McLaren will race at the Suzuka event with a livery tweak produced by Japanese artist MILTZ on its two MCL38s raced by Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri.

The livery, which changes the look of the engine cover, sidepods and front wing, features a dragon racing through the clouds, with elements inspired by Japanese calligraphy from the Edo period.

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“MILTZ’s artwork is inspired by Edomoji, a traditional Japanese calligraphy, which he fuses with modern art and culture, and in this instance, used to represent the speed of a Formula 1 car in the form of a dragon racing through the clouds,” McLaren said.

McLaren’s latest livery change is part of the so-called Driven by Change campaign set up alongside partner British American Tobacco, which displays its Vuse brand of e-cigarettes on the McLaren cars.

McLaren MCL38 special livery

Photo by: McLaren

McLaren said the campaign, which returns for a fourth season, “celebrates emerging creatives through the global motorsport platform, providing opportunities to showcase their innovative artwork” to the world.

“We are really excited to bring Driven by Change to Japan for the 2024 iteration of the campaign alongside our partner Vuse,” said McLaren Racing’s chief marketing officer Louise McEwen.

“Now in its fourth year, we have seen the successes of the campaign in showcasing the incredible creativity of these talented and undiscovered artists for the world to see on our race cars.”

Designer MILTZ added: “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.

McLaren MCL38 special livery

McLaren MCL38 special livery

Photo by: McLaren

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

This weekend McLaren returns to the scene of its first double podium of the 2023 season, with Norris and Piastri taking second and third respectively in last year’s Japanese GP as the team returned to form throughout the season.

Across the first three races of 2024 the Woking outfit has emerged as the third team in the pecking order behind Red Bull and Ferrari, heading to Suzuka narrowly ahead of Mercedes.

McLaren MCL38 special livery

McLaren MCL38 special livery

Photo by: Filip Cleeren

McLaren has been a prolific producer of one-off liveries, racing with different colour schemes at several races in 2023.

It notably raced with a chrome livery at Silverstone and paid tribute to its Triple Crown winning heritage at Monaco and Barcelona. It also introduced a Driven for Change livery in Abu Dhabi, as well as special designs for Las Vegas, Singapore and Japan.

Watch: McLaren unveils first one-off F1 2024 livery for Japan GP


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