Daniel Ricciardo leads the way in retro helmets for F1's 1000th race

Renault teammates Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg are among the drivers to have rolled back the years to commemorate Formula One's 1000th world championship race this weekend.

F1 is celebrating the milestone at the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai and has given its driver's permission to bring a one-off helmet design with them for the race. Under current rules each must stick to the same design all season bar one special occasion, but this race has been added as another exception.

While Kimi Raikkonen joked ahead of the weekend about wanting to go properly retro -- saying ""I wanted to have an open-face helmet but there was some regulations issues" -- several drivers have taken advantage of F1's loosening of the rule for a new design this weekend.

Ricciardo has turned to a retro look similar to the one sported by fellow Australian driver Jack Brabham, who won world championships in 1959, 1960 and 1966. The third of those titles was unique in that it was won in a car Brabham had designed and he remains the only man to win a title in a car bearing his own name. Ricciardo -- who also unveiled a striking new-look lid carrying the message 'Stop being them' ahead of the season -- has gone for a plain silver helmet with black lining similar to Brabham's, with several holes and scrapes at the top of the helmet to give it a dated look, with his name written across the side in plain black font.

Ricciardo admitted the design had been a surprise from the designer.

"It was actually thanks to Jens Munser who did it for me. Not only did he paint it, but he actually surprised me with the design. We want back and forth a bit the last few weeks and I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do. I actually sent an email last week and said you know what, do something old school, retro and maybe something with a bit of meaning for me and get it done. So in the end it was Sir Jack Brabham's inspiration, so something for me, obviously being Australian, and I think he did a really good job."

The design got the nod of approval from Brabham's youngest son, David, who raced for the family's F1 team in the early 1990s.

Hulkenberg has opted for for a garish yellow and black design which fits with Renault's car colours. It is also carrying old logos for Renault and helmet designer Schuberth, as well as the Roman numeral 'M' on the back for 1000.

The one-off designs were not solely limited to Renault, however. Williams rookie George Russell has gone for a half-and-half design in honour of another driver to have raced for the team, Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya. While sticking with his current design on the left, he has picked up Montoya's arrow shaped design, coloured like the Colombian flag, to sit on the right. On the back, the number 1000 descends down the helmet.

Elaborating further on the design, Russell said: "Montoya's a bit of a Williams legend and he's one of my F1 favourite drivers of all time, just his character and the way he approached the racing, everything, he was a driver you used to enjoy watching. So I thought it would be nice to go half-half this weekend."

Another of the 2019 rookies has opted for something a bit different this weekend, too. Toro Rosso's Alexander Albon is paying tribute to the only other Thai driver to have raced in F1, 1950s racer Prince Bira, with a helmet design inspired by the livery he raced with.

Several other drivers are marking the occasions with altered designs for the weekend.