Daniel Ricciardo paid a touching tribute to NBA legend Kobe Bryant. The Australian honoured the late basketballer with a special lakers themed helmet. Ricciardo will use the helmet in F1 pre-season testing.
Famed basketball star Kobe Bryant passed away in a chopper crash on January 26, 2020. The American is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players and was highly influential. Bryant’s death shook the sporting community, with many athletes paying tribute to the American star.
Daniel Ricciardo decided to honour Bryant in a unique manner with a special purple-themed helmet. The purple signifies the jersey colour of the LA Lakers, a basketball team which Bryant represented. The Helmet features Bryant’s initials and his jersey number on the side. Additionally, the Helmet also has the words ‘Mamba Mentality’ engraved at the top.
‘Mamba’ was Kobe Bryant’s nickname, referring to the deadly snake.
Speaking to F1, Ricciardo said:
“I’ve never played basketball and I can’t relate to that but it doesn’t mean I can’t admire someone of that calibre and how he changed the game,
“Obviously I was a fan of him and what he represented, what he brought to the sport. But I think just as [I’m] trying to get to the top of my sport, I idolise him creating such a legacy, his work ethic, him standing out from the pack. I think anyone trying to be great at something can recognise that and appreciate that.”
“I think there’s quite a lot of significance when someone from the outside shows a bit of care. Obviously I’m not doing it for what the image looks like, but I think it’s nice that it’s touched Formula 1 drivers.”
However, Ricciardo wasn’t the only driver to honour the late American. Reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton also penned down an emotional post as a tribute to Bryant.
Renault has made a positive start to the winter test. The R.S.20 features a unique nose and is completely different from its predecessor. The team were 1.1s off the pace set by Mercedes, but next week could be different.
The team had a mediocre 2019 and lost 4th in the Constructors to rivals McLaren.