F1 drivers’ helmets guide 2014

2014 F1 season

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More and more drivers seem to change their helmet design after each race, let alone between seasons.

In a change for 2014, each driver has to display the career number each of them has chosen on their helmet so they can be identified more easily.

Here’s what the drivers of 2014 are wearing at the start of the season.

Sebastian Vettel

Where better to start than the driver who has made regular changes of helmet design his calling card? Sebastian Vettel has already sported several different styles since the season began.

Daniel Ricciardo

The new occupant of the second Red Bull tends to stick with the same design.

Lewis Hamilton

The Mercedes drivers had very similar yellow helmets last year bur they’re much easier to tell apart this season. Lewis Hamilton has gone for white…

Nico Rosberg

…while Nico Rosberg has a striking black design.

Fernando Alonso

Classic blue and yellow colours for Fernando Alonso as usual.

Kimi Raikkonen

While Kimi Raikkonen’s red, white and black design is similar to the last one he used at Ferrari in 2009.

Romain Grosjean

As well as this red, white and blue helmet Romain Grosjean also has a white one for the season’s three night races, which appeared for the first time in Bahrain last weekend.

Pastor Maldonado

Familiar colours for Pastor Maldonado but a slight reinterpretation of his design from last year.

Jenson Button

Jenson Button’s helmet incorporates a Papa Smurf graphic in memory of his father who died in January.

Kevin Magnussen

A bold ‘K’ identifies the helmet of new McLaren recruit Kevin Magnussen.

Nico Hulkenberg

Hulkenberg has a classic, simple helmet we he tends to stick to.

Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez likes vivid colours and has now added some Force India orange to go with his bright yellow and green design.

Esteban Gutierrez

Another Mexican driver with a colourful helmet – Esteban Gutierrez has substituted much of the blue on his old style for red and green.

Adrian Sutil

Aside from the darker shade of silver, Adrian Sutil’s has kept his look much the same since switched teams.

Jean-Eric Vergne

Jean-Eric Vergne also uses some slightly different variations on this style.

Daniil Kvyat

The colours of the Russian flag are prominent on Daniil Kvyat’s helmet.

Valtteri Bottas

Both Williams drivers have incorporated the stripes of the team’s new title sponsor. They work well on Valtteri Bottas’s helmet…

Felipe Massa

…but clash somewhat with Felipe Massa’s. Curiously they have orientated their numbers in opposite directions.

Jules Bianchi

Small stickers on Jules Bianchi’s helmet denote his status as a Ferrari development driver.

Max Chilton

There’s no missing Max Chilton’s choice of number.

Kamui Kobayashi

A bold change for Kamui Kobayashi on his return to F1 – his previous design was red, purple and white.

Marcus Ericsson

Marcus Ericsson may have replaced Charles Pic but his blue and yellow helmet is not that dissimilar to his predecessor’s.

Test drivers’ helmets

The helmet designs being used by three of this year’s test drivers.

2014 F1 season preview

Browse all 2014 F1 season preview articles

Images © Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo, Lotus/LAT, Williams/LAT, McLaren/LAT, Mercedes/Hoch Zwei, Daimler/Hoch Zwei, Red Bull/Getty, Force India, Sauber, Caterham/LAT, Marussia,

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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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80 comments on “F1 drivers’ helmets guide 2014”

  1. You know what the biggest issue is with Vettel changing his helmet design every single race?

    Nothing. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Vettel changing his helmet design every single race.

    1. I enjoy seeing his different helmets, also.

    2. That’s the Comment of the day right there!

    3. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      11th April 2014, 14:23

      @magnificent-geoffrey – I know it’s an overused argument, but in a sport where the driver is utterly submarined into a car, the helmet becomes the only vessel of their identity. That said, Vettel can usually been spotted as the Red Bull driver that’s in front, although Ricciardo might have something to say about that…

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        11th April 2014, 15:51

        @william-brierty can’t be seen the other way round? From the Red Bull drivers, you can recognize Ricciardo’s design, so the other, whatever design it is, surely is Vettel.

        1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
          11th April 2014, 18:45

          @omarr-pepper – Well that is in essence how I identify Vettel, but call me old fashioned, but I think it is a bit of a shame that such a great champion gets identified simply as “the one that isn’t Ricciardo”…

          1. there are other ways to identify a pilot. Some people seem to struggle with identification of a pilot(s) if their helmet is different. second pilot in the team has a yellow T-bar for example and obviously the pilots have chosen special numbers for this year… it’s easier than ever really, to identify the pilots now unless you dont have an HD tv and cant see the numbers and/or T-bar .

      2. I hear this argument over and over again but I really don’t heed to it, at least in present day formula 1. I respect the signature helmet, it runs true through out all levels of motorsport and history (partly due to the fact changing your helmet every race would cost an arm and a leg), I think it’s a very important thing to establish as you plod along.

        But with all the coverage and information we get fed during F1 races we hardly need much visual input from the helmets. Back in the day you wouldn’t have swanky tv graphics telling you (and the commentator) who’s Mclaren that was or who’s Ferrari was in front but now we do.

        Maybe Vettel thinks he doesn’t need an ‘image’ and doesn’t have much of a sentimental value to having the same look. Plus out of process of elimination you can work out it’s him in a matter of seconds, if everyone did it then yeah we may have an issue. Oh and secondly all the Red Bull sponsored drivers have very similar designs anyway, it’s good he steps away from that.

        His Stratos helmet last year was one of the coolest concepts I’ve ever seen, visually represented the epic feet perfectly.

        1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
          12th April 2014, 19:13

          @kartingjimbo – I’m not criticizing Vettel because of recognition issues, they are, as you say, fleeting and trivial, but I simply think it is a shame that Vettel, unlike every iconic champion of the past, doesn’t have an iconic design as part of his historic identity.

      3. I don’t understand why or how some people can’t figure out who’s , who. There are other ways to identify drivers, multiple in fact. Their helmet design isn’t ” the only vessel of their identity ” wake up.

    4. @magnificent-geoffrey I don’t like it… a special helmet or two per season is alright, but there’s not a single Vettel helmet that stands out for me. Not even the ones with LEDs and that sort of stuff.

      Look at Jenson’s one for isntance. So classy and distinctive. And he also changed it, but slightly. It sort of evolved. I like that. Even Kimi, that regularly changes his design every season. But at least he sticks to 1 design all year.

      Call me old fashioned, but I prefer that.

      1. Have to agree with Jenson’s helmet being majorly iconic but you never get that from a Red Bull sponsored driver. The branding always seems to drown out the drivers design, I really don’t blame Vettel for all the different things he tries even though a lot do flop (in ones opinion).

      2. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        11th April 2014, 18:49

        @fer-no65 “+1” to that. Every great champion, Senna, Stewart, Prost, Mansell, Schumacher, had instantly recognizable, distinctive designs. It’s almost a shame that a great four-time champion like Vettel doesn’t…

        1. He has a point though. Most of the red bull drivers have similar helmets. They all resemble a red bull can in the end. It’s not really a big deal that vettel doesn’t have one helmet, it’s actually refreshing since his helmet doesn’t resemble a red bull can. Also we don’t remember all of the formula 1 greats because of simple iconic helmets. We remember them for what they achieved on the track and vettel has already made a name for himself ” one helmet design ” or not he will be remembered. It doesn’t really matter.

    5. I may not be remembering this correctly but don’t most of his helmets get auctioned off for the Wings for Life charity?

      1. It’s possible. I saw in an interview with Nico Rosberg that the drivers change their helmet (if not the design) every couple of races on the basis of “better safe than sorry”. I guess the constantly changing design would make the helmets more valuable in Vettel’s case.

        1. it’s mandatory to get a new helmet after a wreck I believe, as it weakens. As for changing every few races even if they dont wreck… Maybe they like the feel of a fresh helmet and it’s padding/lining. Maybe its better that way .

    6. I instantly recognize all drivers from the 60s through to the 90s.

      Now when i turn on the tv to watch the latest grand prix on a sunday i basically have no idea who is driving what car.

      There might be nothing wrong with it, but it is annoying.

      And every helmet is way over-stylized. If these people were chefs they would use every ingredient in the fridge and cupboards in every meal. It’s insane.

      1. Mark McDonald
        13th April 2014, 19:17

        My thoughts exactly, Simon.

      2. If you have no idea who’s driving what car then thats your fault. Pay attention it’s quite easy to tell, it doesn’t boil down to the helmet colors.

    7. Nobody has an issue with it. Helmet designs don’t effect anything.

    8. It’s all well and good to say that ever changing helmets is no problem, but try explaining that to model collectors, aside from TV watchers. For the former, once upon a time, you’d buy a single model for the season or models for each epic win or event. Then they started changing sponsors on cars depending on grand prix location. Now the bloody helmet. Imagine sportsmen and teams in other disciplines doing so for each of their game matches.

    9. Mmm hmm. There’s nothing wrong with vettel changing his design. +1

  2. I quite like the designs of Rosbergs and Magnussen this year.

    1. Magnussen with Johnnie Walker!

  3. I like how Koba has put in traditional Japanese art elements into his design.

  4. Wasnt there some rule to ban changing of helmet on every race from this year?

    1. It never came to fruition.

  5. Liking Kevin’s helmet. Clean and simple.

    On the opposite ends are the Latin American drivers. They all seem to have party theme in them. Felipe has so much florescent, the Mexicans have multiple bright colors – Orange, Green, Yellow, Pastor has that weird big ‘M’ on the top!

    1. I like those colours. It makes them stand out. Hülkenberg is a very good driver but his helmet is boring. Perez his helmet on the other hand.

      1. I like his helmet being boring. Like its saying ‘I dont need a flashy helmet, my driving is going to do the talking’. And boy does it!

    2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      11th April 2014, 15:54

      Hey!! I’m latin…. naaah you’re right. Those helmets look like the Rio Movie characters.

  6. Susie Wolff has the best helmet period.

    1. Susie Wolff has the best helmet, period.**

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        11th April 2014, 12:57

        haha yeah important bit of grammar there!

        It’s like the difference between ‘helping your uncle, Jack, off a horse’ and… well you know the rest!

    2. Hope to see her racing soon…..

    3. By far, yeah ! very very nice.

    4. I like it. But almost looks like a Stormtroopers helmet.

  7. I love Perez’s helmet! I’m known for liking bold and bright colours, and Orange is by far my favourite, so that probably explains why Sergio’s design is my favourite.

    I also think it’s nice to see a driver with such a vibrant design, there’s certainly no missing him…

  8. Perez’s is my favourite there. He’s probably been allowed more freedom with the design than when he was with McLaren, which was also quite a vibrant design!

    Others I’m liking there are Rosberg’s, Bottas’ (I like helmets that blend in with the car), and usually whatever helmet Vettel is sporting in a particular session.

    It’s unusual to see Hamilton with a white helmet. I thought it was going to be temporary. He’s been driving pretty well with it mind!

  9. Kobayashi’s new helmet is very cool, as is Perez’ carbon helmet from testing, but my favourite is still Hulkenberg’s helmet. Simple, elegant and recognizable.

  10. Alonso’s Asturias colours still do it for me, such a simple but cool colour combo, especially with some rosso corsa thrown in :) honorable mentions to Rosberg’s stealth helmet and Perez’ very not stealth helmet.

    Not sure why Hamilton moved away from yellow, not a big fan of his new colour scheme. Looks like milky custard

  11. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    11th April 2014, 13:57

    The helmet inscribed with the word “one” is definitely Vettel’s best design so far. I would keep it if I was him, but…

    Apart from the rather boring designs of Magnussen, Bianchi and Raikkonen they all look great, and I am now faced with the task of procuring as many half scale replicas of them as possible. Those replicas are like an F1 fan’s version of catnip…

  12. Mmm…Sutil might be boring but I really like his helmet. A good mix of colors with a great shading effect.

  13. I really like the helmets of Rosberg and Sutil

    Gutierrez’s helmet resembles a bit like the old Hamilton-one

    To be honest, the fact that the numbers are on the helmets doesn’t help recognizing the drivers, different helmet colors does, and especially in night races it really helps a lot.

    I also have nothing against that Vettel keeps changing his helmets from race to rae or from session to session, however only few remained remarkable for me of the many he used.

  14. If a kid can’t draw a helmet from memory, it’s not a good helmet in my book…
    When I was a kid, I could draw from memory the helmets of all my favorite drivers, such as Senna, Berger, Hakkinen, Frentzen (those were my favorite drivers in the 90’s).. And to this day, I can still remember clearly their helmets… can’t say the same for most drivers of current generation…

    1. They were all very simple helmets and usually featured like a few lines going across… quite boring tbh but what we’re looking at now is the evolution of helmets. They still mean something to them they’re just not as boring.

  15. Kobayashi’s design is beautiful. Quite like Rosberg’s too.

  16. Esteban is actually running with gold instead of yellow in races, but I have seen him use the yellow lid in practice sessions.

  17. My favourites are Rosberg and Perez. Grosjean is up there as well, and Hamilton’s (whose was my favourite last year with the striking yellow) has now got the ugliest helmet design this year. Looks like milk. Go back to your yellow already Lewis! :(

    1. Hamilton’s is the best in the field. ” it looks like milk ” was that supposed to be funny?

  18. Kimi’s helmet looks the best for me, as it looked the best during his first Ferrari stint.

  19. Why didn’t Mclaren get rid of that cumbersome white band where vodafone used to be, also Ericsson resembles more Gutierrez’s helmet from last year than Pic I think.

  20. Kobayashi’s helmet does it for me! It could do with more colour but the shapes in the design more than make up for it. I love Perez’s too!

  21. I think my favourite out of all of those is actually Suzie Wolff’s.

  22. Since Vettel likes to change his helmet every time he wins a race, what are the chances he will be wearing a helmet with the same design for the rest of the season?

  23. Susie Wolff’s looks a bit like Jackie Stewart’s old design, very nice. I like Felipe Massa’s the best, it looks even better when he’s in the car with the contrast against the white. I really hope Hamilton goes back to yellow, it’s just strange with the white being the predominant colour. Maybe he and Nico had an agreement where neither could wear yellow :) seeing as Nico’s gone for the black design.

  24. Why does Sutil have a flag of Uruguay painted on his helmet?

    1. His dad is Uruguayan.

  25. I like the changes across the board from the drivers, but having to put the number on the helmet is a bit redundant.

    I do pity the Red Bull/Toro Rosso drivers, you’d think the giant logos on the car would be enough! That said, I wonder if Vettel will ever pick a design and stick to it. Maybe when he leaves Red Bull?

    1. Wonder what the penalty is for not having a number on your helmet. Probably more than Maldonado got for flipping Gutierrez over.

      Too true about Red Bull logos – they spoiled Vergne’s tribute to François Cevert last year. And the white band ruins Ericsson’s Swedish colours too – who’s going to cancel the order on a Boeing and switch to Airbus just because it’s on his helmet, anyway?

      But the sponsors’ colours actually add to Bottas’ design, that’s probably my favourite.

    2. coming from the red bull junior program I think he will always have a piece of red bull with him no matter where he go’s. I think it’s mandatory for him actually. so if he happened to go to ferrari or sauber *whatever* he’d still have red bull logo’s on him or drink from a red bull bottle when he’s sitting in the pits and whatnot.

  26. Love Nico’s helmet! By far! Then, Vettel, Perez, Kobayashi and Ham. Alonso should try something different. Never liked that helmet of his.

  27. I’ve noticed that Fernando has removed the two aces from the back of helmet which denoted his world championship wins. Anyone know why?

    1. maybe the photo’s were taken just before the season started and the aces are on now. Hamilton had a slightly changed yellow helmet in testing but arrived with all white gear when the season started or maybe the FIA would like pilots to have just the number on the helmet without any extra images. Hamilton doesn’t have a DJ on the back anymore either. I haven’t seen the back of alonso’s helmet at all this year though, personally… just wondering like you.

  28. What represent those scoops on Susie’s helmet, video cameras or air scoops ?!

    1. Air scoops, my bad. Should have looked more carefully at it.

  29. Great article / Entry. Very useful and informative, I’ve been looking for such a summary, Thanks.

  30. Red and Black, Red and Black, Red and Black, Red and Black, Red and Black, Red and Black, Red and Black, Red and Black, Red and Black….. Nico and Marcus

  31. Is it just me or does Gutierrez’s helmet look a lot like Hamilton’s previous helmets (before 2014 anyway)?

  32. Perez is very good, just right, philosophy overall simple but with fine detail.

  33. The stars in Pastor’s helmet are the cars he smashed into.

    1. An the M at the top stands for McDonaldos

  34. Sorry Keith, it might suit your eyes/screen, depends what you’re watching on, but i had no trouble spotting the difference between Hamilton and Rosberg last year, whereas this year I struggle, both helmets just blend into the car – and judging by the number of mistakes Ben Edwards is making between them I’m not the only one.

  35. Most of these helmet designs look horrible and it’s often impossible to distinguish between them with all wild lines going on. Also it’s most often just red and blue on white.

    At least Rosberg and Ericsson have clean and recognizable designs. Although I like Bottas’ design too.

  36. Susie and Jenson are my top two.

  37. what will the next thing be, one helmet for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, different at every race?

  38. Theres a few drivers who had nice designs last year. Hamilton is my first, Kevin mag second, Perez third, Rosberg fourth, And Bottas fifth , for a top 5 .

    Kobayashi and sutil also have nice dedsigns.

    1. Designs* in English.

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