Hamilton designed yellow helmet and livery tweaks to help fans identify him

2022 Bahrain Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Lewis Hamilton spent hours redesigning his helmet and car livery on his iPad to help fans recognise him more easily in races this year.

The Mercedes driver has reverted to a yellow helmet design, as he also used when he first arrived in Formula 1 and earlier in his motorsport career.

Hamilton said he set to work on the new design after the team launched its W13 earlier this year.

“My original helmet was a real yellow,” he said. “But for this year what I noticed and was sensitive to was how those that are watching the grands prix can’t tell the difference between the two cars. That was the issue that I brought up to my team.”

His car number is also yellow, as is the T-bar on top of his car’s airbox and the front of the new, mandatory wheel arches on his W13. Hamilton said he sent his revisions straight to team principal Toto Wolff and Mercedes-Benz board chairman Ola Kallenius for approval.

“I spent hours at home after the launch with my iPad in the app where you take a picture and you’re editing, and sending these pictures of what the car livery would look better as to Toto and to Ola.

“I went, did some research, tried to look for what the most ‘popping’ colour would be and came back to yellow. So we put that on the car.

“Then I realised you still can’t see the helmet with these halos. So I decided to bring some light to the colour, to the helmet.”

Hamilton wore yellow on his F1 debut in 2007
He’s using a brighter yellow this year

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2022 Bahrain Grand Prix

Browse all 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix 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.

31 comments on “Hamilton designed yellow helmet and livery tweaks to help fans identify him”

  1. His original design is still my outright favorite.

  2. Raynaud (@)
    20th March 2022, 6:58

    So no tribute to Rossi afterall. Well, it definitely marks Hamilton better on the tv this year.

    1. Then he’s just a copycat. Blah… I think number 46 is free, he forgot to change that too. I think it’s fine if we talk seriously, there are not so many colour combinations in this world, but why would he spend hours on this? Maybe it took him that long to think of Rossi.

      1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        20th March 2022, 10:37

        Even the angle of the 44 is pure Rossi 46.

  3. Spent hours redesigning a helmet? Wow!

    1. When Hilfiger, Pilot, IWC, MV Agusta, etc pay you more than most drivers on the grid earn, and the worlds top designers want you in their creations, it’s probably worth spending a little time on the key item that identities you on track.

    2. and then sent his work straight to the top! #AlwaysFighting

  4. I don’t think he really needed to play with an iPad to realise that ‘day-glow’ yellow would ‘pop’ more. But I for one really like it, it’s good to know instantly whether it’s George or Lewis. I wish other teams adopted putting luminous accents on one of their cars, it was quite common in the late 90’s not that it helped Murray identify them much.

    1. @bernasaurus
      I don’t know what happened but the old helmets from the 80s, the 90s… were creative, iconic and very easy to recognize. Senna,Mansell, Alesi, The Villeneuves (Gilles & jacques), Schumacher, Piquet , Prost, Alboreto… were all unique and felt like it was part of the driver wearing them. I think that maybe the software design tools made it easier for non creative people to get a job as designers and come up with load of crap we are seeing today and not only in terms of Helmet design.

      On another note, this is a picture of Alain Prost wearing Senna’s helmet for a photoshoot. It feels strange, isn’t it ?

      1. The Dolphins
        20th March 2022, 13:07

        In large part the drivers of the past sat up and out of the car much more than in recent generations and we could get a better view of them from further away.

      2. Drivers back in the day used to have much more simplistic helmet designs, and they tended to keep them consistent year on year, even if they switched teams. Kids could draw the design of their favourite F1 drivers, and you could tell who they were referring to.

        Pick any driver now, and virtually none of them have had similar designs for more than a year or two.. and very few are iconic. Vettel had about 30 different designs in one year when he was driving for Red Bull.

    2. Tommy Scragend
      20th March 2022, 13:32

      I wish other teams adopted putting luminous accents on one of their cars

      Every team has one car with a black T-cam and one with a yellow. It’s a requirement.

  5. RandomMallard
    20th March 2022, 7:45

    I do really like his helmet design this year. More so than I liked the black and purple one to be honest. I think I just prefer the brighter colour schemes for helmets in general. It’s probably the same reason I’ve liked Lando’s for a while now.

    1. I think the black and purple looked well with the black Merc. Don’t think it would as much with silver.

      1. RandomMallard
        20th March 2022, 12:55

        Yeah I kind of get that, but at the same time it made Lewis look kind of invisible in the car because of how well he blended it.

  6. Lewis is right, it’s not easy to spot the difference between the cars. How much easier would it be if Lewis had a Yellow halo and George a Black and Red one? Come on F1 think of the marketing potential!?

    1. I’ve never understood that either. The least one can do is make it clear who is who within a team. I am always anxiously looking for helmet differences when you dont have a frontal view of a car. It is quite an easy fix as Lewis has proven now with the livery bits

      1. T-bar has solved this problem for years now

  7. What happen to the days when they had big white circled numbers on the front of the cars. :-)
    Must admit I wish the other teams would take a leaf from his book, because the difference now is instantly distinguishable.

  8. Mr Scallywag
    20th March 2022, 9:43

    If only using day-glow to somehow differentiate cars had been used all these years… would have saved me and countless others no doubt utter discombobulation.

  9. Can he do Ferrari’s as well?

  10. Always nice when TV commentators mix it up in live TV. “Oh, driver A in pits again, something must be wrong!!!”

    All teams should be pushed to make it easy, to identify who is who (unless they have a clear wingman tactics, where the B-driver is far off anyways – if you read a specific team here, it was you, I didnt state one).

  11. “Do you see this Bono?”

  12. Electroball76
    20th March 2022, 11:23

    Not every driver would spend hours sending pics to Toto and Ola. This attention to detail is just another reason why he’s the Greatest.

  13. Does Hamilton really need to help to be identified?

    It’s impossible to miss him out of the car with the loudest clothes ever, and there’s apparently a second halo over his head all the time as far as some are concerned.

    Is it that hard to look for a silver car (there are only two of them) with a yellow T-Cam (that narrows the choice down to just one).
    Can barely see the helmet these days anyway.

    1. It’s impossible to miss him out of the car with the loudest clothes ever

      Just the kind of comment made by sad right-wing snowflakes who can’t handle other people (who they deem different from themselves, like Hamilton) expressing anything in public space, which they somehow think they alone possess. I’m sure that doesn’t apply to you, though.

      1. sad right-wing snowflakes

        Now now, @david-br. No need for name calling – haven’t you grown out of that yet?
        Sounds like you are the one with the problem here.

        Thanks for meeting my expectations about who would respond, though ;)
        Cue Sinatra music: It had to be you….

    2. ? Think Lewis actually addresses all these points in his comments but you crack on.

  14. Is this because he is planning to spend a lot of time in the midfield? So it won’t be obvious anymore?

  15. We say “braccino corto” short hand, why pay a graphic designer when you can do it on your own?

  16. Nonsense…he just sent them a pic of Rosbergs 2012 helmet!

Comments are closed.