Lewis Hamilton’s one-off crash helmet for Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix has courted plenty of attention so far this week.
But the Mercedes driver won’t be the only Formula One star lining up on the Monte Carlo grid with a different lid this weekend.
A host of drivers have unveiled new helmets for the blue-riband event, with treble world champion Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari star Fernando Alonso and this year’s Australian Grand Prix winner Kimi Raikkonen also getting in on the act.
Lifting the lid: Lewis Hamilton’s helmet features girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger and his pet dog Roscoe Vettel has offered a racy design in both senses of the word featuring a bikini-clad blonde on the back of his lid before honouring Sir Stirling Moss’s famous 1961 victory around the Principality on top.
Raikkonen meanwhile pays homage to 1976 world champion James Hunt for the second successive year with his creative design, while Alonso credits each of his 32 grand prix victories in a puzzle design.
British driver Paul Di Resta, Raikkonen’s Lotus team-mate Romain Grosjean, and Toro Rosso star Jean-Eric Vergne are also sporting specially-designed helmets this weekend.
Blonde ambition: Sebastian Vettel sums up the glitz of Monaco (above) before paying homage to Sir Stirling Moss’s spectacular 1961 drive (below) Speaking about his one-off lid which features girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger and pet dog Rosce, Hamilton said: ‘People might not know, but F1 drivers have new helmets made throughout the season.’ Writing in his column for the BBC, the 28-year-old added, who is among the favourites this weekend despite his poor showing last time out in Spain, added: ‘I like to do something special with my helmet design for Monaco.
It has got me, Nicole and my dog Roscoe cruising in an old convertible.
‘A guy called Jason at JLF Designs has been doing my designs since I was in karts.
We come up with lots of different concepts.
This year I took an idea from the guy who did one of my tattoos.
Puzzle: Fernando Alonso has listed each of his 32 wins on his lid for this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix ‘He painted an ice cream truck with a design depicting life on the streets in candy apple red, which is one of my favourite colours.
‘So from that idea I thought: “Let’s do the streets of Monaco.” It is also my five-year anniversary with Nicole this weekend.
She’s here for the race and I wanted to do something special for her.
‘So he has airbrushed that idea and the helmet has got me, Nicole and my dog Roscoe cruising in an old convertible.’ Crash helmet: Lotus drivers Kimi Raikkonen (above) and Romain Grosjean below are sporting one-off lids Feel the Force: Paul Di Resta has incorporated a casino theme to his crash helmet for this weekend’s race
Lewis Hamilton signs autographs at the F1 circuit in Monaco, accompanied by his bulldog Roscoe.
Photograph: Hoch Zwei/Action Images Lewis Hamilton’s new team-mate was found snoring in the Mercedes motor-homeon Wednesday, his head in the lap of the British driver who rubbed his ears affectionately.
“He was out late last night,” said Hamilton, with a grin as wide as the paddock.
“When I go to bed, he sits next to the bed or on it, and that’s how he snores.” This might suggest that he is getting the better of Nico Rosberg, his old friend and sparring partner from karting days who has proved a more difficult adversary in qualifying than most people expected.
But Hamilton was talking of Roscoe, his bulldog puppy who was making his second appearance of the season following his Barcelona debut two weeks ago.
Hamilton, who designs his own helmets, has even managed to work Roscoe on to the back of his headgear for this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix, and Roscoe appears to have contributed to his owner’s more relaxed attitude this season.
He is fourth in the championship with 50 points after two thirds and two fifths in the opening four races.
That scoring record was spoiled in Barcelona where he finished 12th despite starting the race second behind Rosberg.
He was desperately short of race pace, something Mark Webber alluded toon Wednesday, when he said: “Lewis was with the winner Fernando Alonso on lap six and still gets lapped.
That’s not right.” Hamilton said: “What I like about Mark is that he says a lot of things that are true.
There are many things he can be pretty blunt about.
I appreciate the comment from Mark.
It makes me feel like there’s good respect there.
“What happened in Spain was tough to take at the time.
Coming into the season I said I was prepared for bad results, and with the season having gone so well up until that point we were a bit on a high.
“To see us then go back that far was definitely a huge surprise and put us on the back foot a little.
Spain could easily be repeated if we get it wrong again, although I don’t think it’s going to happen because we have learned from it, and we are learning and improving.
“Lots of work has gone on to understand why we went that way and to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
As for myself, I feel positive about this weekend, I’m re-energised, refocused and ready for another challenge.” Mercedes have taken the last three poles and there are many predicting they will have a fourth here and go on to win the race, given the difficulties with overtaking on the tight streets.
Hamilton’s best chance of that happening is if there is a one-stop strategy, but given the problems Mercedes have had with their tyres, that is unlikely.
Hamilton’s form appears to have brought the best out of Rosberg, who said: “Lewis is an extremely tough rival.
He was like that in go-karts where he was massively quick.
To be team-mates with Lewis again really rings a bell and brings back memories of how difficult it was to time and time again to try to edge him out.
It is exactly the same.
“A team-mate is important as a reference and it is important to beat him but I try to do my thing.
I am quite pleased with how it has gone but I want to see the poles translated into results.
They are coming soon.”