In pictures: All the 2016 F1 drivers’ helmets

2016 F1 season preview

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A rules change at the beginning of 2015 meant drivers had to stick with a single helmet design for the whole season.

So the winter break was their first chance to make a change for 12 months and several of them took the opportunity to revise their colour schemes for the new season.

Among the most striking new designs is that of Nico Hulkenberg, who has switched to a bring green design for 2016.

Sebastian Vettel, never one to stick to a design before the ban came in, has also updated his. Jenson Button has gone back to his classic design while Haas pair Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez both have new colours.

Here are all the drivers’ helmets for the upcoming 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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59 comments on “In pictures: All the 2016 F1 drivers’ helmets”

  1. Tone it down, boys.

    1. Agree. Less is more!!

      Hamilton’s looks better from the front but it’s a right dog’s dinner compared to his ’07/’08 lid.

    2. I do like Nico Rosberg’s lid, relatively simple; on the other hand, Vettel made his beautifully clean one murky now.But many others do seem already toned done compared to last year, which is for the better.

      1. Though Grosjean and Gutierrez are not – they are messy, though at least they are very different colours so we can differentiate between the two in the car :)

  2. Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?

  3. I think that the Force India drivers’ helmet are too similar. May cause problems like Mercedes had in 2013 and Williams in 2010.

    1. I agree, Hulk’s helmet used to be red, any idea on why he did such a radical change?

      1. The Hulk is green.

        1. haha good one

  4. Why, of why did Vettel have to change his at all? It was perfect! He had a perfect game going. It was such a simple, elegant and iconic helmet! :(

    1. Yeah, really sad to see it go. I hope he will reverse to the old one at some point.

      Marcus Ericcson is the only one who did a good job this year.

      1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        18th March 2016, 14:29

        Seb always adapts his helmet, even since the new continuity rule came into force. I agree its disappointing that this years starter doesn’t have the iconic simplicity of last years, but as the essence remains, there is nothing stopping him from toning it back to the simple white lid again if desired. I hope he does!

  5. Carlos Sainz helmet is beautiful.

  6. Don’t like the changes to Vettels helmet, is it Gold all around or a slant on the German flag so some red on the other side? Last year the white helmet was so nice in my opinion. Also preferred Hamilton’s original design than the current one. Who uses what helmet? Hamilton is Arai? Vettel Schuberth? Rosberg Bell?

    1. Hamilton is Bell, Vettel is Arai, Rosberg is Schuberth.

    2. It’s chrome, the “gold” is just external reflection.

  7. The Sauber duo continue to have the best helmets, IMO. Both simple, yet elegant.

      1. Me too + Jolyon Palmer. Vettel ruined last years striking design, and now it will be harder to differentiate the FI drivers

        1. Agreed – Sauber’s are the best.

    1. Agreed. Nasr’s helmet is my favorite with the bold, simple design.

  8. @keithcollantine Can we have a poll on the best looking helmet now that the rules forces the drivers to use just one design for the entire season?

    1. Awesome idea

  9. Why even bother with helmet designs anymore? With the ever-increasing heights of the shoulder bars (albeit in the name of safety), you can’t even see the helmets unless they’re out of their cars.

    1. Maybe they will have driver specific colours for the halo to compensate?

  10. I didn’t think so at first glance, but there are actually quite a few there that I am fond of. Alonso, Palmer, Magnussen, Bottas, Perez, Ericsson, Nasr and Haryanto all get big ticks from me. That said I am massively disappointed with Hulkenberg’s, I loved his old lid.

  11. Glad Button has gone back to the blue and red. Still not as good as his classic design when he had a Bell helmet, but nicer than the red design from last year.

    Alonso’s is nice (especially from the front), his best for several years.

    Massa’s continues to be one of the best, although the Martini colours don’t suit is as well as the Ferrari sponsors did.

    Magnussen, Ericson, Nasr, Kvyat are all OK too.

    The rest of them are all pretty nasty really – Vettel has completely ruined his from last season. Hamilton’s is a mess, Perez’s is his worst he’s had in F1 and Rosberg’s is as bland as his personality.

    1. Lewis hamilton helmet is the best
      Follow by pascal and mag…..
      The rest are ok

  12. William Jones
    17th March 2016, 16:13

    Would have been able to guess Alonso, Button, Rosberg – but only because of his name, Bottas, Massa, Hamilton’s.
    Favourite is Magnussen

  13. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
    17th March 2016, 16:20

    Is Gutiérrez trying to give a seizure to other drivers in order to get points?

  14. Vettel, what have you done! You ruined what was, the best helmet of 2015! Magnussen’s is easily the best of 2016 as it is the most simple, so it is the most elegant and recognizable.

  15. Argh, Jolyon’s beautifully simple design ruined by an erroneous red sponsor strip, that appears to have been placed there for a company with light green corporate colours… Makes… sense?

  16. I miss the days of simple helmet designs that were consistent throughout a driver’s career…. pre-2000 or so.

  17. The Vettel helmet picture is not the best. Also the page to the more pictures for Vettel is showing Hamilton’s helmet for 2016?
    Here is helmet looks better, it is similar to the 2015 one.

    1. That golden one is different from the one in the website, wich is not updated i think

      1. Yeah the one in the link looks like the one he altered slightly during 2015 but not enough to break the rules. The one at the top of the article is different with lots of gold but is this the correct one? Is it Gold one side and different the other? Whatever it is fuzzy.

    2. @aliced The Vettel helmet page is now fixed, thanks.

  18. K-Mag wins. No mistaking who it is with that K on there.

    1. apart from the big K on the side of Hülkenberg’s head…what’s that all about?

      1. @bullfrog If you look at the “more pics” it says “hulk” across the back so makes sense

    2. Kimi? Kvyat?

  19. Best ones:
    Palmer, Nasr, Nico, Massa

  20. Huge props to Jolyon Palmer. What a beautiful classic helmet!

    Other great helmets: Kimi, Hulk, Sainz, Eriksson, Nasr

    Absolute worst helmet is Gutierrez’-what a rubbish mess! Vettel’s not much better also

    Prize to the most boring design and therefore equally rubbish to Vettel’s and Guti’s mess goes jointly to: Rosberg and Magnussen. Congrats ;)

    1. Yeah and why does Gutierrez have the US flag in his design? Isn’t that like Alonso having the GB flag on his helmet instead of the Spanish one?

  21. Perez’s new design is cool!

    What has Vettel done with his!? As always, can’t really fault Button’s design either…

  22. Palmer’s is superb, looks like a classic one from someone like Cevert. Thought it might be his Dad’s design but no, I looked that up and this is way better.

    Why do McLaren insist on ruining their drivers’ designs with the big white Please Sponsor Me band round the top? Marlboro dropped you 20 years ago, get over it!

    1. In Jenson’s case, it has nothing to do with McLaren, he has always had a white halo going back to his karting days. He had it at Williams, BAR, Honda, Brawn etc and most often without any sponsor logos in there – his helmet is designed with it in mind.

  23. FlyingLobster27
    17th March 2016, 19:09

    “Whoosh spikes” seem to be the mainstream thing to have on helmets nowadays (Verstappen, Wehrlein, Hamilton to name a few, and Grosjean, gosh! his helmet is a whoosh collection!). I don’t like them, personally, so I really like the designs for Bottas, Palmer and Nasr. Massa’s is a classic too.
    The let-down: Hülkenberg. He’s has blown away his great, simple, recognisable design.

  24. I think Kimi has the coolest helmet, by a mile. Next up are Button and Wehrlein.

  25. RaceProUK (@)
    17th March 2016, 19:22

    Why does it look like the drivers had a ‘how many design elements can you fit on a helmet’ competition?

    1. When designing it they focus 10 cm2 at a time without thinking what it looks like from far away or even as a whole. Vettel must of done this when you zoom in to details they are cool but pan back and it’s a mess, shame as loved last years.

  26. As usual Massa’s helmet is my favourite, followed very closely by Kimi’s this year.

  27. Nasr’s is the best for the second year running. Clean, minimalist, not overdone. Jolyon Palmer’s is a welcome addition too; running along the same lines. Nice clear design that isn’t too messy.

  28. Because of Ferrari’s white trim around the cockpit Vettel had to change his helmet, Damn shame.

  29. I wonder if Lewis even recognizes the helmet he entered F1 with any more?

    His current one is fine, but the original Senna inspired one seems a world away.

  30. Now I have seen Vettels helmet in free practise it is nothing like the photos here, it looks to have gold on here but as someone much sharper than myself pointed out the picture here is not representative as the gold is a reflection of the surroundings the photo was taken in. It has chrome bits on it otherwise very similar to last year which changes my opinion completely.

  31. why there is no pictures from the top and back of the helmets?

    1. Probably this kind of pictures are hard to find. I have been looking, but I only found a few top and back pictures of the helmets in this site, hope this help.

      Now about the topic, this is a very good article, the pictures are really good, thank you for sharing, I have to say I love your site and I will be saving it in my bookmarks to see every new topic. Keep with the good work!

  32. What’s the use of a helmet in a driver? Most of you will say safety. Wrong. Business it is. As a F1 fan I love recognizing drivers by their iconic helmets (Senna, Hunt, Stewart, Jacky I., Prost, Cevert). At some point they started selling place in their helmets (Cafe do Brasil in Emerson Fittipaldi is the first one it come to my mind). Bum. It’s gone. A lot of designers pay money to design the helmets, and then sell them. As a fan I hate complicated helmets, I rather see much more ERI, PAL or NAS, but if I only had the chance to make big bucks….I will wear whatever helmet makes my wallet fatter. I did enjoy VET 2015 helmet. But remember…helmets are not for recognizing team-mates or safety…..Helmets are for making money. Thats current F1. Not even team mates have the same ads in their helmets. Welcome to Bernies sport.

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