Our latest countdown is a short series ranking all of the 2018 helmet designs. These are the default designs worn at the Australian GP and as with all these types of articles they are entirely subjective. We would love to hear your thoughts and your ranking down in the comments.
20. Fernando Alonso
While the colour scheme of Alonso doesn’t differ at all from the usual Alonso faithful, his design has been made to represent that of his Indycar and Daytona helmets. Unfortunately the Indy style helmet looks out of place on the F1 grid and has left a lot of fans wishing his old faithful would return. Sure it’s decisive and as many will have it as their favourites. The traditional lightning strikes on off and his patriotic colour scheme look as clean as ever, the design however ranks it bottom of our list.
19. Stoffel Vandoorne
Feeling like McLaren-Honda’s race results, Vandoorne tops the back row lockout for a design that seems to be very dark in colour. The black and orange doesn’t look like a stand out and its pattern hardly sets the pulse raving either. Bonus points for the consistency with last season, matching the team colour scheme and getting his race number in the design in an innovative way. Unfortunately like his teammate, this isn’t a helmet that we personally like the aesthetics of.
18. Max Verstappen.
The talented Dutchman doesn’t have a BAD helmet. It just looks fairly ordinary in the current grid. What really pushes the design down the list is the fact we think it’s worse than his previous Red Bull designs. While the top still has some unique red design, it doesn’t have the same eye catching nature of the bright bed and yellow we saw previously.
17. Brendon Hartley
In at number 17 is the Kiwi Brendan Hartley. The red and blue on his helmet shows patriotism to his homeland of New Zealand as well as the branding colours of Red Bull Racing, the green towards the bottom of the helmet looks a little out of place on today’s Formula One grid . Whilst we applaud him for his individualism, the colour clash puts him in the bottom five on our list.
16. Esteban Ocon
While Force India are known as the pink panthers, Frenchman Esteban Ocon has taken this a little too literally. Whilst there may be a nice design it is ultimately difficult to say with the only colour variation coming from different shades of pink. Although it suits the team and it’s branding perfectly you can’t help feeling that this is beginning to look like 50 shades of pink and on this occasion that’s not a good thing. Hopefully his driving will be better than his helmet design this season.
15. Kimi Raikkonen
The Iceman has a history of some very nice helmet designs and the red and black used this year as indeed most years suits his Ferrari team colours extremely well. What prevents him from getting higher up this list is the fact that the design on the whole hasn’t changed. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, the fact that the design has remained the same in its core elements since he debuted back in 2001 makes it easier to see any imperfections in the colour scheme - the blue on the helmet doesn’t seem to fit. It’s a shame considering the design is a classic however you can’t help but feel it drags it down the list and makes it less desirable then its previous iteration.
14. Marcus Ericsson
The Swede has a very patriotic design for 2018 with a subtle homage to countryman Ronnie Petersen. While it certainly stands out (as much as a helmet can with the halo this year) as a contrast to the Alfa Romeo livery, the block colours doesn’t make it a stunner. As much as the designer has done a job with a rather strict brief, you can’t help but feel the creative side hasn’t been unleashed to its full potential.
13. Romain Grosjean.
The Frenchman may have been tearing up the track and causing conspiracy theories in the Australian Grand Prix, however his helmet is a much quieter affair. Similar to last season but with a darker blue that reminds you of an Alonso helmet of yesteryears, Grosjean has tapped into a design that really works for his 2018 campaign. let’s hope his driving is also up to the same test.
12. Nico Hulkenberg
As nice as Hulkenberg’s design is, the personalisation that he uses and the general hype about his Renault seat, you would expect his helmet to reflect this. Unfortunately the nice red and black from last season is gone and in its place is a yellow and carbon design that matches the car. Points scored for his customisation and embracing his racing identity. Points lost for a worse colour scheme and blending in with his car so well he’s almost invisible.
11. Pierre Gasly
The Red Bull junior has given his helmet a severe upgrade ahead of the new season. Flashes of red and white not only pay homage to the Red Bull Cola livery, his homeland of France, but also that of a captain America shield. It’s cool to say the least and even if his driving doesn’t live up to the hype, the helmet design will. Okay, it’s not perfect. While the lighter blue makes the colours pop, the design itself seems a tad dull compared to others on the grid and that we will see later on, it’s certainly a stunning effort for the French youngster.
Join us for part two after this weekend's race and make your predictions or any other comments in the section below .
by Matthew Gannon