Top five helmet designs: Lewis Hamilton08 November 2023
Seven-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton has gone through numerous different helmet iterations during his 16-year tenure at the pinnacle of motorsport. Among them are limited-edition helmets that feature iconic one-off designs for key events or pay tribute to important figures in his life. Here are five of his best.
2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – equalling a legend
The 2018 season was a momentous one for Hamilton, as he matched the great Manuel Fangio on five drivers’ titles. Only Schumacher was more successful at that point. Having already secured the championship earlier that year at the Mexican Grand Prix, the man from Stevenage opted to don an eye-catching gold helmet at the season finale in Abu Dhabi. In the race itself, Lewis went on to take victory as he did on ten other occasions that year.
2019 Monaco Grand Prix – Lauda tribute
Less than a week before the 2019 Monaco Grand Prix was due to take place, three-time F1 world champion and Non-Executive Chairman of Mercedes, Niki Lauda passed away. To honour his memory, all 20 drivers paid tribute by wearing red caps on the starting grid prior to the race. Accompanying Mercedes’ red halos, Hamilton also revived Lauda’s classic helmet design paying homage to the man himself, and delivered a drive worthy of his memory by fending off Verstappen in the closing stages to win.
2021 Qatar Grand Prix – LGBTQIn an effort to raise awareness of equal rights in the region, Hamilton’s 2021 Qatar Grand Prix helmet design featured the Progress Pride Flag. He has since reprised similar designs at the 2023 Miami Grand Prix and again at this season’s Qatar Grand Prix. In the 2021 race, Hamilton was on imperious form, and was only denied the coveted grand slam by Verstappen’s late-race fastest lap.
2021 British Grand Prix – Mad Dog Jones
Collaborating with Instagram artist Mad Dog Jones, Lewis introduced a helmet design with a difference for his home race of the 2021 season. Its eye-catching yellow and black stripes along with distinctive green flecks made for a more urban feel than his usual lids, but it was the inconspicuous text encircling the bottom of the helmet’s rear section that made it a special one for Silverstone; each of the 18 corner names and straights were referenced to mark the event. Following an infamous clash with Max Verstappen, he went on to win the race ahead of Charles Leclerc and Valtteri Bottas.
2023 Japanese Grand Prix – Hajime Sorayama
For the Japanese Grand Prix in 2023, Hamilton worked alongside Japanese illustrator, Hajime Sorayama to create a striking helmet design unlike anything the F1 paddock has seen before. Enhanced by a light-up visor, the bold aesthetic is a nod to Sorayama’s conceptual work on robots and an accompanying apparel collection furthered the collaborative thread. After some entertaining battles with his teammate, George Russell during the race, Hamilton brought the car home in fifth place.