From race suits and pit-crew overalls to safety harnesses and gloves, Sparco has provided McLaren Racing with the finest racewear for a quarter of a century – making them one of our longest-standing partners. To commemorate this milestone, McLaren F1 drivers Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo took to the track at the Italian Grand Prix with Sparco Arrow gloves featuring a unique, celebratory design.
Why the Italian Grand Prix? It may not be a home race for McLaren but, with its headquarters in Volpiano, Turin, about 150 km west of the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, it most certainly was for Sparco. Travel a further 9,000 km west to Portland International Raceway in the United States and Arrow McLaren SP drivers Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist competed in INDYCAR at the weekend with their own pairs of 25th-anniversary gloves. But, just what makes these gloves so special?
The first thing that strikes you about these gloves, is the way they look: modern, but with a nod to the past. Visually, they’re a perfect fit for the occasion, emblazoned with a special anniversary logo and line motif in silver – a colour synonymous with a 25th anniversary. The line motif consists of two lines on the left hand to signify 20 years and five across the right hand to signify five.
With more than 3,000 touch receptors in each human fingertip alone, a driver’s hands, along with their feet (through the pedals) and backside (through the seat) are a key way in which they can feel what the car is doing. Therefore, their gloves must be comfortable, lightweight and enable maximum feel. Each pair of gloves is tailored specifically to the requirements of each driver. To the naked eye, Lando’s and Daniel’s, or Pato’s and Felix’s, gloves look the same. However, they won’t fit the same, with Sparco making tiny adjustments for each driver to improve their grip and feel, making these gloves truly bespoke.
Pre-curved with external seams to guarantee maximum comfort and feel, Sparco’s Arrow gloves use the Italian firm’s patented HTX technology to ensure the thumb and forefinger are touch sensitive – the Arrow glove is the first FIA-approved touch-sensitive glove. Elsewhere, ergonomic stitching between the index finger and thumb minimise pressure from gripping the steering wheel with this part of the hand. Utilising intelligent, single-use fabric, the gloves are ultra-lightweight, while meeting stringent homologation requirements to ensure safety and protection.
Since 2018, when it was mandated by the FIA, Arrow gloves have incorporated biometric technology. The palm area features a chip sensor that monitors the blood pressure and heart rate of the driver. This allows the condition of the driver to be constantly monitored and gives medical staff crucial information should an intervention be necessary.
With increased safety requirements and advances in technology over time, there has been a move away from the use of leather in favour of technical fabrics, ushering in a new era of increasingly ergonomic and protective gloves that provide heightened thermal insulation without compromising breathability – the pinnacle of which are Sparco’s Arrow gloves.
Fancy getting your hands on a pair of these special anniversary gloves? With the chequered flag having fallen on the Italian Grand Prix, we’re going to be giving away a pair signed by Lando and Daniel.
To be the first to hear how you can win this incredible prize, sign up to McLaren Plus using the form below.
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