Before he makes his debut at the Hungaroring, we caught up with Barnard to get the lowdown on the family aspect to his main helmet and why the saying ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ fits perfectly with his eye-catching design.
“My dad came up with the design when I was 13 years old and we’ve kept the same design since then, just changed the colours around and we’ve now put in some holograms which change colour. We’ve changed the pin striping colours around the helmet, but we kept the top crown bit. We kept that same idea and just changed the middle part, but it’s more or less the same design I’ve had since 2017.
“I honestly don’t know how my dad came up with the design, he just made it! I think he took some inspiration from my previous helmets and made them all into one, and I think it looks really nice to be honest. When you have the same design for such a long time, it’s kind of like an identity and after six years I think it looks great.
“I change the colours up every year or so, like last year I had green where the orange is and where the blue is now, I had orange. In the blue you can see we have these circles, we just change up small things like that which you need to look closely to see, but the rest of the helmet is the same.
“The first helmet my dad made for me was orange and blue. I’ve had green for a couple of years now, so I felt like going back to orange this year. I’m not sure why, but I think it looks good and it matches the PHM overall.
“My very first painted helmet had my name and a line which went to my initials on the other side, and I have my initials on his helmet as well. That helmet was very different, we experimented for a few years before we found out what we really liked – me, my dad, my mum and even my sister. It’s not just my dad and I, we put a family effort into it because they need to be able to see it on the cameras as well.
“To be honest, I really like the sides as my favourite part. I think when you have a good side part, it just makes the helmet look really nice. Also, the front section is white and when I’m driving, I have white gloves as well this year. I think when I was driving in Formula Regional Middle East, I had a white halo, a white part of the helmet and white gloves and it all just matched really nicely. Honestly, it all just goes together and the side part has quite a lot going on, but it also looks neat and tidy.
“I don’t really know what made me go for the swirls. One part was going to be chrome but we didn’t have the availability to do it on this helmet, so we made it white instead, but we didn’t want to keep it boring. We just said to the designer that we had these areas which we think can be a bit busier, but we don’t really know what to put in. We kept the design the same, but he can add somethings, like the parts which just fade into the colour or where my initials fade into the orange. That was Scothern Custom Design’s take on it and I really like it, and I think it’s also important for the painter to have their own take on it.
“There’s not really a dream helmet for me. I think this helmet is really nice and if I wanted to improve it, I wouldn’t change much. Maybe just the green pin striping, I just doesn’t suit everything else, I like it to look all matched and that stands out a bit. I would probably change it to another colour next time, but apart from that, I wouldn’t change much.
“I actually have another helmet coming (used in Silverstone), which is just white and gold. So, it’s completely different and I don’t know what it looks because usually you get a preview on the computer. All of the helmets I’ve had for years because they’re the same design, we send the same design and just say the colours are this and that’s it. For this one, it’s completely different and I don’t know what it’s going to be like.
“We bought two helmets last year as there was a special deal. This one was my usual helmet and we went for something different with the other, not sure why – just a bit of an experiment, I guess. It stands out and is a little bit like Kaylen Frederick’s helmet, but we tried to put our own twist on it. I guess I could make it a special helmet for my home race!”