New Mercedes driver George Russell has opted to change his helmet colour out of respect for Michael Schumacher.
Russell’s helmet has been predominantly red since he made his Formula One debut in 2019, including when he was testing for Mercedes in December.
Seven-time champion Schumacher, who raced for Mercedes from 2010-12, also had a red helmet for most of his career.
'My worst fears came alive' - Hamilton reflects on 'disbelief' at 2021 finale
Russell, 24, will make his Mercedes debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 20 after joining from Williams, and plans to wear an almost all-black outfit.
“Quite different in colours compared to what I’ve had previously,” said Russell in a video on social media. “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 a red helmet in a Mercedes I thought is very Michael Schumacher, and I wanted to respect that and go in a different direction.
“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 love.
“I think it looks really cool and really aggressive.”
Russell is replacing Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes and joining Lewis Hamilton for an all-British line-up. The pair will unveil the new Mercedes W13 on February 18 and take it for a spin at Silverstone.
Russell says there are still “huge improvements” to be made with the car. “The first impressions of the W13 have been interesting,” he said in a video posted on Mercedes' social media channels.
"It is a very different car to the previous era and the characteristics of how the downforce is produced are completely different so we are still learning as we are going.
"There are still a huge amount of improvements to be made to bring everything together to make it as nice as possible to drive... I foresee a lot of people being in the same boat because we are just learning so much day after day, whether it is in the wind tunnel or in the simulator.
"I think it is going to be a year of development. Everybody will want to go into the first race with the fastest car possible, but what will be more important is understanding what your limitations are and how you are going to improve from those limitations to build the best foundations possible."
- - -
Watch every event live from Beijing 2022 across Eurosport, the Eurosport app and discovery+
Hungarian Grand Prix
'Crazy race' - Verstappen happy with shock win, Hamilton says gap is closing
Hungarian Grand Prix
Verstappen storms back from 10th to win Hungarian Grand Prix
Share this article