Canadian driver Charles Leclerc will be wearing a special helmet design at this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix in honor of Formula 1 legend Gilles Villeneuve. Villeneuve, who scored his first victory for Ferrari at the Montreal Grand Prix in 1978, tragically passed away during the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix. In commemoration of the 40th anniversary of Villeneuve’s accident at Zolder, Leclerc previously drove the late driver’s 1979 Ferrari 312T4 at Fiorano. Now, he will pay tribute to the Ferrari icon with a custom helmet design created by his regular helmet painter, Adrien Paviot.
Leclerc expressed his admiration for Villeneuve and his passion for Ferrari, stating, “Gilles Villeneuve, he was such an incredible driver… This is my special helmet for the weekend, it’s inspired by the design Gilles used to have.” The helmet design serves as another personal gesture from Leclerc to honor the racing legend.
Reflecting on his experience driving Villeneuve’s car, Leclerc emphasized the stark differences between modern Formula 1 cars and those of the past, particularly in terms of safety. He also noted the mental strength required to push those cars to their limits. Leclerc described the experience as “amazing” and “very special,” praising the agility and playfulness of the vintage vehicle.
Leclerc is not the only driver paying tribute through helmet designs this weekend. Valtteri Bottas has opted for a lumberjack-themed design created by his partner Tiffany Cromwell. On the other hand, Lance Stroll has decided to auction his home race design to raise funds for those affected by the recent wildfires in Canada.