• New FIA regulations state that a driver must have the same helmet design for the entirety of the campaign
• Sebastian Vettel, who has sported various helmet designs over his career, has branded the new ruling a ‘joke’
Lewis Hamilton had to abandon plans to wear a one-off helmet for this week’s Malaysian Grand Prix.
Regulations for the new season state that a driver must stick to the same helmet design for the entirety of the campaign.
Hamilton brought a different lid to the second installment of this year’s championship in Sepang, but despite showing it off at the back of the Mercedes garage, opted against wearing it.
Hamilton, who overcame engine problems in the morning session to end the day top of the timesheets, said: ‘I had a special helmet made this weekend to celebrate Petronas and Malaysia as I love this race, but due to the FIA’s new rule of not allowing drivers to change their helmet designs, I cannot wear it.’
The FIA installed the new regulation for drivers to be easily identified by the sport’s fans and track-side spectators.
The controversial ruling was however, branded a ‘joke’ by four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel who has sported various different helmet designs throughout his career.
Meanwhile, Mercedes have paid tribute to the victims of this week’s devastating plane crash.
Hamilton and team-mate Nico Rosberg are sporting a black ribbon on their Mercedes wing mirror at this weekend’s race in Malaysia in memory of the 150 people who died when a German Wings plane crashed en route from Barcelona to Dusseldorf on Tuesday.