Sometimes a helmet stands out for a pattern that combines colours with different shapes or lettering, and sometimes for its surface treatment. The helmet used by Davide Rigon, official driver of Ferrari Competizioni GT, is distinguished by a chrome finish that makes it immediately recognisable in the paddock of the FIA WEC, Asian Le Mans Series or SRO championships. The special design of the bottom of his helmet dates back to the 2018 season, replacing a matt finish used at Le Mans 2017.
“I must say that the end result with the matte paint was really lovely”, explains Davide, “but it required too much care and continuous cleaning. That’s why I decided to switch to chrome which, among other things, makes the helmet spectacular especially when you look at it close up and in the sun”. The chrome treatment is the latest step in a journey that began when the Italian raced karts. “Like many other drivers who tried karts”, continues Davide, “I used a white helmet because we couldn’t spend any more money to have it airbrushed. However, I was able to personalise it with red and grey adhesive strips, and thus stand out”. With his switch to single-seaters, the helmet too began its competitive journey. “Basically I’ve always liked to have a simple, neat helmet design. I’d call it ‘pure’. I like the idea that my helmet is different from other people’s helmets, which are usually very colourful. That’s why I opted for an unusual primary colour, such as green. I like it a lot and, with the chrome base, I think it’s spectacular”.
The colour scheme is a family affair, as Davide says: “I designed my helmet together with my wife, and it was then perfected by a designer friend of hers. We created this artwork that we really like and have been using it for three years, sometimes making minor changes to a few details, but keeping it essentially the same. For me, a helmet’s design must convey the concept of order, aerodynamics, fluidity and speed, inspired by the lines of a wing. As for the colours, in addition to green, there must be a touch of red, in homage to Ferrari, and white, so I can evoke our tricolour flag”.
Wishing to stand out from everyone else, Rigon doesn’t use features used in the design of the helmets of famous drivers from other eras. However, even he has taken inspiration from the past for details to be used in the present. “I’ve always loved the details of Michael Schumacher’s helmet, especially the shell when he added stars for every world championship he won. That was an inspiration. Every helmet represents a driver. This is why I have always looked for a design that would distinguish me from the rest. Obviously, if I saw a detail of another helmet that I particularly liked, I tried to adapt it to my artwork, but I always tried to respect other people’s helmets and to have one of my own to represent me“.