Red Bull approved Verstappen F1 helmet supply change after testing

Red Bull says it approved of Max Verstappen's decision to swap helmet supplier to Schuberth despite its RB15 2019 Formula 1 car being created around an Arai design

Red Bull approved Verstappen F1 helmet supply change after testing

Changes to the safety standards of F1 helmets this year - designed to provide extra protection for the forehead area - left a number of suppliers in a race against time to get official homologation before the start of the season.

One of the drivers affected was Verstappen, as his previous supplier Arai had not managed to get all its helmet sizes signed off for race use prior to the start of pre-season testing.

During the Barcelona running, Verstappen found that the only approved Arai version was too small for him and he felt very uncomfortable in the car as a result.

He subsequently tried a Schuberth helmet and later did a deal to switch to the German manufacturer for the 2019 season.

The Schuberth helmet has a different shape to the Arai, so the change has an aerodynamic influence over Verstappen's car, but that result is something that Red Bull has accepted.

Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko told Autosport that: "The Arai helmet was used as basis for our car concept.

"We've had a contract with Arai for many years, and not only for the drivers at Red Bull Racing, but also for the mechanics, for Toro Rosso, for our junior team.

"But Verstappen had problems with the Arai helmet [in testing]. It didn't fit and he didn't see properly. He felt extremely uncomfortable.

"If a driver feels uncomfortable with his helmet, it's not wise to force something on him.

"At the time we had to decide, it wasn't clear whether Arai would manage the homologation. So, we made that decision."

It is understood that Verstappen is now committed to using the Schuberth helmet for the remainder of the year.

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