Lirim Zendeli takes us behind the visor to discuss the design of his helmet and delve into the back story of where it all began.
The Trident racer has one of the most recognisable and highly talked about helmets on the entire Formula 3 grid, but where did the idea come from and how did he make it happen? The German explains all…
“The helmet arrived just after Bahrain,” he began. “I had the idea around January time. Iron Man and Hulk were the first two Marvel films that I watched. Hulk was a bit more old school, whereas Iron Man was a bit more of a modern take. I watched Iron Man quite a long time ago and I have fallen in love with the marvel movies more and more since then.
“Last year, my helmet was inspired by gaming and Call of Duty, but that had a bit too much detail for me. From close up it was really beautiful, but when someone was watching from the outside, anything more than 50 metres away, you couldn’t really see it. There were no colours on it which stood out for me either, whereas Iron Man only has two main colours, really, and you can see them quite obviously from the outside.
“I did it with Jens Munser (JMD). He helped me to design it, although it was easier than doing a completely new helmet because this is a bit of a copy. For an Iron Man helmet, I wanted to have an Iron Man helmet, so it was just copying parts, more or less.
“It was not completely easy because the helmet isn’t the same shape as the helmet of Iron Man. For sure, there was a bit of re-design and Jens helped me to put a few different details on, such as the holographic eyes. My first idea was to have the eyes shining, so they really catch the eye, but he brought up the idea of having them holographic and I was just like 'yeah, that is it.'
“I let Jens do pretty much all of the work because I’m obviously not a designer. He also came up with the idea for the gold to be in a matte finish. I kept the same cherry red colour as last year, because I really like that. The contrast of the glittery red and the matte golden surprised me a little bit, because on the pictures it already looked good, but when it came it was really beautiful.
“The helmet has a red interior which works perfectly with the outside. I didn’t want another main colour on the inside, I wanted to keep the red, whereas if it was black it would just destroy the design. Unfortunately, this year I didn’t put the flags on there. I wanted a German and an Albanian flag on either side, but I actually forgot to put them on!
“I didn’t expect to have so much attention from the helmet to be honest! I just wanted to have a special helmet which would be recognisable on track and told people a bit about my personality. I wanted people to see me with this helmet and think 'he is a marvel fan,’ and also to know that I am not boring”
“The attention I got was quite huge though, which is a good thing. This means that I did a good job with my choice. People may not have liked it, or they may have thought that I was childlish, but they reacted well.”