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Bottas' Australian GP helmet to be auctioned for charity

The helmet is a special design for Valtteri Bottas in Melbourne.

Valtteri Bottas' specially-designed Australian Grand Prix Formula 1 helmet is to be auctioned off in support of Save the Children. The Alfa Romeo driver has teamed up with contemporary Aboriginal artist Ricky Kildea to create two helmets, paying tribute to the Indigenous communities of Australia, who are often disadvantaged. After the event at the Albert Park circuit, one of the helmets will be auctioned off with all proceeds going to two projects. The auction will last between 28 March and 11 April, taking place on F1 Authentics. The Mooroopna Kinder Project supports families to help them put children through kindergarten and early years schooling and those impacted by flooding in 2022. Save the Children will use proceeds from the auction for repairs and restoration of facilities. Kildea chose the second project: Koorie Academy Basketball, a not-for-profit organisation focused on including Aboriginal children in sports.

Bottas keen to pay tribute

" 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," Bottas explained. "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." Kildea also added it would be "an honour" to work alongside Bottas on the project. "I am proud of my Aboriginal identity – and painting for me is a way of strengthening my connection to it," he explained. "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."

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