It’s an iconic design donned by his father Juan Pablo, but Sebastián Montoya has put his own personal touches to the helmet design.
With flashes of the Colombian flag, the look has been updated with some Marvel superhero influence and a revamped colour scheme, as the Hitech Pulse-Eight driver details.
“My first ever painted racing helmet, I must have got it around 2012 I think as a birthday present. When I turned six, that was around the age you can start racing, six and a half to seven, that was when I got my first painted racing helmet.
“I remember my dad asking how I wanted it, and I said ‘like yours’. It was pretty much my dad’s design, and he was racing in NASCAR at the time, and the top of the helmet along with the sides, he would always change the designs a lot of the time. He had this design on the top and I said I wanted that but in red, because red was my favourite colour at the time, so that’s how I came up with the design.
“Since I became a Red Bull athlete, we have to have the Red Bull along the sides and the top. We modified it slightly from what I originally wanted, and this year we went above and beyond. I told them I wanted a cool design, something a bit different. My favourite movie is Black Panther, we added these designs here and on the top with a sort of Black Panther theme, since it’s one of my favourite movies ever. I remember they sent me the first design and I liked it a lot. I asked my parents if I could say ‘I like it’. Literally that first design and I think it took like a week, usually it takes months, but this took a week, I really enjoy how it came out.
“I really liked the Red Bull colours because they matched my original design. The original design was the colours of the Colombian flag, just like my dad. With the red, we tried to make it a bit more fluorescent orange-red so it pops out a bit more in the car. I tried to keep my design and add the Red Bull bits and I really like it. It’s a bit more modern but I still have my original design, which I really enjoy.
“I really enjoy the design along the sides and at the top. It’s not something you see often. Here, it’s really destroyed from the HANS device but I really enjoy this part on the back. Having the Colombian colours that you can see everywhere and this design with the yellow and blue on the white, I really like it in general and think it’s a really cool design.
“It’s really cool because I see pictures of my dad wearing his helmet which is so similar. We’re teammates in ELMS racing together and if you look at the two helmets side-by-side it’s like past and future. It’s something I really enjoy and it’s quite funny because it’s not just my dad’s design, I feel like I’m personalising it and making it mine, a little bit more me, but still keeping that family element in it. I really like it. For me, it’s probably the best helmet I’ve ever had.
“I’ve always been an Arai guy, since day one they’ve kept my head protected and I feel like they’re underrated. They’ve always done a really good job with the helmet and the service they give is really good for the driver, been with them since day one and stuck with them ever since. Nothing fits like my Arai. The helmet is painted by BS Designs, who also paints Charles Leclerc’s and Pierre Gasly’s helmets, which is kind of cool, but he also actually painted the first two Red Bull helmets I had, and they’ve all come out really good.”