For many racing drivers their helmet design is a fixed part of their identity. But for the current world champion that identity is ever-changing.
Since he first appeared in F1 in 2006 Sebastian Vettel has used over 50 different helmet designs. He even had a special design to mark the appearance of his 50th style in Italy last year.
Vettel’s passion for different helmet designs started at a young age, according to his helmet designer Jens Munser. “He was eight years old and he wanted the crab from The Little Mermaid on it, which was called Sebastian too.”
Munser has typically produced a new design following each of Vettel’s 26 Grand Prix wins so far. And he also uses special designs for some races.
At Singapore last year Vettel raced with a unique flashing helmet, with LEDs used to represent stars and constellations. This gave Munser a few headaches.
“I was worried it might interfere with the radio. I was hoping the battery would last, it’s a long race, nearly two hours. It was amazing when he won the race, he was greeting the fans and the helmet was still flashing.”
The Singapore helmet and the rest of Vettel’s F1 designs can be seen in the gallery below. But expect it to be out of date soon after the 2013 season starts…
Pictures: Sebastian Vettel’s F1 helmet designs
This is the first helmet Vettel used in F1 while participating in practice sessions for BMW in 2006.
2009 Chinese Grand Prix
Vettel sported this design when he scored his second career win and first for Red Bull.
2009 Singapore Grand Prix
Vettel has always used a new helmet design for the Singapore Grand Prix. This one from 2009 also appeared in Brazil and Abu Dhabi that year.
2010 British Grand Prix
Several of Vettel’s helmet designs have included references to his mechanics, such as this one from Silverstone in 2010.
2010 Japanese Grand Prix
Suzuka is Vettel’s favourite track – in his four appearances there he has won three times and never failed to start from pole position. His 2010 helmet incorporated the Japanese flag.
2011 Monaco Grand Prix
A retro design from Monte-Carlo in 2011, when he scored his only victory in the principality to date.
2011 Indian Grand Prix
Another of Vettel’s team-orientated designs from the first Indian Grand Prix in 2011
2012 Italian Grand Prix
Vettel marked his 50th different helmet design at the 2012 Italian Grand Prix.
2012 United States Grand Prix
Vettel’s most recent new design was this Texas-themed one for the first race at the Circuit of the Americas last year.
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Images © BMW, Red Bull/GEPA, Red Bull/Getty