Max Verstappen reveals an ‘old-school design’ for F1 2023 helmet

Toby Miles
Max Verstappen's helmet for F1 2023 season. February 2023.

Max Verstappen's helmet for F1 2023 season. February 2023.

As the defending World Champion takes aim at three-straight F1 titles, Max Verstappen has gone “back to the roots” with his helmet design for 2023.

The Dutchman finally revealed his new helmet on Tuesday, just 10 days out from FP1 at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

Verstappen’s 2022 design was based on a similar template but with gold, glittery detailing across the white backdrop – commemorating his maiden World Championship from 2021. At last year’s release, the Red Bull superstar wasn’t to know he was embarking on another golden season.

For 2023, the only nod to his back-to-back titles is the addition of second star on the back. Lewis Hamilton abides by the same tradition, piling up seven stars on his helmet. At only 25-year-old, Verstappen has plenty of time to catch his great rival.

Verstappen has opted for red and blue detailing on his 2023 headgear, with Red Bull’s charging bull logo standing out on the side. From above, TV cameras will pick out the defending champion’s roaring lion logo.

A slick, retro-styled lid was Verstappen’s brief this season.

“Hi everyone, of course, new season, new helmet – so here it is, helmet reveal,” the Dutch icon said in a video announcing his new lid.

“As you can see the colours are again a little bit different to last year with the red and blue over here [on the side of the helmet] and I chose also to make it a little bit more [of an] old-school design with some small lines in it, not any more of the glitter and stuff, just going back to the roots.”

Verstappen’s early days in Formula 1 saw him stick close to Red Bull’s colour-ways on his helmet, before slowly developing his own style. Having stuck with blue backdrops, in 2019 the Dutch talent moved to a predominantly white helmet for the first time.

The 25-year-old added another slew of records to his already impressive collection in 2022, including setting the standard for Grand Prix victories in a single season at 15.

Having spent the first six seasons of his Formula 1 career chasing Mercedes, picking up the scraps left by the all-conquering German team, the name of the game has changed for Verstappen.

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Having been the hunter, he is now the hunted. Verstappen’s maturity was clear to see in 2022, staying cool during moments of pressure… except, rather hilariously, when he tried to open his DRS “fifty f***ing times” in Spain.

Verstappen’s challenge is to maintain his dominance, which looks set to be a difficult task with Red Bull’s wind tunnel time restricted as punishment for their 2021 cost cap breach. Ferrari and Mercedes are also threatening to come back stronger.

Despite the looming challenges, the Dutch star explained that he feels less pressure than ever at the New York RB19 launch: “When you’re a little kid and you’re working towards your goal, first of all that is to try and become a Formula 1 driver.

“Then the next steps are about trying to win a race and eventually the big dream is of course to win a Championship. Once I achieved that a lot of pressure fell off my shoulders because I felt like I had achieved everything I wanted.

“But then it’s all about trying to stay there, because that’s probably even harder than getting there. And that’s why I think last year was a very good test, to see if we could do that.”