The racing helmet worn by Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel as he fought for this year’s title, has fetched a staggering £72,100 at auction.

The helmet, which was built by Arai and designed around Germany’s national colours, was worn by the four-time world champion during the Nurburgring GP, in which he took his first home victory.

Signed by the racing legend himself, the helmet was sold by auction house Bonhams, at its Oxford salesroom.

After a frenzy of bidding, both from in the hall and over the phones, the hammer eventually went down on the winning £72,100 bid, put in by an anonymous overseas buyer.

The helmet worn by Vettel’s teammate Mark Webber was also auctioned, and raised £17,500.

A third helmet, manufactured by Bell and worn by British F1 driver James Hunt in his 1976 championship-winning year, sold for £37,500.

Money raised by the auction is to be donated to spinal cord research charity, Wings for Life.

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.”

Picture: Bonhams