Last week, the FIA announced that it was scrapping the rule restricting Formula 1 drivers to one crash helmet design for the entire season. The rule was publicly criticised by several of the drivers including Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo, who like to change their helmet designs as frequently as their underwear. But we’d be inclined to say that as identifying objects in today’s Halo-obscured cockpits, consistent, signature designs are much better from a spectator’s point of view.
Besides, cast your mind back to the Formula 1 heroes of yesteryear and you can picture their characteristic and enduring crash helmet as clear as day: from Jackie Stewart’s tartan-rimmed lid to Senna’s unmistakeable yellow and green one. The late French historic racer and motorsport obsessive Jean Brandenburg, whose trio of historic racing cars we explored right here on Classic Driver last week, was especially fond of iconic crash helmet designs. So much so, that he started collecting his favourites. In total, Brandenburg collected over 100 classic crash helmets and displayed them in his garage-cum-museum in Geneva.
Following Brandenburg’s untimely passing, the collection – fittingly titled ‘Racing at the top of my mind’ – will be auctioned by Aguttes on 15 March in Paris at its Spring Sale, alongside a number of his cars. You can find our 10 favourite crash helmets below or, alternatively, browse the entire collection in the Classic Driver Market.