Hamilton criticises ‘BS’ helmet design rules

2019 Mexican Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Lewis Hamilton has joined other drivers in criticising rules which limit how often drivers may change their helmet designs during a season.

In a post on social media, Hamilton asked his followers: “How many of you think it’s bs [bullshit] that the FIA only allow the drivers one helmet design change in the year[?]”

“It’s the only thing a driver is able to express their creativity with and they block it,” he added. “Who thinks we should be free to express ourselves and have more changes? Would love to know your thoughts.”

Several other drivers voiced their unhappiness with the rules after Daniil Kvyat was forbidden from using a special design for his home race in Russia.

He fell foul of Article 9.1 of the sporting regulations which states “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.”

Lewis Hamilton 2015 Malaysian Grand Prix helmet
Lewis Hamilton unraced 2015 Malaysian Grand Prix helmet
Hamilton has run afoul of the same rule before. At the 2015 Malaysian Grand Prix he brought a special design in the colours of sponsor Petronas (pictured), but was unable to wear it.

However the FIA has already indicated it could rethink the rules limiting drivers helmet changes. Race director Michael Masi told drivers in Sochi the regulation was “something that we’ll look at”.

Don't miss anything new from RaceFans

Follow RaceFans on social media:

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Images via Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes on Twitter

2019 F1 season

Browse all 2019 F1 season articles

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.

26 comments on “Hamilton criticises ‘BS’ helmet design rules”

  1. Couldn’t agree more.

  2. Totally agree!

    Teams are allowed to RENAME the whole team just to dodge tobacco advertising ban (and for nothing else!), multiple times in a year… but drivers and helmets?! NO – drivers are allowed only a single change to their helmet, and God forbid them to break this rule!

  3. Changing helmet design more frequently just increases your carbon footprint, Lewis…

    1. Priceless! :) Imagine the chemicals needed to paint a helmet! He should go for non painted helmets from now onwards

    2. F1 drivers should use the same helmet all season to reduce their carbon footprint!

    3. Stupid

      1. Ha ha f@$& that guy for trying to do something for the planet.

    4. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      26th October 2019, 10:50

      All those single use plastics

  4. Well, Lewis, Daniiel, Sebastian and all others, go and talk with the sky crew, mainly Brundle and Crofty. Because their endless complaints about how it was horrible that Vettel kept changing his helmet with every other race (whenever he won) and that making it impossible to see which driver it is.

    1. @bascb
      Exactly everyone supported it then as they weren’t creative and now they want to be creative as it’s cool now.

      And then it was fun watching Vettel adapt his helmet to the particular race.

      1. That is complete nonsense @rockie. Yes, many people started saying the same as the well respected people they hear it saying every week – we humans are easily influenced.

        But there were many drivers doing special one off helmets at the time, it was not just Vettel, there were others who seemed inspired and started making more changes too. I really dont feel the changes we see now are that much more special at all.

        1. @bascb
          Like who?
          The complaint from Brundle and some drivers saying it was dia identity.
          Outside of Monaco or d odd home race addition of flags can’t remember anyone changing their helmet design.

          1. I think Grosjean had a few, I think at the time Hulk was also starting to show off more different helmets, Hamilton also had special helmets I think for the USA and for a few other races too.

    2. @bascb Crofty and Brundle often make the most amateurish mistakes in the world but I think that one takes the cake. I could understand their complaints had Webber changed his helmet design as well in every race. But he didn’t.

      Does a Red Bull driver’s helmet look like Webber’s design? If not, it’s Vettel with a special design. If it does, then it’s Webber. How hard could it be?

      1. yeah, exactly @huhhii

  5. F1oSaurus (@)
    25th October 2019, 20:29

    They just get a fine though right? If it’s that important, why not just pay the fine and express yourself? That makes for a stronger message that you are truly against this rule anyway.

  6. I am happy these restrictions are in place. If drivers keep changing their helmets they become even harder to distinguish.

    I am all for more customisable livery’s and clothing per driver though. Like in MotoGP. But choose 1 per season. Real Madrid ain’t changing their home kit every match either.

    1. It’s absolutely right these restrictions are in place. They shouldn’t be able to change constantly BECAUSE it’s the drivers identity. It was terrible when Vettel was doing it all the time.

      I think the drivers should be able to add their helmet colours to their Halos.

    2. Nor are teams repainting their cars every race, let drivers do what they want, seldom do the cameras zoom in on the drivers head, most are long shots and Halo pretty much buries them, maybe Krusty should be blaming his director. Whole thing’s silly, very silly.
      Wow, MotoGp qualifying later……and WSB ! :)

    3. Errr….the cars have numbers on them? Same numbers all the time! 🙄

  7. Long ago helmet designs were like personal heraldry or something like that, you could identify a pilot by his helmet, now is just fashion

  8. Jose Lopes da Silva
    25th October 2019, 23:41

    Old-timers were all for the heraldry thing. I’m included.
    But let that go. Just paint each Halo differently for the whole season.

  9. How about the just make each car have its own unique livery. It would be very easy to see who is who that way.

  10. If Lewis could auction off each individual helmet and donate the proceeds to charity, then I am with him. The unique designs would be valuable then.

  11. it would be much more effective if their cars were marked in a distinguishable fashion, like it was some years / decades ago; then the helmets could be as creative as they wish

  12. There was a time, when people had dignity, that they were proud to design a helmet and stick with it for life, it was one of the great things about F1. Look at any helmet up to the start of this century and any fan will tell you who it belonged to. Basically Lewis, no one except you gives a toss about you having a new helmet at any race, its just a sad driver-ego trip.

Comments are closed.