Daniel Ricciardo revealed his new Formula 1 helmet as he returns to the sport after replacing Nyck de Vries at AlphaTauri ahead of the 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix.
So far he’s the only driver to make helmet news ahead of the race after a glut of special designs for the British GP may leave everyone needing a week off.
It’s certainly a bold design by the Australian but it’s divided opinion online, with a strange choice of colours especially given the flamed effect.
Ricciardo‘s gone for a flaming design that’s significantly different from his previous lids.
Adorned with the team logo on the side, as is always the case for Red Bull drivers, it features a dark blue background with sand-coloured flames streaking up the side towards the back of the helmet.
Ricciardo‘s already launched one helmet already in 2023, when he ran a promotional video driving through the outback ahead of the Australian GP.
That whole design was roughly the same colour as the flames in his Hungarian GP helmet so Ricciardo’s seemingly gone for the ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ approach.
It’s a step away from his previous Red Bull designs. Ricciardo drove in the Red Bull family for seven seasons after impressing in a half-season for HRT in 2011, and his helmets in that period tended to be more shape-based than showing a tangible object, as with the flames.
However, he’s also a huge fan of one-off designs. It’s almost a guarantee Ricciardo will be sporting a special helmet for at least one – if not both – remaining American GPs in 2023 and he could also make an effort for Monza, the site of his last F1 win in 2021.
And it also won’t get mistaken for De Vries‘ now-redundant design either. The Dutchman had one of the better helmets of the grid in 2023 with an orange, blue and white number that did well to work around the constraints of fitting the AlphaTauri branding in.
The geometric edges are very different from the flames licking across Ricciardo‘s design, and in reality it might be a downgrade overall.
However, as long as Ricciardo can perform in the car that won’t bother AlphaTauri and Red Bull in the slightest.