Being a hair stylist to the F1 grid is like saying you’re The Wurzels' costume designer. Career limitation looms.
1) The ‘Schumacher Lorry Driver’s Mullet’
Anyone who’s stopped for petrol and a bratwurst sausage on the autobahn will know that German truck drivers have a unique look, comprising leather clogs and a rat-tails-down-the-back-of-the-neck mullet hairstyle. We never found out if Schumacher wore clogs when he joined F1 in 1991.
2)The ‘Mansell Wet-Wipe’
While other drivers leap nimbly from their cockpits at the end of an F1 race looking fresh as a daisy, Mansell invariably staggered out the car, a leg hanging off or perhaps a vertebrae missing, wiping his sweaty hair across his forehead like he was about to pass out. Only the moustache remained unbendingly hedge-like.
3) The ‘Hunt Status Quo’
His lifestyle may have been that of a wealthy aristocrat, but his hairstyle was pure 1970s rock star. In particular, Hunt was channelling Rick Parfitt from Status Quo, circa 1976. And 1986. And 1996. In fact, Rick Parfitt’s perpetual haircut from every decade, stretching back to the beginning of time.
4) The ‘Prost Perm’
Alain Prost hid his curls in his early Renault days with a short crop, but at the peak of his powers he competed with Senna for the most confident hair in the paddock. However, rather than flowing like the golden locks of a Greek god, Prost’s tight curls grew an Afro that Michael Jackson would have been proud of.
5) The ‘Alonso McLaren’
Normally Alonso has long hair, but modern-day McLaren drivers are required to be immaculate, PR-controlled automatons with tucked-in shirts and precise grooming. So when Alonso fell under the spell of the team’s OCD, he changed his hairstyle to comply with the McLaren Driver Contract, Page 6, Paragraph 4: Follicle Management.
6) The ‘Kimi Rebel'
After leaving McLaren drivers tend to express their personal freedom (see no.5). This post-Woking rebellion can take many forms, but the most extreme was the ‘Kimi Rebel’ of 2009. Kimi deliberately de-styled his hair, letting it tumble – lank and unwashed – out the back of his Ferrari cap, until he resembled a heavily sponsored Kurt Cobain.
7) The ‘Graham Hill Greased Lightning’
Few drivers in F1 history have had a haircut that looked as fast as Graham Hill’s. It could have been slicked back with Brylcream; equally it could have been axle grease. Either way, his hair looked aerodynamic and his helmet lining presumably smelled like a warmed gearbox.
8) The ‘Senna Lion’s Mane’
Young Senna had short hair, making him look like a schoolboy, learning his craft. Mature Senna grew long, flowing, blow-dried locks, a bit like Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon, only better. It was the mane of the dominant male lion, intimidating the rest of the pride with his strength and virility.
9) The ‘Villeneuve Blue Rinse’
Like so many older ladies, worried about thinning hair, the 1997 world champion decided to give his hair a colour rinse to give it more ‘body’ and distract the eye. First it was blonde, then it was blue, then a pinky-purple. Then it was chestnut, then he tried black, then…
10) The ‘Andretti Fonz’
Possibly the greatest Grand Prix haircut of all time. Arriving on the European racing scene in 1968, Andretti personified Stateside cool with his perfectly formed quiff. He never actually raced wearing a black leather biker jacket. But in my dreams he did.