Shifting Gears: Lando Norris Takes a Lap As Face of TUMI’s New Campaign
If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, Rolling Stone may receive an affiliate commission.
Lando Norris is known for making moves on the track, but the Formula 1 star is turning heads off the track as well as part of a new collection with travel accessories brand, TUMI.
Norris is the face of the TUMI | McLaren 60th Anniversary collection, which celebrates six decades since the founding of the elite motorsports team and supercar maker McLaren. Part of TUMI’s spring campaign, Norris appears in a series of images under the banner, “Unpack Tomorrow,” a nod to TUMI and McLaren’s commitment to always pushing the envelope when it comes to performance and design.
Buy TUMI McLaren Collection $275+
Released in McLaren’s signature black and “papaya” colorway, the new collection includes backpacks, crossbody bags and luggage while the accompanying images showcase the bags — and Norris — in front of a hybrid McLaren Artura supercar. Pricing for the limited edition TUMI | McLaren 60th Anniversary collection starts at $275 for the “Fuel” small crossbody.
For Norris, who’s in his fifth season on the F1 circuit, partnering with TUMI was a chance to flex his chops outside of the race track. “I love design, and obviously I travel a huge amount, so this was a cool opportunity to get on board and express myself a little bit through another way of life rather than just motorsport or racing,” he says.
Rolling Stone caught up with the F1 star to chat about his go-to luggage, his top travel hack and why he’s ready to perfect his on-track performance — and off-track style.
Rolling Stone: You probably get offered a lot of partnerships and brand deals — how do you decide what you say yes to and what you pass on?
Norris: I’m the kind of driver who is never happy until something is perfect, so I want to be able to work with people that have a similar mindset and a similar level of perfection for things. Even if it’s a good lap that I can achieve or put together, I’m still not happy because it’s not perfect. And I think TUMI has that similar mentality with how they create all of their things — they don’t want to release anything, there’s there’s never satisfaction, until they know it’s perfect.
Buy TUMI McLaren Collection $275+
What are your go-to pieces of luggage?
I always have my backpack and my carry-on luggage. I always have those two things with me because I can fit my laptops in them, I fit my books, notepads, aftershave, passports… And I’m a bit of a gamer, so I can fit my gaming laptop, my headset, my headphones, all into just my two bags.
What about your clothes?
I’m a big shoe guy. So I quite often have a big case which is just my shoes. TUMI has a perfect one which has all the different slots that I can easily put my shoes in. And then from a clothing side it depends — sometimes I just throw it all in and see what I got on the other side, and sometimes I’m a bit more careful and smarter with my stuff.
As someone who travels seemingly every other week for work, have you picked up any travel tips or hacks?
I mean, I am a guy who normally arrives very late [to the airport]. I leave my house as late as possible; I leave everything a little bit rushed. But that’s changing a little bit — I’m now arriving much earlier and just taking my time, to feel less stressed.
But a good travel hack for me is just being organized with all of the things that I have. I always have like, a spare pair of clothes in my carry-on luggage. I always have to travel in comfy clothes. But often I come from work or I’m going to work, so always having a spare pair of clothes in my carry-on luggage that is either smart or comfy is essential so that I can quickly go from from one style to the other very quick.
Aside from shoes, are you a big style guy?
I think I’ve always been into it, but I wouldn’t say I am the most stylish. I think I’m far from that, because some of the other drivers are much better at it.
Who in your opinion are the most stylish F1 drivers?
I mean, Lewis [Hamilton] is definitely number one. That’s for sure. Zhou Guanyu — he’s up there from a style point of view.
I actually was thinking of doing some stuff this year, where I work with a stylist or different [fashion] companies. Maybe I’ll do it more next year to kind of have different fits throughout the season. I don’t have much of a plan on what to wear and I don’t have the best idea and vision of clothing style, so I don’t know really how to put things together very well. So that’s why I’m always like a joggers and hoodie kind of guy, and I would say my backpack is like attached to me half the time.
Buy TUMI McLaren Collection $275+
Since this is for Rolling Stone, I want to know what songs you listen to before a race.
It changes a lot. I can go from like, lo-fi chill to country, to hip-hop, pop; I can kind of go through every genre possible before a race weekend and it will change. It just depends on what I’m feeling at the time. But I wouldn’t say anything too over-the-top — I kind of like more chilled, relaxed things.
I interviewed Daniel Ricciardo last year and asked him the same question. And he told me he listens to a lot of country music.
Yes, I can confirm that because I drove with him for the last two years. Our driver rooms were always side by side, and he always had the speaker on, full volume, listening to country. I like it too because it’s something you can sing along to, and it puts a smile on your face, rather than kind of going a bit too over the top. Sometimes that can be too much. Sometimes, it’s better to be kind of down low and chilled out.
We just started the 2023 F1 season: what are you goals for the rest of the year?
I think the obvious ones: I want to be able to work very well with the team to kind of take some steps forward. I think we’ve made that clear from the beginning that it was gonna be a rough start, which we’ve accepted. But we also got some good points in Australia already and had good pace there. So we have a very good plan in place, but it is about how we’re going to be achieving that and actually cementing it and bringing those things to the car to bring it to life.
We need to kind of go into the summer and then go into the end of the year with a very good idea of what we want to achieve, so that we can enter the next year strong, because we’ve always, the last couple of years, maybe started a little bit on the back foot and you want to be able to end the season on a high with good ideas and a strong game plan for how we can go into 2024. I know that’s a very long ways away, but that’s how far you’ve got to think in the life of Formula 1.
You know, you’re constantly trying to improve the car, and every little thing counts. Qualifying can be 1/10 of a difference but that can be a difference of three, four positions. One-tenth [of a second] is nothing but it’s also a huge amount. So it’s about making the most of those little opportunities to win.