F1 helmets

What the best dressed drivers are wearing: Helmets of 2011

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They can withstand 800C temperatures and if you accidentally park a tank on one they won’t so much as crack.

They also come in a range of pretty colours. See what the drivers of 2011 have done with their helmet designs:

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Helmet, 2011
Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Helmet, 2011

Mark Webber

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Helmet, 2011
Mark Webber, Red Bull, Helmet, 2011

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Helmet, 2011
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Helmet, 2011

Jenson Button

Jenson Button, McLaren, Helmet, 2011
Jenson Button, McLaren, Helmet, 2011

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Helmet, 2011
Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Helmet, 2011

Felipe Massa

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Helmet, 2011
Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Helmet, 2011

Michael Schumacher

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Helmet, 2011
Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Helmet, 2011

Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Helmet, 2011
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Helmet, 2011

Nick Heidfeld

Nick Heidfeld, Renault, Helmet, 2011
Nick Heidfeld, Renault, Helmet, 2011

Vitaly Petrov

Vitaly Petrov, Renault, Helmet, 2011
Vitaly Petrov, Renault, Helmet, 2011

Rubens Barrichello

Rubens Barrichello, Williams, Helmet, 2011
Rubens Barrichello, Williams, Helmet, 2011

Pastor Maldonado

Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Helmet, 2011
Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Helmet, 2011

Adrian Sutil

Adrian Sutil, Force India, Helmet, 2011
Adrian Sutil, Force India, Helmet, 2011

Paul di Resta

Paul di Resta, Force India, Helmet, 2011
Paul di Resta, Force India, Helmet, 2011

Kamui Kobayashi

Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber, Helmet, 2011
Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber, Helmet, 2011

Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez, Sauber, Helmet, 2011
Sergio Perez, Sauber, Helmet, 2011

Sebastien Buemi

Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso, Helmet, 2011
Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso, Helmet, 2011

Jaime Alguersuari

Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso, Helmet, 2011
Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso, Helmet, 2011

Heikki Kovalainen

Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus, Helmet, 2011
Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus, Helmet, 2011

Jarno Trulli

Jarno Trulli, Lotus, Helmet, 2011
Jarno Trulli, Lotus, Helmet, 2011

Narain Karthikeyan

Narain Karthikeyan, HRT, Helmet, 2011
Narain Karthikeyan, HRT, Helmet, 2011

Vitantono Liuzzi

Vitantonio Liuzzi, HRT, Helmet, 2011
Vitantonio Liuzzi, HRT, Helmet, 2011

Timo Glock

Timo Glock, Virgin, Helmet, 2011
Timo Glock, Virgin, Helmet, 2011

Jerome d’Ambrosio

Jerome d'Ambrosio, Helmet, 2011
Jerome d'Ambrosio, Helmet, 2011

Got a favourite? Vote for which driver’s helmet design you most prefer:

Which F1 helmet design do you like best?

  • Jerome d'Ambrosio (4%)
  • Timo Glock (2%)
  • Vitantonio Liuzzi (5%)
  • Narain Karthikeyan (0%)
  • Jarno Trulli (0%)
  • Heikki Kovalainen (9%)
  • Jaime Alguersuari (2%)
  • Sebastien Buemi (0%)
  • Sergio Perez (1%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (6%)
  • Paul di Resta (0%)
  • Adrian Sutil (0%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (1%)
  • Rubens Barrichello (3%)
  • Vitaly Petrov (4%)
  • Nick Heidfeld (13%)
  • Nico Rosberg (3%)
  • Michael Schumacher (8%)
  • Felipe Massa (4%)
  • Fernando Alonso (6%)
  • Jenson Button (7%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (13%)
  • Mark Webber (2%)
  • Sebastian Vettel (7%)

Total Voters: 490

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2011 F1 helmets – more pictures

Some more angles on the helmets of 2011:

F1 pictures

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Images ?? Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo, Renault/LAT, Williams/LAT, McLaren, Getty Images/Red Bull, Force India F1 Team, Sauber F1 Team, Team Lotus, Virgin Racing, Motioncompany

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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194 comments on “What the best dressed drivers are wearing: Helmets of 2011”

  1. If it wasn’t for the Monster advert, Schumacher would get it. But i’ll go with the helmet in my avatar.

    1. And as for the worst it would have to be Heikki’s…god what a horrible design.

      1. Sponsorship does ruin a good design doesnt it, sometimes it works well with the design (Webbers for instance) but most of the time it doesnt, in my opinion ofc.

        1. Did you notice how subtle the Johnny Walker icon was on JB’s helmet side profile :) That’s stealth advertising at it’s stealthiest.

          1. Haha wow, I would never have saw that had you not pointed it out…

      2. By far the worst is Sutil’s. It’s pulled the worst offence of all: it’s boring. Jarno went mad at Monaco last year when he switched from the shiny design to the more dull colours same with JB at Valencia last year. They were both great lids literally made dull.

        1. Well, at least I like Capri Sun logo of his helmet. absolutely not because I like Capri Sun. Probably.

          1. Really?? It’s a bit of a downer when you see JB’s Johnny Walker logo, years of family heritage, trade, taste, passion, quality.. Then you see Sutil’s Capri Sun in Arial Bold.

      3. UKfanatic (@)
        2nd April 2011, 16:32

        too tribal or just too common maybe even lack of originality

    2. I’d say Schumacher’s is probably the most plain and boring, the silver details are a nice touch but thy dont contrast very well with the red.

      1. I love Schu and Rosberg’s helmets when you see them in conjuction with the car, it’s proper, classic, retro Mercedes and it looks great.

        1. Agreed. Easiest two to tell apart. Schumacher/Red Rosberg/Yellow.


          1. I like Rosberg’s but I much preferred it when he had the yellow/blue colour combo.

          2. How about Hamilton/Yellow Button/Red White & Blue?

          3. Plus Nico’s yellow kit matches his T-bar, and Schumi’s red kit matches his. Definitely the two most identifiable helmets at a glance. I have to say my favorite by a long shot is Heidfeld’s though. It’s the colors of the German flag and the team livery. He must’ve been excited about that coincidence when he got the race seat.

        2. Bang on.

    3. Schumacher or Button… i can’t choose… there’s only one way to find out, fight!

    4. It does look a lot better than last years version for Schu.

    5. Failnando Alonso
      11th April 2011, 4:49

      Argh, I see Failnando’s Helmet.

  2. It’s got to be massas for me, plus it’s proven it’s ability lol

    1. I voted for Liuzzi even if I preferred the one with white rather than gray. Massa’s to me is worse than the one he was using at the start of this year, but one think I like is the colour is more green and less yellow. I still have to get used to it a bit, I preferred his 2008 one.

      1. His grey lid shown in Malaysia does look pretty good though. Seems the grey is a carbon fible pattern actually (at first I thought it was the trademark HRT-mud grey, but its not).

    2. Yep I think Massa’s helmet is by far the coolest! Really nice..

      And as for Vettel, Keith I think you will have to update that one week by week ;) The man with the million helmets!

      1. schumifor2011
        4th April 2011, 11:11

        yeah thats so true. i remember him having one that looked like a can of red bull.. as in the sides looked like the side of the can (it still kinda does) but on the top it looked like the top of the can with the ring and other details painted on with amazing detail

    3. Yeah Massa’s is the best for me too. Schumacher is close, I like the all red approach, too bad the monster advertising ruins it. Not sure what the dragons on the back mean, i dont like them either.

  3. Jenson’s one is the most beautiful

  4. Alonso’s is the best. I also like Button’s and Alguersuari’s, and Barrichello’s is great because it’s old school. I quite like Maldonado’s as well actually, but most of them look like someone’s eaten a colour palette and thrown up on them.

    1. Alonso’s and Alguersuari’s are my two favourite’s. Button has modernised his design a bit but the union jack idea was clever I thought.

      1. I almost voted for Fernando and I think he had the best of the field last year.

        I voted for Massa’s. When I first saw it at testing I absolutely hated it but now I think it’s a nice upgrade on his usual style. The Ferrari boys have the best helmets though. I like Petrov’s, Webber’s, Kobayashi’s and Jerome’s too. I agree Button’s design is clever but I really don’t like it compared to when it was shiny and think there are many other ones that stand out now.

        1. I like Schumachers, Alonsos and Hamiltons best because you see the car come round a corner and you immediately recognize who the driver is. They just stand out from the boredom of sponsorship/car matched helmets, especialy those horrible RedBull helmets. I was very happy when Schumacher came back that he kept the red helmet and I still think it looks awesome in the silver car so I think I will go with that one, but as a team effort I like Ferrari best (and McLaren a close second). Heidfelds helmet isn’t bad either and I must say I think Vettel improved from last year.

  5. What a great post.

    Me being a big Hamilton fan it had to be hamiltons one. I bet there are about a million different iterations of vettels though

    1. I love how the way the visor cuts into the red bull logo, it makes the yellow disc look like pac man!

      1. So Hamilton is copying Pacman, not Senna. God it was so obvious!!!

        1. Hold on, didn’t read Ned’s post correctly…oh well I stand by my comment!!!!

    2. You mean “Senna’s” helmet.

  6. I think Massa’s because he’s developed his design most originally, loik it. Hen Buttons because it’s always been a nice clever design and he’s also developed it well. Petrovs and Maldonado’s are bubblegum fun.

    1. I agree with all of that although I can’t work out if I love Pastor’s or hate it which is a good thing because at least it isn’t boring.

  7. Rubens for be simple, most of them have way to much going on!

    1. Agreed, it’s pleasantly retro and simple, unlike the kitsch designs some drivers use…

      1. I love how Rubens and Trulli have held on to their design longer than 5 minutes.

  8. What a great idea for an article! My favourites are; Alonso’s, Button’s because it’s clever, Barrichello’s because it’s… Barrichello’s, Kobayashi’s because it signifies Kamui’s presence, Massa’s for the unique colours, Buemi’s because it’s quite nice and Alguersuari’s because it’s probably the nicest looking helmet out there. However, I voted for Kobayashi! :P

    As for the worst; without equivocation, Sutil’s. Those are possibly the most disgusting colours anyone could wish to have representing their head.

    1. Sutil’s helmet looks like it’s representing the VJM01.

  9. Just cant help laugh at the Renault drivers helments, looks like they visited the Lotus Factory and had a giant sticker put on their heads as a memento. Ruins both helmets being smack on the forehead.

    1. that Helmets obviously ;)

  10. Jenson’s, Massa’s and vettel’s are all very nice but I would give it to Heikki for the most well balanced and unique design!

  11. Still very fond of Petrov’s design, so simple (though not as simple as Barrichello’s!) and distinctive amongst all the others. Love the colours of Kovalainen’s, Kobayashi’s and Massa’s, though I still prefer the previous design Massa used – I think it went just fine with the new SFM logo.

  12. My favourite is Heidfeld`s helmet! It really suits with the car! :)

    1. I think helmet is what the car should look like.

      Heidfeld for me as well.

  13. I’m a ma-hussive Hamilton fan but I don’t get why people are voting for his helmet as the best design… I know it’s yellow as a tribute to Senna but the actual design looks dated and lazy. Heikki Kovalainen’s is the standout one for me.

    1. Yeh completely agree, I’m also a Hamilton fan but his helmet design is pretty average tbh, nothing special. Looks like he’s just getting the votes because he has a lot of supporters on this website!

    2. Not Heikki’s….surely not?

    3. I’m with you on the helmet bit(not a Hamilton fan)-it does seem as if people are voting by driver rather than style-unless f1 fans are completely without taste! I also quite like liuzzi’s, just for the asymmetrical colouring.

    4. I don’t like the design much, but as recognizability goes it’s one of the best.

    5. Well actually that helmet looks better than those pics. That gray background makes things worse probably. On the track it looks quite awesome and is easily recognizable without being an eyesore.
      You don’t need ten thousand designs features to have a nice helmet.

      Btw i never heard Senna having anything to do with the helmet. The story i heard was that from his early carting days, his father gave him a yellow helmet to wear so he can spot him easily between other kids and be less worried about him.

    6. Hamilton’s is good because it’s distinctive, not because it’s actually a nice design.

    7. I thought HAM’s helmet was yellow because back in his karting days he could only afford a single colour helmet and His dad thought yellow would be easier to see on track.

      1. It is, it had origianlly had nothing to do with senna, i think the best helmet are the ones that you instantly know who is driving, the ones that have a different contrast with the car! Hamilton, Massa, Schumi, Rosberg, Petrov not all these helmets with tiny details that you never see. i also like a helmet that has a story behind it, not like vettel, what had a red bull can on his head

  14. My favourite 2 are Petrovs & Maldonado’s. His design reminds me of Evil Knievels. + I never knew Webbers helmet had the Australian coat of arms.

  15. i like Massa’s, kobayashi’s and Kovalainen’s. im not fond of Heidfeld’s, I preferred his when he was with BMW but that might be just me…

    1. It’s not just you. I loved Nick’s green helmet and his special 09 bubble one he used for the German GP.

      1. i really like alonso he has to win it

  16. No need to say that most of them have already changed theirs.

  17. thatscienceguy
    2nd April 2011, 12:25

    Barrichello and d’Ambrosio have a nice classic uncluttered look. KISS works every time.
    Webber’s is nice for the same reason, but obviously the Red Bull logo detracts from that. Still, the RB logo works much better in the design than the Yellow Pages logo he had when he first started in F1.
    Trulli’s design might be a bit nicer with some different not-retina-burning colours.

  18. If I can tell your nationality but can’t tell who your team sponser is then your helmet is brilliant.

    Button, Alonso, Petrov, Di Resta, Kobayashi, Trulli,
    Karthikeyan, Glock and d’Ambrosio all pass my test.

    1. Liuzzo gets a demerit for having a helmet thats different colours depending on the side your looking at – did he forget BAR/Honda and their terrible livery?

      1. i think the colours represent his nationality

      2. You mean the most obvious national helmet? Green, white and Red?

        1. But only from the front or do you think a national flag should share the colours front & back?

          Red and white on the front and green on the back, does that work for you?

          Didn’t think so…

    2. Surely Di Resta fails as he has an ialian flag on it but racs under the British flag?

      1. His family is of Italian descent.

    3. How many drivers do have a reference of their country in their helmets?
      I came up with the bellow list and if I miss something, please, let me know.

      Sebastian Vettel: None reference
      Mark Webber: has the colours
      Lewis Hamilton: None reference
      Jenson Button: clearly a stylized flag
      Fernando Alonso: Has the spanish flag.
      Felipe Massa: has the colours
      Michael Schumacher: None reference
      Nico Rosberg: None reference
      Nick Heidfeld: A small flag.
      Vitaly Petrov: other stylized flag
      Rubens Barrichello: None
      Pastor Maldonado : a stylized flag
      Adrian Sutil: a tiny black/red/yellow(gold) reference
      Paul di Resta: A scothish with a italian flag? His family name seams to be italian.
      Kamui Kobayashi: None reference
      Sergio Perez: has the colours
      Sebastien Buemi: The top is the swiss flag
      Jaime Alguersuari: None reference
      Heikki Kovalainen: None reference
      Jarno Trulli: has the colours
      Narain Karthikeyan: has the colours
      Vitantonio Liuzzi :None reference
      Timo Glock: Has a torn german flag
      Jerome d’Ambrosio: has the colours

      It seems that more than 50% of the drivers (14 out of 24) are more patriotic than the rest.

      The best helmet design? Schumacher without the Monster add.

      1. Of course, Schumacher used to have a very prominent German flag on the sides of his helmet before he ‘went red’.

      2. Mr.Zing Zang
        2nd April 2011, 23:49

        Hamilton is Grenada

      3. Mr.Zing Zang
        2nd April 2011, 23:50

        Luizzi was originally italian too

  19. Nico Rosberg’s helmet is beautiful so I voted for it, love the matt grey.

    1. Sure, but his Nico logo is a blatant copy of Tyco (toy manufacturer from the 80’s) :)

      1. ^^Oops… having some link issues

        I used to love my Tyco Formula Grand Prix as a kid. I bet Nico had one too :)

  20. I like D’ambrosio’s, Alonso’s, Button’s (the JB has been modernised and it looks much better now) Schumacher’s (it’s iconic, but he needs the fading german flag back on the side) and Kobayashi’s because I think we need more purple in f1!

  21. Hmm Liuzzi for me – funny how he has port and starboard colours so at least you’ll easily know when he’s looking forward.

    1. Or going forward…

  22. Vettel and Heidfeld for me

    Petrov’s Russian flag inspired helmet looks good too

  23. Still love the DJ on the back of Hamilton’s (along with his surname as a new extra by the looks of it)

    But I also like those of Button, Alonso, Petrov, Barrichello, Maldonado, Di Resta, Kobayashi, Perez, Kovalainen, Trulli and D’Ambrosio.

  24. <3 Alonso's. Great colours.

    After Lewis's comments about him being Senna and now seeing how much alike his helmet is to Senna's, it just infuriates me.

    1. It’s just coincidence that his helmet is similar to Senna’s. I think the colours were chosen because they were bright so his dad could spot him easily back in his karting days.

      1. Yeah, I heard that also that it was easier for his Dad to keep tabs on him.

        But, even if there was Senna links in his helmet, I think Hamilton’s Helmet is more “inspired” by Senna rather than just “copying”.

      2. .. and also, he really like Lego :)

    2. I feel the same, senna is nowhere near good enough to ever wear the same colours as lewis

    3. how much alike his helmet is to Senna’s

      Aside from the fact that they’re both predominantly yellow they haven’t got anything in common at all:


      Not the first time it’s occurred to me that some people are rather eager to have a go at Hamilton over the slightest little thing.

      1. How can you have a go at someone for having a huge passion for Formula One and Ayrton Senna?

        Personally I like to see an F1 driver who has been a fan of the sport and influenced by a driver from the past.

        It’s not even copied from him and even if it was I never heard people saying Jean Alesi thinks he’s Elio De Angelis or others who have had tribute helmets.

      2. I always assumed Hamilton’s helmet was yellow as a tribute to Senna, his hero! But it was merely an assumption, I admit.

      3. Did people use to complain about Jean Alesi saying “That Jean Alesi thinks he’s Elio De Angelis” or did they respect him for paying tribute to one of his heroes?

        1. Owen Edwards
          3rd April 2011, 0:13

          And what about Pedro Diniz using the same helmet as Derek Daly?

    4. Agreed. The whole “I’m as brilliant as senna, I’m amazing, I’m the next senna” crap makes me rage.

      1. @cubejam Maybe if you learn how to read english you would know he didn’t say he was as brilliant as Senna. Lewis has Senna as his hero and WOULD LIKE TO BE like him. There’s nothing wrong having goal in your life. Some people should do so rather than spending 24 hours bashing successful sportmen in internet.

      2. “I’m as brilliant as senna, I’m amazing, I’m the next senna”

        Yes because Hamilton has certainly said that. Please find that quote for me, I’d love to read that article.

        I don’t see anyone moaning at Vettel for idolising Schumacher or Button for idolising Prost.

        It’s just another ridiculous excuse to dislike Hamilton no matter what he does.

      3. Mr.Zing Zang
        2nd April 2011, 23:53

        Haters gonna hate..

        1. Anyone who has seen Lewis drive Senna’s McLaren will realise the respect and awe he has for him…


      4. True mate Lewis is a better driver than senna ever was

  25. SennaNmbr1 (@)
    2nd April 2011, 12:52

    Petrov. Looks awesome in this year’s car, too.

  26. Do you reckon there would be anyone brave mental enough to actually let a tank drive over their head whilst wearing a helmet? :P

    1. Haha I’ve thought about that before! They should get a mannequin or something just as a demonstration/PR stunt. It would be awesome! They could put a little camera in the helmet to show what it would be like to have your head run over by a tank… :P

  27. I like Kamui’s and Sutils.. Although Sutil’s one kind of loses impact when you see ‘Capri Sun’ written down the side of it.

    I also like the look of Perez helmet, which looks like he was driving as they were applying the paint.

    1. I like the ‘super’ perez on the back of his helmet.

  28. I like Heidfeld’s and Rosberg’s. I guess Germans have quite a taste when it comes to helmets.

  29. Nice to see that Barrichello has more or less stuck with the same design for the last 19 years. Have we ever done a feature on how F1 drivers have changed their designs over the years?

  30. Nigelstash (@)
    2nd April 2011, 13:14

    Heidfeld = Darth Vader. His car was about as quick as the Death Star last week.

  31. he most estheatically pleasing helmet designs for me would be Rosberg’s, Heidfeld’s and Petrov’s. Well designed and the color combinations work.

    I don’t care much for the dated designs of Barichello’s, Trulli’s and Perez’s helmets.

    The abolute worst design has to be Liuzzi’s. From both sides. Geez.

    I think, above all, helmets should help recognize the driver. As such Hamilton’s, Heidfeld’s, Rosbergs and Schumacher’s helmets work really well.

    All the non-distinct Red Bull designs are obviously the most useless in this regard.

  32. There are loads of great lids this season, probably only Sutil letting the side down…agsin.

  33. I voted for lewis. I love how he has it as a tribute/mark of respect to senna and also its not as ‘busy’ as most of the others. Also Lewis has pretty much stuck to the same design since starting in F1.. even then its only been ‘modernised’ since his earlier days. unlike a lot of the other drivers who change their design every-other race. Vettel being Top of that list haha :)

    As brundle said ‘A helmet design is supposed to be a trademark to a Driver and shouldnt be changed all the time’ ..or something along those lines :)

    1. Actually (I think I just said on a previous page but I msised your comment sorry!) it isn’t specifically a tribute to Senna but he chose yellow as it was bright so his dad could find him easily when he was karting I think.

      I agree that driver’s shouldn’t change their helmets much. When people think of Senna they think of the gold helmet poking out of the black/gold Lotus. It’s iconic and is part of his identity. Designs really help set drivers apart.

      1. yeah your right about the Karting comment :) but he also could have another yellow design. this is like his own take on senna’s design. i’ll try and find some old pics of Lewis. his helmet was much more ‘senna’ back then :)

    2. Yer I completely agree with the trademark design comment. I want helmets to be distinctive with each driver and to stay pretty much the same over the course of the his career. Hamilton’s is great for that, as is Massa’s, Barrichello’s. The same goes for Alonso whose helmet for the last two years have been pretty much the same as his ’06 helmet which itself was a variation of the helmet he used from karting to 2005. Broadly speaking I always prefer simple designs which drivers stick with.

      Vettel’s changes virtually every race which really annoys me, thankfully Webber’s is consistent so we can tell the difference between the two Red Bulls.