Vettel's hair colour has undergone a horrid transformation since the British Grand Prix...

Sebastian Vettel sports a pretty nice mop of hair, so quite what on earth he was thinking by deciding to dye it blonder before this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix remains anyone’s guess.

Certainly his stylist didn’t apply or recommend the use of toner after slapping on the peroxide, meaning that the three-time champion’s locks are now the same colour as the nosecone on his Red Bull RB9!

Today’s F1 drivers are a vain bunch – one need look no further than the overly sculpted eyebrows of Messrs Rosberg and Sutil for evidence – but in fairness to Sebastian, he’s also not the only driver to fall foul of the hairdresser’s curse over the years.

Let’s take a look at a couple of shockers…

Jacques Villeneuve

Jacques Villeneuve, 1997 Jacques Villeneuve, 1998 Villeneuve's transplant scars were visible to all at the beginning of the year

The 1997 World Champion has, for a long time, been very self-conscious about his thinning locks, which started to disappear even before he made his F1 debut with Williams back in 1996.

But commonsense would dictate that if you don’t want to have folks looking at your disappearing hairline, then it’s probably not a good idea to draw attention to it by dying it an assortment of colours. He opted for platinum blonde in his championship-winning year, and then took on a bright purple hue the following year.

Post-F1, Jacques finally bit the bullet and shaved off what little was left, before then taking a U-turn on this decision and getting a hair transplant at the start of the year.

Ralf Schumacher

A stuff-up by the hairdresser saw Ralf Schumacher sport this disastrous look back in 2002Ralf Schumacher wouldn’t top the list of particularly adventurous drivers when it comes to his hairstyle, but the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix proved to be a notable exception.

The German rocked up at the Zeltweg event sporting a mean crop of very badly-bleached hair, which he sheepishly attributed to being due to a serious lapse in judgment by his hairdresser.

The only solution to this follicular mess was copious amounts of toner, hastily applied over the course of the weekend by his then-wife, Cora.

By the next fortnight’s Grand Prix at Monaco, the bleached locks were gone, with a brown colour applied over the top until the entire mess grew out.

Eddie Irvine

The Northern Irishman was another driver who attempted – unsuccessfully again – to break out the peroxide in the latter stages of his F1 career.

Eddie Irvine went platinum blonde in 2000After four years spent as Michael Schumacher’s whipping boy at Ferrari, Irvine signed a multi-million-dollar deal to front Jaguar’s crack at Formula 1.

The extra cash in his back pocket gave the irascible driver even more of an excuse to sound off to the press, but he failed to back this up with the kind of results that Jaguar was paying him for in a period where he was the highest paid employee on the Ford Motor Company’s books. In fairness, however, the 2000 R1 was a truly rubbish car, setting the team up for a further four seasons of abject failure.

Perhaps it was a desperate bid for attention, or maybe he was just bored one day, but Eddie decided to bleach the stuffing out of his brown hair in mid-2000, much the the amusement of the paddock…

Teo Fabi

Baldness can be a terrible curse when it strikes in your younger years.

Some blokes can accept it with dignity and carry on without denying the fact. Others opt to cut the hair super short and make it less obvious. And there will be those who fight it with a range of drugs, hormones and transplants (to varying degrees of success).

But there’s also a small, and sadly laughable, school of men who break out the comb and copious amounts of brill cream to fashion that old favourite, the ‘comb over’.

And the driver who takes the grand prize with this effort was none other than diminutive 1980s racer, Teo Fabi, whose hair parting started about an inch above his left ear.

Added to that, when you’re barely five feet tall – as was Teo – everyone else could see the top of his head anyway, so he wasn’t fooling anyone…

Teo Fabi Teo Fabi Teo Fabi

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso’s decision to join the world of Twitter has put the Spaniard on the map, quickly propelling to the top of F1 fans’ lists of people to read in 140 characters of less.

The Spaniard tweets ‘selfies’ almost non-stop, and took the the opportunity last year to show a picture of himself needing a long-overdue haircut (below left).

Cue plenty of clever photo-shopping efforts…

Fernando Alonso Fernando Alonso gets photo-shopped Fernando Alonso gets photo-shopped

Bernie Ecclestone

The F1 supremo has sported the same pudding bowl haircut for as long as we can remember, but even he’s prone to a bit of a hair disaster, as last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix proved…

Bernie gets windswept and interesting...

Either that, or he’d found a tobacco sponsorship loophole!

Michael Schumacher & Jean Todt

Mullet alert! Former Ferrari duo Michael Schumacher and his ex-boss (now FIA President) Jean Todt sport two film credits to their name: both gave their voice-acting talents to the final scene of Disney-Pixar’s CARS, and both also had cameo roles in the 2008 film version of Asterix at the Olympic Games.

Todt and Schumacher star in 'Asterix at the Olympic Games'

Aside from the hideous hairstyles both are given – Todt sports a topknot, for goodness sake! – Schumacher drives in a chariot race while his boss gives orders from the ‘pit wall’.

At least it seems that Schumi didn’t have to rely on the contrition of a teammate on this occasion…

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.