Raikkonen changes helmet design ahead of FP3

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Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen has made a slight change to his special Monaco helmet design ahead of Saturday’s sessions, with the move rumored to have been encouraged by Formula One Management.

Many of the drivers have opted to run with an alternative helmet livery in homage to F1’s glamour event, with Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton’s designs attracting the most attention from the fans. Similarly, Jean-Eric Vergne is using a helmet based on the one used by Francois Cevert, who raced in F1 between 1970 and 1973. However, it is Raikkonen’s which has been reportedly picked up on by FOM, but the team refused to confirm whether or not these reports were true.

Raikkonen’s helmet did feature a design in homage to James Hunt (as he did in 2012), but it also ran with the tagline “Kimi on the Hunt” which was in full view of his onboard camera. Under FIA guidelines, advertising that faces the cameras is forbidden, which could be the reasoning behind the decision to change the design.

Speaking to GPUpdate, Lotus stated: “Kimi’s helmet has been modified since being used on Thursday.”

However, the team has refused to comment on the reasons behind the change.

Red Bull Air Race: Yoshi Muroya joins Sato as Japanese champs at Indy

Photo: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool
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Takuma Sato isn’t the only major Japanese athlete to take home top honors at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year. Countryman Yoshihide Muroya joined him in that on Sunday after winning Red Bull Air Race at IMS, and the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in the process.

Fittingly, the 101st Indianapolis 500 champion was there on site to join him in the celebration.

Muroya flew with a track-record run in the final and erased the four-point deficit to points leader Martin Sonka. The record run came after a disappointing qualifying effort of 11th in the 14-pilot field in the Master Class.

A day after the win, Muroya joined Sato in heading to Sato’s new Verizon IndyCar Series team, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s, Indianapolis-based shop.

A few social posts from Muroya’s victory and the subsequent celebration are below.

CHECKING OUT EACH OTHER’S RIDES

ASTLES BREAKS THOUGH AS WELL

Muroya wasn’t alone among big winners at the Speedway. In the Challenger Class, Melanie Astles of France became the first woman to win a major race at IMS, and is the first female winner in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.

Nine women have competed in the Indianapolis 500 (Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James, Sarah Fisher, Danica Patrick, Milka Duno, Simona de Silvestro, Pippa Mann, Ana Beatriz, Katherine Legge) and Mann is the first woman to have been on the pole position at IMS, having done so for the Freedom 100 in 2010 in Indy Lights.

Photo: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool