Alfa Romeo F1 Team KICK driver, Valtteri Bottas, will auction off his own special-edition, race-worn 2023 Australian Grand Prix helmet to raise funds for Save the Children, the team’s official charity partner.
Known for displaying unique helmet designs on track, the Finn teamed up with contemporary Aboriginal artist, Ricky Kildea, to realize two one-off helmets ahead of the Melbourne race, as a way to pay tribute to Australia’s Indigenous communities. A highly dedicated and passionate Aboriginal consultant, Ricky Kildea is committed to address the disadvantages experienced by Indigenous communities, improve pathways to employment and make a real difference within the local Aboriginal community. As an artist, Ricky links his cultural identity with his passion for sport to create unique artworks, mainly on Australian Rules footballs but, in this case, F1 helmets.
After the race weekend, one of Valtteri’s special helmets will be auctioned on the F1 Authentics platform, with all proceeds donated to two projects benefitting the local Indigenous community.
The Mooroopna Kinder Project, which is accessed by families who otherwise would struggle to afford to put their children in kindergarten, suffered damage caused by severe flooding in 2022: Save the Children will use the proceeds raised by the auction to cover the costs of repairs, as well as buying new equipment to restore the kindergarten as an environment where children can thrive. Artist Ricky Kildea chose the second project to benefit from the funding: Koorie Academy Basketball, a not-for-profit organisation supporting Aboriginal children who face obstacles when it comes to inclusion in sports. The proceedings will go towards hosting a basketball clinic and a cultural workshop in Geelong for Aboriginal youth.
The auction of Valtteri Bottas’ race-worn Australian Grand Prix helmet will run on f1authentics.com until April 11, 2023, with Valtteri personally handing over the prized item to the successful bidder. Fans and collectors alike will be able to place bids for the chance to own a unique piece of memorabilia, while helping raise funds for important causes.
Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo F1 Team KICK driver: “I have a keen interest in design, this shouldn’t be a surprise, and I like to express myself through my special helmets. Australian culture and history are something I have taken a keen interest in recent years, especially through my partner, Tiffany, who is from here, and we were committed to paying a special tribute to the Indigenous community. Hence, the collaboration with Ricky was born. He’s a very talented artist, and I enjoyed the creative process behind the helmets. I reckon they are two of the finest designs I have ever brought on track, and I am delighted to be auctioning one of them off for a good cause. The Australian Grand Prix marked the perfect occasion to bring to life not one, but two incredible helmet designs whilst raising funds for those in need together with the team’s Official Charity Partner, Save the Children.”
Ricky Kildea, artist: “I was thrilled to paint two special helmets for Valtteri ahead of the Australian Grand Prix. I am proud of my Aboriginal identity – and painting for me is a way of strengthening my connection to it. It’s been an honour to be working alongside Valtteri on this project, and I am looking forward to seeing “our” helmet hitting the track this weekend. I am passionate about making a real difference within the Aboriginal community, and I’m delighted that part of the funding from the auction will be used to support Koorie Academy Basketball, which provides cultural workshops and basketball clinics for Aboriginal youth.”