George Russell has switched from red to black as his main helmet colour ahead of his first Formula 1 season with Mercedes out of respect to Michael Schumacher.

Russell will race full-time for the senior Mercedes team in 2022 after impressing during his three seasons with Williams, during which he was a member of the Mercedes junior programme.

Russell will link up with seven-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton and race in the Mercedes W13 car that will be unveiled on Friday at Silverstone.

Throughout his racing career to date, Russell has largely used red-based helmets that also incorporated some blue to fit in with the Williams team colour.

But in a video posted by Mercedes, Russell revealed his new helmet design for the coming season that sees him change to a black base out of respect for Schumacher.

George Russell at Abu Dhabi November testing 2021

Schumacher raced for Mercedes in his F1 comeback between 2010 and 2012, making the sight of a bright red helmet against the team’s silver livery iconic.

Russell explained that it was “quite different in colours compared to what I’ve had previously, and I’ve gone for quite a bold black this season”.

“A red helmet in a Mercedes I thought was very Michael Schumacher, and I really wanted to respect that and go in a different direction,” Russell said.

“I’ve brought forward the black, I’ve got the red on the side with the Crowdstrike [sponsor], and bringing forward this blue detailing, which I really, really love and it’s probably something you’ll see a bit more of this year.

“I’ve obviously got my GR63 logo on the side, my number on the top, Mercedes star on the front. I think it looks really cool and really aggressive. I hope you like it and you’ll be seeing it soon in the W13 at Silverstone.”

Russell will be part of the formal unveiling of the W13 on Friday before completing the first on-track running with the car in a shakedown at Silverstone.

The British driver will then enjoy his first extended run-out in the new car when F1 pre-season testing begins in Barcelona on 22 February.