Amid rumours that he has a better car than his teammate Sergio Perez, Max Verstappen has admitted that he does indeed claim some sort of special status at Red Bull, if not in the Formula 1 car, then in other key equipment.
In the Red Bull cosmos, and not just in Formula One, there are certain requirements to ensure that the energy drink manufacturer presents itself in the best possible light at all levels. After all, the Austrian company is pouring millions into the F1 team that, with Max Verstappen at the helm, is currently dominating the top tier of motorsport.
Joining Red Bull you accept the branding
So it’s no surprise that the Red Bull logo appears prominently on the cars, suits and, of course, helmets of the F1 drivers. But that’s exactly where Verstappen has given himself a special status, as he revealed to the Dutch media.
However, it took some time before he could do as he pleased Red Bull.
“In the past, when I was in karting and also in Formula 3, I always drove with my own helmet design,” Verstappen told the Dutch edition of Viaplay, adding: “When I signed with Red Bull, you actually lose a lot of your own design because there’s a big Red Bull logo on everything. So it took me a couple of years to get that through,”
It’s the same with the Austrian drinks manufacturer’s racing teams: “First, all the Red Bull team helmets are labelled ‘Red Bull’ and then you have to create the design around that.”
But Verstappen went his own way: “I said I’ll do my design first and then we’ll put Red Bull on it,”
Helmet design is “your identity” in F1
Verstappen also explained why the helmet design is so important to him and, more importantly, to F1 fans.
“It’s like your identity, so of course I think it’s important,” said the Dutchman, who currently leads the World Championship and looks unstoppable on his way to a third consecutive title, adding:
“It’s the only way people can recognise you when you’re in the car. The rest of the car is the same as your team-mate’s,”