Somerset’s up-and-coming Formula One star Lando Norris braved the shave for charity this week after raising over £9,000.
The 20-year-old, who was born in Bristol and grew up in Glastonbury, has been out of action since pre-season testing after organisers cancelled the first eight rounds of the 2020 F1 season over the Covid-19 pandemic.
Although this year’s campaign has been put on hold, that has not stopped Norris from getting his fix of motorsport. The F1 rookie has built up a large, international following on the popular video game streaming website Twitch, where thousands watch him in his virtual racing simulator.
Last weekend, Norris took part in Twitch’s ‘Stream Aid’ event alongside several prominent gamers, to raise money for the ‘COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund’ charity.
With a donation target of $10,000 USD, the Somerset racer told fans he would shave his head if they met it – which they did, surpassing $12,000. To his word, Norris took a pair of clippers to his own head on Thursday and streamed the process.
Both he and teammate Carlos Sainz Jr have taken voluntary pay cuts from McLaren, as the Woking-based marque furloughed the majority of its 850-strong staff this week. Several personnel have been kept on, although, as the team joined forces with competitors Mercedes this week to manufacture ventilators for British hospitals.
The 2020 F1 season was to begin at the Australian Grand Prix on March 15. However, McLaren pulled out of the event days before after a member of staff tested positive for coronavirus and the race was subsequently scrapped. Since then, the Monaco Grand Prix has also been cancelled while the Bahrain, Vietnam, Chinese, Dutch, Spanish and Azerbaijan grand prix have all been postponed.
Although F1 organisers remain uncertain of when the season will begin, with the Canadian Grand Prix on June 14 a proposed opener, chief executive Corey Chase insists that a 2020 season will go ahead. There will be no summer break and the competition could be run between 15 and 18 races.