Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, Sochi Autodrom, 2019

Kvyat may defy “joke” rule by using new helmet for home race

2019 Russian Grand Prix

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Daniil Kvyat says he may break a rule which prevents drivers from using more than two different helmet designs during a season.

Drivers are only allowed to change helmet designs once per season. Kvyat’s usual helmet design is blue and red, but he switched to a largely red design for the Italian Grand Prix.

The Toro Rosso driver has brought a special, largely white helmet design for his home race at Sochi Autodrom. However he has been advised that using it could be a violation of the rules.

Article 9.1 of the sporting regulations states: “In order for drivers to be easily distinguished from one another whilst they are on the track, the crash helmet of each driver must, with the exception of one event of the driver’s choice, be presented in substantially the same livery at every Event during a championship season.

“A change to helmet livery will also be permitted if a driver changes team during a championship season.”

Kvyat called the rule “a joke”. He used his standard helmet during Friday practice but indicated he may run the new one tomorrow anyway.

“We’ll see maybe I will use tomorrow,” he said. “Let’s see. I still want to know what could be the consequence. But to be honest there are bigger problems to focus on than the helmet.”

“The rule says that there is one helmet you can use per year which I didn’t know about,” he added. “But it’s a good helmet, I hope you saw it, I put it there in the garage just to show it to everyone.”

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44 comments on “Kvyat may defy “joke” rule by using new helmet for home race”

  1. It is one of the most absurd “rules” in F1.

    Next they will define that a driver must use one pair of underwear for the whole season… with exception of one event of the driver’s choice.

    1. If they wore it Superman-style, the FIA might very well be inclined to do so… :)

      1. Yes!
        It will be mandatory in 2021!

        1. Standard part through an FIA-approved supplier? One size fits all? ;)

          1. Superman style always fit.

          2. Same material as the Hulk’s shorts, I presume?

      2. Touche! “Superman style”

    2. Most absurd rules are those disallowing to race and requiring to last entire race by save the engine, tyres, gearbox, fuel level and even consumption.

    3. There’s far more absurd rules than wanting viewers to identify helmets with drivers.

      Back in the day MS wore the stars on top, Senna wore the yellow, DC the Scottish flag etc etc, I couldnt tell you what most people run these days off the top of my head and that’s a shame.

      1. their names and personal numbers are on the car, the helmet is hidden behind the halo, nobody is using helmet designs to figure out the drivers identity.

      2. RB13 I agree. Personally I like the rule.

      3. For me the bigger absurdity is that, while they can’t substantially change the design they apparently can change the colors of the design (Something I believe Max and Seb have done frequently). For me, as a fan at the track watching a car pass at over 100mph, the color is the thing I usually use to recognize the driver as they go past.

        So, if the rule is intended to keep their helmets recognizable, it is failing by allowing the most easily identifiable element to be changed.

    4. 4 pairs allowed year, 5 spot grid penalty for each subsequent pair.

  2. Go for it, Kvyat. I was slightly annoyed by the rule when it was first introduced, and I still don’t like it. It was a small point of note to see the designs that Vettel used to bring to different GPs (other drivers changed their designs less frequently), and this rule put an end to that.

    1. Though Vettel still brings subtly different designs, oftentimes very well done @phylyp (personally I found the previous Vettel variation a bit much, but this is great); and while Verstappen has kept to the same linework, he has had several quite different colorings, not just the Spa coppery orange one (on my Twitter, someone, I think a Russian, was upset abt the seeming difference in treatment).

      1. I saw that too! @bosyber Oleg Karpov?

  3. This rule honestly needs to go. Who cares if he changes his helmet design…Vettel already flaunts this rule by fiddling with his design every race though it sticks to the same general theme.

    As much as I think a helmet design should be part of a driver’s identity, I like seeing one off designs for special races such as their home race, Monaco, Singapore, milestone races etc.

  4. Whilst I understand Kvyat’s frustration, if it was that important to him to have white for Sochi, he could have not changed for Monza and saved his change.

    I don’t think it’s a joke rule at all, I like being able to quickly identify the driver from their helmet at a glance, because from most angles it’s still impossible to read the car number or check which of the cars had which colour camera.

    What was getting a joke was how often drivers were changing, even if it was for a good cause in the case of Vettel. Or made it too difficult to keep up with the changes – and commentators found the same thing.

    Although it has to be said too that one of the biggest problems in differentiating was when Hamilton was still running a largely yellow Senna-inspired helmet and Rosberg switched to a slightly luminous yellow, because in a lot of lighting conditions you couldn’t tell them apart.

    1. Or made it too difficult

      It made it too difficult…

    2. Has the ‘punishment’ ever been published? Assuming a grid place penalty?

      Simple way of flouting the rule if they all disagree with it and want to highlight its stupidity would be all getting together to change designs at the same track having already used their 2. Everyone gets a 5 place penalty…

    3. I’ll bet everything I have that you cannot identify all 20 drivers helmet designs without any sponsor branding on them, and that you have zero chance of describing just 10 current F1 drivers helmets right now without seeing them.

      Which makes the whole driver identity by helmet a ridiculous idea.

  5. If ever a rule was made to be broken it’s this piece of nonsense. I hope he does it.

    1. +1. Do it, Daniil!!!

  6. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
    27th September 2019, 16:55

    I agree with Kvyat. stupid rule

  7. The simple punishment for not adhering to this “rule” should be the driver cannot keep the infringing helmet and it must be donated to a charity to auction/use for fundraising.

    Silly rule solved.

  8. I always thought it was a silly & unnecessary rule.

    A driver should be able to change the design of his helmet whenever he wants, As often as he wants because it’s a personnel thing that the FIA really should have no control over (Providing a driver doesn’t try & use a really offensive design or something).

    If they want to make it easier to ID a driver then put additional high-visibility stickers on the cars or something.

    Even when Vettel was changing his helmet every race Mark Webber always kept his the same so I never got why people were up in arms back then about how Vettel changing his design regularly meant they found it harder to ID him.

  9. Long time ago there was a option to recognize the driver by his helmet.
    Now a lot of the images is see its still not clear who is driving. The yellow T cam is the best option yet or the drivers with a name on the halo.
    Strange that those things still are not clearly recognizable for everyone on every picture.

  10. Something that I heard back when the FIA initially implemented this was that the most vocal person in the paddock about how wrong it was for drivers to be allowed to change there design was David Croft & that he was regularly letting everyone know that & going on long rants about it on TV & eventually everyone else just started agreeing with him & it got voted in.

    They stopped including the mini sector information on the TV timing graphics for a similar reason. He didn’t like it as he felt they removed the tension of qualifying laps & so Sky had a word with FOM so they were removed.

    1. I actually agree with him about the mini loops to be fair.

      The helmet designs, however, have nothing to do with him, so they should have just ignored his complaints.

    2. It’s not like it helped him identify drivers correctly anyway lol

    3. I wondered the mini loop data appeared once and never again! Shame, I really liked the extra info.

  11. I may be alone in not totally hating the rule. I don’t like the fact that it’s a rule, but I do miss the days of drivers having a helmet design that they stuck to throughout their career; as Brundle says “their signature”. I could still draw from memory the striking but memorably simple designs of Coulthard, Hill, Hakkinen, Senna, Prost, Barrichello, Villeneuve etc. Despite watching probably more F1 than ever before now (practice sessions etc.), I couldn’t actually draw any of the current grid’s monstrosity’s; ironically with the exception of Vettel, who was famous for changing it the most.

    Of course, not that it matters… drivers don’t design their helmet’s in order to be memorable for fans, but I do miss being able to pick a driver out easily from lid alone.

    1. @ben-n You’re not quite alone, I completely agree with your comment. We”re definitely in a minority here though I think!

  12. I actually like this rule… didn’t like constant changes and I never quite got round to remembering which car had funny coloured cameras, or whatever other distinguishing marks they use.

  13. That ridiculous rule is an insult to the audience’s intelligence. It has no place in F1. And for crying out loud, make it as a recommendation at best, not a sporting rule.

  14. He should’ve thought that before, and thus, not do anything differently for Monza. Well, next year then.

  15. “substantially the same livery”

    Pretty vague rule. If it’s the same colors, he’s probably going to be fine, if he has to argue for it.

  16. I would hope that the “underwear” rule would allow a change of underwear any time a driver spun off and hit the barriers?

  17. Maybe it time that each car had its own livery? The Halo and headrests obscure most of the helmet to begin with, and the small T-bar only works after a couple of races. Granted we just has the Singapore GP and I have no clue what color each driver’s T-Bar is. I personally like the numbers but even they can be hard to read depending on the angle. Now if the entire car was different, no one would be able to complain about not being able to identify the driver.

  18. This rule has already lost its value: since the halo, the driver can’t be recognizable by it’s helmet. Regardless, drivers change the designs anyway. And the lids still suck. Actually, there are no good helmets, nor car designs, nor liveries. For people who care that much for “the show”, there is something so elementary at this sport they just can’t figure it out: the looks.

    Oh, wait… we’re gonna see some big Hot Wheels rims soon. Solved!

  19. It is an absurd rule, created as a result of Vettel’s constant changing of his helmet. I recall that at one point he actually changed helmets mid-session (the weather was changing and a visor swap was needed, so he changed to another helmet).

    If a driver wants to be known for their crash helmet they can keep it consistent. If one wants to be creative they can change it up.

    Ironically, the driver that caused the rule to be implemented probably has the most recognisable helmet in the field. The rest are mostly just busy designs in corporate colours with loads of sponsors all over them.

  20. The cars have different color cam mounts on the intake. And driver identification works through driver number. The Helmet design should be free. Indeed like the most famous Senna helmet that was clearly him. But if a driver or sponsor wants to attract a bit more attention, they should be abled to. Just like car livery rules. If HAAS can get a different sponsor for about three races, they should be abled to change liveries like Indycar or Nascar. In F1 they have driver numbers, in US racing the garage owns the number, but teammates in most cases have completely different liveries. Also the Throwback race at Nascar is awesome. F1 needs that too.

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