New Lids

The new Renault launch is later today, and I’ll be covering that from 1pm GMT, with news of whether or not we actually get to see their eagerly-anticipated new livery.

In the meantime, though, it’s worth noting that both the main title contenders for this year have got new helmets to go with their new teams. Alonso, predictably enough, has removed the Mild Seven colouring from his lid with his switch to McLaren, but it’s disappointing that almost all traces of red and yellow have gone as well – the “Spanish flag surrounded by blue” had certainly become a signature look for him, and replacing it with the colours of his car means that he just ends up looking like a corporate slave to the team. Or, looking at that picture, Takuma Sato.

Kimi, meanwhile, had already ditched his trademark blue in 2006 to fit in with McLaren a bit more, so his new Ferrari design is more of an evolution of that, with more white on it. It’s a nice clean design, although it seems to me more than a little reminiscent of someone else who once drove for Ferrari

I don’t know, though. Gone, it seems, are the days when each and every driver would have a distinctive design that they’d stick with throughout their career, no matter how it clashed with their current car. Great helmets – Senna, Hill, Mansell, etc. – can be just as effective and identifiable as a great livery, and it’s a real shame that so many drivers now feel the need to change their design from year to year based on what colour car they happen to be sitting in…

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