Favourite helmet designs

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    Ben Needham

    The new Mercedes graphics have caused a bit of a side-line debate about whether drivers can still be easily identified by their helmets.

    In my opinion a lot of them are so over complicated in terms of colouring and lines/shapes that they’re not always easily distinguishable. I sometimes wonder if these designs are actually detrimental to their personal PR. Like Martin Brundle once said, a helmet should be like a driver’s signature. To explain my point; if you asked me to, I could still (badly!) draw and colour the simple but effective helmet designs of Senna, Prost, Barrichello, Coulthard, Hill, Irvine and the like from memory. Contrary to this, I probably couldn’t draw from memory any of the current designs. I’m not sure whether this is necessarily important, but it certainly illustrates for me that helmets are no longer generally memorable.

    Which helmet designs are your favourites from years gone by?

    Below are a few of my own favourites, including:

    Ralf Schumacher’s

    Jacques Villeneuve’s

    James Hunt’s

    Over to you!


    Out of the current bunch I really like Palmer’s. Nice old-school feel:

    Jolyon Palmer helmet, Renault, 2017

    One that sticks in my mind as being the worst is Hamilton’s from Monaco in 2013:

    Lewis Hamilton helmet, Monaco, 2013

    Vomit bag, please.

    Ben Needham

    I definitely agree that Palmer’s is one of the better one’s in the field. Call me old fashioned but I struggle when drivers change their helmet a lot (that Hamilton design is one of the worst things I’ve ever seen!).

    Of the current bunch, I think my favourite is Marcus Ericsson’s – a smart design with striking national colours:


    I’ve always liked Michael Schumachers Benetton-era helmet, I must have drawn it dozens of times as a twelve year old.


    I also like Thierry Boutsen’s and David Coulthard’s helmet designs.




    Take a look at @Carlossainz55’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/Carlossainz55/status/862940791697793024?s=09

    I really like Sainz’ new helmet, shows how much the traditional Red Bull stickers ruin all the Red Bull driver designs


    I do like Marcus Ericsson’s current helmet and like Massa & the Hulk.

    Charlie should have blacked flagged Hamilton for that 2013 Monaco GP, that’s the worst ever (another reason why some don’t like him, he is better lately but that is terrible!!)

    Historically I always loved Senna’s. Usually people follow what driver or what team is winning (if you are a new fan), but at 10 at my first time seeing F1 in Adelaide in 1986 I saw a yellow helmet in a black JPS Lotus and that was my guy to follow. I didn’t know back then he would be arguably the greatest of all time!! (meaning the best)

    I liked more old school and more basic like Mansell and Boutsen, Brundle was also good as well. And Prost.

    Hamilton’s bright yellow from 2008 & 2009 looked really good as well. I agree with MB that a drivers lid should be his signature and I am not sure why they change them so often in the past 6 or 7 years.

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