SEPANG - Defending champion Lewis Hamilton was barred by the International Automobile Federation (FIA) from wearing a helmet sporting team sponsor Petronas' colours for the home race here.
"I had a special helmet made to celebrate Petronas & Malaysia. Due to the FIA's new rule, I can't wear it," tweeted the Mercedes driver recently.
Hamilton is believed to be the first Formula 1 driver to fall victim to FIA's new rule that prohibits radical changes to helmet livery mid-season, a move intended to help fans keep track of drivers as they zoom past at very high speeds.
Mercedes Benz Motorsport head Toto Wolff said although he and Hamilton were disappointed with the regulations, there was nothing much to do about it.
"Rules are rules and although it would have been good to race in a helmet that incorporated the Petronas colours, we are forced not to," he told reporters at the Sepang International Circuit recently.
Though Hamilton started in pole position on Saturday, he finished the race in second place behind Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.