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Son of helmet designer explains reasons behind Senna's helmet

Son of helmet designer explains reasons behind Senna's helmet

21-03-2020 19:09
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James St Denis

Today would have been Ayrton Senna's 60th birthday and the secrets of his iconic helmet have been revealed by the designer's son.

Sid Mosca, who designed the three-time Formula One World Champion's helmet, passed away in 2011, but in an interview with motorsport.com, his son, Alan revealed the reason behind the design of the iconic helmet.

"We were asked to wear the helmets, and the focus was on Ayrton," Mosca said when asked about the origins of the helmet, which was created for the Brazilian delegation of the 1979 Karting World Championships.

"If the green hull had been made with yellow details, it would be very dark, expressionless. And every country had to have a design. We decided to make a warm, vibrant painting. So we chose it to be completely yellow, with two horizontal bands that came out from Ayrton's eyes, in green and blue.

"When he arrived in Brazil, Ayrton himself called us and said: 'I'm going to keep this design, it's just the one I wanted.' Then he adopted that decoration and kept it permanently," Mosca said.

The design remained practically unchanged for most of his career, except for his John Player Special years at Lotus between 1985 and 1986, where it went to a fluorescent yellow according to Mosca, before resorting to the normal colours. His design had an impact on driver past and present in terms of their chosen helmet design.

"Lewis Hamilton used yellow and on the back, he had a reference to Ayrton's. And Fernando Alonso used that background color, to form the flag from Spain.

"Mika Hakkinen's helmet has exactly Ayrton's helmet design, but with other colors. Eddie Irvine also wore a helmet with the same paint as Ayrton's. Ayrton didn't like that very much."

  

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