Top seven helmet designs: Lando Norris07 June 2023
A Formula 1 driver’s crash helmet is arguably their single most important piece of personal protective equipment, so it’s easy to forget that for many, if not all competitors, the ‘skid lid’ transcends its utilitarian purpose becoming a canvas of self-expression and a symbol of individuality on the circuit.
For Lando Norris, helmet design holds a certain significance, one that extends far beyond simple aesthetics. He channels his artistic flair through striking colour palettes and iconic symbols in his conventional design that takes inspiration from Moto GP legend Valentino Rossi’s fluorescent yellow theme.
In recent years though, Norris has taken to introducing limited edition helmets for special races on the calendar. Ever-present in this process is Norris’ long-time designer, Miles Murphy of MDM Designs whose clientele also includes George Russell, Alex Albon, Segio Perez and many more.
2020 British Grand Prix
The 2020 season saw the lifting of restrictions on the amount of different helmet designs permitted in any given year. Some driver’s took advantage of this, producing many different variations in quick succession and Norris was one of them. At his home Grand Prix at Silverstone that year, he debuted the first of many 2020 helmet designs. This one though was a little different from the others; it was the product of six-year-old Eva Muttram’s competition entry, her design reminded Norris of his own childhood sketches. He finished his home race in fifth position and, following the race, hand-delivered the helmet to Eva for her to keep.
2020 Italian Grand Prix
That year’s Italian Grand Prix would see Norris serving up yet another unique helmet, this time with a design inspired by Italian cuisine. As a self-proclaimed pizza lover, Norris opted for a margherita on one side – his personal favourite – and pepperoni on the other with an Italian flag running through the centre. Donning the light-hearted concept at Monza, he picked up a P4, his second-best finish of the season with team mate Carlos Sainz capping off a fantastic weekend for McLaren in P2.
2020 Eifel Grand Prix
Earlier in the year at Silverstone, both Norris and Sainz took on a 10-minute challenge to decorate their own helmets using a mix of colourful paints. The collaborative project with McLaren’s charity partner Mind saw the original helmets up for grabs in a prize draw raising a total of £70,250. Replicas were worn at the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Norris was running in P6 in the closing stages before a power unit failure meant he finished on the sidelines.
2020 Bahrain Grand Prix
To celebrate the launch of his gaming and lifestyle brand, Quadrant, Norris introduced a striking black helmet emblazoned with the brand’s recognisable ‘Q’ logo. Together with his fellow Quadrant team members, Norris streamed a design contest where his own concept was put up against a mosaic of George Russell’s face among other concepts. Unsurprisingly, Norris opted for his own design. As was the case at the Italian Grand Prix earlier in the year, Norris finished an excellent P4 under the lights of Bahrain.
2021 Monaco Grand Prix
With the McLaren team embracing Monaco-exclusive Gulf teamwear and the car running a fan favourite blue and orange homage livery, it seemed only right that both Daniel Ricciardo and Norris had tribute helmets to match. The retro design featured the iconic Gulf colours, painted-on goggles above the visor and a damaged rubber effect at the crown. As seems to be the case with many of his one-off designs, this yielded a strong result for Norris as he claimed his first podium in the principality.
2022 Singapore Grand Prix
Norris’ love of gaming shone through once more at the Singapore Grand Prix in 2022. To honour one of his most beloved video game characters – Halo’s Master Chief – Norris and his designer worked closely with Halo and Microsoft themselves to stitch together a representative design from official high-quality renders. The end result was one of the more unique helmet designs in recent memory and was something of a good luck charm for Norris, scoring his second-best performance of the season with P4 at one of the calendar’s toughest circuits.
2022 Miami GP & 2023 Miami GP
What springs to mind when you think of Miami? Miami Beach? Miami Vice perhaps? Well, for Lando Norris basketballs and beach balls are near the top of that list. The basketball design in 2022 came complete with textured logos to give the tactile sensation of a real basketball, while the beach ball featured an air valve and ripple effect giving the impression it was still being inflated. Unfortunately, these designs didn’t prove as fruitful as their predecessors with Norris recording a DNF and a P17 finish in ’22 and ’23 respectively.
We can't wait to see what he reveals for Silverstone 2023!