula 1 car in the form of a dragon racing through the clouds’. Which is neat, but with so many teams opting for exposed-carbon-fibre-heavy (or should that be light?) designs this season, we can’t help but feel these one-offs are being seriously held back.

Come on F1, sort your regs out so designers and artists alike can go nuts with the entire car, not just bits of it.

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