While his on-track performance has yet to realise the lustre of a world champion, Lewis Hamilton will at least acquire some of the trappings of Formula One's 'top dog' when he returns to the scene of one of his finest 2008 victories next weekend.
As has become traditional for the Monaco Grand Prix, diamond giant Steinmetz will team up with Hamilton's McLaren team to promote its wares, continuing a four-year relationship with personalised, jewel-encrusted, helmet designs for both the Briton and team-mate Heikki Kovalainen.
Last season, Steinmetz collaborated on bespoke helmets that featured each driver's signature set in diamonds, but aims to improve on that spectacle in 2009 as it picks out Hamilton's cherished # 1 and Kovalainen's # 2 in its flawless creations, all inscribed with the Forevermark hallmark. Hamilton was also presented with his first Steinmetz diamond gift in 2008, and the 'racing ring' given to him following his first win in Monaco is now an integral part of his racing style.
“I think every F1 driver really cares about the design on their crash helmet," the Briton commented, "My helmet is yellow because my dad wanted to be able to see me clearly when I was karting and, when I was on the far side of the circuit, he wanted to know that I was all right. I've hardly changed the colour scheme of my helmet since then and I really love it.
"The Steinmetz diamond number one I'll be wearing in Monte Carlo this weekend is a fantastic way to commemorate the most prestigious race on the F1 calendar, and my favourite racetrack. I want to say thank you to Steinmetz for creating this amazing design – I think it looks incredible. I've really enjoyed working with the men and women at Steinmetz and I've had a brilliant time personally contributing to the creative elements of this project.”
The bespoke helmets were unveiled at the McLaren Technology Centre on Thursday, and will hit the track in Monaco from next Thursday [21 May].
“We're looking forward to the Monaco GP as always this is the main event of the season," Steinmetz marketing director Lior Levin admitted, "and we hope that Lewis and Heikki will outshine the diamonds in their helmets.”