Antonio Giovinazzi's 2021 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix helmet

RaceFans favourite F1 driver helmet designs of 2021

2021 F1 season review

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Ever since the FIA relaxed the restrictions over drivers changing helmet designs throughout the Formula 1 season in 2020, fans have been treated to some truly eclectic selection of designs from their favourite drivers.

This year was no different, with over 40 unique designs being sported on the grid over the 22 race season.

Here is our pick of the coolest and most outstanding of the special helmet designs that drivers wore throughout the 2021 season.

Max Verstappen – Sao Paulo Grand Prix

Brazil is an increasingly important place for the 2021 world champion. As the home nation of his partner, Verstappen spent his Christmas in the South American nation after claiming his first world championship title. Back in November, he celebrated Brazil’s colourful culture with this Carnival-worthy design.

Lewis Hamilton – Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi Grands Prix

Lewis Hamilton has been increasingly vocal in publicly advocating for social equality and against injustice over recent seasons. Heading into the final three races of the season – all in Middle Eastern nations where homosexuality and same-sex marriage are illegal – Hamilton adopted a helmet with the LGBTQ+ Pride flag prominently featured, including intersex inclusive symbology designed by British artist Valentino Vecchietti.

Valtteri Bottas – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Valtteri Bottas celebrated his 101st and final grand prix appearance for Mercedes with this poignant design featuring a series of snapshots from the highlights of his five-season stint with the team. The band across the bottom including empty slots for his achievements with the team was later filled in by Bottas and Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff in a video posted to social media.

Sergio Perez – Mexican Grand Prix

On his way to becoming the first Mexican F1 driver to stand on the podium at his home grand prix, Sergio Perez showed his national pride by incorporating the green, white and red of the Mexican tricolor onto his helmet for the Mexico City round.

Carlos Sainz Jnr – Italian Grand Prix

In his first grand prix at Monza for Ferrari, Sainz paid homage to the spiritual home of the Scuderia by smartly combining both the Italian and Spanish colours onto his helmet for the weekend.

Lando Norris – Monaco Grand Prix

Lando Norris has been no stranger to changing his helmet design over the course of his three-year F1 career to date. Out of the many he sported over the season, Norris carried this retro-inspired look to the podium during the Monaco Grand Prix.

Charles Leclerc – French Grand Prix

In his early karting days, Charles Leclerc ran with a design inspired by the web-slinging superhero, Spiderman. At Paul Ricard, Leclerc decided to run with a throwback design and featured the webbing motif on his helmet once again.

Daniel Ricciardo – United States Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo has made no secret of his deep admiration for NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt and ran this design at the United States Grand Prix in Austin that was almost a carbon copy of ‘The Intimidator’s iconic black Goodwrench paint scheme.

Pierre Gasly – French Grand Prix

With no French Grand Prix in 2020 due to the impact of the pandemic, Gasly celebrated the return of his home grand prix in 2021 by using this tricolour-inspired design that very smartly complimented the AlphaTauri navy blue.

Sebastian Vettel – Turkish Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel was not shy about his concern for environmental issues in the 2021 season and regularly wore his passion for sustainability on his helmet designs throughout the season. This ocean-themed look was a standout as Vettel encouraged fans to think about how they can prevent ocean pollution.

Yuki Tsunoda – United States Grand Prix

Yuki Tsunoda sadly missed out on racing in front of his home fans in his rookie season when the Japanese Grand Prix was cancelled due to complications caused by Covid. He did, however, use this pretty design he had intended to race at Suzuka to Austin instead.

George Russell – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

After three seasons with Williams to start his Formula 1 career, George Russell will move to Mercedes for 2022. To commemorate his final race with the team, the Williams personnel signed Russell’s helmet with messages of thanks and well-wishes for the future.

Kimi Raikkonen – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

In his 349th and final grand prix start, Kimi Raikkonen went full circle by adopting a helmet design inspired by the one he had worn with Sauber during his debut season with the team 20 years prior.

Antonio Giovinazzi – Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

In three full seasons in Formula 1, Antonio Giovinazzi enjoyed the privilege of racing in his native Italy six times. He marked this year’s race at Imola with his attractive, artful design.

Mick Schumacher – Belgian Grand Prix

Mick Schumacher paid tribute to his father Michael’s F1 legacy at Spa-Francorchamps by adopting the same design used by the seven-time world champion during his own F1 debut at the circuit 30 years prior.

Nikita Mazepin – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

The final design on this list was sadly the only one not to be raced. Nikita Mazepin’s striking gold helmet design was his standout of the season, but he was forced to miss the final race of the year after returning a positive Covid test after Saturday’s qualifying session.

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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14 comments on “RaceFans favourite F1 driver helmet designs of 2021”

  1. My personal favourites from this list are Russell’s in Abu Dhabi, Hamilton’s in the final triple header, Schumacher’s in Spa, Norris’ in Monaco and Kimi’s in Abu Dhabi. Additionally, I would also add Vettel’s in Hungary to my list as well, for similar reasons as Hamilton’s in the final triple header. I also feel it fitted his helmet design better than Turkey’s.

  2. This honestly might have been my favourite season of helmet designs ever. There were so many other ‘honourable mentions’ that could have been included, such was the interesting variety of looks we were served this season.

    1. Agreed, the creativity has been let loose ever since the FIA removed that silly rule!

      In terms of regular/non-once-off helmet designs for 2021, Stroll, Verstappen, Norris and Ricciardo had very cool designs as well.

      1. @ciaran Definitely one of the most unnecessary, baffling rules we’ve seen in the sport for some time. Glad they saw sense to get rid of it.

  3. Mick’s, Daniels’ and Kimi’s

  4. I am probably just being old, but to me at least helmet designs nowadays are predominantly too fussy.

    1. I thought, just in case it wasn’t obvious, that I should just clarify.

      1. I did say predominantly, not entirely, and

      2. A large number of the simpler designs that we see nowadays are retro or tribute helmets (which is nice, however, often even these are slightly spoiled by the need for a large number of sponsor logo’s etc.)

      1. I agree. And all these “special” designs are so not special when there are so many.

    2. @cairnsfella I can agree with that to a large extent. I personally have a minimalist design for my computer-based pretend racing I do. Graham & Damon Hill’s design always sticks out in my mind based on how instantly recognisable it was.

      I suppose the other thing about helmet designs is that they are all about expressing personalities – so at least we know that while these designs are often busy, they are at least a true expression by the drivers themselves.

    3. Im with you on this one. CAD has killed original and simple good design. They all remind me somewhat of the back of a Honda Civic.

      Just because you can doesnt mean you should

  5. An end of the season vote on all the various helmet designs would be cool. Maybe the best of the “regular” helmets and a separate best of the “one-off” helmets.

  6. Helmet designs should be such that children can draw them from memory. Even the more complex designs of the 90s (Villeneuve, Prost, Jos Verstappen – in contrast to Senna, Schumacher, Hill, Frentzen, Alesi) were more memorable than the average helmet-design of the present day.

  7. Some of these are actually quite ugly. Made even worse by the large amount (and ugliness) of the sponsor logos.

    See for example Lewis’ helmet for the Middle East races – great statement, but the actual flag was covered by logos (mostly his wing logo and the 44), and to me it was not his best helmet.

    From the list above, probably Gasly’s is my favourite.

  8. They’re awful to ugly. Stick to familiar driver colors please as in the past.

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