Drivers, teams to celebrate 1,000th GP with helmets, stickers

Formula 1 drivers and teams are to commemorate the 1000th World Championship Grand Prix by running special helmets and stickers this weekend.

The upcoming Chinese Grand Prix will be the thousandth that counts towards the World Championship since it was inaugurated by Formula 1 in 1950.

Under Formula 1 regulations drivers are permitted only one change of helmet design per season but they have been given a free pass for this weekend’s event.

Formula 1 teams are to run special decals on their respective cars while series officials have already given a sneak preview of red champagne bottles that will be used.

Celebrations are also planned off-track to mark the occasion, with Shanghai hosting the first of four planned 2019 fan festivals in parallel with the Grand Prix weekend.

“I've got a custom helmet in honour and it's a tribute to Prince Bira,” explained Toro Rosso’s Alexander Albon.

“He was the first Thai driver in Formula 1 – the only one before me actually – and he raced in the very first of those thousand Grands Prix at Silverstone in 1950.”

Commented Racing Point’s Lance Stroll: “I’m proud to be on the grid for the 1000th F1 race.

“I’ve been watching this sport all of my life and I must have seen well over 250 races.

“When I was very young and living in Canada I would wake up early to watch the races in Europe at breakfast time.

“I remember supporting Michael Schumacher and I would always go to the Canadian race with my Dad each year. I think the battles between Schumacher and Alonso in 2006 are the races I remember the most.”

See also: F1 hits 1,000 races – Infographic