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Why the Halo will impede our enjoyment of Formula 1

Part of the joy of F1 is seeing drivers - and their helmet designs - as they race

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With a flurry of 2018 Formula 1 cars slowly being revealed, it’s only now that we are starting to see how the halo safety device will affect the cars’ looks, and possibly our enjoyment. 

As I watched the Red Bull go around Silverstone, I noticed how very little I could see of the driver and subsequently the driver’s helmet and colours. Which is a shame, and ironic that so many drivers are releasing new designs only for them to be hidden.

Growing up with the sport, I used to love recognising a driver’s colours and, being from the Top Gear art department, I’m still a big fan of helmet designs (if they are done well).

So it got me thinking about the best helmet designs over the years, because surely, for now, that enjoyment has gone. Do you agree with my list?

1. Ayrton Senna: bold, simple the most iconic of them all?

2. Gilles Villeneuve: at the time, extremely modern and quirky

3. James Hunt: does what it says on the tin. Just like Hunt

4. Graham Hill: simple, and based on the London Rowing Club colours

5. Francois Cevert: can’t go wrong with bold stripes

6. Elio de Angelis: angular and confident

7. Mario Andretti: one main colour, one stripe. Done

8. Jenson Button: his original helmet made the Union Jack work well

9. Alain Prost: very Eighties in its approach and design

10. Stefan Bellof: solid black with the German flag as stripes. Just drips coolness

Mind, while compiling this list I realised there aren’t many modern day drivers’ helmets in there. Maybe the halo isn’t so bad after all…

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