With Forumla One’s United States Grand Prix set to take place this weekend at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, driver Daniel Ricciardo will pay homage to the local college football team with a special helmet design.
Riccardo, an Australian Renault driver, will wear a white racing helmet that has been hand-painted to replicate the look of a Riddell Revo Speed. It features the the Texas Longhorns’ primary logo on both sides, as well as the Big XII logo, an outline of the state of Texas, the American flag and Ricciardo’s name and number on the back.
Ricciardo will also wear burnt orange and white Alpinestars race boots with the phrase “Hook ‘Em” on the sides.
“The long and short of it is: I love Austin,” Ricciardo said. “The first year we visited here, I fell in love with the place, the people and the atmosphere. It speaks my language.
“Last year, I finally went to a Texas Longhorns game. It was an awesome experience, so I thought this year I’d tip my hat to them. I normally try and do something Austin-themed here, and I thought the Longhorns was a cool one with the idea to do a football helmet. It’s pretty special, and I’d like to show some love to the city.”
This isn’t the first time a racer has pulled inspiration from college football, though, as IndyCar driver and New Albany, Ohio, native Graham Rahal wore an Ohio State-themed helmet for the 2015 Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Speedway. And though he stared the race in 13th place, Rahal claimed his third-career victory that afternoon while donning the Scarlet and Gray.
We’ll see if Ricciardo’s helmet, which you can see more photos of below, has the same kind of home-track advantage.
Photos via @danielricciardo on Twitter