Daniel Ricciardo says his personal helmet collection is “coming on”, boosted by the trades he does with other drivers every year. But the Aussie is eager to add one special lid to his lot in the future. F1 drivers who are avid collectors often exchange helmets at the end of a campaign, with Fernando Alonso a leading proponent of the practice.
Every season, the Spaniard adds a few more prestigious pieces of memorabilia to the vast exhibit housed at his museum at Llanera in the Asturias and Ricciardo is now slowly building up a collection of his own.
“The helmet collection is coming on. Each year, I will try to do a couple of swaps and it is cool,” he said,” quoted by Motorsport.com. “I like to keep a collection for myself with my designs, but I also like to trade with another driver.
“For a driver it is the biggest sign of respect, so that is always fun. So we will see who we will do swaps with this year.
“But helmets take up a lot of space, so I need to start organising a proper room to keep them all in. But it is a nice problem to have.”
And whose precious lid is the future McLaren driver hoping to get his hands on next?
“To be honest, Sebastian,” replied Ricciardo. “I haven’t done a swap with Sebastian and, because he was a teammate, it would be nice to do that.
“Maybe I have a bit more time as he is staying in the sport a little longer, but if he retired this year I had better get in quick. I’ll have to ask Sebastian as I am yet to do that yet.”
Last month, after Lewis Hamilton’s milestone win at the Eifel GP that allowed him to match the 91-win record in F1 of Michael Schumacher, the Briton was presented by the great German’s son Mick with a helmet that the seven-time world champion had used during the 2012 season.
Ricciardo thought the gift was “one of the coolest” he’s ever seen in the sport, although the seven-time Grand Prix winner admitted to being rewarded with a few great bonuses of his own in the past.
“I’ve got some nice gifts for sure,” he said. “Leaving Toro Rosso, now AlphaTauri, they gave me a steering wheel which I thought was really awesome.
“And then Red Bull gave me a dirt bike, so that was pretty awesome as well. I feel quite spoilt with these gifts.”