This weekend, the FIA Formula 1 World Championship is visiting Suzuka Circuit for the first Japanese Grand Prix since 2019. Friday’s practice sessions were running in wet conditions, so only time and the weather radar will prove if today’s track mileage will be useful on Sunday. Though, one interesting development did come out of practice. We got a good look at the special helmet that Sebastian Vettel will be wearing for his final F1 race at Suzuka.
Sebastian Vettel’s helmet artwork for this weekend is a tribute to Arai, the four-time F1 World Champion’s helmet supplier for his entire career, starting back in 1995. The imaginative helmet art created by Jens Munser Designs is meant to resemble the boxes in which the Japanese manufacturer ships its helmets. The helmet’s horizontal stripes mimic the Arai box’s stripes while near-seamlessly integrating the logos of Aston Martin’s team sponsors. There’s also the German tricolor flag stripe, seen on Vettel’s helmets since 2015, as packing tape with a crumpled plastic texture. The front of the helmet’s crown even features a perforated cardboard box hand-hold. The way Vettel’s special helmet designs in recent seasons never wildly deviate from his iconic white-and-tricolor-stripe base design while also using subtle details to highlight a specific theme is extremely underrated.
Along with Sebastian Vettel, McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo and Alpha Tauri’s Yuki Tsunoda also wear helmets produced by the Japanese manufacturer. The Arai GP-7SRC ABP is the model presently used by those drivers in competition and is available at retail from $4599.95. Bell is the most popular helmet supplier in Formula 1, with 12 of the championship’s 20 full-time drivers using its helmets. As Sebastian Vettel winds down his legendary career, it is nice to see him still expressing himself through his helmet designs while thanking those who have contributed to his efforts on track.