Formula 1

FIA bans helmet colour changes in a completely unnecessary move

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The FIA have banned drivers from changing their helmet designs during the season according to reports.

The move comes after some drivers, though predominantly Sebastian Vettel, regularly altered their helmets for special races or to signify an event or to pay tribute in the case of those who added '#ForzaJules' stickers following Bianchi's crash in Suzuka last year.

However, Formula 1's governing body has backed the ban arguing the constant changes make it harder for fans to identify the drivers out on the racetrack, though didn't mention what would happen if a driver did alter their design.

An unnecessary move

Its a decision that is baffling because given the problems F1 is having to deal with the issue of what a driver's helmet looks like seems so petty and unnecessary.

Ways to help better identify drivers on the circuit have been made in recent years with the introduction of personalised numbers last year but again its not something that is a major issue given the access to big screens and live timing towers to those at the track and lets face it if you see a Red Bull driving past you are not going to think it's Lewis Hamilton are you?

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Helmets are a personal statement

Helmets are personal things and for the drivers the ability to wear specially designed helmets for races such as Monaco or Singapore or usually a home Grand Prix it shouldn't be up to the FIA to say 'sorry you can't do that'.

Indeed seeing a driver recognise an event makes them seem more relate-able to fans like when Nico Rosberg did a special World Cup helmet to commemorate Germany's victory in Brazil or even seeing Vettel have a Western themed design for the US Grand Prix its something that fans can look at and think 'yeah he's cool'.

The move goes against a recent push to try and make F1 more appealing to fans because it stops drivers from showing a personality, from interacting by allowing fans to come up with unique designs.

Same designs a tired tradition

All the ban does therefore is make sure drivers follow the tired old tradition of having one design for the entirety of their career, of course they would be allowed to change them each year and yes legendary drivers have been remembered for their helmet designs but that same commitment previous generations have had doesn't exist now.

If the FIA do want to make identifying drivers such an important issue then there are better solutions, ensuring the driver numbers are on the sides of the car is one given most don't have sponsors on the side of the cockpit, equally why not have the drivers three-letter symbol on the car such as VET for Vettel,

But all that a ban on multiple helmet designs over a season seems like is a over-regulation on something that doesn't need regulation and another sign of the sport's bosses being out of touch with F1 in 2015.

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