2009 F1 drivers helmets (Pictures)

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Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and Nick Heidfeld have all changed their helmet designs for the 2009 seasons. Several others have made minor changes to their designs.

Here’s a look at each of the helmets this year’s F1 drivers will be using.

Among the design details I like are the world championship playing cards on Alonso’s helmet (above). Kazuki Nakajima, like father Satoru, has his surname stencilled in huge letters across the back. The other sons of F1 drivers – Nelson Piquet Jnr and Nico Rosberg – both have designs that echo their fathers’.

Both the BMW drivers have striking designs, with Kubica’s lurid red lid and Heidfeld’s new green design ensuring it will be easy to tell them apart the year. Toro Rosso’s pairing of Sebastien Buemi and Sebastien Bourdais share more than just first names – their helmet designs are very similar too.

There’s long been speculation that Lewis Hamilton’s helmet design is an homage to Ayrton Senna’s in bright yellow – though his father claims that colour was picked so it would be easier to spot him at kart races.

2009 F1 season

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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62 comments on “2009 F1 drivers helmets (Pictures)”

  1. One thing that Wikipedia editors have picked up on and added is driver’s helmet designs. The pages for football teams have the kits, american football teams have their helmets.

    The way I identify drivers is by their helmets, and it’s one of the main pieces of information I would put on an information page like a Wikipedia profile.

    Those Toro Rossos are going to be hard to tell apart this year. And has Piquet’s helmet design become more orange this year to mimic his father’s? I thought it looked far more red last year.

    Glock’s looks like a Moto GP rider’s helmet.

    1. No I think Piquet’s is pretty much the same as it was last year.

    2. You realize that anybody can add content to Wikipedia, you don’t have to be an ‘editor’. In fact, for many topics such as F1 Wikipedia is highly dependent on fans making contributions (I write a lot of sections and do a lot of updates, including the races).

      So please feel free to add the helmets to each drivers page if you find the time :)

    3. Oh, I know, and have added spits and spots in the past. But I’m guessing adding something to a driver’s template involves playing around with the layout of a page, rather than just editing a paragraph.

      And stuff like that scares me!

  2. Still like Button’s helmet design best of all… probably biased though as he’s my favourite driver too…

  3. All four Red Bull/STR helmets are quite similar, and rather boring designs too.

    1. I can only imagine the helmet meeting over at STR:

      “ok seb and seb, time to pick helmets. you can either have this very nice yellow, silver and blue or this very elegant blue, yellow and silver”

      “oh and did I mention the FRIGGIN HUGE redbull logos down both sides? btw, here are your redbull underwear – don’t forget that if you ever remove them during the season you will be breaching your contract and will be punished accordingly”

      1. Do you think all of the motogp (moto 2 and 125) riders are in that meeting too?! only so many things you can do with that huge logo think marc marquez has it on the front and it looks pretty good.

  4. I find somewhat sad that Piquet holds an helmet similar to the one of the father…

    1. No different really to Damon Hill’s being like his fathers and Jacques Villeneuves being like his fathers (albeit in different colours), or Rosberg…or Nakajima…seems to be quite a trend

    2. “and Jacques Villeneuves being like his fathers (albeit in different colours)”

      and still in one piece


  5. I like the cards with his championships years on the back of Alonso’s. Heidfeld’s is a pretty big change – but will be stupidly easy to tell him and Kubica apart this year – even more so than last year and that wasnt really difficult!

    I still think Buttons is the best also Adrian – is a clever design. The Red Bull ones are always a bit boring, I like drivers to have their own design rather than a relatively generic Red Bull helmet. Will be rather difficult with Toro Rossos drivers as well, at least Webbers stands out a bit at Red Bull!

  6. Usually I am a bit indifferent to helmet designs, and while they are some quite good ones this year there are none that really change that.
    My favourite helmet designs since I have been following F1 are Ayrton Senna’s and Damon Hill’s which, like some of the current drivers who are also the sons F1 drivers, was based on his fathers taken from the London Rowing Club colours.

  7. Why does Nakajima’s helmet have Toyota written on it?

    1. He’s backed by Toyota – unlike his father who was a Honda man. More here: Kazuki Nakajima biography

  8. Love Nakajima’s. Putting your name in big red letters is bold, its distinctive, and it says something besides “I’d like to thank my sponsors.”

  9. I would have liked to see who had priority on helmet designs if DARIO FRANCHITTI had come into f1 at the same time as coulthard, being they had the same design.
    And it is one of the biggest shames that Franchitti did not ever go down the f1 road. He would have been a great f1 racer in my opinion.

  10. Some pretty interesting designs. Now I just have to try commit some of them them to memory…

  11. here in India(at least in Bangalore) 30% all the motorcyclist use helmet with Kimi’s helmet design….. For some reason it is available at almost every footpath and its cheap too.

    1. Hey anirudh & cyanide

      Could you post me a link to a website that sells the Kimi motorcycle helmets? It would be greatly appreciated!

    2. hey Paul, I don’t think those helmets companies actually have any websites they don’t even have any retail showrooms, they are sold at footpaths. They are just small nd little known companies.

      But i got this site which sells F1 Helmets, but im not sure whether you can use it on normal roads

  12. Haha anirudh, same here in Mumbai. I get so irritated everytime I see one with that design.

  13. I like the simple, subtle ones: Barrichello’s and to a lesser extent Piquet’s and Nakajima’s.

  14. Franchitti had the saltire on the top, but the Italian flag at the side behind the visor. Colin McRae’s design was also similar.

  15. Keith thanks again!
    Helmet design is so integral to the design and pagentry of F1, yet hardly any focus is put on it (rather frustrating if you ask me). Again you’ve scoured the web for goodness.

    I have a request (And another post ) Test driver’s helmets. After Luca, Marc, Pedro, Christian, and Tonio, what do the rest of those paint jobs look like? (I hunt and I hunt and always come up empty.)

  16. Why do most drivers go for ridiculous, overly fussy and complicated designs that generally just look a mess?

    I prefer the simpler designs like Barrichello, Piquet and Rosberg (but that tone of yellow is nasty).

    I’ll bet that one of the Toro Rosso drivers will change their design also, they’re just too similar.

    1. I do prefer designs where drivers have something that contrasts the colour scheme of their car, like Massa, Hamilton and the BMW drivers’.

    2. Yeah but you know Schumi looked bad with the red right ;)

      Yeah I like the contrast that Massa’s, Hamilton’s and Kubica’s have with their cars, it does stand out in a race and is easy to identify, just a bit less fuss would be cool.

  17. This is a fantastic collection.

    I hope we can have a similar gallery for steering wheels. Here’s one for renault.


    1. Oh, I love that picture!!

  18. Too bad Davidson isn’t on the grid this season, his helmet was the best looking one IMHO. I dislike that drivers change complete colour layout of their helmets just to fit better with car livery (Alonso, I’m looking in your direction). I wrote about it before and in my opinion helmets are the only remaining place where driver can get a bit of his personality expressed – it is supposed to be his symbol, not just another place where sponsors can put a sticker on…

    1. Yeah Davidison, good shout.

  19. How did that make in on Boston.com? I’m pretty sure 99% of Massachusetts couldn’t name in F1 driver.

    Is there a reason that Lewis has a yellow helmet? Has he always raced in that color? Most others tend to stick with sponsor colors or national colors (‘cept BMW)

    1. As far as I am aware Lewis has a yellow helmet because he says it was a way of his dad being able to see where he was and how he was doing on the track especially in his karting days, as it stood out from the rest of the other helmets. Personally I think it also has a lot to do with the fact that he is a huge Senna fan…

  20. nice one from Fernando!… the two poker cards are great, something you find quite usually among MotoGP riders. Love it!

    Also, i always liked Button’s one… The way the British flag is desingned to fit the JB letters is spot on!…

    Some otehrs are good, like TImo’s or Fisi’s… But you can’t forget now how good David Coulthard’s helmet was!

  21. Renault not only have the worst livery, their drivers also complete the set with ugliest helmets.

    Only reasonable, I guess, given that Buemi and Vettel will look like cans of Red Bull. Bourdais’s looks like the Asturias Flag, whereas Mark’s looks like the British Union Jack.

    I kinda like the boldness of Nakajima’s helmet, though I wouldn’t go for it myself. Would have to say Nico’s got the nicest helmet – only just, mind you, that RBS visor sticks out too much for my liking.

  22. There are no real hemlet designs among these :/
    Neither are they memorable nor distinguishable when seen in a cockpit. Maybe except for Rosberg’s (dad’s!) design, Piquet’s (dad’s!), Fisichella’s and Button’s.
    All others seem very random.

    Also, only 4-5 drivers made use of their national flag (‘s colours) – in a way that it would be easy to figure out. This used to be such a great tradition back in the day.

  23. Props to Kubica for putting his country’s flag on a large part of his helmet!

    I don’t like Hamilton’s resemblance to Senna’s

  24. Loki, I agree with you regarding Renault’s livery. But I love the aces on the back of Alonso’s helmet. Class!!!

    1. I agree, the Aces are cool, here’s hoping next year he may have ‘Three of a Kind’ ;-)

      Someone should have the Joker on them. Hmmm….I wonder which cards suit each Driver…

  25. It would be good if they had their face on the top of the helmet, like Rossi did last year :)

  26. coulthard and nakajima get my vote for best recent helmets

  27. Renault now have the ugliest car. The worst driver : Piquet.

    And the worst helmet : Piquet again.

  28. It’s not like the good old days where they kept the same design for life.

    1. It annoied me when Eddie Irvine changed his Irish colours for jaguar print when he joined Jaguar.

  29. of course renault have the ugliest helmets to match the ugly cars, but i’ve never liked LH’s helmet. i think the world champ needs to come up with something more creative!

  30. I like Lewis’s, some of the others are bit over designed.

  31. reminds me of Narain Karthikeyan’s helmet…. :-C

  32. I have trouble telling Button and Barrichello apart when at the track. I know the camera mounts are different colours, but I instinctively look at helmets to tell drivers apart. Those two look too similar at speed, much the same as when Webber was at Williams. The Toro Rosso drivers will be easy to tell apart, as the top of the helmet is what matters to me.

    Hands down, in my opinion, the best helmet designs are Kubica, Heidfeld, Alonso (he’s gone national AND regional) and Rosberg, in that order, partly due to the above-mentioned reason.

  33. Fernando must to draw one more card on the helmet:09
    2009 world drivers championship for Fernando.

  34. The best looking helmet there has to be Kovalainen’s if u took all those sponsors off the helmet it would look even better. The worst looking one there has to be Hamilton’s I don’t know why but I just don’t like it.

  35. Glocks helmet is fantastic, although it does have that sort of ‘motorcross’ feel to it.

    Kubica’s colour scheme looks like he is going for a job at McLaren. Could this be a hint of things to come ?

    The 4 x red bull helmets will all look like they are driving around with a can of Red Bull on their heads. Yikes.

    I’m not keen on the red on top of Nando’s, but I LOVE the Aces. There’ll be another one to add to that pair soon, I’m sure.

    I think though, that I’m going to vote for – now there’s an idea Keith, set up a poll for best helmet – Fisi. Clean lines, uncluttered and that ectoplasm green is just awesome.

  36. For as much money as Formula 1 drivers make, and as hip and young they are, they really need to take a look a AMA motocross stars helmets because all of these are freakin’ lame!!! Seriously, the only one that has any design on it is the crown of Kimi’s helmet… and whats with the advertising all over their helmets- It’s too much and F1 teams need to realize you can’t put a sticker on every single piece of physical matter and expect people to really become die-hard about them. It’s a shame really. Give the drivers back their helmets… people will buy stuff if they like the personality of the driver and that is why they pay for the sponsorships anyway- they want to latch onto the drivers popularity. I’d go into how poorly cars are stickered/painted up, but its just too much… suffice it to say the India car looks like some sort of funland/mexican christmas nightmare.

    In summary, I’ve been disappointed in the drivers helmets for a long long time and Heidfeld’s new green helmet is actually quite boring and, being a Kimi fan, I’m disappointed that someone who has tatoo’s doesn’t have more personality on his helmet.

  37. I agree what you are all saying that the drivers should ot change their helmet design to match the car but arnt you all forgeting Raikkonen’s helmet?

  38. Lewis’ (Lewser) helmet is by far the worst, trying to pass himself off as senna.

  39. Hi Keith

    Could you perhaps get a picture of the back of Hamilton’s helmet. I saw he has some sort of picture on the back, and I’d like to see what it is. Thanks for a great website!

    And to “Brawn”, perhaps you should find out why his helmet is yellow in the first place…

  40. I tend to use the camera mount colour, I find it’s usually easier to see, especially from a distance.

    (obviously not from the back)

  41. very good pictures and a very good website

  42. very good pictures and a very good website

  43. I like Robert Kubica (BMW) F1 helmet 2009, good design!

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