Lando's limited editions
Go behind the visor with Lando as he selects his favourite one-off helmet designs from 2022
In an era where limited edition helmet designs are growing increasingly common, how do you keep things fresh? Three years on from the relaxation of rules regarding one-off designs, they're becoming increasingly audacious, and Lando has been responsible for several of the most outrageous.
The finished designs you see on track are the result of hours of hard work behind the scenes from Lando and his team, so it's only fitting that we properly appreciate them. We sat down with the British star following the season's conclusion to discuss his five favourite one-off looks from 2022 and to get the lowdown on how he came up with each one.
Miami Grand Prix – The basketball
"Possibly the best helmet of the whole season by any driver on the whole entire grid." That's a bold claim, Lando, but he has reassured us, albeit with a hint of a grin, that he's definitely "not biased at all." Biased or not, he makes a valid point, Lando's limited edition lid for Miami was a certified slam dunk.
"I thought that it was very different," Lando said. "The helmet design takes an object and recreates that on the helmet, which I think is pretty special and unique. No one had really done that before, and I think it went down well with my fans.
"This is my favourite design from the season. The basketball helmet is like nothing else I have done, it is very unique. I think it would be the fan's favourite as well."
Singapore Grand Prix - Halo
Lando might be a man of more words than Halo's Master Chief – he's also a tad shorter than the towering 2.13 metre super soldier - but his ability to get the job done is certainly comparable.
The British star grew up playing as Halo's lead protagonist in the much-loved video game and couldn't resist the chance to clamber into Master Chief's shoes – or should we say helmet – with this limited-edition design.
"Quadrant partnered with Halo, and this was my celebration, and thank you to those guys," Lando said. "Admittedly, the green design maybe didn’t quite suit the Singapore livery on the car that we ran for that race, but the helmet looks awesome on my mantlepiece. Up close, this is one of my favourite designs. It doesn't look quite as good from far back, but up close, it is one of the coolest that I have run."
Monaco Grand Prix – The best of both
If you're going to do a limited-edition helmet for Monaco, it better be a good one. The designs we see racing around the principality each year are always amongst the funkiest of the season, and 2022 was no different.
The bar might have been high, but Lando still managed to deliver arguably the standout design - at least in our humble opinion - with a stunning half-and-half helmet that combined his contemporary style with a nod to our past and McLaren founder Bruce.
"We went with two extremes at Monaco, combining old school and new school looks," Lando said. "Firstly, the old school, white and black design, with a simple, hand-drawn style effect over the black lines, featuring the McLaren Speedy Kiwi and the old McLaren logo. That part of the helmet was designed to throw us back in time and take us back to the good old days of Monaco.
"Then, on the flip side, we also wanted to have the new Monaco, with all of the modern, glitz, glamour, sparkles and chrome... Tasty stuff! We split the two down the middle with the Monegasque flag. Overall, I thought it was different and unusual."
British Grand Prix – Quintessentially Lando
"I like neon." Much like the design itself, Lando's description of his helmet for the British Grand Prix was simple, but effective.
The bar might have been highest at Monaco, but the pressure to create an iconic design for your home race is even greater. For Lando, the best way to come up with something quintessentially British was to create something quintessentially Lando.
"I had to go with something that made me, me," Lando said. "It is the fluoro yellow - another guy on the grid, LH, has been trying to get in on this, but since I started, I have always used fluorescent yellow, it is my favourite colour.
"We wanted to take that and make it really stand out for my home crowd. We used this 3D contour effect that a designer came up with, and it went down well, I liked it."
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Make it sparkle
Lando had to get the colour chart out when attempting to describe this one, eventually settling on a "bluey, greeny, purpley, greeny, blue." Trying to define the colour may not have been simple, but the concept was: create a helmet that sparkles under the Yas Marina floodlights.
"The final one on this list is the special that I used in Abu Dhabi," Lando said. "The idea was to use and maximise the lights. We went with an iridescent mixture of blue, green and purple that changes depending on the light and the direction that you are looking at it. There is also a matte black, light-absorbed effect going on. A cool one to end the season with."
Do you agree with Lando that his basketball-themed helmet for the Miami Grand Prix was his best of the season? Let us know on Twitter using the #FansLikeNoOther.
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