Norris plans to go all-out on helmet designs in 2020

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Lando Norris is planning to take full advantage of Formula 1’s decision to scrap rules limiting the number of different helmet designs a driver can use during a season.

The rule requiring drivers to stick to one helmet design was introduced for the 2015 season. It was intended to help fans identify drivers in the cockpit more easily.

It stated that “in order for drivers to be easily distinguished from one another whilst they are on the track, the crash helmet of each driver must be presented in substantially the same livery at every event during a championship season.”

Some exceptions were permitted to mark significant events, with McLaren’s Lando Norris using a permitted change to pay tribute to MotoGP star Valentino Rossi at least year’s Italian GP in Monza.

  • A look at the helmet designs of the class of 2020

But the rule has proved unpopular with drivers and proved of little help to spectators especially since the introduction of the Halo protection device. And now the need for consistent identifiable headwear been superseded by new rules on car liveries making car numbers and driver acronyms more visible.

Now the FIA has agreed to redact the helmet rule for 2020 and allow drivers free creative reign over their lids for the forthcoming season – whenever it finally gets underway after the delay due to coronavirus.

Norris is one driver intending to make the most of the artistic opportunity the rule change presents.

“I’m planning to hopefully try and have one new special every race,” he told Autosport magazine, calling the relaxation of the regulations “one of the best things about this year”.

“It is a nice thing they’ve done. I like that,” he continued. “Now we can mix it up a bit more, and I can have some more exaggerated designs and more custom and colourful and stuff like that.

“I have them all on my wall at home, tThey’re one thing I get to remember every race by,” he explained. “There’s something about them.

“I’ll still be keeping with the same concept of what I have, because that’s still me.

“But then how everything is done around that, the colours and schemes of everything, are hopefully going to be a bit more dedicated to each race and the country and things like that.”

Even though the rule change was made quite late, Norris was all set to roll out his first new look in Australia – before the race was cancelled at the last minute.

“I’ve got me as a kangaroo on the top, a bit of a sunset in the background,” he said. “This one I haven’t done that much, but for future races I’m going to try and mix it up a bit more.”

But Norris didn’t seem impressed by the addition Valtteri Bottas had made to his own helmet for the same ultimately-abandoned race. The Finn has been planning to sport a design featuring a ‘dabbing’ koala bear on the grid.

“Dabbing’s old now!”, Norris laughed. “He needs to get with it!”

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