Norris plans to use a different helmet design at every race

2020 F1 season

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Lando Norris says he’s planning to introduce more “exaggerated” helmet designs since F1 scrapped the rule limiting how often they could change their liveries.

“I’ve got a lot of planned,” said the McLaren driver. “It’s one of the best things about this year.

“I am planning to hopefully try to have one one new special every race. I have them all on my wall at home. Soon they’re not going to be on the wall because I’m not going to have enough space.

“They’re one thing I get to remember every race by. So now we can mix it up a bit more and I’ll have some more exaggerated designs and more custom and colourful and stuff like that.

“I’ll still be keeping with the same concept of what I have, that’s still me, but then how everything is done around it, the colours and schemes of everything, are hopefully going to be more dedicated to each race in the country and everything like that. So a bit more character to it.”

The rules previously stated drivers had to use substantially similar livery designs in each race. The regulation was introduced in 2015 in an attempt to make it easier for fans to identify drivers by their helmet designs.

Now the rule has been lifted, Norris wants to work with more designers to vary the look of his helmet.

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“I work with one designer mainly, MDM Designs, which is a guy who I’ve worked with since karting. He’s done everything for me. So we both come up with ideas, he puts it into the proper format and then sends it to the painter and so on. A lot of them can be his ideas, some of them are my ideas.

“But then I’m still trying to work with even more designers and illustrators, more random people basically, such as my Japan helmet last year which was completely hand-painted. It was designed by a woman who then hand-painted it all and did it all in her own style rather than just being a normal spray paint kind of helmet.

“So it’s trying to just change it up and not having something that just always looks the same. But at the same time, I don’t always wanted to be my own design. I want other people to come up with their own versions and ideas and stuff like that.”

However some other drivers don’t intend to take full advantage of the opportunity offered by the rules change.

“I’ve never been so crazy about it,” said Charles Leclerc. “I don’t think it would change much for me.

“I like to keep my my own design and to be recognisable, if that’s the right word in English, on track with the same helmet design. So I’ll probably have two, three special editions that will be significantly different, but I won’t be a driver to have a different helmet every race.”

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2020 F1 season

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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  • 15 comments on “Norris plans to use a different helmet design at every race”

    1. I guess Norris is going to have no new designs this year.

      1. Or… getting a bigger wall

    2. Norris must be getting his helmets for free. I’ve heard they can cost several thousand each. At that rate, I’d prefer to put a roof over my head, not some carbon!

      1. Most likely only has 2-3 helmets, rotating them through the paint shop I’d assume. Not sure what McLaren’s helmet budget must be for their drivers.

      2. Even if he’s paying for them (he’s likely at least paying someone to design them), he makes enough money to the point he can write it off without a problem.

      3. Several thousands is nothing in F1 terms. And as Jake said, he’d have no problem paying for them himself. According to these estimates, last year Lando was the joint lowest paid driver on the grid, and was still earning $500,000

        It is a shame that some people have so much money to waste on colourful helmets, but that’s F1 as a whole I suppose

        1. He needs to read Jenson Button’s latest book. JB threw money at all kinds of extravagant luxuries and now wishes he hadn’t bothered. For example, He had a fully crewed boat, that cost £2k+ to fill with fuel and only got to use it a couple of times a year.

      4. Helmet designs aren’t just an indulgence though. To some extent they’re an investment in your brand as a driver. Every new design comes with another round of “earned media” reporting the new design. If you were sponsoring an F1 driver helmet, would you want to be on the one that nobody talks about after the first race or the one that is getting changed up every time?

    3. RocketTankski
      23rd March 2020, 9:40

      I’m usually choose Peach or Luigi. But this year I might choose a new one every race

      1. It might just end up being almost the same amount …

    4. Growing up watching F1 in the 90’s, the drivers helmet was his identity, I knew each and every one.

      In Vettel’s Red Bull days, it seemed nobody liked that he was constantly changing design, and the rule brought in to stop it was generally seen in a favourable light.

      Now people seem to think the rule reversal is the best news ever. I don’t get it.

      I want to be able to glance at the driver and know who they are, not search the bodywork for numbers that seem to have no standardised size or position and are sometimes in an illegible font.

      Never mind.

      1. I was always under the impression that Vettels helmet choice was widely liked and when fom banned changing designs, they were criticised so much that they’ve actually reversed the ban.

        I hear what you say though, I think it’s important to keep a common design element that’s prominent for viewers who do like to use the helmet for identification- Vettel’s German flag stripe would be a prime example. That still allows for fantastic creativity while retaining identification

      2. Drivers pay a huge amount of money, annually, to the FIA for their licence and they took away the only item on/in a car that they own – their helmets. Even now they are festooned with adverts, especially the RB drivers. They’ve earned the right to wear what they like.

        The teams could easily solve the identity issue by using different coloured halos. Perhaps Dieter or Keith could raise it at the next F1 briefing. Whenever that might be.

    5. If that doesn’t help him go faster then nothing will.

    6. Filippo Peverini
      26th March 2020, 12:27

      Is this news?

    Comments are closed.