Daniel Ricciardo is planning to don a helmet design not often seen in Formula 1, having trialled a concept colour scheme during preseason testing in Barcelona over the last two weeks.
Having left Red Bull at the end of last season, Ricciardo is free to come up with a product of his own imagination now he is at Renault.
During testing at the Circuit de Catalunya, where he posted the 12th-quickest lap overall, the 29-year-old wore a multi-coloured design that has “test” written across it, but said he was working on something special for the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne in just under two weeks’ time.
“This helmet has got a bit of coverage, so this has been a ‘test’ concept if you want to call it,” he said. “But I’ve been working with an Australian artist, and he has been working on it for quite a few months.
“It will come out in Melbourne, but it is certainly going to be different. It is not going to be traditional and typical with a halo and lines that mean nothing.
“I am trying to get away from the typical helmet these days, so it should be funky. It is kind of artistic in a modern way.”
While Ricciardo has once been on the podium in Melbourne — when he finished second during his first season for Red Bull — he was disqualified from the race shortly after, meaning his best performance at his home race has been fourth, which he has achieved twice.
No Australian has finished on the podium in his home race since it became a world championship round and while Ricciardo is not expected to end that run this year, he said he was especially excited to be heading back to Melbourne in the black and yellow of Renault.
“There is something pretty awesome in starting the season at home,” he said. “There is added excitement behind that. For me I like being in Australia, period. It is a nice country.
“We had quite a big break since Abu Dhabi, it was a long time in which you don’t really compete, so just to compete on home soil is cool.
“And going now with a new team and arriving there with a new team that is another added bit of excitement. It is good to get started, I think.”