Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton was forced to shelve a flashy new helmet on Friday after it fell foul of a ban on switching designs mid-season.
The Mercedes driver unveiled the new helmet, emblazoned with the colours of team sponsor Petronas, at the oil company’s home grand prix in Malaysia.
“I had a special helmet made to celebrate Petronas & Malaysia. Due to the FIA’s new rule, I can’t wear it,” tweeted the Briton.
Hamilton is thought to be the first victim of the world body’s new rule banning drivers from radically changing their helmet designs, which had become commonplace.
The ban is aimed at helping fans recognise drivers in the cockpits, which can be difficult as they race around at speeds of more than 200 miles (320 kilometres) per hour.
But the move has not been warmly received by drivers, with four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, previously a frequent helmet-changer, among the critics.
On Friday, Hamilton was using his customary mainly white helmet inscribed with the words “Still I Rise”, title of a poem by Maya Angelou. – Agence France-Presse