Formula 1 just celebrated its 1000th race in Shanghai, China, this year, and to mark the occasion, the FIA has given permission to drivers to bring back one-off helmet designs for the race. Usually, the drivers are limited to just one special occasion where they can wear a different helmet; otherwise, they have to keep with the same design throughout the entire year.
The 1000th race was added as another opportunity for the drivers to express themselves.
Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo sported a design first donned by fellow Australian Jack Braham. Brabham raced for world championships in 1959, 1960, and 1966. It was in the 1966 race that Brabham raced a car of his own design. To this day, Brabham remains the only driver to win in a car bearing his own name.
@danielricciardo’s special helmet for Formula 1 race 1000 in China.
A tribute to Sir Jack Brabham, the first Australian GP winner and (three-time) world champion. Still the only driver to win the F1 championship (in 1966) driving one of his own cars.#Arai pic.twitter.com/ViZTZ6ifFB
— Jens Munser Designs (@JMD_helmets) April 11, 2019
Ricciardo wore a helmet with the same silver look and black lining that Brabham wore. The helmet also has several holes and scrapes along the top, and displays Ricciardo’s name on both sides.
Ricciardo credits his designer with the look, noting that they had gone back and forth for weeks before Ricciardo simply told his designer to surprise him. “I…said you know what, do something old school retro, and maybe something with a bit of meaning for me,” explains Ricciardo.
“So, in the end, it was Sir Jack Brabham’s inspiration, so something for me, obviously being Australian, and I think he did a really good job.”