The 2023 Formula 1 season bows out of existence with the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with just six hours of track time standing between the circus and its well-earned break, and six drivers are celebrating that with a special helmet design.
There are still championship positions to be fought over, but both titles have long been decided and the top three in the drivers’ standings are confirmed before the final race for the first time since 2015.
Put simply, notwithstanding the incredible, potentially unbeatable records set by Max Verstappen and Red Bull, the 2023 Abu Dhabi GP will mark the ending of a chapter of a very thin book that nobody particularly enjoyed reading.
And the drivers’ and constructors’ championships aren’t the only titles already awarded for ahead of Abu Dhabi either.
Pierre Gasly and Zhou Guanyu‘s failure to produce a special helmet for Las Vegas – when literally 70% of the grid was sporting a different lid – crowned Valtteri Bottas winner of the championship with a staggering 10 designs.
If he has one for Abu Dhabi too then he’ll have only used his standard helmet for half of the grand prix in 2023, while Alfa Romeo win the constructors’ helmet championship too.
And if you think that’s some kind of euphemism, get your head out of the gutter!
For the first time in F1 history, every single driver is set to return to the grid for the following season so there’s no farewell helmets for this one either, though maybe a driver will receive a special design in the now-tradition ‘Secret Santa’.
There’s also identity issues to be sorted out regarding a whole team for the 2024 F1 season, with AlphaTauri‘s new name and branding set to be announced imminently.
‘Racing Bulls’ is rumoured to be the winning suggestion, but that’s received an lukewarm reception at best from the fanbase, maybe Toro Rosso really was the peak.
Charles Leclerc‘s now-traditional last-race helmet pays tribute to all his Ferrari teammates. It’s a clean design and the announcement video is well worth a watch too.
This is Gasly‘s ninth helmet design of the season, just one behind Bottas meaning the Frenchman finishes as sole runner-up for the most on the grid.
Alex Albon‘s produced both a new helmet and a game of spot the difference for Abu Dhabi, the design very close to his usual lid.
Yuki Tsunoda‘s second special design in two races, his helmets can seemingly do no wrong.
Kevin Magnussen‘s bringing back a bit of McLaren‘s old chrome design (a livery he made his F1 debut in, way back in 2014) for this one.
Hulkenberg also channels the chrome for Haas, four years after he arrived in Abu Dhabi with Renault expecting to race the last grand prix of his career.