George Russell has come up with a new base design for his helmet out of respect for F1 great Michael Schumacher as he prepares for his first season with Mercedes
George Russell has made a change to his racewear for the upcoming season, paying tribute to Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher as he follows in his footsteps.
Russell joins Mercedes as a permanent driver for the 2022 campaign, after previously racing for them once before as a stand-in and coming up through the junior ranks while being sponsored by the team.
In his three years with Williams, his helmet – which has always been red throughout his career – also featured splashes of blue as a nod to the team’s colours.
With that trend in mind, it would not have been a surprise for his 2022 head protector to feature dashes of black, silver or cyan to mark his move to Mercedes.
Mercedes AMG F1 Team)
However, as revealed in a video released by his new team, he has moved away from his traditional red helmets altogether.
Instead of a speck of red standing out against the Mercedes livery, Russell will blend in more with a black helmet – and the reason for such a change is a poignant one.
“It’s quite different in colours compared to what I’ve had previously, and I’ve gone for quite a bold black this season,” Russell said.
“A red helmet in a Mercedes I thought was very Michael Schumacher, and I really wanted to respect that and go in a different direction.
“I’ve brought forward the black, I’ve got the red on the side with the Crowdstrike [sponsor], and bringing forward this blue detailing, which I really, really love and it’s probably something you’ll see a bit more of this year.
“I’ve obviously got my GR63 logo on the side, my number on the top, Mercedes star on the front. I think it looks really cool and really aggressive. I hope you like it and you’ll be seeing it soon in the W13 at Silverstone.”
The red helmet of Schumacher standing out against the silver of his F1 car was a regular sight in the series between 2010 and 2012, when the German was racing for Mercedes.
Russell will still have splashes of red on his helmet, but it will not be as obvious as it has been in previous years.
That new lid will be on display when Russell’s first race weekend as a permanent Mercedes driver begins from March 18 in Bahrain.