Local hero Dany Kvyat was informed by the FIA ahead of this weekend's Russian Grand Prix that he would not be allowed to use a special helmet livery dedicated to his home event.
The Toro Rosso charger had a specific blue, red and white design created for Sochi, but when he sent the livery to FIA race director Michael Masi, Kvyat was told that his use of a different helmet design at Monza earlier this month precluded him from changing his lid's motif again.
Several years ago, following complaints from fans who insisted that drivers incessantly changing designs made them hard to recognize, F1's governing body imposed a rule whereby each driver is allowed a single design change over the course of season.
Article 9.1 of F1's Sporting Regulations states the following:
"In order for drivers to be easily distinguished from one another whilst they are on the track, the crash helmet of each driver must, with the exception of one Event of the driver's choice, be presented in substantially the same livery at every Event during a Championship season.
"A change to helmet livery will also be permitted if a driver changes team during a Championship season."
Needless to say, Kvyat - who says he wasn't aware of the specific rule - was unimpressed with the FIA's call, labeling the sporting article "a joke".
"It's a good helmet. Hope you saw it. I don't know... I put it there in the garage, just to show it to everyone," Kvyat said.
"It is a joke - but anyway, the rule is a rule.
"We just worked with my designer [Jens Munser], [on] something unusual. Russian flag theme, I guess. Just something a bit different, but simple at the same time, so yeah. Very happy with design.
"Maybe I will use it tomorrow. Let's see. I still don't know what could be the consequences. But to be honest, there are bigger problems [for F1] to focus [on] than a helmet design of a driver, I guess."