Sebastian Vettel has changed the design of his crash helmet ahead of the second pre-season test in Bahrain to reflect his opposition to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The helmet remains white, but the usual German flag stripes running along the it have been replaced by blue and yellow ones in homage to the Ukrainian flag.
A dove is featured on one side, with a “No War” message on the other, akin to the symbol Formula 1 emitted on Wednesday evening as all the drivers stood on the grid at the Sakhir International Circuit to demonstrate their support for Ukraine.
Sir Lewis Hamilton was unavoidably tied up by a delayed flight over from Paris, so he sent his support across on social media.
Jens Munser designed the helmet, and tweeted “Imagine all the people * living life in peace #RacingUnited #StandWithUkraine No War,” with these John Lennon lyrics also printed on the top of the helmet design.
It is a powerful statement of the German’s desire for peace in the world, and he has previously been outspoken on his thoughts on the ongoing violence in Eastern Europe.
“I think everyone has an attitude. The question is whether everyone always dares to share the attitude,” he told Motorsport.com.
“I’m not shy about that, quite the opposite. I think there are certain topics where you can’t remain silent.”
He went on to admit that finding motivation as a racing driver is more difficult due to the emotional weight of the conflict that has now seen more than two million people displaced, and hundreds killed.
“It’s a strange feeling to even get out of bed when you start the day with the news, to motivate yourself when you know exactly that there are things that are much more important,” he added.
“Innocent people are already having to die. You can’t imagine the situation. I don’t think there’s a winning side to this kind of thing. [It is an] absolute shock, and I think the consequence is very clear.”
Vettel has long been an advocate for positive change, having shown admirable defiance of Hungary’s anti-LGBT laws at last year’s race in Budapest, before holding an all-women’s karting event at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
W series driver and Aston Martin driver ambassador Jessica Hawkins recently sung the German’s praises for his quest for equality.
“He is, hand on heart, one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met,” she told talkSPORT.
“He is using his brand to express how he’s feeling and everything he does, he does because he genuinely means it.
“He’s not doing it for show, he’s not doing it for anything other than he truly believes in what he stands up for.
“To have a role model like that, not just for me, but for everybody in the sport is amazing and genuinely I cannot express enough how amazing he is.”