FIA Clarify Helmet Change Details

The world governing body for motorsport, the FIA, has revealed how the new rule which prevents drivers frequently changing helmet designs will work. The rule was approved by the F1 commission last month. The new rule is intended to prevent drivers from regularly changing the designs on their crash helmets. A driver’s helmet is seen as the best way to identify a driver while they are in their car, something which has been taken less significance in recent seasons as drivers have been using more varied designs through the racing year.

Published in the set of Formula One regulations for 2015, article 21.1 states the following.

“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.”

This means that while small changes my be approved for sponsor or charitable purposes, a driver’s helmet must largely remain the same from the first round of the championship up until the last.

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Many drivers helmets of the past are instantly recognisable as helmets regularly went unchanged through a driver’s racing career. From the bright red of Michael Schumacher and the vivid yellow of Ayrton Senna, to the black with white oars of Damon Hill, it is hoped that the ruling will help to make a driver easier to identify in the car.

An example of how extreme the helmet problem has gone lies with Sebastian Vettel. The German driver has used over 60 different designs over the course of his racing career.

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