George Russell will be wearing a black helmet this season, the Mercedes driver dropping his usual red out of “respect” for Michael Schumacher.
Russell is the newest Mercedes signing for the works Formula 1 team, the Briton replacing Valtteri Bottas as Lewis Hamilton’s 2022 team-mate.
It is the team’s fourth different driver pairing since Mercedes bought the Brawn GP team back in 2010.
That year, the team ran seven-time former World Champion Schumacher and Nico Rosberg, the former returning to the grid with his traditional red helmet.
Schumacher spent three seasons with the team before retiring from Formula 1 for the second time, replaced by Hamilton.
As the German ran a red helmet throughout his career, Russell has opted not to do so in his first season with Mercedes, keeping that look Schumacher’s alone.
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) February 15, 2022
“Quite different in colours compared to what I’ve had previously,” said the 24-year-old in a video revealing his new design.
“I’ve gone for quite a bold black this season.
“The reason for that is I wanted to bring forward a really bold colour.
“I’ve mainly had red on my helmets previously but I wanted to… a red helmet in a Mercedes I thought is very Michael Schumacher, and I wanted to respect that and go in a different direction.
“So I’ve brought forward the black. I’ve got the red on the side with the [sponsor] Crowdstrike, and bringing forward this blue detailing which I really, really love and is probably something you’ll see a bit more of this year.
“Obviously got my GR63 logo on the side, my number on the top, Mercedes star on the front.
“I think it looks really cool and really aggressive.”
The Briton had his seat fitting at the team’s Brackley headquarters on Monday, Mercedes reporting on Twitter “W13 seat fit. Complete.”
That is a good thing as in 2020 when Russell replaced Hamilton at the Sakhir Grand Prix, the Briton struggled to fit into the W11, his feet too big for the car – forcing him to use smaller race boots.
Russell will put in his first laps in the 2022 W13 on Friday, the driver taking to the track in a shakedown on the same day Mercedes officially launch the new car.
Russell explains why he’s no longer in red
George Russell has revealed his 2022 helmet and the reason why it is no longer red.