Regulations banning certain elements have always been a part of Formula 1. Regulations banning more than one helmet design per season though, is a new one.
Autosport reported Wednesday that the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone will impose a ban on in-season driver helmet changes, so each driver will be forced to pick one design and stick to it over the course of the season.
Sebastian Vettel has made a career out of changing his helmets, but the four-time World Champion is the exception rather than the norm.
Others such as Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button have done one-off or two-off helmet designs to pay tribute to their home country, or, in Button’s case, going “Pink for Papa” as he did last year to honor his late father John.
There’s two sides to the argument, of course. One could argue that having a singular, iconic helmet livery as Ayrton Senna did – Senna’s helmet seems to be the gold standard example – is better for brand consistency in the modern era over the course of a season.
The other argument is that in instances where a driver may want to change, it fits for that particular Grand Prix.
Social media has been abuzz this morning in agreement about one thing: regardless of what a driver prefers, it should be the driver’s choice and not those of the regulators.
See below for a sampling, including from a number of ex-F1 drivers:
An alternative, and sensible viewpoint comes too from Indy 500 driver Pippa Mann: