Monday | 08 Sep 2014

Story of the helmet: Sebastien Ogier

Volkswagen’s defending champion talks racing idols, sun shades and the importance of flash as he takes on a tour of his crash helmet.

Design origins
“It has a few scuffs already, but this helmet is my second of the year and was new for Argentina. The colours and overall look starts with those of my sponsor Red Bull, but I work with the designers, Com’On! Racing, to include elements I want.

"The jagged, tribal-looking design is down to me - I just like the look and it’s something I’ve had on my helmets for years. Why the orange? Well, there’s no particular meaning, I just wanted it to look flash and the designer and me reckoned it looked great. Once we’re done, the design goes to Aero Magic for painting - they’re the same guys that paint Sebastien Loeb’s helmets.”

Logos and idols
“At the back is the red ’S’ logo of Ayrton Senna, my idol when I was young. I was using this helmet in Argentina on 1 May, the 20 year anniversary of his death. I think Senna is the idol of many people in motorsport because he was such an inspiration - of course for his driving skill but also as a person.

"Also on the helmet is my own logo that I’ve been using for a few years, and the ones of sponsors; Stilo, who make the helmet, and Tag Heuer, who have been with me for four years. On the top, in gold, is my championship number and the star that represents my first title. I have one for now but I hope to add another as soon as possible.”

Open versus shut
“I think I’m the only Volkswagen driver to have a flip down sun visor on my helmet. To be honest, I don’t use it most of the time, so this is purely for the look! I prefer open face to a full face helmets though. Even when I’m racing, I’ll try to use this one. I tried full face helmets at the beginning [of my career], and on more dangerous rallies like Finland it made sense, but now I keep this one all the time because it is more comfortable. It’s lighter, you don’t feel the heat and you have a little bit better visibility. Okay, there’s no difference in the view of the road, but with the open face you get a better view inside the car. Also, in case of problems, if you have to get out and undo you belts in a hurry I think it’s easier wearing this one.”

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