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2015-03-27 09:46

RULES ARE RULES: Lewis Hamilton has been forced to shelve his new helmet design due to an FIA ban on in-season helmet design changes. Image: AFP / Mohd Rasfan

SEPANG, Malaysia - Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton was forced to shelve a flashy new helmet on Friday (March 27) since it fell foul of a ban on in-season design changes.

The Mercedes driver unveiled his new helmet, emblazoned with the colours of team sponsor Petronas, at the oil company's home GP in Malaysia.

Hamilton is thought to be the first victim of the sport's new rule banning drivers from radically changing their helmet designs - something that until 2015 had been commonplace. The idea is to help fans recognise drivers, which is difficult while they are racing.

HELMET DESIGN BAN

The rule has not been warmly received by drivers. Four-times F1 champion Sebastian Vettel, previously a frequent helmet-changer, was one of the critics.

On Friday (March 27) Hamilton was using his customary mainly white helmet inscribed with the words "Still I Rise", title of a poem by Maya Angelou.

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