We went behind the visor with Hitech Grand Prix driver Nikita Mazepin to discuss the design of his helmet and delve into the back story of where it all began.
The Russian driver had a special design for his home race in Sochi and he reveals the inspiration behind his patriotic helmet. The 21-year-old also tells the story of where his original colours came from.
“I had a special helmet made for my home race in Russia, at Sochi. It is a tradition of mine to make helmets for my home race and I have continued that this year. I decided to keep my base colour, which is the orange, because that has been there since I was a child and it represents me.
“I changed the overall design for Sochi. Myself and my designer got the inspiration from the old USSR posters that were used in the war. The posters were used to motivate people to go to work, even though they weren’t earning much money. It illustrates the three letters which are displayed for me on the TV, ‘MAZ,’ in Russian, together with my name spelled in Russian.
“The font comes from the poster idea and you can see how it goes from small to big, which comes from the speaking device that they were using in the day, to stand in front of crowds and talk to them.
“On the top of the helmet it says, ‘Sochi 2020,’ which was the event that it was made for. On the back, it has ‘Sochi’ in Russian, followed by my full name in Russian and the year, ‘2020.’
“The main colours are white, black and orange, which works for me because I like to keep it fairly plain. The interior of the helmet is white because I wanted it to be a little different. Normally, you cannot make the interior white because it would be dirty after one race weekend, but because it is a special one-off helmet, I was able to make it white.
“There are two reasons why I originally chose this colour scheme and it was a little bit accidental. My first painted helmet was a present from my dad and it was a replica of Michael Schumacher’s helmet, which was an orange colour at the time.
“Two years later I got a new helmet and the colours changed and I forgot about it to be honest, but then when I was around 13-years-old, I was competing in karting for a factory team called Tony Kart. At Tony Kart, it is well known that when drivers are driving for the factory team, they are randomly assigned a colour, which goes on the shoulder of their suit. I was randomly given orange and that colour then stays with you as your colour, even after you leave the team. Ever since then, I have stuck with it.
“I have tried a matte finish this year, which I have never used before. I really like it. I like the whole feel of the helmet and have decided to keep it that way for the moment.
“I am working with a designer called Sean Bull. He is an extremely talented young guy, who brings creativity to a whole new level, which unfortunately I cannot bring on my own, because I am paid for different things.”