Bell F1 Helmets

Top Facts About F1 Helmet: What is its Value?

The F1 helmet is made of high-quality carbon fiber, the same material used to manufacture Boeing 787 wings and part of the fuselage! It will pass dozens of different tests before it reaches the racer’s hands. In addition, each driver can express their creativity with Formula 1 racing helmets. The most effective way to express yourself is to make it through cool design. The most significant function of any racing helmet is the head guard. We gather everything you need to know about helmets in Formula 1.

F1 helmets are designed to provide maximum safety  

The primary function of the F1 helmet is to protect the driver’s head with the best visibility possible. Modern Formula 1 racing helmets have to provide all types of protection: from heads’ safety during the enormous G-forces to water, sun, wind and fire protection and even more. 

Thus, the visor is another technologed part of the helmet and weighs just 1250 grams. F1 visors manufactured according to the latest design. Water-resistant, it shields eyes from sunlight when it comes to races with bright lights, such as those at Monaco or in other races when lights are blinding.  

Formula 1 helmet visors are constructed with special strips. Four levels of transparent tear-off strips over the visor allow F1 drivers to remove the stripe at any time their vision becomes blurry during the race. During the Grand Prix or qualifying session, visibility can become worse due to small objects in the air hitting the visor.

Even though the rule on throwing visor tear-off strips on the track has changed a few times, it is still a controversial topic in Formula 1. However, tear-off strips cause another problem, because they often get lodged in car parts. So, on Belgian Grand Prix 2022, Charles Leclerc had the problem, when Max Verstappen’s visor stripe got stuck in Leclerc’s brake duct. 

Formula 1 racing helmets are always about technologies

Comparing a common helmet to a F1 helmet is immeasurable, as it is made with the latest technologies. 

What is a Formula 1 helmet made of?

No one has been able to divulge the secret formula of the ingredients in helmets today, but all drivers wear carbon fibre helmets. The helmets have 17 layers of carbon fiber with high-density foam that absorbs impact and distributes weight. 

The visor is made of Lexan and is also shockproof. Besides Kevlar, Polyethylene, Polycarbonate, Epoxy Resin, Aluminum, Magnesium, Titanium,and Nomex for resisting fire are being in the composition of F1 helmet. 

How strong is the F1 helmet?

The F1 helmet body is so strong that it can withstand the impact of the 1.5-tonne car on both sides.
According to the FIA 8860-2018 standard, all helmets must withstand an impact of 9.5 m/s or 34.2 km/h, with the maximum deceleration at the “driver’s head” not exceeding 275G.

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen
Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, Monza 2021

The collision between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton at Monza 2021 was the true proof of how strong the F1 helmet is. Red Bull’s wheel raced onto Hamilton’s head. Lewis was not injured, but then complained of discomfort in his neck that passed after a massage session.

How heavy is an F1 helmet?

The carbon fibre F1 helmets are heavier than glass fibre. It varies according to the size of the driver’s head and helmet brand, but the standard weight is 1,4 kg. – 2,5 kg. The relatively light weight of F1 helmets does not add to the strain on the neck and shoulders. It is comfortable during acceleration and deceleration.

Are F1 helmets fire proof?

According to the quality standards, the F1 helmet must be fire-resistant and withstand outside temperatures of 700°C for no less than 45 seconds, while the inside temperature must remain below 70°C. In fact, the racing helmet is not always intact in such a situation, but it does hold fire. The visor is also fire-resistant and withstand outside temperatures of 800°C

Besides, fire resistance is maintained with additional accessories. Drivers use balaclavas under their helmets to further protect them in case of fire. 

In 2020, Roman Grosjean was involved in a terrible accident. Fireball swallowed him, driver was trapped in a car in Bahrain. He spent 27 seconds in the fire. Grosjean’s racing helmet withstood the fire curtain. The driver suffered severe burns to his hands. Roman’s eyebrows and eyelashes melted due to the high temperature, but his eyes and head were unharmed.

Are F1 helmets bulletproof?

In short, yes. In the past, people called F1 helmets bulletproof because the main test every helmet has to pass is to fire a bullet at a speed of 519 km/h. Everything has changed in 2018, when Italian company Stilo announced a brand-new ballistic-tested helmet concept. So, they officially accepted that F1 helmets by Stilo are bulletproof. 

As they said, they learned from Felipe Massa’s crash in qualifying for the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix and decided to take driver head protection to the next level. So Stilo F1 helmet has been tested to withstand a 225g projectile striking a driver at 250km/h.  

Waterproof?

F1 helmets are waterproof when the case is about wet conditions. Since the strips are covered with special spraying that repels water, raindrops fly off the visor.

The F1 helmets save the lifes

The unforeseen moments

The racing helmets in Formula 1 saved the lives of many drivers. In some cases, you wonder how it could have happened at all.

In 2009, Felipe Massa was struck in the face by a loose coil which had come loose from the rear suspension of Rubens Barrichello’s car. This accident happened at 240 km/h.! Imagine what would have happened if Felipe Massa did not wear a helmet at that moment.

In the past, these incidents had often occurred. Because safety is FIA’s top priority, impossible crashes are less frequent, but due to the high speeds and light weight of F1 cars, helmets continue to protect drivers. Here are a few loud accidents in which racing helmets played an important role.

Recent most dangerous accidents in Formula 1

Lance Stroll literally ended up upside down on his head in the Bahrain Grand Prix 2020 after a very rich crash. Ofocurse the HANS, HALLO and F1 helmets are the best for Stroll. However, tingles already run when you look at the video. 

Although F1 cars’ parts, stones, and pieces of tires are very dangerous at high speeds, these incidents are rare.

At the Italian Grand Prix 2021, another accident occurred. Lewis Hamilton was in danger of suffering serious head damage as he collided with Max Verstappen on lap 26 in Monza. Despite being under the pressure of the tire of Red Bull’s car, Lewis Hamilton did not suffer serious injuries, but his neck was ill for some time. Verstappen got a three-place grid penalty for the next race. 

Due to the massive crash at Turn 1, rookie Alfa Romeo driver Zhou Guanyu stumbled and was rolled numerous times before hitting the barrier at Silverstone GP 2022. Although the Chinese driver did not suffer any major injuries, HALLO, HANS, and F1 helmets saved his life. 

However, the biggest problem at racing tracks is about G-forces in Formula 1 and the F1 helmet here provides the highest value in terms of safety and protection.

What does G-forces have to do with the F1 helmet?

F1 drivers in some terms, are used to G-forces, but they still feel discomfort, when accelerating or braking, and especially so when cornering at high speeds.

Racing helmet protects F1 driver’ head during G-forces. In critical moments, the F1 helmet helps hold the head from sudden movements as well as protect the head from impacts. Because such blows at high speed can be extremely life-threatening.

If the F1 driver does not wear a helmet, what may happen?

Safety is of the utmost priority in the modern Formula 1 era. Therefore, together, the F1 helmet, HALO and HANS provide the highest level of safety, reducing any risk to zero.o. Let’s admit it: any hit in Formula 1 without a helmet would be fatal, whether it be tire pieces, strunks, or a crash into the barrier.

You can argue that previously there not so many “accessories” in Formula 1, but we can object as there were quite different speeds in the races in past. 

Besides, in physical terms, without the F1 helmet, sudden changes in speed would break the driver’s cervical vertebra. Therefore, neck exercises are an appropriate training point for all drivers.

F1 helmet
Sebastian Vettel & Robert Kubicas’ helmets on the pit wall

What are F1 helmets made of?

F1 drivers wear custom-made helmets. In addition, most manufacturers compare the process to a jeweler’s job. It starts with the driver arriving at the factory for 3D head-scan technology.

The manufacturing of a new Formula 1 racing helmet takes about 3 months, without the time it takes to design it. Although these two processes may overlap.

From the 2023 Formula 1 season onwards, every helmet must be equipped with a board camera. It is fitted at eye level inside some of the padding of the helmet. The camera has a diameter of 8 millimetres and weighs 2.5 grams. So, factories faced with additional tasks as camera should be seated correctly in terms of ergonomy.

How is F1 helmet tested?

Different manufacturers have different tests for the future F1 helmets, but all their items have to be in compliance with the FIA 8860-2018 standard. 

Thus, future racing helmets have been tested with special electronic devices by throwing them to the ground from a height of 25 meters. During testing, about 4 kg of “pike cargo” is thrown on the helmet, while the it contains a head model weighing 5 kg. Future F1 helmets ban even if there are the slightest dents.

One of the necessary tests concerns the visor of the helmet: it must withstand the shot of a gram bullet flying at a speed of up to 323 miles per hour. Shooting takes place at three points: front, top and back. This is how the company “Bell” ensures the helmets meet the highest standards.

What helmets do F1 drivers use?

Bell was almost a monopoly ten years ago. Since 1954 it has been the leading supplier of FIA 8860 helmets for athletes competing in Formula 1. But today there are four manufacturers which helmets F1 drivers use: Bell, Schuberth, Stilo and Arai. Bell remains the mos popular brand with the most drivers wearing one. 

Formula 1 drivers all use the same type of racing helmet made from carbon fibre, but the brands are quite different. Each helmet manufacturer has unique specifications. 

Lewis Hamilton wears a model helmet made by Bell. Fernando Alonso, Charles Leclerc, Esteban Ocon, George Russell, Pierre Gasly, Lando Norris, Zhou Guanyu, Alex Albon and Carlos Sainz drivers also use Bell helmet. 

Sebastian Vettel, Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo wear Arai helmets.

Modern bulletproof Stilo helmets preferred by Lance Stroll and Valtteri Bottas. 

Max Verstappen wears Schubert helmets, as do his teammate Sergio Perez and Mick Schumacher. 

So, the disputes about which F1 driver has the best helmet are for nothing. These are all in compliance with FIA requirements. All other cases revolve around personal preferences. Although choosing the most stylish racing helmet is another matter. 

F1 helmets special editions

F1’s racing helmet design is the driver’s message to the world. It’s like picking a new dress for the red carpet. The racers have the same feelings. So when it comes tout the most extravagant helmet among current Formula 1 drivers Lewis Hamilton, Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo are the most fashionistas in Formula 1. 

Top memorable F1 helmets of recent times.

Sebastian Vettel’s pink helmet for 2021 Turkish Grand Prix.

Vettel chose a special bright pink color for his helmet to get us all thinking about our oceans. Yes, pink is a good color to associate with oceans. Every year, more than eight million tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean, as well as toxic waste waters. The ocean is a very sensitive habitat and we must protect it. The toxic oceans on Vettell’s helmet left an impression. 

Daniel Ricciardo’s helmet with “stop being them” for Australian GP 2019

The color chosen by Daniel Ricciardo for his home race is one of the most stylish of 2019. With a striking pink, blue and green design and his number three, he headed to Australia. The F1 helmet was designed by Australian artist Nicolai Sclater, who works under the name Ornamental Conifer. His message was clear and written with the words “stop being them”. In 2019 Ricciardo started with another team – Renault. Red Bull was so competitive that it was very difficult for him to close the doors. 

Lewis Hamilton’s fluorescent yellow helmet for the 2022 season.

Seven-time F1 world champion has a special feel for the color yellow, as it is symbolic of his beginning in the world of F1 through his karting days. Thus, Hamilton’s yellow F1 helmet had a clear message to show love to his roots and beginnings.

Max Verstappen’s helmet for Sao Paulo Grand Prix 2021. 

The struggle for Max Verstappe’s first title was exhausting. So Max needed the additional power. So he headed to one of the last three races in Brazil with a very special helmet. He has always had a very calm and simple design. Inspired by Brazilian culture and the carnival theme, he spiced it up. The message was that he was ready for battle with Lewis Hamilton. Did it help? Unfortunately not. Lewis Hamilton won the race in Brazil. However, the design of the Verstappen helmet was very memorable. 

Lando Norris’s NBA-inspired F1 helmet

Norris made us wonder with his NBA-inspired helmet ahead of Miami Grand Prix 2022. He has opted for a design which replicates the NBA’s official basketball, supplied to the series by Wilson. As he told the press, there was nothing special about that day; rather, it was just a cool design. Agreed?

The most meaningful helmet in Formula 1 these days.

Someone calls this helmet the most striking in F1. It is also certain that there will be many others that are even better. One thing is for sure Lewis Hamilton’s helmet with Black Lives Matter is one of the most iconic F1 helmets.

He presented the specially designed black-and-purple helmet at the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix in Spielberg. It was more than just a piece of racing gear and supported the Black Lives Matter movement.  

Lewis Hamilton helmet
Lewis Hamilton racing helmet with Black Lives Matter movement

Do F1 drivers pay for their helmets?

Top drivers like Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso do not pay for their helmets, as they have contract sponsorship with helmet manufacturers. Therefore, they can spend money on additional decorations and design layout, but they get the F1 helmets for free. The manufacturer requires the advertisement mark on the helmet, but managers always discuss where the mark will be placed. 

Thus, Max Verstappen is getting ten free helmets for the season from Schubert manufacturer.

How many helmets do F1 drivers use?

Although, until 2020 F1 drivers maintained the following rule. They had one current helmet and another one with a special design. They wore an exclusive helmet on special dates and at home races. In 2020, the FIA declined the helmet limits in Formula 1 and allowed drivers to change helmets as needed. This freedom allowed some drivers to change their unique helmets several times over the weekend.

For the Formula 1 season, 8 helmets are sufficient. However, some of the current F1 drivers have three different helmets for a weekend. Furthermore, today’s F1 drivers use an average of 15 helmets per season. 

What happens to old F1 helmets?  

There are three options for F1 drivers with old helmets to choose from: to keep them in their personal collection, to sell them or to donate them to the special collections. 

Personal collections 

The majority of F1 drivers keep their helmets as nothing makes more sense than a racing helmet for a racer. Drivers keep their old helmets very carefully in cases. Therefore, did you know that each F1 driver has a personal hall of fame? It could be a room at home, or even a whole house of fame. Additionally, each driver has his own hall of fame at his home track. However, one of the drivers, has his own museum! The more awards an F1 driver receives, the bigger his hall of fame. 

Valtteri Bottas keeps some of his helmets with the awards at home. The Mercedes head office keeps some of Lewis Hamilton’s helmets and awards. The same applies to Max Verstappen and Red Bull’s headquarters.  

Fernando Alonso is different. He is a real collector’s fanatic. Therefore almost all of his racing accessories, including his helmets and even his cars have been kept in the museum in his honor! Ladies and gentlemen, you have to see it! Alonso’s racing collection is in the Museo y Circuito Fernando Alonso in his hometown in Spain. Furthermore, he is so huge philantelist that he has almost all F1 drivers’ helmets in his own collection in his own museum, incredible! Another incredible thing is that everyone has the chance to see each of these. 

Special collections.

However, not every helmet is being donated to a private collection. As we noted above, some helmets are kept in the team’s head office. But there is also another way drivers use old F1 helmets. For example, Lando Norris changed helmets with Fernando Alonso and sent his old to Alonso’s museum. George Russell, Charles Leclerc, Lewis Hamilton did the same. It’s difficult to pin all of them, since it seems no driver on the grid didn’t change helmets with Alonso. So, they gave their old helmet to the Spaniard. 

Some of old F1 helmets being donated to the team’s museum. Thus, the most memorable and rare helmets of Scuderia Ferrari drivers past and present are housed at Museum Ferrari Maranello. For example, Charles Leclerc’s special helmet for the Monaco Grand Prix 2022 Mission Winnow is also kept at Maranello. 

But there is another option for old F1 helmets. 

Charity and the auctions.

Some of the old F1 helmets have been offered to the special auctions. In the majority of cases, these are very private events. So you would never know who is the owner.  

Thus, Michael Schumacher’s helmet that he used in Imola back in 1998 was on sale for $25000 in July 2022. Additionally, his legendary 1998 Ferrari F300 sold too at a secret price, estimated at $5-8 million.

Some of these events are charity events. Thus, Alex Albon’s helmet for Singapore Grand Prix 2022 was designed by Thai orphans. There were about 200 kids that got involved in design creation. His helmet being auctioned off for charity Albon’s helmet has helped raise over $102000 to support an orphanage in Thailand

The bid for Albon’s helmet reached tens of thousands of dollars. However, this is not the case as much as possible since some F1 helmets sell at auctions may be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars or even more. 

Sebastian Vettel helmet
Legendary Vettel’s helmet,one of the most expensive F1 helmets

The most expensive F1 helmets sold at auctions 

However, this is not the case as much as possible since some F1 helmets sell at auctions may be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars or even more. 

Untill 2013 Ayrton Senna’s 1991 helmet had been holding the record as the most expensive helmet ever purchased. It sold for $83,068 in 2012. However, in 2019, Ayrton Senna’s 1990 F1 helmet sold for more than $158,316 becoming the most expensive racing helmet ever.  

You may wonder, then how much does Max Verstappen’s helmet cost? Well, Verstappen’s helmet for the Austrian Grand Prix 2022 sold for a record-breaking $137,000. The money was donated to charity, and Max Verstappen’s helmet is the second most expensive. 

In 2013 Sebastian Vettel 2013 Nürburgring Grand Prix sold under the hammer for 118,000 dollars. That was more than just a helmet, as he celebrated the home victory in this gold glittering racing helmet.

However, history also remembers the other auction, where the bids on F1 helmets weren’t always so high. If you talk directly to a Formula 1 driver’s manager (not the top driver), perhaps you will be lucky to purchase the F1 helmet for about $50000. Let’s be honest, the original F1 helmet cost a lot less.   

How much does a real F1 helmet cost?

These four manufacturers have been designing the helmets for F1 drivers for many years. 

Thus, Stilo FIA 8859 certified carbon fibre helmets cost about $3000. The Arai brand offers the widest selection of helmets with a variety of visors. Depending on many factors, their F1 helmets can cost as much as $4 000. Besides, the Arai company offers sponsorships to drivers. 

Schuberth F1 helmets price starts at $7000. Bell F1 helmets come in a wide range of models and cost about $6000. 

Verdict: the cost of an F1 helmet (FIA 8859 certified carbon fibre) is $5000 without prints. The current FIA 8860-certified F1 helmets are a bit more expensive. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t buy F1 helmet.

Can you buy F1 drivers helmet?

There is no magic in the F1 helmet until the top driver puts it on for the first time. The main point lies in the FIA 8860 certification.   

If you are quite clear about your desire to purchase a F1 helmet. Bell is offering to buy 1:1 replicas. Hence, their original replica Nico Rosberg  HP7 2016 Formula 1 Season helmet cost $6000. In addition, Rosberg has already signed the helmet.    

Another option is to buy a Formula 1 helmet replica on F1 authentic. The company offers as many F1 driver accessories as possible. That’s the real “happy shop” for Formula 1 fanatics. A replica F1 helmet costs much less than a real F1 helmet, but looks just as good.  In fact, it is one of the most appreciated gifts for F1 fans.  

You can also try to buy an F1 helmet on auction. Although the majority of these are private, you can check news on the F1 authentic website, as they provide such a possibility.

Niki Lauda helmet
Niki Lauda replica helmet

What are the most popular F1 drivers’ helmets to buy?

All replica F1 helmets are selling like hotcakes, but here are the top three sellers. 

 #1 Lewis Hamilton black racing helmet. It came out on top for fundamental reasons. Hamilton is a seven-time Formula 1 world champion and supports very meaningful movements such as “Black Lives Matter”. After all, it is very stylish.

#2 Max Verstappen helmet. After Max Verstappen became the youngest F1 champion in 2021, the market for F1 gifts and accessories has changed.  

#3 Niki Lauda helmet. This replica of Niki Lauda’s Monaco helmet is always on the top of the most memorable gifts for Formula 1 fans. It is especially for those who remember the history of auto racing and the origins of Formula 1.

Here’s just one question instead of summig it up

Where to wear F1 helmet ?

A million plus an idea on how to use a F1 helmet, we can find for you, but George Crawford probably knows better. In 2021, a software developer within Team Aston Martin took part in the London Marathon in Lance Storll’s suit. Aston Martin Team gave George the current shape of their driver, including Formula 1 helmet. Crawford took part in the London Marathon with the goal of raising 5,000 for a charity.

George Crawford
George Crawford runs in Lance Stroll suit with F1 helmet

George Crawford didn’t win the marathon, but ran faster than 4 hours. Thus, we think you’re going to do it on your own.