I’ve been in the midst of a full-blown beard debate with regards to the current crop of F1 drivers many times over the last season. The off-season seems the only time during the year that the drivers get close to ‘letting it all hang out’, ‘it’ seems to be facial hair. Some make an early run and proudly squash it into their helmets all year round. Case and point…
Contender 1: Nick Heidfeld
Now that is an impressive bit of fuzz to be lugging around the track all year, by the end of the year he was looking a tad more presentable having taken the garden to task. But think of all the weight he could have saved if he would only trim it off…especially with the return of KERS next year.
Award: Most Stylish
Contender 2: Lewis Hamilton
This was tweeted by the man himself yesterday, and it’s the reason I have resorted to talking about beards today. Normally sporting a tiny sliver of doormat on his chin, the promise of a couple of months off have seen it spread towards his ears. Nowhere near the league of Heidfeld; but it’s good to see even when he’s relaxing it’s still kept in order. That’s the McLaren way.
Award: Tidiest Face Garden
Contender 3: Sebastian Vettel
Now you’re never going to win a beard contest when ZZ Top are in the building, and by the above picture Sebastian Vettel knows this and is trying to hide his entry. Even by his own team he is considered to be 12 years old, so it’s by no surprise he’s not been able to muster much more than a sparse scrub land upon his face. No matter, he instead settled for a rather nifty trophy…
Award: Tried the Hardest
Contender 4: Mark Webber
…while his teammate out-fuzzed him. Now that’s how to own a beard! The hair could do with some work though. Throughout the season we’ve been treated with a wide range of Webber faces; super-clean shaven, gentle stubble, right up to the full on grizzly. Only time will tell how far this will go.
Award: The Grizzly Bear
Contender 5: Fernando Alonso
This was a shocking appearance at the FIA Gala, someone had let the plumber in (okay, no more Mario jokes), but seriously what was going on here. I might not be the biggest Alonso fan, however even I resorted to feeling sorry for the guy here. Obviously devoid of a mirror, he arrived at the award ceremony with the patchiest beard I had seen since Jenson Button on Top Gear. Though I think he deserves an award for that moustache, not quite a Mansell, but still enough to haunt my dreams.
Award: Most Shocking
Contender 6: Jenson Button
Out of the current crop of drivers, Button can be considered the daddy of facial hair and as I mentioned above, he only has the ability to cultivate a sporadic crop. Notably the ‘go faster’ stripe he has conscientiously left blank on each side of his face. As I know you would have noted the Honda branding, this is an old photo, but now he’s with McLaren he must follow strict regulations on facial hair. So during 2010 we’ve only ever seen a smattering of stubble, sad times.
Award: Lifetime Achievement
I could have been a contender!
Let’s have a look at worthy mentions and future stars…
Pastor Maldonado, I feel, has the ability to cover that chin with an impressive layer of fuzz. We shall see if he is able to sow the seeds at Williams.
I think Rubens actually suits the scruffier look, this was from a successful stint with Brawn GP, maybe 2011 will bestow upon us a hairy Brazilian?
Yeah, finds words to describe that! I didn’t include him above because I believe this is Schumi’s only dabble in the fine art of manscaping…but definitely worth a mention. Beautiful!
If this just isn’t enough for you, then check out: Hair Oscars of 2011