Vitantonio Liuzzi, HRT, Singapore, 2011

Liuzzi to auction helmet for Japan quake victims

2011 Japanese Grand Prix

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Vitantonio Liuzzi, HRT, Singapore, 2011
Vitantonio Liuzzi, HRT, Singapore, 2011

Vitantonio Liuzzi will wear a special helmet during the Japanese Grand Prix to raise money for victims of the earthquake and tsunami earlier this year.

Liuzzi said: “For this Grand Prix I?ve wanted to pay my respects to the victims of the earthquake that struck Japan earlier this year by wearing a special edition helmet named Embracing Japan designed by Kaos Design.

“The helmet will later be put up for auction with the benefits going towards charity.”

Liuzzi will not be driving his car in the first practice session as more seat time is given to Narain Karthikeyan ahead of his return to action in the Indian Grand Prix.

Daniel Ricciardo will be driving at Suzuka for the first time. He said: “I?ve heard from many of the drivers that it is a beautiful circuit with a lot of history.

“I spent some time in the simulator and the first sector looks like a lot of fun with the ‘S’ curves followed by an uphill which, apparently, is a lot steeper than what you can appreciate on television.

“It seems like a real driver?s circuit which is always nice, a place where you can try and get the most out of the car. I’m really excited because reality is always better. The weekend in Singapore was positive, the progression has been good in every race and I hope that this trend will continue in Japan.”

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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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38 comments on “Liuzzi to auction helmet for Japan quake victims”

  1. Sebastian Vettel, take note: this is when you should wear a new helmet.

    1. I must say – although there is no denying Vettel’s talent, this is something that bothers me!

      I can even put up with his infernal ‘No. 1’ finger, it’s his trademark, but why does he need to change his helmet every race?

      As Martin Brundle said once, you don’t change your signature every time you use it. It’s the same basic thing.

      I can understand one off’s for charity – or in memorial of another driver, or even a one off like Schumi at Spa – but every race is excessive!

      1. Not that I think this is even worth getting in an argument about, but I don’t understand why anyone cares what he does with his own helmet. I suppose I tend to view his constantly changing helmet design as another one of his trademarks. If he wants to get creative with it, who is it hurting? The moment the FIA passes a regulation stating no one is allowed to is the moment I’ll start caring whether he does or not.

      2. A friend of his is airbrush designer with a lot of time. And he does the designs for him. Probably not for free… So why not.

      3. I like most of his helmet designs so I think he should keep it up ;)

        1. I can see i’m a minority in this (silly but fun) argument!

          I will never agree with constant helmet changes, I used to love drawing the helmets of drivers when I was about 5 and it would’ve been impossible if they all had Vettel’s constant changes!

          I can understand why some of you disagree though!

          1. All the Red Bull drivers’ helmets look the same anyway

          2. I’m with you on this ;)
            Liuzzi is chaning helmet more often now, Monza, Monaco and Suzuka, then Nurburgring-Hungaroring (not a one-off) and Sepang, and somtimes the white and sometimes the grey helmet.
            Vettel had a Japanese helmet last year and should use it again this year.

      4. Does anyone know where I can buy a Vettel 1:2 scale helmet? Do they exist?

        1. No idea but they change so often I imagine it would be quite a nightmare!

    2. Absolutely. The worst thing is if you had to pick his normal and ‘regular’ helmet design it’d just a Red Bull pattern.

      I know it shouldn’t be a big deal but I love helmet designs and not using it as a strong identity/trademark is a wasted opportunity. If not at least to just express yourself.

      1. Exactly.

        As a kid I spent hours with F1 magazines learning drivers helmets so I could recognize them on track. I’d hate to think younger generations couldn’t do the same.

        1. As a kid I spent hours with F1 magazines learning drivers helmets so I could recognize them on track. I’d hate to think younger generations couldn’t do the same.

          As a younger generation, I find it easy to recognise Vettel’s helmets. I know they are all different, but usually I can work it out.

          Also, he is the only one who changes it all the time, so if there’s a helmet I don’t recognise, I know it’s Vettel’s :D

          1. You’re actually right XD

            ‘Yeah that must Vettel as I have no idea who’s helmet that is’

          2. Either that, or, in my case, I look out for Webber’s helmet. If it ain’t Webber, it’s the Weltmeister :D

      2. Thinking about it, it might actually be one of the reasons for changing that often. Knowing every design gets old quick and feels interchangeable when its featuring the big Red Bull logo, might be a good reason to take it a step further and design a new one for just about every other race.

        1. I’m one of the people who hates him changing it all the time.

          It’s also hard to see who is who quickly. Yellow in Mercedes is Rosberg, Red is Schumacher, Spa got confusing. Yellow in McLaren is Hamilton, Blue and Red is Button.

          You have to think of who it isn’t and so if Webber started doing it too then no one would know.

          I personally think that the helmet is the driver, that is their outward showing in a car. You can sometimes guess by driving style but it shows who they are. It’s something that rarely changes much while they change teams. Vettel’s rarely stays the same for 2 races

        2. It might even be in his contract to have his regular helmet as the Red Bull pattern. I wouldn’t be surprised.

  2. Will this Helmet give me the power to take out other cars after sliding through the grass, only due to being hit by a imagined car? Nah I’m just poking fun I’m glad he’s doing something nice for the people and F1 fans of Japan.

  3. Lovely idea from Tonio.

    1. Yeah, it’s good to see when F1 drivers/teams do it. For instance, early in the season Ferrari had a flag on their car, on the side of the front wing.

      Good to see the “heart” and “human” side of Formula One every now and again.

  4. THIS is why I hate some celebrities and sportsmen. At most the auction will raise £10,000. Someone care to remindme how much liuzzi is paid each year? Now, I have no idea how much he gives or doesn’t give to charity. But a charity for helmet, while raising awareness (albeit a few months late), raises less of the all-important donations than if he were to stump up, say, £100,000. No?
    Celebrities and their damn auctions.
    Join me next time for more cynical views :)

    1. It’s their money therefore their choice what they do with it.

    2. It’s not their duty to give every cent away just because they have more money than you do. Liuzzi doesn’t HAVE to sell his helmet you know.

      THIS is why I hate some ignorant fans who honestly believe they’d give everything away as soon as they got to see a million dollars/euros/pounds/…/… don’t try to convince us you would, no one is going to believe you.

    3. Come on, we all don’t have a clue how much these guys possibly gave away for charity.

      Doing an auction like this is good, not “just” for the money they get (although you’d be supprised to see the difference between a charity auction and just asking for money), but also the added publicity of it bringing the issue to renewed attention and maybe getting other people to give money.

      1. Agree BasCB. Bernie’s apparently meant to give away loads to charity but he likes to keep it quiet. Maybe Liuzzi does give away a lot for charity too but keeps it quiet? We just don’t know. This is a nice way to give away something from the sport and raise awareness and money for a worthwhile cause. I don’t see how this could be perceived as negative in any way.

      2. Yes, but we should. Giving doesn’t hurt. Formula One is very European and in Europe the state has always been very present on social issues what kinda crowds-out. The American “give back” thing is new to Europe.

        Is there a Formula Foundation? If not, there should be. A program similar to “NBA Cares” would be OK, small thing but means a lot to many folks in need.

    4. People often think of rich earners – ‘why don’t they just give loads to charity rather than raising money?’

      If 10K is too little, then what, should Liuzzi give them 50K? Nah, he’s got more than that, he can afford 100K!…This is the wrong mentality to take, as, sure, money is money, but if it’s for charity it means so much more to get people involved, make an event or tangible feature of it, which is a lot more interesting and requires more thought. Whether it’s worth a tenner or millions.

      1. If 10K is too little, then what, should Liuzzi give them 50K?

        Liuzzi is only racing for HRT so maybe his helmet actually is the most he can donate :P

        I think you’re right about Michael Jarred. I’m sure I read something similar.

        1. Haha! True. He probably gets pocket money. Kolles sends him down to the shop after every GP to get some fruit pastilles

    5. You hate celebrities and sportsmen because Tonio Liuzzi is giving away his personal property?

    6. If I recall correctly after the Boxing Day tsunami, Michael Schumacher donated $100m of his own money which is more than many countries did in total. I think that is a rather large donation don’t you.

      And I don’t think Luizzi is paid all that much maybe only a few £100,000 why should he give away a third or half his income, I think you’re being over cynical and are one of the people that hates others for having more than him

  5. Great stuff from Liuzzi.

  6. Vettel’s helmet is the one in front. Very easy to spot.

    1. Vettel’s helmet is the one that isn’t Mark Webber’s dull one.

      Webber should make more of an effort, he’s only one of a couple representin’ Australia.

  7. Few of us have what it takes to deal with the magnitude of damage and destruction that the people of Japan are dealing with. Imagine your neighborhood rocked by one of the largest recorded earthquakes, then flooded by a tsunami where that damage became almost unbelievable and then deal with the poison of radiation for the next several hundred years….All of which boggles the mind.

    The fact that one driver will auction a helmet and donate any income from that is to be admired. Problem is that it’s like giving a gift that is really worthless. The amount of money yet unknown, won’t make a hill of beans difference.

    Formula One is about being the best and because of the money that makes F1 what is, I propose that somehow we seek a goal of raising a serious amount of money that could be given to those who have lost everything.

    Like a lot of people nowadays I have lost my job due to the economy but feel I could throw in $100 to start an F1 Help Fund that could be used to give a man and his family when in need a chance to live a decent life as most of us do.

    Imagine the press that Formula One could get if we the fans all could help in any way or any fashion. Maybe the teams themselves could do the same and just imagine how the fine given to McLaren a few years back would really help our fellow citizens of planet earth.

    I challenge the management of Formula One to donate 10 percent of each teams annual entry fees and help out the people of Japan over the next year. F1 wouldn’t miss the money and again the beneifits that would come from that will certainly pay back over time.

    So we can start with one Helmet, add my meager contribution and maybe some more from you and the next fan. The possiblilties are endless.

  8. Really struggling to see the negative element to this story… maybe we should all post what percentage of our earnings we give to charity?
    No? Didn’t think so.
    Tonio’s helmets are brilliant, they show such a great sense of humour and his personality.

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