With Valtteri Bottas having sported fellow Finn Mika Hakkinen’s helmet colours at the recent Monaco Grand Prix, we look back on five other occasions when F1 drivers have paid homage to heroes by way of a tribute lid...
The tribute… Valtteri Bottas repaid long-time manager Mika Hakkinen’s faith in him by unveiling a one-off tribute helmet for the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix. “I'm very proud,” Bottas told the media. “Of course, I asked permission from Mika if I can use it and he said 'of course', and he was very, very proud as well.”
The original… Bottas had good reason to be inspired by Hakkinen as a boy growing up in Nastola, Finland. Hakkinen is his country’s most successful F1 export, with 20 wins to his name – tied with Kimi Raikkonen – and two world titles.
The tribute… In 2012, Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne paid tribute to childhood hero Jean Alesi at the Monaco Grand Prix by wearing the Frenchman’s distinctive helmet design – which also featured a message of support for Alesi, who was racing in that year’s Indy 500.
The original… Alesi made his first serious mark on the F1 stage with a storming drive at the 1990 United States Grand Prix in Phoenix, where he boldly re-took a position off Ayrton Senna in his underpowered Tyrrell after being passed by the great Brazilian. Though the record books show that he only has one F1 win to his name, Alesi remains a fan favourite to this day thanks to his flamboyant, hustling driving style.
The tribute… Clearly proud of his country’s racing heritage, a year on from the Alesi lid, Jean-Eric Vergne wore the colours of another famous French racer, Francois Cevert, at the Monaco Grand Prix.
The original… Handsome, multi-talented and fast, Francois Cevert spent much of his career being groomed for success by Jackie Stewart. However, just as he was primed to take over the mantle as lead driver of the Tyrrell team following Stewart’s retirement, he tragically lost his life at the 1973 United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen.
The tribute… Lewis Hamilton showed off an Ayrton Senna-themed helmet to the press at the 2011 Brazilian Grand Prix, explaining that the three-time champion was "one of the most significant people in my life growing up". Hamilton repeated the tribute at the 2016 Brazilian Grand Prix.
The original… Senna adopted the colours of Brazil’s Auriverde flag early on in his karting career, and the sight of the distinctive helmet sprouting out of a red and white fluorescent McLaren remains one of Formula 1’s most enduring images.
The tribute… In honour of one of Formula 1’s most outlandish driving talents, Marcus Ericsson strapped on a special Ronnie Peterson helmet for the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix. The lid featured Peterson’s distinctive Swedish colour scheme, with the dark blue topped off with a yellow lip on the visor.
The original… Meek and mild outside the cockpit, a ferocious, wheel-spinning animal in it, Ronnie Peterson’s rally-like style of driving still gets talked about in hushed tones today. As a report for the 1973 British Grand Prix famously said, “watching Ro
The tribute… Kimi Raikkonen paid his respects to F1 wildman James Hunt at the 2012 Monaco Grand Prix, when he was driving for Lotus, proudly sporting Hunt’s minimalist design on the streets of the Principality. Raikkonen has also been known to enter snowm
The original… Hunt’s charmingly simple helmet design first caught people’s attention popping out of a stark white Hesketh, as the foppish British driver indulged in a spot of giant-slaying for the underfunded British team. Hunt went on to become the 1976 Formula 1 world champion with McLaren.
There was no homage being paid by David Coulthard to Michael Schumacher when the then-McLaren driver donned Schuey’s helmet for the 1996 Monaco Grand Prix. Coulthard had been forced to ditch his trusty Saltire-liveried lid after he had trouble with it misting up in the pre-race warm-up.
A last-minute appeal to Schumacher – who shared the same helmet supplier – resulted in the German very sportingly lending Coulthard his spare helmet for the race. It turned out to be lucky for DC – he was one of only three drivers to finish that year’s race, ending up in second place behind surprise victor Olivier Panis.