F1 helmets: Check out the fresh driver lids as F1 2023 launch season continues
With all 10 liveries launched and lights out in Bahrain fast approaching, attention can turn to the reveals for F1 helmets 2023.
The long wait is almost over. Will Ferrari and Mercedes present a tougher challenge to Red Bull? Will the midfield tighten up? Can any of last season’s backmarkers make a charge up the grid? We’re going to get answers very soon.
In the meantime, there are still some vital aesthetics to be dealt with. The drivers take great pride in their personalised helmet designs, taking advantage of the chance to express their inspiration, patriotism and personalities.
The FIA allowed only one helmet update per season until the law was dropped in 2020, meaning we will see plenty of design changes and one-off specials through the season.
Most of the drivers have already launched their 2023 lids, so let’s take a look at the fresh designs…
The World Champion commemorated his first F1 title with a dazzling white and gold helmet for 2022 but he’s toned things down after securing back-to-back titles.
F1’s No.1 has opted for red and blue detailing on a white backdrop, which Verstappen called a “more old-school design”. His roaring lion logo will be spotted from overhead angles, while an additional star commemorating his second Championship has been added to the back.
Verstappen signed a personal sponsorship contract with EA Sports during the off-season, and the video game producers’ logo covers the defending champion’s chin.
Checo Perez’s 2023 headgear is largely unchanged from 2022. The Mexican flag he so proudly represents remains on the crown, as do the Aztec-style patterns and the words “never give up” on the rear.
The key updates are a return to a fluorescent yellow after switching to a more Red Bull-style mustard colour for last season.
Sticking with his traditional helmet design for 2023, Charles Leclerc is focused on the championship fight this season.
The 25-year-old’s lid stays red and retains his driver number, 16, on the side. There is a slight alteration, with a red and white stripe looping up and over the helmet to represent his Monégasque roots.
Perhaps that alteration will bring the good luck Leclerc needs to end his Monte Carlo curse…
Carlos Sainz’s 2023 helmet has followed the trend set by the car liveries, including Ferrari’s. He’s stuck close to last year’s blueprint, just adding a little more black.
The result is a slightly cleaner-looking lid that still sees the Spanish flag wrap around the back, Sainz’ No.55 on the sides and crown, with the face meshing red and black.
The biggest change is dropping the white #essereFerrari – “we are Ferrari” – section and switching to a deeper red. Sainz bagged his first F1 victory at Silverstone last season but will need to put more pressure on Leclerc this time around after being beaten comfortably overall last year.
Heading into his 16th Formula 1 season, Hamilton has had plenty of wildly varying headgear designs down the years.
The 38-year-old’s fluorescent yellow and purple colour scheme remains for 2023, making for another slick design. LH44’s logo remains on the crown, while the seven stars representing his record-equalling number of championships are now red and blue, instead of purple.
Hamilton raced the entire F1 calendar without winning a single round for the first time last season. The Mercedes icon won’t settle for another year like 2022.
George Russell began his debut season with Mercedes wearing a deep navy helmet before switching to a baby blue and black colour-way for the second half of the season.
It was with the latter design that he won his first Grand Prix in Brazil and, unsurprisingly, the hotly-tipped future champion has stuck with it.
Russell’s new head protection has a cleaner look for 2023, having turned the eye-catching red CrowdStrike logo navy. He’ll be hoping it delivers a few more victories this year.
Opting for a mean and moody design on his 2023 helmet, Esteban Ocon has set the tone for his head-to-head with Pierre Gasly on Alpine’s all-French driver line-up.
Ocon has dropped the French flag that featured prominently last season’s headgear, opting instead for a red trim on a black backdrop.
The 26-year-old’s special Spider-Man helmet for last year’s United States GP set a precedent for excellent one-off lids. Is there another superhero-inspired design on the cards?
Like his old McLaren buddy Carlos Sainz, Lando Norris has followed the livery trend of 2023 – leaning even harder into the carbon craze.
The British driver lines up for his fifth season in F1 with the same base design he has used since his F1 debut in 2019. Dominated by fluorescent yellow, in keeping with his Quadrant brand, Norris swaps blue for an “exposed carbon” style on the details.
Norris’ yellow and blue branding was originally inspired by his childhood hero Valentino Rossi but the 23-year-old has since evolved his own style.
Australian rookie Oscar “Pastry” Piastri has gone for a colourful design on his 2023 headgear, featuring his national flag amidst a blur of fluorescent yellow, red and blue.
Sadly, Piastri didn’t commit to the “Pastry” meme teased in a sneak-preview. Just 30 minutes before releasing his new lid, the 22-year-old posted close-up shots of his helmet with the name “Oscar Pastry” written down the side.
We can only hope for a pastry inspired one-off design later in the season. A croissant-themed French Grand Prix special, perhaps?
Gone is the flashy blue and red colour-way on Valtteri Bottas’ 2022 helmet. The mullet-sporting veteran has gone for a meaner look for the new campaign.
Bottas has spent much of the off-season on the bike with his professional cyclist partner Tiffany Cromwell, who designs her partner’s Formula 1 lids.
The Australian’s latest offering is a classy nod to Bottas’ Finnish roots on the same template as last year, featuring the Alfa logo on the forehead of a slick blue, black and white number.
China’s first Grand Prix racer joined the F1 grid with a striking design full of references to his home nation and his late idol, Kobe Bryant. This season, he will don an even more eye-catching design.
Zhou keeps a similar template to last season but adjusts the colours. The Chinese-style floral pattern features below the visor as well as the crown this year, while white is dropped in favour of more purple and a blend of yellow, green and red.
The colour-way is a nod to Bryant, who also inspired Zhou’s racing number, 24. A white silhouette of the Shanghai skyline, Zhou’s hometown, wraps around the back, below a cartoon rabbit marking the Chinese calendar year.
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Having worn a pink and blue lid in keeping with Alpine’s 2022 colour-way, Fernando Alonso has made a return to something resembling his traditional design for his first season at Aston Martin.
The baby blue Alonso has favoured for many of his previous 19 seasons is contrasted with a fluorescent yellow, with the Spanish flag wrapping around the sides and back of this sponsor-heavy helmet. A simple design with a garish palette for the 41-year-old.
As ever, Alonso will be hunting for victories in 2023. For that he’ll need Aston Martin’s off-season investments to pay off quickly on track, after his new team finished last season as the seventh best constructor.
Embarking on his third Formula 1 season, Japan’s Yuki Tsunoda will don undoubtedly his finest F1 helmet to date.
Featuring autumnal Japanese maple leaves scattered onto white background, it’s an uncluttered design that will become an instant classic.
He might turn up in Bahrain looking good, but that will make little difference on track. With his best pal Pierre Gasly gone to Alpine and a highly-rated replacement arriving in De Vries, it’s crunch time for Tsunoda.
Nyck De Vries
Coming into his second season with Williams after consistently outperforming his FW44 last season, Alex Albon will aim to lead F1’s fallen giants off the last row this season.
The 26-year-old retains the predominantly navy blue colour-way from his 2022 lid but the introduction of a pink trim makes for an eye-catching update. Albon has kept the flag of Thailand wrapped around the back of the helmet in a nod to his heritage.
Despite moving to a Mercedes-powered team, Red Bull stayed on as a personal sponsor of Albon and featured prominently on his 2022 helmet. This season, the charging bull is dropped in favour of Albon’s own logo and the Williams W.
It won’t surprise you to learn that America’s first Formula 1 representative of the Netflix era has included the Stars and Stripes prominently on his helmet.
Heading into his rookie season with Williams, Sargeant will wear a lid based around his national red, white and blue colours, meshing nicely with the colours of his new FW45 machine.
The Florida-born talent will no doubt release a special design for at least one of the three American Grands Prix in Las Vegas, Miami and Texas this year.
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