2009 F1 drivers helmets (Pictures)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Detail on the back of Alonso's helmet
Detail on the back of Alonso's helmet

Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and Nick Heidfeld have all changed their helmet designs for the 2009 seasons. Several others have made minor changes to their designs.

Here’s a look at each of the helmets this year’s F1 drivers will be using.

Among the design details I like are the world championship playing cards on Alonso’s helmet (above). Kazuki Nakajima, like father Satoru, has his surname stencilled in huge letters across the back. The other sons of F1 drivers – Nelson Piquet Jnr and Nico Rosberg – both have designs that echo their fathers’.

Both the BMW drivers have striking designs, with Kubica’s lurid red lid and Heidfeld’s new green design ensuring it will be easy to tell them apart the year. Toro Rosso’s pairing of Sebastien Buemi and Sebastien Bourdais share more than just first names – their helmet designs are very similar too.

There’s long been speculation that Lewis Hamilton’s helmet design is an homage to Ayrton Senna’s in bright yellow – though his father claims that colour was picked so it would be easier to spot him at kart races.

2009 F1 season

Images (C) Renault / LAT, Getty Images, HondaRacingF1.com, Ferrari spa, Williams / LAT, BMW ag, www.mclaren.com, Toyota F1 World, Force India F1 Team

62 comments on “2009 F1 drivers helmets (Pictures)”

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  1. One thing that Wikipedia editors have picked up on and added is driver’s helmet designs. The pages for football teams have the kits, american football teams have their helmets.

    The way I identify drivers is by their helmets, and it’s one of the main pieces of information I would put on an information page like a Wikipedia profile.

    Those Toro Rossos are going to be hard to tell apart this year. And has Piquet’s helmet design become more orange this year to mimic his father’s? I thought it looked far more red last year.

    Glock’s looks like a Moto GP rider’s helmet.

    1. No I think Piquet’s is pretty much the same as it was last year.

    2. You realize that anybody can add content to Wikipedia, you don’t have to be an ‘editor’. In fact, for many topics such as F1 Wikipedia is highly dependent on fans making contributions (I write a lot of sections and do a lot of updates, including the races).

      So please feel free to add the helmets to each drivers page if you find the time :)

    3. Oh, I know, and have added spits and spots in the past. But I’m guessing adding something to a driver’s template involves playing around with the layout of a page, rather than just editing a paragraph.

      And stuff like that scares me!

  2. Still like Button’s helmet design best of all… probably biased though as he’s my favourite driver too…

  3. All four Red Bull/STR helmets are quite similar, and rather boring designs too.

    1. I can only imagine the helmet meeting over at STR:

      “ok seb and seb, time to pick helmets. you can either have this very nice yellow, silver and blue or this very elegant blue, yellow and silver”

      “oh and did I mention the FRIGGIN HUGE redbull logos down both sides? btw, here are your redbull underwear – don’t forget that if you ever remove them during the season you will be breaching your contract and will be punished accordingly”

      1. Do you think all of the motogp (moto 2 and 125) riders are in that meeting too?! only so many things you can do with that huge logo think marc marquez has it on the front and it looks pretty good.

  4. I find somewhat sad that Piquet holds an helmet similar to the one of the father…

    1. No different really to Damon Hill’s being like his fathers and Jacques Villeneuves being like his fathers (albeit in different colours), or Rosberg…or Nakajima…seems to be quite a trend

    2. “and Jacques Villeneuves being like his fathers (albeit in different colours)”

      and still in one piece


  5. I like the cards with his championships years on the back of Alonso’s. Heidfeld’s is a pretty big change – but will be stupidly easy to tell him and Kubica apart this year – even more so than last year and that wasnt really difficult!

    I still think Buttons is the best also Adrian – is a clever design. The Red Bull ones are always a bit boring, I like drivers to have their own design rather than a relatively generic Red Bull helmet. Will be rather difficult with Toro Rossos drivers as well, at least Webbers stands out a bit at Red Bull!

  6. Usually I am a bit indifferent to helmet designs, and while they are some quite good ones this year there are none that really change that.
    My favourite helmet designs since I have been following F1 are Ayrton Senna’s and Damon Hill’s which, like some of the current drivers who are also the sons F1 drivers, was based on his fathers taken from the London Rowing Club colours.

  7. Why does Nakajima’s helmet have Toyota written on it?

    1. He’s backed by Toyota – unlike his father who was a Honda man. More here: Kazuki Nakajima biography

  8. Love Nakajima’s. Putting your name in big red letters is bold, its distinctive, and it says something besides “I’d like to thank my sponsors.”

  9. I would have liked to see who had priority on helmet designs if DARIO FRANCHITTI had come into f1 at the same time as coulthard, being they had the same design.
    And it is one of the biggest shames that Franchitti did not ever go down the f1 road. He would have been a great f1 racer in my opinion.

  10. Some pretty interesting designs. Now I just have to try commit some of them them to memory…

  11. here in India(at least in Bangalore) 30% all the motorcyclist use helmet with Kimi’s helmet design….. For some reason it is available at almost every footpath and its cheap too.

    1. Hey anirudh & cyanide

      Could you post me a link to a website that sells the Kimi motorcycle helmets? It would be greatly appreciated!

    2. hey Paul, I don’t think those helmets companies actually have any websites they don’t even have any retail showrooms, they are sold at footpaths. They are just small nd little known companies.

      But i got this site which sells F1 Helmets, but im not sure whether you can use it on normal roads

  12. Haha anirudh, same here in Mumbai. I get so irritated everytime I see one with that design.

  13. I like the simple, subtle ones: Barrichello’s and to a lesser extent Piquet’s and Nakajima’s.

  14. Franchitti had the saltire on the top, but the Italian flag at the side behind the visor. Colin McRae’s design was also similar.

  15. Keith thanks again!
    Helmet design is so integral to the design and pagentry of F1, yet hardly any focus is put on it (rather frustrating if you ask me). Again you’ve scoured the web for goodness.

    I have a request (And another post ) Test driver’s helmets. After Luca, Marc, Pedro, Christian, and Tonio, what do the rest of those paint jobs look like? (I hunt and I hunt and always come up empty.)

  16. Why do most drivers go for ridiculous, overly fussy and complicated designs that generally just look a mess?

    I prefer the simpler designs like Barrichello, Piquet and Rosberg (but that tone of yellow is nasty).

    I’ll bet that one of the Toro Rosso drivers will change their design also, they’re just too similar.

    1. I do prefer designs where drivers have something that contrasts the colour scheme of their car, like Massa, Hamilton and the BMW drivers’.

    2. Yeah but you know Schumi looked bad with the red right ;)

      Yeah I like the contrast that Massa’s, Hamilton’s and Kubica’s have with their cars, it does stand out in a race and is easy to identify, just a bit less fuss would be cool.

  17. Macademianut
    10th March 2009, 16:40

    This is a fantastic collection.

    I hope we can have a similar gallery for steering wheels. Here’s one for renault.


    1. Oh, I love that picture!!

  18. Too bad Davidson isn’t on the grid this season, his helmet was the best looking one IMHO. I dislike that drivers change complete colour layout of their helmets just to fit better with car livery (Alonso, I’m looking in your direction). I wrote about it before and in my opinion helmets are the only remaining place where driver can get a bit of his personality expressed – it is supposed to be his symbol, not just another place where sponsors can put a sticker on…

    1. Yeah Davidison, good shout.

  19. How did that make in on Boston.com? I’m pretty sure 99% of Massachusetts couldn’t name in F1 driver.

    Is there a reason that Lewis has a yellow helmet? Has he always raced in that color? Most others tend to stick with sponsor colors or national colors (‘cept BMW)

    1. As far as I am aware Lewis has a yellow helmet because he says it was a way of his dad being able to see where he was and how he was doing on the track especially in his karting days, as it stood out from the rest of the other helmets. Personally I think it also has a lot to do with the fact that he is a huge Senna fan…

  20. nice one from Fernando!… the two poker cards are great, something you find quite usually among MotoGP riders. Love it!

    Also, i always liked Button’s one… The way the British flag is desingned to fit the JB letters is spot on!…

    Some otehrs are good, like TImo’s or Fisi’s… But you can’t forget now how good David Coulthard’s helmet was!

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