Haas F1 Team driver Romain Grosjean will be wearing a special helmet at the United States Grand Prix in honour of 2006 MotoGP champion Nicky Hayden.
Hayden died in May as a result of a traumatic brain injury sustained when he was hit by a car while cycling in Italy.
Grosjean has decided to pay tribute to the well-loved rider with this brilliant new design. It features Hayden’s ’69’ race number, as well as his nickname the ‘Kentucky Kid’. There are also some very colourful stars and stripes on display.
Recent rule changes mean that F1 drivers are only allowed one helmet design change per season. Drivers usually keep that option available for their home race, or for the Monaco Grand Prix.
Grosjean has opted to use his chance of a one-off helmet change at the Circuit of the Americas in October. It’s a venue where Hayden himself competed in MotoGP, most recently in 2015.
Grosjean has also taken the opportunity to poke some fun at himself, too. The front of the helmet has one speech bubble insisting, “I’m not moaning”. A second appears to be a ‘bleeped’ obscenity, a nod to the French driver’s colourful history of complaints over the team radio.
The helmet has been created by French car livery and helmet designer Adrien Paviot. It was fabricated for Grosjean by BS Designs.