09/11/2001 - this is a date that is forever engraved in history, but not for the right reasons. The horrific attack in New York brought the United States of America to a grinding halt, but three weeks later the Formula 1 fraternity arrived at the historic Indianapolis motor speedway – the first major sporting event to run since the attack and the penultimate race of the 2001 FIA Formula 1 season.
Many teams and drivers arrived in the United States with special tributes, Jaguar ran an all-black engine cover with the star-spangled banner and several teams including Benetton, Minardi and Ferrari also showcased the American flag on their cars. Furthermore, the drivers (including both Schumacher brothers) paid their respects with special edition helmets, one of which being this beautiful Bieffe helmet, worn by Jarno Trulli.
For the United States Grand Prix, the Italian moved away from his traditional colours and sported this special edition chrome helmet for the race. The helmet’s usual white base was replaced with a clear chrome finish and the Italian colours were swapped out for the colours of the American flag and finished off with the Jordan Grand Prix team’s Bitten Heroes branding (a cover for tobacco giant Benson & Hedges) and the text “Peace No War” on the back of the lid.
The helmet wasn’t just a simple tribute piece, it was also backed up with action as, along with 240 of his fellow sporting compatriots, Trulli signed a petition protesting the 'War on Terrorism' in Afghanistan.
Only two helmets were produced for the Grand Prix, one was given to the mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani to be auctioned for the twin towers disaster fund, whilst the other is still in the Italian driver’s possession.
The Grand Prix
Trulli enjoyed a very strong race, finishing in fourth position after starting eighth on the grid. This result meant he added three valuable points to both his and the Jordan Grand Prix team’s 2001 campaign – a season that would see the Irish team finish in P5 in the constructors’ standings, as the top Honda team, with Trulli in 9th in the drivers’ standings.
The Italian had a close call in the early stages of the race though, narrowly missing an accident with the two Saubers as Heidfeld and Raikkonen tussled for seventh position. The Jordan driver did make contact with Raikkonen (who was in his rookie season) but continued. Engine failures for Montoya and Barrichello and a below par performance from Ralf Schumacher helped Trulli to his fifth points finish of the season.
After 2001, Jarno Trulli moved on from Jordan to the new works Renault team, where he would stay until mid 2004, achieving one grand prix win (the only one of his career) at the ’04 Monaco Grand Prix. After serving a 5 year stint with the Toyota F1 team and finally one season with Tony Fernandes’ Lotus team, Trulli retired from racing at the end of the 2011 season.
Photograph credits go to Steve Etherington/LAT Photographic
The Italian will be remembered as one of the fastest drivers over a single lap. He is now mentoring his son, Enzo who was the 2021 F4 UAE champion and is working his way up the racing ladder.