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Formula 1

Style Guide - Japanese GP

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A style rundown from Pit Lane - from special livery to helmets to race suits and fashion from every race weekend.

With the 2024 Japanese GP underway, Pit Lane and FanAmp want you to switch the red lights to green because we're lights out and away we go into the world of F1 drivers' special helmets, liveries, and posters for the Japanese Grand Prix!

The 2024 Japanese Grand Prix is set to be another exciting event in the Formula 1 calendar, taking place from April 5th to 7th at the Suzuka International Racing Course. This year marks a significant change as it's the first time the event is held in April, a shift aimed at making the F1 season more sustainable and rationalizing the calendar. A change which we all welcome wholeheartedly.

It’s only Thursday, but some Formula One teams have already shared their specials for the amazing Suzuka circuit. Some of them have shared special posters, while others showed creative new helmet and livery designs. Each element tells a story, celebrates heritage, and pushes the boundaries of design and technology.

Japanese GP Special Posters

The promotional posters for the Japanese Grand Prix are often works of art in their own right. While it’s true that the main purpose of these Grand Prix posters is to promote the event, we can also note how they celebrate the rich cultural exchange between Formula 1 and Japan. 

They often feature elements such as samurai, cherry blossoms, or iconic Japanese landscapes, rendered in styles that range from classical to modernist, underlining the global appeal of the sport and its deep respect for cultural diversity.

Ferrari Poster For The Japanese Grand Prix

This one is surely in the top 3! The sleek Ferrari of Carlos Sainz perfectly blends with the striking pink hue background, reminiscent of the iconic cherry blossoms, or sakura, which are synonymous with Japan and symbolize the beauty and transience of life. 

These cherry blossoms carried by the wind created by the racing car give the poster a sense of speed and swift movement (which we all expect of Carlos this weekend!).

Mercedes Poster For The Japanese Grand Prix 

Another great poster announcing the Japanese GP! We love the colorful and dynamic composition and the sleek dark livery of the Mercedes F1 team car. The attention to detail in both the helmet and car is really impressive. 

Red Bull Poster For The Japanese Grand Prix 

We don’t want to say it’s our favorite, but... just look at this vivid and imaginative portrayal of a Red Bull car! The poster perfectly captures the spirit of Japanese art and the racing excitement that awaits. 

The backdrop features a stylized wave, reminiscent of the iconic 'The Great Wave off Kanagawa' by Hokusai, but with a vibrant and modern twist. It incorporates a striking blend of pink hues that merge with traditional deep blues, alluding to the merging of contemporary sport with classical Japanese art.

And the car? Look at the car sitting comfortably on the top of that wave and tell us that it’s not suggesting speed and fluidity. 

And finally, Mount Fuji, an iconic symbol of Japan, rising in the background, with rising (or setting) sun nestled just behind the peak of the mountain adding a subtle nod to the Japanese flag. Simply lovely, right?

Japanese GP Special Helmets

First of all, a little warning - not all helmet designs have been revealed yet. So it is highly likely that we’ll see some more special designs in addition to the ones listed below. Special helmet designs for the Suzuka circuit always seem to be a little bit more tech and future oriented than for any other Grand Prix on the Formula 1 calendar. Remember the special helmet Lewis showcased at last year’s Japanese GP? 

Lando Norris’s Special Helmet For The Suzuka Circuit 

Noris’s special helmet design is really amazing, featuring an electric blend of colors with vibrant pink and neon green “LN” logo on the side that is highlighting Lando's affiliation with Monster Energy. 

Fernando Alonso’s Special Helmet For The Suzuka Circuit 

For the second time in a row, Fernando Alonso is giving us a traditional work of art hamlet design. The helmet features intricate patterns reminiscent of classic Japanese tattoo art, with waves and possibly koi or dragon designs (we will investigate the design in detail, don’t worry!) in white set against a rich red and black background. These elements are culturally significant in Japan, and are often symbolizing strength, bravery, and the flow of life. 

Alonso's race number (14) is stylized in a way that echoes Japanese calligraphy. And finally we have to say kudos for integrating the sponsors and their logos into the design without detracting from the overall theme.

Yuki Tsunoda’s Special Helmet For The Suzuka Circuit 

Yuki Tsunoda's helmet embraces a pop culture aesthetic. The helmet is designed by a popular Japanese artist Verdy (https://www.instagram.com/verdy/?hl=en) known for his distinctive designs that often merge influences from skateboarding, hip-hop, and manga. If you didn't know, Verdy has actually been involved in a wide range of collaborations such as Dover Street Market, Levi’s and Nike, and the most recent - Kenzo. 

Japanese GP Special Liveries

Red Bull teased us with their iconic white livery - but apparently that’s not happening, at least not this year (fingers crossed for next year’s Japanese GP).

McLaren’s Special Livery For The Japanese GP

McLaren is bringing “Edomoji-inspired art to a Formula 1 car for the first time ever”. Edomoji, or as some called edo-moji, are Japanese typefaces created for advertising during the Edo period. These typefaces include various styles each with their unique characteristics, like chōchinmoji which were used on paper lanterns outside restaurants, higemoji for labeling shaved ice (kakigōri) and certain beverages, kagomoji known for its thick and square shape, and kakuji which is a heavy, rectangular style used for seals.  

McLaren showcased edomoji-inspired driver number as well!

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