Vettel took the win in spectacular style, a form that was only heightened by the blinged-out gold helmet he was wearing specially for the event. The Arai lid was signed by Vettel and recently put up for auction by Bonhams at its Oxford headquarters in England at a special event for classic cars and automobilia. There it fetched an impressive £72,100 – equivalent to over $118,000 at today's exchange rates – setting a new world record for the most expensive (F1) helmet ever sold at auction. The winning bid was placed by an undisclosed buyer overseas, with proceeds going towards the Wings for Life non-profit foundation that promotes spinal cord research.
Seb's golden lid wasn't the only race helmet included in the auction. Highlighting just how many more fans Vettel has than his departing team-mate, a similar helmet signed by Mark Webber brought in "only" £17,500 (nearly $29k). Finally, the Bell helmet worn by James Hunt during the 1976 Formula One World Championship depicted in the blockbuster hit Rush went for £37,500 ($61k).
Signed by Vettel himself, the Red Bull-sponsored helmet by Arai was designed around Germany's national colors and worn during the Nurburgring Grand Prix race weekend this year - where Vettel celebrated his first home victory.
As well as being a popular item with attendees at the Bonhams Oxford saleroom today (9 December), the internet and six phone lines were jammed with bidders from all over the world who were eager to take home the prized helmet, for which proceeds went to spinal cord research charity, Wings for Life.
Auctioneer, Toby Wilson, eventually put down the hammer with a final price of £72,100 to an overseas buyer.
This is in addition to the James Hunt Bell helmet worn by the Formula 1 Champion during his 1976 World Championship-winning year, which sold for £37,500.
Also in aid of Wings for Life, a signed Mark Webber helmet by Arai went for a massive £17,500.
Toby Wilson, Head of Automobilia at Bonhams, said: "These helmets represent the very best of Formula 1 and to be able to offer these items at auction today was exciting for everyone involved.
"Not only did we achieve a world record auction price for a helmet but it is made all the more meaningful by the fact the money is going to a very worthy cause."