“In light of the FIA’s recent reminder to all drivers not to swear, stencilling the letters on the back of his helmet was a particularly provocative act on Hamilton’s part and one which no doubt irritated his team,” journalist Tom Cary wrote in the Telegraph.
A McLaren spokesman said the decision to cover up the logo was taken “by mutual consent”.
“We just stuck some red tape over it,” confirmed helmet manufacturer Arai’s Peter Burger to Auto Motor und Sport.
Pole sitter Sebastian Vettel also had to modify his special US-themed ‘wooden’ helmet livery in Austin, to remove the words ‘Gives you wings’ from the top.
Bernie Ecclestone forbids drivers or teams from advertising on the very top of the helmets, so as not to spoil the onboard camera view.
As a quick fix, Arai’s Burger covered the energy drink company’s slogan with black tape, but soon sourced some tape with a wood-style finish for qualifying and the race.