If there’s one driver who loves mixing things up with his helmet designs, it’s Carlin’s Liam Lawson. Over the years, the New Zealander has switched his lids up, but always carries those small pieces of home with him for the ride.
We caught up with the Red Bull reserve driver to talk us through his 2022 helmet and we couldn’t miss out on the chance for him to reveal the inspiration behind the epic design he ran during his Formula 1 FP1 debut with AlphaTauri back at Spa-Francorchamps.
“The first design I had was back in go-karting, I had a really sharp sort of candy red, with a fluorescent yellow together. I can’t remember the reasoning of why I had it, but I think at the time it was very different to what other people had and I wanted a different sort of helmet.
“I remember when I got it, I have photos of when I was a kid like eight or nine years old – it was the coolest feeling wearing my first ever painted helmet. For two or three years, I just wore a white lid with no design, so getting my first one was very exciting.
“You probably can’t really notice it but a lot of the really sharp edges with the black outlines all came from my first lid. The rest of the helmet is different from what I first had and it’s designed by MDM and painted by BS.
“My first Red Bull helmet was very last minute, so I didn’t even get to design it, it was just the colours of the Red Bull logos. Then I tried to get rid of as much of the yellow as possible and go towards just reds and whites, which I had for Formula 3. Then I wanted to push for more white, I don’t know why I really like white, so I pushed for more white on this lid.
“It’s a fern but most people just call it a leaf, but it is a New Zealand fern, obviously I guess sort of New Zealand’s icon. Then the Kiwi which is New Zealand’s native bird. Basically, I had this Kiwi put on one of my first helmets, so we decided to carry it through into the newer lids. Then the stars, on our flag we have four stars so that’s why the stars are there as well.
“I don’t really have a favourite spot on my F2 helmet, all of the lid I really like. I like the little pink outlines, it’s not everywhere on this one (the F2 helmet) so you have to look out for it a little bit. Then on the AlphaTauri lid, I just like the whole thing, it looks really cool.
“Last year, I started wearing pink. The first thing I wore was a Red Bull hat that was just pink, and it got a lot of traction, people were talking about it, and I started to get known for wearing a pink hoodie from AlphaTauri for DTM. I had pink grip tapes on the steering wheel as well in the car (the Ferrari), so I decided to put a little bit of pink on the lid for this year.
“When I was talking to Miles from MDM who designed the helmet for my FP1 appearance with AlphaTauri, we decided to basically get rid of all the red and for that one just goes completely pink and white, which I think looks absolutely dope. The most important thing for me is trying to be a bit different. I didn’t want to have something that everybody else already has, a lot of people have red helmets. Obviously, there’s a few white helmets out there as well, so I just wanted it to be a bit different.
“After putting little bits of pink on the F2 helmet, we were coming up with ideas on how to do the Formula 1 helmet. Especially with the AlphaTauri logo because you can have that white background, we were like let’s push for a whole load of white, so it looked very similar originally to the other one.
“Then James sent me a message one day and he’s like ‘I’ve been working on something. It’s very, very different, it’s very radical, but I think you would like it’. He basically sent me this and straightaway I was like ‘absolutely, that’s perfect!’ Obviously, they have to get approved, so I was stressing that it wasn’t gonna get approved, but Red Bull were kind enough to let me run with it.
“For a future helmet, I quite like what we’ve done with the pink on the AlphaTauri one and obviously with the majority of it being white, I really like the white. Together I think it looks cool, so I’ll probably start with something like that and then move on from there. I do like to change things up every year, I respect that people have a base that they continue to run with every year, and they only change little bits because I guess it’s a known thing for them.
“For me, I want to be able to finish up and have like loads of different styles of helmets all on my shelf and it look pretty cool. My dream helmet would look something like the AlphaTauri lid, it’s got these sparkles, I’d have a lot more of that and I’d probably have a bit of chrome in there as well.”