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Lando Norris pays tribute to ‘dear friend’ with signature helmet at F1 testing

Lando Norris will pay tribute to former McLaren sporting director Gil de Ferran at F1 testing on Wednesday with a signature helmet.

French-Brazilian ex-driver De Ferran, who won the Indy 500 in 2003, passed away in December at the age of 56 after suffering a heart attack.

Norris, who has driven for McLaren since his F1 debut in 2019, worked alongside De Ferran for two years and was keen to pay his respects on the first day of the 2024 season.

“We lost someone really special to us at the end of last year, he was a dear friend of mine and he’d been with me pretty much since I came into Formula 1,” Norris posted on Instagram.

“Someone who I not only had many laughs and great times with, but someone who helped me out on and off the track whenever I needed it.

“This is the design he won the Indy 500 with, and I’ll be wearing it today as my little way to say thank you for everything and to let him know we’re thinking of him and he’s still very much part of McLaren.

“I hope you like it. This one is for you Gil.”

Norris missed out on the first hour of the afternoon session in Bahrain due to an unknown problem but then took to the track in the MCL35.

The 24-year-old signed a new long-term deal with McLaren in the off-season, taking his partnership to 2026 and beyond.

Oscar Piastri drove in the morning session and was fourth-fastest, with Max Verstappen on top.