Alonso changes helmet, Williams alters livery, other minor changes for Abu Dhabi GP

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ABU DHABI – For this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, there have been a few subtle changes made to the liveries that we will see on the grid and the helmets that the drivers will sport under the lights at Yas Marina.

In order to come into line with alcohol laws in the United Arab Emirates, Williams has made a number of alterations to its livery that remove all references to its title sponsor, Martini.

The team faced a similar predicament in Bahrain earlier this year, but simply changed the word “Martini” to “racing” on all of its logos and kept the livery the same.

However, Williams has now opted to remove all of the red stripes from its livery for Abu Dhabi, leaving just the blue lines on the car. A similar move was taken for the team’s inclusion in the official Formula 1 video game, produced by Codemasters.

Similarly, Force India has had to remove all references to vodka company Smirnoff from its livery. Following a successful drive for fresh investment, Caterham is featuring a number of new sponsors on its car this weekend including Crowdcube and its administrators, Smith and Williamson. Toro Rosso will also be running with a promotional banner for the 2015 Austrian Grand Prix on its car for the race weekend.

Following the announcement of his departure from Ferrari at the end of the season, Fernando Alonso will be running with a special helmet to mark the occasion in Abu Dhabi.

“I’ll wear a helmet with a picture of a pit stop this year on one side, the Italian flag in the middle and the signatures of everybody in the team on the other side,” the Spaniard explained. “I just told them this morning that it’s the last time that I will jump in a Ferrari.

“I want to bring all of them with me because they were a part of this fantastic experience and I want to do my last race with them on the track.”

Predictably, Sebastian Vettel will be sporting another unique helmet for tomorrow’s race, and we’ll be sure to tweet out a picture of it on the @F1onNBCSports account once we have one.