Formula 1

Lando Norris ‘leaks’ McLaren 2020 F1 car details in YouTube livestream

by Isaac McIntyre
Formula 1 via Liberty Media

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Lando Norris may have let slip a little more than he meant to during his YouTube livestream at McLaren’s testing garage, with the Formula 1 star accidentally revealing details on the team’s unannounced 2020 car, the MCL35.

Formula 1 teams across the grid are hard at work designing and testing their competitive car builds for the upcoming 2020 season, and McLaren is no different.

The legacy British team enjoyed a strong campaign last year, claiming the spot of “best of the rest” ahead of French giant Renault, and part of that was spurred on by rookie star Norris and his Spanish teammate Carlos Sainz.

YouTube: McLaren
YouTube: McLaren
Lando Norris seemed to give the game away regarding McLaren's 2020 car, the MCL35, during his livestream.

Between them, Sainz and Norris claimed 145 constructor points. The team may not have been in the top-three fight against Red Bull Racing (417), Ferrari, (504), and champions Mercedes (739), but they enjoyed a strong season nonetheless.

Now, the organization is looking to back up their fourth-place finish by upgrading their car specifications, and it looks like Norris has accidentally let slip what the 2020 build will look like during his live-streamed facility tour.

Norris was walking through the Technology Centre, and speaking live to thousands of fans, when he came across a McLaren marketing meeting. Though it didn’t last long, his camera caught a glimpse of the MCL35 image, emblazoned on the TV.

“Look at that, the MCL35 car launch… confidential stuff,” Norris muttered as he read the screen, before walking in and telling staff “not to show him papers” to avoid leaks – moments after he’d accidentally given away team secrets.

The F1 star, still broadcasting to thousands, added that he had “heard it was on February 13,” to the shock of the marketing gurus at the table. Norris, unaware of their panic, added that “Zak [Brown] told [him] it was on the 13th.”

Of course, this was new info for McLaren fans around the world – the F1 team hadn’t unveiled those details yet. The team told Norris as much, and quickly canceled his livestream after just three minutes and 23 seconds.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2yz8xPM8jU

While it is hilarious to think Norris, who has become known as one of the grid’s resident comedians with his Twitch streams and live videos, may have just spoiled the surprise, it’s likely this ‘leak’ was a marketing tactic from McLaren all along.

At least, that’s what Formula 1 fans are suggesting, but they’re not exactly against what is now being dubbed a “marketing tactic.”

“Ahh, so the Tom Holland approach,” RealMattyPanda joked on Reddit, referencing Marvel star Holland’s penance to leak Spider-Man and Avengers information early, while others simply admitted they were impressed.

“That was the most creative car announcement of all time,” UncomfortableBench said, while Kuszotke theorized Norris really had intruded on a secret meeting he was never meant to be in: “Plot twist: it wasn't intentional.”

Unfortunately for those theorizing Lando really had spoiled the surprise, Norris soon revealed 'behind the scenes' clips setting up the room, confirming it had been a playful marketing tactic to lift the lid on the new F1 details.

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The 'accidental' announcement is the third confirmation for Formula 1 team’s car reveals. Ferrari has already locked in February 11 to unveil the Scuderia’s 2020 design, while Alpha Tauri – formerly Toro Rosso – are penned in for February 14.

If you're more interested in Norris than Formula 1, however, the racing star also has a Twitch channel he uses regularly to stream gaming and sim-racing. He already boasts more than 164,000, and last streamed just 11 days ago.

This isn't the first time Norris has combined his love for livestreams with his F1 career either. Back in November, at US Grand Prix, the youngster made the bold call to use Sky Sports' post-match chat to promote his Twitch channel.