Raikkonen wears James Hunt-style helmet in Monaco

2012 Monaco Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Jean-Eric Vergne is not the only driver using a helmet style borrowed from one of his F1 predecessors this weekend.

Kimi Raikkonen used the helmet design of one of his fellow world championship winners during practice in Monaco today.

The Lotus driver wore the black helmet design used by James Hunt, world champion in 1976.

It’s not the first time Raikkonen has acknowledged the legacy of Hunt, who died in 1993. Shortly before his debut for Ferrari in 2007 Raikkonen entered a snowmobile race using ‘James Hunt’ as a pseudonym.

Meanwhile Raikkonen has been refused permission to compete in the Rally of Finland by Lotus team principal Eric Boullier.

Presumably someone at Enstone will now be tasked with keeping as eye on the rally’s entry list for the appearance of another ‘James Hunt’…

2012 Monaco Grand Prix

Browse all 2012 Monaco Grand Prix articles

Image © Lotus F1 Team/LAT

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

34 comments on “Raikkonen wears James Hunt-style helmet in Monaco”

  1. Nice !

  2. That helmet looks properly good!

  3. Think its the “live fast die young” legacy he’s acknowledging – the chicks…the champagne…the adult parties…

  4. to shiney for me i like the more matt black not gloss…

    1. No way! Kimi’s normal helmet looks awful with the matte colouring, I think!

  5. I think Kimi will understand Lotus’ decision.

    1. I’d pay to know what went through Boullier’s mind when Kimi asked him about the rally! considering the fact that kimi is a replacement for a driver they lost in another motorsport event!

  6. Epìc tribute!

    And no wonder they didn’t allow him to compete in WRC. Firstly because of what happened to Kubica and secondly, to what happened to Kimi during his time blasting crashing around in the slippery roads of the World Rally Championship.

  7. I think he’ll probably enter the rally anyway. He doesn’t seem like the type that will take kindly to being told what he can’t do.

    1. Jayfreese (@)
      24th May 2012, 18:55

      I think, a WRC car is a bit more safe than Kubica’s S2000 Skoda Fabia, isn’t it… Plus Raikkonen has already entered quite enough WRC rounds not to put him in serious danger I believe, so hopefully Lotus will switch opinion as Raikkonen can enter the Rally of Finland during the F1 summer break.

      1. @jayfreese The difference between a WRC car and a S2000 car isn’t that big, really, at least in terms of safety.

        Considering the risks of rally racing, and Kimi’s record to put it in a ditch everytime he got into one of the cars, it’s quite an obvious decision by Lotus, sadly.

        I rather see drivers trying different series during the year, but… you know.

      2. No, there’s not a big difference in terms of safety. Plus, Kimi was crashing all the time in rally.

  8. Kimi has always had very nice helmets

    1. always…

  9. He likes Hunt very much!

  10. I love that he’s paying tribute to such a great world champion, it’s just a bit of a shame that James Hunt had (in my view) a pretty boring helmet design.

    I guess in the mid 70’s helmet designs weren’t very developed? More of 80s thing

    1. DK (@seijakessen)
      25th May 2012, 0:40


      I actually feel Hunt had a fabulous helmet design.

      It was simple, but it was very distinctive compared to all the other helmets in the 1970s IMO.

      You started seeing more thought put into helmet designs in the 80s. I always like the design Elio de Angelis had as well as Mansell. Plenty of great designs in the 1990s too…I feel the past decade or so, the helmets have become actually overloaded with too much stuff to the point they don’t stand out any longer.

      I’ve always felt the best helmets have one thing in common; they are simple in design.

      1. Did you notice Jean Eric Vergne is wearing a tribute helmet to Elio De Angelis this weekend?
        I think he said it was a actually tribute to Jean Alesi. Tribute of a tribute.

      2. I agree, you can’t read whats on a modern helmet as it goes by at 300 kph, If Kimi races with this helmet he will be instantly recognisable.
        I think I might become a Kimi fan, seems we both prefer F1 as a sport for fun, not a business for profit.

      3. @DK

        Yeah, I don’t like overly complicated (like Maldonado’s) designs too. I think a balance is always good.

        Take Massa for example. Relatively simple design, but with some lovely finishes on it like the honeycombe effect and the fading colours. It’s a thing of beauty!

  11. Presumably someone at Enstone will now be tasked with keeping as eye on the rally’s entry list for the appearance of another ‘James Hunt’…

    My thought exacly! :D

    1. I wonder if the tribute is meant to be a protest against Lotus’s decision?

      1. @egsgeg I think you nailed it mate……

      2. thatscienceguy
        25th May 2012, 0:43

        Pretty unlikely. that decision was only made this week, it takes longer than a day to get a helmet done up.

  12. Great!

  13. Really hope that someone makes a replica of that helmet – I would buy one !

  14. It looks good, I like it!

    Sounds about right from Lotus regarding the rally decision, I don’t think Kimi will complain too much, he was probably half expecting it.

  15. James Hunt was a pretty cool guy aswell, kind of a George Best or 007 character.

    1. Bjorn Borg and so on…

  16. Rallying outside of the season is one thing, but during the summer break is just far too risky even without their recent history with Kubica. It’s not unrealistic to imagine Kimi still in the title hunt by that point of the season.

  17. Iv’e just realise that i have got Kimi wrong all these years. I thought he was boring and mechanical sort of person. Where as after doing a bit of diging he’s quite a charismatic, deep and respectfull sort of bloke who doesn’t suffer fools but likes to enjoy life in the fast lane. His statement the otherday when he was asked some technical guff “what you think i am and engineer or something” made me proper belly laugh. He is completely misunderstood and i feel bad now for disliking him all these years. The nod to James Hunt seams to make perfect sense now.

    1. the media enjoy having a go at him because he will never bother to defend himself no matter what the journalist wrote about him~~ the real f1 fans will know the true kimi~~

    2. You got it :-)

  18. “looking for another James Hunt.”
    Hehe that was great.

    Kimi really is one of a kind, by far the most interesting driver in the field. Everyone seems to think he will be our 6th different winner this year. I hope they are right. 7 years ago he made a chump out of Alonso in qualifying and ran away from the field, leading every lap of the race. I don’t think that is possible with the Pirelli tires, but if anyone can do it, Kimi can.

Comments are closed.