Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Yas Marina, 2014

FIA confirms ban on drivers changing helmet designs

2015 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Yas Marina, 2014Details of the ban on drivers altering their crash helmet designs during the season have been confirmed in updated sporting regulations published by the FIA.

A new rule for 2015 states “in order for drivers to be easily distinguished from one another whilst they are on the track, the crash helmet of each driver must be presented in substantially the same livery at every event during a championship season”.

The move will put an end to drivers using special helmets for certain events, as had become increasingly commonplace for some races, notably the Monaco Grand Prix.

The FIA also confirmed drivers will lose the right to use their chosen number if they do not participate in any F1 race for two consecutive seasons.

In a further change to the rules ahead of the start of the new season next week the stewards now have the power to suspend a race “if competitors or officials are placed in immediate physical danger by cars running on the track, and the clerk of the course deems circumstances are such that the track cannot be negotiated safely, even behind the safety car”.

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120 comments on “FIA confirms ban on drivers changing helmet designs”

  1. Perhaps if they had kept the coloured T-cams we wouldn’t have this. I know one of them is red but i preferred it when one was yellow and one was red. It’s harder to distinguish these days.

    1. @motor_mad One is black and the other is yellow.

    2. @motor_mad I don’t see how it’s any harder to distinguish between them now. I don’t think it has anything to do with this.

      In fact I think it’s a great example of why the helmet change ban is completely unnecessary.

      1. They make stupid rules to justify their existence. They do it make it to look like they are earning a paycheck. Expect more of the same in the future. They messed with the red and yellow idents on the cars for the very same reason. Nobody asked for it, it’s jobs for the boys.

        1. Publish or perish.

      2. I’m assuming that at the heart of this is the general sentiment within F1 that they need to attract new viewers at a time when viewership had been falling. I believe some of their thinking, and I know I agree with it, is that we need the drivers’ image to be that of ‘heroes’ to look up to, or gladiators doing combat out on the track. And while for me things like DRS and delta-time endurance running greatly take away from this sentiment, I can at least see F1, from the perspective of attracting and holding NEW viewers, wanting helmet design consistency, even if many veteran fans think it is silly. They say more and more that personalities in all kinds of entities need to brand themselves due to the whirlwind we live in that is social media, so in one sense why would a driver even want to keep changing his helmet? Why not a consistent and recognizable design, akin to being their ‘logo’?

        1. well as marketing goes, i would say that tweeting + facebooking + blogs + websites + magazines + TV reporting on a new design by Vettel or any other driver keeps F1 alive in the media so it makes no sense if you want to attract more viewers/ keep the ones you have to ban helmets. this ultimate corporate policy for the sake of it and actually is counter productive! bring the races back on so we can forget about this crap.

        2. The FIA have the misguided belief that F1 fans can’t identify the teams/drivers if each team car had a different livery and I’m assuming this rule follows that thinking that the fans wouldn’t be able to identify the drivers if their helmet designs keep changing. It would be nice if they actually asked the fans rather than assuming the majority of fans are casual and thus don’t really know much about the sport.

      3. I think black/yellow is harder to distinguish than red/yellow. Occasionally I’m unsure whether a camera is yellow or if it is just a reflection of light, for example. Red/yellow is clearer and I’m unsure why they changed it.

        Regarding helmets, personally I’d rather drivers kept the same designs, but no way do I think it should be a rule which is presumably punishable. Incidentally, I still haven’t seen what the punishment for changing the design is.

        1. @Paul I think it was hinted at a week or so ago that the punishment would be a fine that would go to charity which is why Vettel said he wouldn’t be too bothered about donating to charity and continuing switching up his helmet design whenever he feels like it.

      4. Another rule from the Nonsense Department. Drivers change helmets for fashion, honor specific events/people/moments and in many occasions the special design helmet is used for charity (of course the normal can be used too).

        It’s not the case of Vettel (the biggest fan of different designs) but Valentino Rossi has used different helmets over the course of a season and its a very healthy stream of funds one fans can buy 1/2 scale versions and for collectors that’s a must have.

      5. Totally unnecessary rule. One of the reasons why I looked forward to the Monaco Grand Prix…you’ve had Kimi come up with a James Hunt design, Alonso with golden livery, and many other examples. It’s a pity…

      6. people that have the capacity to make rules JUST make rules… it would seem that the committee (remembering that the race horse designed by a committee came out to be a camel) is not aware of the fact that there are numbers on the cars, which would be a lot easier to see than any helmet …………. thanks, Norris

      7. Another nice little earner for the FIA, the “Helmet Tax”. I would appreciate a rule that decreed the drivers number be clearly displayed on the top of the helmet, ideally in 2 contrasting colours that remain the same all season, but a ban on changing the entire helmet is ridiculous. The drivers should all get together and turn up in plain white helmets.

      8. Wow — of all the things they could have addressed…

    3. For me, as a fan who watches F1 using livestreams because there is no proper coverage of F1 my (Middle East), I usually depend on drivers’ helmets to identify them because the quality of the streams is usually not very pleasing to see the color of the T-cam easily. The point I want to clarify is that I never had any difficulty identifying a driver as soon as I see his car even if it appeared small in the background of the scene, and I have never found any difficulty in doing so even when drivers use different helmet designs during the season. So to say that they did that to help distinguish drivers, then I think that FIA are talking non sense.

      Maybe the best thing drivers can do is to start the season at Melbourne with all of them having the same helmet design, like simply all having black helmets with each driver having only his number written on it in white.

      Anyway, I think that this series of having such unnecessary rules set by FIA is going to continue; so what is next?! Maybe banning drivers from changing haircut designs as it might make it more difficult to identify a driver from a distance!

      1. @hzh00 I love the idea that the FIA changed the rule for the benefit of fans watching on dodgy illegal streams!

        1. @keithcollantine
          Wow, I did not know that FIA might actually care for F1 fans!! ;p
          I don’t know but maybe if I were not a hardcore F1 fan I might have stopped following and watching F1 already. I think that without FIA greediness, there might have been some interested broadcasters in my area; and I am willing to pay for F1 coverage, if it were available. In my area, in the absence of F1 coverage, in addition to other limitations (such as regular electricity blackouts and the lack of a good internet connection that interfere with the times of many F1 sessions), I still find ways to watch F1 live.
          It is not that I like using illegal ways to watch F1 or that I enjoy the low quality stuttering streams, it is that I really like F1 and I don’t think that I will be chased easily away from F1.
          Thank you FIA.

  2. I’m actually fine with this. I think it’s important to have the drivers easy to recognise at the track. But I also think the word “substantially” is also quite important in this context, and I’m glad the FIA put it in. I would hate for drivers not to be able to tweak the design based on certain circumstances, so long as you can see it’s them at distance.

    I would, however, like to find out how much they plan to pay the newly-appointed, ahem, “helmet-inspector”.

    1. why would they need one, when you have the whole grid of teams happy to exploit any opportunity to bite their competitors =)

    2. I think this ban makes as much sense as this

    3. I think the wording – ‘substantially’, is bound to generate controversy, as it is open to various interpretations. How ‘substantially’ should a driver alter his or her helmet design – 10, 20, 30, 50, 60, 70% of the helmet surface? If a driver chucks on a flag or an artwork on the top center of the helmet, covering the entire oblong top, has he ‘substantially’ altered the helmet and therefore deserves a fine?
      There is a saying where I come from that says, when you push someone, better show the person where to fall.
      If the FIA feel the must make a case out of nothing, the least they could do was be specific with the wording.
      Helmets generally have basic graphical layouts that are then built upon by artists, the least the FIA could have done was to tell drivers areas they can tamper with or not.

  3. Cannot wait to see any Driver suspended and losing all points because of this petty rule …… and just how much leeway does “in substantially the same livery at every event ” does this allow ……. can’t wait for lawyers to argue this one out in Court as I fancy a 50% change in colours.

  4. Ron (@rcorporon)
    2nd March 2015, 13:12

    Another stupid rule.

    F1 is getting harder and harder to enjoy.

    1. I know right…

      at least this stupid rule doesn’t make 95% of the races half-point races, but damn, it’s an unnecessary one…. never mind teams dropping like flies, sponsors running away from even the oldest most recognizable brands of F1, a rule against switching helmets will fix that

    2. +1

      Quoting Vettel :

      “I was going to do it a little less this year anyway, In these difficult times this seems to be all that they can agree on.”

    3. The important thing isn’t the helmet’s livery, but the name of the driver and the team they drive for. When you hear the results of a race on the radio, the driver’s name, the team, and their place on the podium are what the announcer states. The livery, the car number, the principle sponsors aren’t mentioned, and often the “also rans” don’t get a mention either.

    4. @rcorporon You’re right, What I don’t get is why the FIA don’t want drivers to change their design

  5. Oh we are also forgetting that the car can come to each race in completely different colours but the helmet has to stay the same.

    1. You sure about that? I bet if a team tried it, it would quickly be banned, if what you are suggesting is that there is no actual rule for that currently.

      1. Certainly back in the late 90’s BAR wanted one car to be Lucky Strike livery and the other to be 555 and it was disallowed even though that has been done in the past….hence they did the ‘zipper’ car with it painted half and half with a zipper down the middle. Reason given was it would be too confusing for the television audience to have a team with two differently painted cars. Imagine if every team changed their livery every race…confusion galore, plus no sponsors would likely want that even if it were allowed…no brand recognition if you keep changing.

        1. I think it would be great for teams and brands if the teams could switch the full livery even for every race if they wanted. Imagine the publicity if local sponsor could buy a fully red or green toro rosso livery for monza or hungarian gp? It would be great pr move and everybody would notice.

          Same with the driver helmets. The monaco helmets were already almost a thing and a lot of drivers were doing special one-off helmets. It was becoming a special thing about the monaco race and a good unique feature of that race. Remember the special diamond helmets for mclaren drivers? The james hunt helmet or other special helmets. That was great thing for sponsors to buy a one off design and get all the publicity you can imagine from it.

          In the end I think FIA is making a stupid decision here. Different helmets add character and make the drivers distinguishable. I think fia should have gone to the opposite direction. Allow the driver change his appearance in any way as he wants and allow the teams to run one-off special liveries as often as they want. Different liveries for both cars? That would be amazing. Allowing that would give them more free publicity than any of these stupid rigid rules forcing drivers and teams look the same all the time…

          It is just plain disappointing when the same people at fia complain about lack of character and then make these stupid and completely unnecessary rules which only remove the very little things of individuality that is still left for an F1 driver. In an era where even their hairstyles or facial hair can be forced to look certain way because of sponsor contracts – the helmet was the last place the driver still had some personal touch. Apparently it was too much…

          For me the next monaco gp will be a little less exciting just because all the drivers will run their old helmets. Just like all the last races of drivers with long careers who have to run the same helmet even though they might want to do something different in their last race. I would have preferred to see those special one-off designs that celebrate old f1 legends, just look different and cool or just have some crazy design like Liuzzi’s chalkboard helmet in 2011 brazil gp which will be forever a nice piece of f1 memorabilia for the fans.

          This is just so stupid. It is not just wrong but it is huge missed opportunity. Not just from commercial perspective but from driver identity perspective. sigh

      2. Red Bull used to have sponsored liveries, do you not remember the Star Wars and Superman liveries?

        1. Yeah that’s true, but weren’t they one-offs? I don’t recall them repainting the whole car either, did they? Anyway…I still doubt F1, or a team, would consider this feasible or desirable to change by the race, each and every race.

        2. Didn’t they have a race at Silverstone where the entire car was made up of fan pictures? They just changed the color on the pictures so yu could still see the Red Bull livery

      3. Oops I forgot – You’re correct – Bernie banned it – to ensure all local advertising goes to his Trackside Advertising Business and not to the Teams.

  6. With this level of insanity, you always wonder with FIA, ”what’s next?”

    1. Not sure what’s next, but do know what they should could have done first.

      If the FIA wants to distinguish between drivers then they should have forced teams to use ‘substantially different’ liveries first. I struggle more often to distinguish between 2 teams on TV than between 2 drivers within a team, especially now that most cars are some shade of grey.

      But then the cynic in me would argue that FIA/Bernie are already resolving that by making sure we have less cars racing every season.

    2. @neelv27 “Speed limits imposed”…. noticing that racing and road safety were at odds with each other, F1 has now introduced a speed limit!

  7. Perhaps this is a bit extreme. I would have preferred for a driver to use a maximum of two helmet designs a year, allowing for a mid-season change for for a one-off design.

    1. Why not let the ‘Adult’ driver decide how to clothe themselves, like they have been for many years before. Why do we need this rule? Rules for rules sake. The sooner F1 dies the better.

      1. Why not let the ‘Adult’ drivers decide how to clothe themselves, like they have been for many years before.

        Hear, hear.

        Unless I’ve misunderstood your sentiment and you’re actually discriminating against Max Verstappen. :-)

      2. “The sooner F1 dies the better.”

        Why are you even here?

        1. Because he want’s a new unfettered formula to rise from the ashes.

        2. He isn’t “here”. He doesn’t even have an account, those people just show up for the news and leave toxic comments.

  8. Simply retarded.

  9. Well.. lets break this decision down. Fans who are trying to recognise a particular driver will break the search process down to looking for the car they are driving for. This narrows down their option to 2 drivers. Since drivers now have their respective numbers on their car, it narrows it down to identifying the driver immediately.

    What is the logic behind helmet design as a distinguishing factor? It’s harder to remember a helmet design, and is less visible than a car number.

    I’m going to miss the one off designs that are showcased at race weekends like MOnaco

    1. If a person can’t identify a driver from car livery, car number, the live timing, track position and commentary then helmet design isn’t going to help them. I have no idea what this achieves other than taking another little fun quirk out of a sport that needs all the personality it can get.

      1. Eureka – I just resolved it, @colossal-squid.

        Why not get one of those speech bubbles with the driver’s name above each car on TV.
        With modern technology that should be easy on TV. And with holography they can probably soon do it live as well.

        1. They do exactly that in nascar

    2. If only the FIA would dictate a more reasonable minimal size in easily recognizable places on the car @todfod, I could take the FIA seriously when they mention recognizability.

  10. So, how long until Vettel defies the ban? I’m saying China. :P

    1. Vettel’s already said if it’s a reasonable fine, he’d have no problems breaking the rule– so expect Malaysia. ;)

      1. Melbourne FP2

  11. Really… So many other issues and this is what they focus on?

    1. Oh I’m sure they can focus on more than one thing at a time, not to mention the focus is now off this as they have made a ruling and have moved on.

    2. Yeah, it’s nice to know they’ve solved all the other problems in F1.

      1. Yeah because all other complex business/sporting entities other than F1 have all their problems solved.

  12. I’d love it if every driver went with a plain black helmet.

    1. Dan Gurney style!

  13. Personally I never paid much attention to the changing helmet designs. I do prefer a distinctive design that distinguishes a driver though. In my memory Schumacher was red, Damon Hill Black with the white strips, Union Jack colours on Jenson’s, Spanish colours on Alonso’s. I haven’t the foggiest idea what Vettel’s helmet looks like.

    1. “I haven’t the foggiest idea what Vettel’s helmet looks like.”
      Neither does Seb. He has 60 of them :)

      1. And they are going to be a nice little assett for his old age.

    2. Yeah well put. I too have never been that excited when drivers vary their helmets, but on the other hand it is pretty cool having the distinctive designs that distinguish drivers over the years. I’ll add to your list of iconic helmet designs my top 3 all-time favourite racers…Gilles and Jacques Villeneuve, and Ayrton Senna. These guys even used their same designs prior to F1.

      1. And Coulthard

  14. Yeeeeah ….. We have a deal at FIA…..
    This is am important step in the Future and progress of Formula 1… Kudos FIA keep up your good work !!!!!

    Like Vettel said”In these hard times at least they found something that they can agree on !!!!”

    @KeithCollantine BTW is there a similar ban on Car Liveries and drivers Suits ? Just curious !!!

    1. is there a similar ban on Car Liveries and drivers Suits ?

      Don’t believe so. Remember when Hugo Boss ran the McLaren suit design competition ? Both Jenson and Hamilton wore really funky suits during qually sessions. Example

      Also most recent example of a livery change might be RedBull running at Silverstone plastered with all their fans faces on it. 2012. Example The same team also did a similar thing, but the car was white I think? And then there’s numerous examples if you wind back the clock a little further.

      1. @prof-kirk Thanks. I was thinking what if 2 drivers from the same team decide to start the season with “Substanitally” same helmet design. Since there is no rule banning that what will the FIA do now ? And then in the middle of the season one of these driver changes to a “Substantially” different helmet design. Now he is breaking the rule. But he is doing so to make sure that people are able to distinguish them from one another !!!!

        Oh poor FIA what will you do now…. Rules…. oh the rules….

        1. @tmax

          I was thinking what if 2 drivers from the same team decide to start the season with “Substanitally” same helmet design

          I know. I know ! It’s simply silly.

          Here’s how I read the whole situation:

          Begin Story,
          The FIA were discussing important issues. Ticket cost, Tv audience, Youtube, Fan access, Using the internet, preventing teams from inevitable debt…

          They could not reach a decision on any of the above. There were heated arguments. Lots of tension between friends in the room.

          To ease the tension they start reflecting on the ‘good ol’ days’

          One FIA individual says “I remember when Drivers had the same helmet for every race !”

          All the FIA members laugh and agree in unison that ‘those were the good ‘ol days’

          Now, all the FIA members, caught in the moment of camaraderie and nostalgia all agree to ban the helmet changes.
          End Story.

          And that’s how rule change happened.

  15. And that concludes today’s report on Formula One. Meanwhile, in the World Endurance Championship it has been announced…

    1. …Blimey, didn’t see that one coming. Best of luck to him, he’s done well to get that.

      Next idea from the Strategy Group is that drivers must wear their substantially-similar helmet, and race suit, at all times while flying to and from World Championship events, public appearances, mealtimes, and all training (cycling, swimming etc) for ease of identification.

  16. Next ban should be the hair cuts :)

  17. Do we know if this includes the use of stickers? Could they use a plain coloured helmet and put on different stickers each race?

  18. We should rejoice that it’s a stupid rule that won’t affect the racing adversely.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      2nd March 2015, 14:25

      lol

  19. I still think this is one of the most ridiculous rules in the history of F1.

    As I said when it was initially announced what design a driver has on his/her helmet & how often they change it should be left completely down to them, It should be no business of the FIA, FOM or anyone else what design they run on any given weekend.

    Personally I never look to the helmet’s to ID drivers, I always used the camera colors as its far easier to pick out from the grandstands & on the TV. One is black & the other is fluorescent yellow so its super easy to spot.

    Its over-regulated nonsense like this thats turning people off.

  20. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    2nd March 2015, 14:21

    After resolving the budget issues and spiraling costs for all teams, then addressing every safety issue, the FIA turned to its final major task for 2015 – uniform helmet design.

    1. Yes because budget issues, spiralling costs, and safety issues are just as easy to solve, for all racing series no less, as having drivers keep their same helmet designs.

  21. I’m sure I can think of a few pundits who’d be vere happy to hear these news. Not necessarily going to make them less prone to getting confused…

  22. Isn’t driver identification what the numbers are for? Put big numbers on the sidepods and problem solved.

    1. Big numbers on the side pods takes away one of the biggest spaces for sponsors.

      Its also one of the spots on the cars which sponsors pay the most for because any logo or text tends to be much larger there than on other areas of the cars.

      1. Well, if the number is there perhaps that’s where people will look rather than a helmet.. Don’t you think that might make the sponsor happy?

    2. Do like most teams are already doing, put it on that pylon in front of the sidepod. This is where Toro Rosso, Red Bull, Lotus, Force India and Williams put theres. Sauber went one step further and put it on the body work. As long as you know where to look for the number on the car, it make it easier to pick it out.

  23. Another useless rule that adds nothing but takes away from another aspect of a drivers personality and expression. If making the sport more bland and lifeless is their aim they’re succeeding.

    I know I’m not alone in enjoying when drivers use special helmet designs every so often. Unique helmets for Monaco worn by almost every driver always added to the glamour and pageantry of that weekend and helped make it feel a bit more special.

    The FIA and FOM seemed determined to make the sport more of a show or more accessible, but everything they’ve done so far – like double points and DRS – has come off to me like an attack on the sport or the die hard fan base F1 is built on. Why should I be so dedicated to a sport whose governors seem hell bent in eroding everything I enjoy about it? In recent years that question has kept getting more difficult to answer.

    1. I get the sentiment of your post, except for the first paragraph. Citing again as I did on another post on this topic, my all-time top-3 favourite racers, I don’t think using the same design over the years, going back to prior to being in F1, took away from the personality and expression of Gilles, Ayrton, and Jacques.

      Realistically, if people were to list their top 20…maybe even top 50 things F1 could/should do to help themselves, would varying driver helmet designs make anybody’s list?

      1. I can see your point as well, and I do like drivers that have iconic helmets or at least a strong consistent design language throughout their careers, like Alonso (I really liked his ’07 McLaren helmet that was the same basic design but with black red white and a bit of silver to reflect his new team).

        My point is think of what we’ll miss – not the extreme of Vettel with a new helmet every weekend but the likes of Raikkonen. He has always had the same basic design, but for Monaco ’13 he raced in a replica of James Hunts old helmet. I really liked that, it was a nod from one generation to another and I’m afraid the new rule robs that kind of character from F1.

        To your question varying helmets is unlikely in the extreme to ‘help’ F1 at all, but I still feel it should be an aspect left to the drivers themselves to determine. If they want to vary their helmets let them. Most seldom change them anyway.

        Would such a rule preclude things like Button ‘going pink for Papa’ which was a worthy cause? Button going pink I think showed that helmet design can be very personal and meaningful to a driver. If they want to change it for such reasons (personal, charitable ect.) then let them.

        1. Absolutely fair comment. Perhaps they could allow for one one-off per driver per season, but I think too that if it is as was hinted at a few weeks ago and the drivers will merely be given a fine that will go to charity, perhaps they won’t even bat an eye anyway, and will go ahead and do a ‘James Hunt tribute’ or ‘go pink’ when they feel like it, and happily pay the fine.

          1. Although a hypothetical circumstance where a driver is fined (even a small amount) for promoting a charitable cause rubs me up the wrong way, it’s a lot lot better than any kind of over the top draconian punishment the could have gone with.

            If it ends up just being a charitable donation then I’m actually totally ok with it. We’ll still probably have the Monaco designs, and nothing much will change! That’s the true FIA way! ;)

          2. That charity will be the FIA.

  24. If the point is to make it easier for fans to identify drivers, maybe the FIA should look into limiting the number of grey liveries!

  25. The FIA may not be aware that most if not all logos on the helmets reflect sponsorship, or paying customers for the teams. Some of these agreements could end mid season, and some new ones might be created, and provide sorely needed funds for the lesser teams. I don’t believe the FIA should be allowed to govern helmet appearance any more than car color or logo placement.

    1. They do manage car colour though don’t they? Both cars have to be the same and I imagine you need approval before changing your livery mid-season.

      1. they may require that the car look alike, to reflect the teams, but that’s not controlling the color, i.e. selection, shape etc.

  26. I love how absolutely useless the FIA are at writing rules! :D

    “The crash helmet of each driver must be presented in substantially the same livery at every event during a championship season”.

    What counts as substantially? Could it be the same design but a different colour? A different design in the same colour? Same design but different sponsors? Or do the sponsor logos have to be similar? Can you only replace Santander with another bank or just a company with a red logo?

    Ignoring this, helmets these days are primarily all the same anyway! Senna and Prost had very distinguishable helmets. So did Schumacher and Hill. You could spot them a mile off. These days, they all have a big white band at the top for sponsors and all have a multitude of colours set a jagged angles. I wouldn’t say there are any iconic helmet designs in F1 at the moment. Nothing we’ll look back on in 20 years with any fondness anyway… Most look like the stock designs you see in the shops with sponsor logos plastered over them.

  27. The ban on changing helmet designs is silly and somewhat pointless. If they want helmets to truly distinguish between drivers, they would need to go much more into the design of them, in the same way they color code the t-bar or have numbers for each driver.

    For the life of be, I couldn’t distinguish between JEV and Kyvat and their helmets. There were times I could tell the difference between VET and RIC. Two years ago, it was difficult to distinguish between Rosberg and Hamilton when both had yellow based helmets.

    At a certain point, with all the bells and whistles in many designs helmets really just blend together. The FIA should require drivers have different “base” colors, etc. – similar to Rosberg and Hamilton, one is black and the other yellow.

    1. @uan

      The FIA should require drivers have different “base” colors, etc. – similar to Rosberg and Hamilton, one is black and the other yellow.

      Agree! And as the helmet is sometimes not very visible being so far inside the cockpit, why not put those base colours somewhere high on the car. Maybe using those TV pods that all teams have next to the air inlets ;)

  28. I have to agree this is not a solution for anything. Lets look at “Sponsored” helmets of Red Bull Drivers. They are very,very hard to distinguish. Finding the difference between Ricciardo, Vergne, Kviat, Sainz and Verstappen is not easy for the general public. Something they could have ruled was a way to prevent the employing entities to define a driver’s helmet design.

    Its very, very hard to see such new Iconic Helmets like the ones from the past appearing. The last, Iconic Helmet that I can remember is either Coulthard’s, Jenson Button and M. Schumacher’s, and these are all from a different generation then the current one.

    The driver’s helmet should be something that reflects their identity, no doubt. And it should be up to them to decide. Sponsorship aside.

  29. Let’s see… If all drivers decided to go for an all white helmet, they’d HAVE to keep them for the whole season…

  30. antonyob (@)
    2nd March 2015, 16:35

    I think some F1 fans would jump up and down if the FIA changed the number of screws fitted in Armco barriers. Its just a minor change and a good one. Settle down.

    I hate the word iconic but you don’t get many that are any more. Think Senna, Mansell, Hunt, Hill(s), you can see their helmet design as clear as day. Now we get drivers changing designs because their pet hamster turned 5. Oh and because they’ve too much money.

    1. You miss the point. It’s not the ruling, it’s the cumulative affect of many silly rulings.

    2. @antonyob, I prefer drivers as well to have iconic helmets. And Vettel might one day regret that he did not decide to go for a distinctive design.

      But it does not require the FIA to regulate this. They act more and more like some of the countries F1 races in nowadays.

  31. American F1
    2nd March 2015, 16:39

    Well, I am glad they got that sorted out! Now…getting the whole prize money distribution thing ought to be easy; and that spending cap…well, it practically writes itself!
    What a colossal waste of time.

  32. The helmet rule is yet another example of F1 making itself less fan friendly. Personally I never have been excited about what new helmet designs are being worn or for what reason, but the various helmet designs have created a lot of fan interest and even fan participation at times. What is wrong with that? It is fun and helps promote the sport.

    I would appreciate the FIA getting the more technical side of the rules right and leave the areas alone that help to create and promote fan enjoyment and involvement in the sport. This rule makes about as much sense as a rule designed to slow the cars down so as to better distinguish the driver number on the car or to see which driver is in which car. Isn’t that the real problem in seeing which driver we are looking at? The cars are going too fast!

    This killjoy rule is utter nonsense.

    1. Completely agree with your post. Yet another instance of the FIA fixing something that wasn’t broken in the first place.

    2. Singapore 2013. Webber wears a fan designed helmet. No more of that.

  33. Right FIA, you have now dealt with something that didn’t need fixing, how about you get on with sorting out all of the problems F1 faces that actually do need fixing.

    This rule is utterly pointless and actually detracts from the show. Some drivers take helmet changes to the extreme, but that is their privilege. But with this draconian rule we will now lose the chance to see clever hemet designs at certain special tracks and homages to great drivers (Coulthard’s McRae helmet, Kimi’s James Hunt helmet and JEV’s Cevert lid all immediately spring to mind here, along with Vettel’s “wooden” Texas helmet). It is silly and unnecessary and I hope the drivers take Vettel’s lead and ignore it.

  34. This is ridiculous that in a sport where rules lead to most things looking the same they’re going to take away variety from the only area a driver can customize, this sport is going to quickly become pretty boring to look at if everything looks the same all the time

  35. Just get them to stick a bigger number on the cars if that’s the reason. Jeez, what a farce.

  36. SwissEnglishBulldog
    2nd March 2015, 18:51

    If all the drivers turned up at a Grand Prix accidentally wearing, for example, identical replicas of Senna’s helmet (in the same vein as the vain and vain attempt at becoming Ayrton’s reincarnation that Lewis Hamilton once undertook) would they all be sent home for the day?

  37. Because priorities… and here I was thinking the FIA benefited from the merchandise sales of collectables such as scale model cars and helmets. Sure, Seb probably changed his helmet excessively but I loved the gold Alonso Monaco and Singapore ones, oh and of course Kimi’s James Hunt replica!

  38. Michael Brown
    2nd March 2015, 19:06

    The only reason people complained about helmet changes was because of Vettel. Now they’re trying to say it’s because of all drivers.

    For once the FIA listens to the fans, and they chose the wrong ones.

  39. This is the lamest rule ever. Fun Fact – you can tell who the driver is by the camera on the car.

  40. If they banned advertising on helmets I’d be a lot more interested. Nobody’s had a good helmet in years and years…

  41. This ban solves what problem?

    As long as the current FIA “leadershipd” and BE are in charge of F1, the level of silliness will just increase. The teams should grow some cojones and say, collectively: ENOUGH of this nonsense.

  42. The reasons given are to do with being able to clearly distinguish drivers and some mad theory about promoters using driver images in promotion.

    It worrys me that they seem to believe the problem with F1’s dwindling interest is driver personality. Obviously it has some effect once the person become interested in the sport, but has zero effect in attracting new viewers.

  43. Recently it has gotten to the point that every once in a while I think about just giving up on following F1. I am 74 and have been a very devout fan for decades even when following F1/ F5000 et al was very difficult but now I find that this kind of ridiculous over sight of any activity seems to be more the norm and to what purpose? There are too many other things to do especially since I live in the California desert with excellent weather most of the year. I record most of the races as it is and watch them sometime later (usually while enjoying a lite nape) so the more I think about it the less I am annoyed by such trivial nonsense. Thanks,Norris

  44. Yeah definitely, this is something they need to implement immediately because there is nothing else wrong with the sport that needs changing!

    Such a relief this is finally done!

    (The above may contain sarcasm!)

  45. In Germany, the viewing figures are about the same for F1 and biathlon, and in biathlon, there are no super stars, no easily recognizable outfits or loud noise, it’s basically just shy nerds running around unseen in the woods and appearing to shoot on the range.

    Yet people love it dearly and it’s the same all over Europe. Why? It can only be because the races are usually quite close, and the outcome is unpredictable. It’s also a very nice combination of physical and mental challlenge. Yes, sometimes the hardware (skis) gives a slight advantage, but mostly it’s about preparation and the last small edge on the last shooting or lap. There are no endless rule changes to favor this or the other team and there is nothing done to attract the younger audience. It’s just popular. Look and learn F1.

  46. Seeing as it is quite difficult to tell the difference between helmets as it is, I don’t think it will have an effect on helping a casual fan identify a particular driver.

    Can all the F1 drivers all agree to wear the same coloured helmet as every other driver for a season?

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