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A look into F1 drivers’ new permanent Race Numbers
Posted By:   |  12 Jan 2014   |  8:58 am GMT  |  334 comments

The FIAs decision to reinstate personal numbers in Formula One has been met with Universal approval, and this week the numbers that will be associated with the current crop of drivers until their final race have been announced.

The decision to bring back permanent race numbers was made in order to create more personality around the driver as well as increasing marketing potential.

Numbers such as the ‘Red 5’ of Nigel Mansell and #27 of Gilles Villeneuve are still remembered today, however a check of the previous year’s Constructor standings is required to find what number Fernando Alonso won his 2005 World Championship under.

And behind each decision is a back-story, many laced with sentimentality and childhood memories.

Sebastian Vettel will use #1 due to winning last year’s Championship, but has secured #5 – his first number as a youth in karting – as his permanent number should he not make it five in a row.

The same is true for Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton, who will use their first numbers in racing, #14 and #44 respectively. For Hamilton in particular this number is synonymous with him throughout his early career, having watched him work from the sidelines it was easy to see where his future lay. Watch Hamilton Karting

Jenson Button has opted to run the number that took him to the 2009 World Championship, #22, whilst his new team-mate, Kevin Magnussen, is to use the #20 that took him to the World Series by Renault title in 2013.

Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean are no team mates, but the numbering system still looks like they are! Raikkonen is #7 and Grosjean #8.

Each number has a back-story so please share what you know of them in the comments section.

1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull (also #5 reserved)
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull
6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes
7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari
8 Romain Grosjean Lotus
11 Sergio Perez Force India
13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus
14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari
17 Jules Bianchi Marussia
19 Felipe Massa Williams
20 Kevin Magnussen McLaren
21 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber
22 Jenson Button McLaren
25 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso
26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso
27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India
44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
77 Valtteri Bottas Williams
99 Adrian Sutil Sauber

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  1. ian says:

    I don’t think this has met with ‘Universal approval’.

    What is particularly odd is that most of the drivers will end up with numbers that actually mean nothing to them, and the same will apply to new entrants. It will be just luck if you enter F1 at the point that say number ’5′ or ’7′ become available.

    1. Tyemz says:

      I see your point but not everybody can have the same number. I’m sure even among this present crop of drivers, some have had to opt for a different number because the number they would have loved to have had been taken by someone else. A new entrant would still have 78 numbers to choose from and would prefer to have a faster car and a not-so-special number and tell a new story around his new number, not trundling around at the back of the grid, making up the numbers in a slow car bearing his favourite number but hey, if that number is so special to a driver, why not go for a multiple until it becomes available?

    2. f1982 says:

      It has been met with near universal approval since there are no down-sides to the move, only positive ones. Being able to find one or two people who moan about something for the sake of it doesn’t invalidate a journalistic statement of ‘universal approval’.

      There is nothing odd about some drivers having random numbers. I imagine when they join they will have their pick of all the available numbers, so will be able to find one that has the most meaning to them personally.
      Anyway, the numbering system has nothing to do with them being personal, and everything to do with the number being synonymous with that driver throughout their career which improves marketing potential and makes it easier for fans to identify the cars quickly. Its simple, effective, and can only enhance the sport.

    3. Bryce says:

      I don’t give two hoots about either numbering system, particularly as they are so small, you virtually have to search the cars to see them.

    4. Derekson says:

      Adrian Sutil picked 99 because it was the first ice cream he ever had :-)

    5. Tim Walters says:

      All of the drivers come from karting, where (at least in our experience in Germany) drivers can always pick their numbers – either for a season long series (like the Rotax championship) or for one-off club races.

      Of course, you don’t always get your first choice; usually the organizers have you designate three.

      When my son started as a 12 year old, we called it Bad Luck Racing, had black cat decals on the kart, and got #13. In the first race of the season I was nearly blinded by a rock thrown off of a tire, then he got bumped in the third heat, flipped the kart, and destroyed the chassis. After my wife calmed down [!] she declared no more BLR and no more #13!

      Since then we’ve always asked for, and usually get, #27 in honor of Villeneuve.

  2. Jota180 says:

    You have to look hard to find the car numbers at the moment, if fact, I don’t think I could tell you any of the 2013 numbers except Vettel’s, I guess it’s seen as a waste of valuable real estate.
    Are we now likely to see the numbers more prominently displayed?

    1. kfzmeister says:


    2. MISTER says:

      Is not only about see the number on the cars. It’s building that number..and marketing. Caps and t-shirts from RedBull with No 5 will from now be associated with Vettel for many many years to come.

      For example..last year there were fans which bought merchandise from Ferrari with No 3 on them because they were fans of Alonso. This year, that Number 3 has nothing to do with Ferrari and Alonso. So having their own numbers will make alot more sense in terms of marketing.

      1. alexyoong says:

        Only problem I can think of:

        Let us say I am a passionate Vettel fan. He makes use of the available 1 as current WDC, but takes 5 as his career number. Well, I would end up with 2 caps bearing important but differing numbers.

        This seems to me unavoidable however. Numbering system is a very good idea.

      2. Carlos says:

        I think you can choose to keep your normal number even after winning the championship – using #1 is an option.

      3. James Clayton says:

        It’s still only 2 different numbers, which is a lot less than most drivers currently have throughout their career.

    3. steve says:

      I agree . The numbers are so small, in different positions on the car, and haed to see ar speed that they almost seem irrelevent. Its the drivers helmets that differentiate them for me, not the numbers,

    4. Grant H says:

      I heard driver no’s will be shown on thier helmets 2, its positive for marketing

  3. Brett Williams says:

    Daniel Ricciardo announced on twitter that he’s also drawn on his karting days to inspire his choice of number: pic.twitter.com/Z9zBntEewl

    On the BBC website they covered Kimi’s painstaking process to choose his number: “it’s the number I already had last year and I saw no reason to change it”. Classic Kimi…

    1. M Wishart says:

      When Kimi first came on the scene, I have to admit I didn’t like him at all and just didn’t get him. I guess a lot of people like me didn’t like the way he was just very matter of fact.

      I can remember every time he won or was on the podium for McClaren and thinking boy what a boring driver.

      Well how wrong was I, over the past few years I have begun to realise why he was like that, and he cuts right through all the rubbish and tells it how it is, and after reading this piece about Kimi having last years number, what a guy..!!!

      Good on you, its classical, brilliant and beautiful all at the same time……

      1. DMyers says:

        Yeah, I never really quite knew what to make of Raikkonen at first, but since his comeback I have had nothing but admiration for him. I love his dry humour. It’s just brilliant.

      2. Satish says:

        Echos my sentiments exactly!

  4. BW says:

    Kimi’s back-story is one of the best and so typical for him:
    ‘It’s the number I already had last year and I saw no reason to change it. I like it which is good enough isn’t it?’.

  5. Manchesterf1 says:

    Kimi said thats the no, he had in 2013 and has little intention to change.

  6. yugin says:

    ‘It was my number the previous year so I saw no reason to change it.’ Guess who…

  7. IP says:

    My guess it the first Chinese F1 driver will take 88

  8. Niall says:

    Ricciardo: “Reason for #3 is it was my first ever number in karting and I was also a fan of Dale Earnhardt.”

    Also an article here on the Australian GP website explaining that 13 is not considered an unlucky number in Venezuela, hence why Maldonado picked it:

    1. AuraF1 says:

      A lot of extreme sports people adopt 13 – most of the skaters, boarders, bmx types I know adopt 13 as part of the lifestyle. I know F1 isn’t part of the ‘alternative’ scene but I was surprised the spirit of risk taking didn’t have more call for 13. I would have picked it personally. Shame Maldonado got it.

    2. Ben says:

      I thought it was very funny when I found out he’d picked 13. It might be lucky for him but unlucky for everyone else on the grid!

    3. Gabo says:

      Actually the number 13 is very popular with venezuelan baseball players and has been worn by several important shortstops through the years (its like a badge of honor). I leave other considerations to others, im not a fan but im not against the guy either.

  9. Nick says:

    but has secured #5 – his first number as a youth in karting – as his permanent number should he not make it five in a row.

    Does this mean 5 in a row secures #1 as a permanent number?

    1. AuraF1 says:

      No it means the 2015 champion can take number 1 if they want it. Vettel would have to display his ‘career’ number again.

    2. Han says:

      no. vettel has secured use of #5. he will use that number next year if he doesn’t win another world title this year (which would be his 5 in a row)

      1. Nick says:

        and if he does win another world title this year (which would be his 5 in a row), what number will he use next year?

      2. Topless Porridge says:

        Keep up Nick! The champion can use either 1 or his allocated number, so in this scenario he will be able to use 1 or 5.

  10. Dan says:

    I think bringing this back is great. Means you can really relate to your favourite driver.

  11. Ashboy says:

    Nobody dared to use 46 then!

    The lotus boys used there numbers for marketing this year so it made sense to use the same.

    Every one will stay out of the way of the #13 car!

    1. Clarks4WheelDrift says:


      Notice also no driver picked #2 ;)

      1. James Clayton says:

        You could just see Webber going for this if he was still at Red Bull this year! :D

    2. Elie says:

      Maldonado already picked it – apparently not an unlucky no in Venezuala !. (Too bad they arent racing in Venezuala) . Maybe he shall revert to being te Carbon Fibre King in 2014 now that hes got it!

    3. George says:

      Yeah, but not because of the number eh!

  12. Greg Forman says:

    Bottas chooses 77 for less sentimental reasons in that it fits nice with his name Bo77as.
    Rosberg won Formula BMW in 2002 under the number 6, and was also 6th in the championship last year.

    1. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      Does anyone else dislike the switching of letters and numbers thing in words or names… Reminds me of personalised car number plates – sad and a complete waste of money.

      (Rant over ;) )

      Wonder if he also uses bo77as as a password!

      1. MelB says:

        Good one!

    2. Voodoopunk says:

      “Rosberg won Formula BMW in 2002 under the number 6, and was also 6th in the championship last year.”

      I thought it was more to do with his father winning the title with the number 6.

    3. V6t says:

      Rosberg took 6 as that’s the number hisdad had when he won the title.

    4. Rishi says:

      Missed opportunity for Nico Rosberg. Didn’t he almost study engineering at Imperial College London? With that mathematical brain he should have gone for either Pi, “e” (the exponential function raised to the power 1) or “i” (square root of -1, though it may have looked a bit self-obsessed!). Something from the left field!

  13. Bottas went for 77 because 7 looks like the letter T, he can now use BO77AS in his branding. His reserve choices of 11 and 17 were made for the same reason.

  14. In addition to the above I know that Bottas took 77 kind of looks like the TT of his surname so for marketing purposes he can have Bo77as on merchandise.

    Also know 6 runs in the Rosberg family as Keke also raced it and I believe Nico also used it prior to F1.

    1. MattDS says:

      It’s not only his surname: Val77eri Bo77as. :)

  15. Laurence H says:

    Good to see Hulkenberg preparing the ground for a future move to Ferrari…

    1. Chapor says:

      It’s funny, because Bianchi’s first choice was the number 27… Both of them have the same aspirations it seems…

  16. Hodo says:

    Gotta love Kimi. I had the same number last year and saw no reason to change it. Efficiency=1, cares given=0

    1. NickH says:


    2. dzolve says:

      K1M1 should have gone for 11

      1. Elie says:

        No because he never finishes outside the top 10. : )

      2. MelB says:

        2015: RA1

    3. mitchelinman says:

      He won his title in 07 so it could also be that

      1. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

        More likely it saves him the hassle changing his helmet designs, perhaps allowing an extra day snowmobiling…

      2. Hodo says:

        Ah good point! didnt make that connection

      3. Elie says:

        Give the man a prize– makes sense doesnt it

  17. Moog says:

    Adrian Sutil took 99 from Dick Dastardly of Wacky Races fame. He felt that his driving style and chance of finishing a race was very similar.


    1. Rirory says:

      dick dastardly had 00 (double zero)

      1. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

        I guess that’s poor Paul di Restas number now :(

      2. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

        … That is zero cash so zero drive.

        Kimi could of had a 99, he is fond of his ice cream.

        (Dunno how well that translates internationally but a 99 is an ice cream cone with a chocolate Flake in it)

        (Dunno if Flakes are sold internationally but it’s a long crumbly choc…. Awe forget it ;) )

      3. Bradley says:

        Flakes are international but I’ve only heard them called 99s in the UK. Strange country.

    2. Moog says:

      Dick Dastardly was 00 you idiot.

    3. Mark V says:

      Maybe Sutil’s a hockey fan? Wayne Gretzky wore the number 99 and is widely regarded as the best player ever. As a junior he picked #99 because his childhood hero Gordie Howe wore the #9 but a teammate already had that number. Following Gretzky’s retirement the NHL permanently retired the number 99, but such was Gretzky’s influence that the number 99 is still considered a powerful number by athletes in other sports.

      1. KRB says:

        Not sure if it’s a homage to The Great One, but if it’s not, I’d like to know the story behind it. Not that it’s a problem for Sutil, but for a driver that has any hope of being a global sports icon, #99 would be off my list, as would any number intrinsically associated with any other sports icon.

        So out would go #66 (M.Lemieux), #48 (J.Johnson), #23 (M.Jordan), etc.

        Didn’t know that about Lewis and #44. I was thinking he’d go for #85 (birth year) or #12 (Senna’s number at Lotus and his first championship year at McLaren).

        Of course, the #4 is considered an unlucky number in SE Asian countries. Not sure if #44 is pronounced differently. #4 in Chinese sounds the same as the Chinese word for “death”. #14 seems even worse, as Chinese for “one four” sounds similar to the phrase “certain to die”.

      2. Kirk says:

        #44 in Chinese would be pronounced sì shí sì (4 10 4), but they don’t like the #4 in general, so the more 4s in a number is worse for them, the oposite with #8, they pay a lot for a cel number with many 8s. Let’s see the next Chinese GP, it would be odd to see a flag with that number on it, but maybe they don’t care in this case.

      3. veeru says:

        #99 was also used by sachin Tendulkar for a long time…

        just saying

  18. Harshad says:

    Pastor Maldonado–>#13
    Oh dear! watch out guys

  19. Giles says:

    Shame I felt sure kimi was going to pick #69…….

    Bottas has #77 because bo77as kinda works (ish) he tweeted about it a few months back I think.

  20. Andrew says:

    I think BO77AS is an easy one to figure out!

  21. goferet says:

    Considering the fact Vettel, Alonso and Lewis each chose their karting numbers, I think this shows they are real racers at heart for they’re nostalgic for a time when racing was racing i.e. No team orders, no diffusers or double points for the last race.

    The most shocking driver number for me was Maldonado with 13. I understand in some cultures 13 is considered lucky, so I just hope it’s the case for Maldonado otherwise it would have been irresponsible of him to pick such a ghastly number especially in such a dangerous occupation >>> I mean there’s a reason Tour de France riders turn that number upside down on their jerseys.

    I think Rosberg’s reason for picking number 6 was cute i.e. Both his father and fiancée’s lucky number.

    As for Kimi, am not sure if he believes in stats because the number 7 has never been lucky in F1 i.e. We have never had a world champion with that car especially one that is the oldest on the grid.

    Hulk’s choice of number 27 is interesting as this iconic number was owned by legends in Gilles and Senna. Hopefully, the Hulk can make his partners proud.

    Overall, I think drivers such as Vettel that harbour championship dreams should have picked different numbers from those they won their previous titles in for it appears drivers that aren’t defending the title can only win once with a particular number.

    For instance Senna won his titles in the number 12 and 27 cars whereas Schumi did it in the number 5 and number 3 cars >>> Prost being the exception with 3 titles all won with the number 2 car.

    1. Voodoopunk says:

      “The most shocking driver number for me was Maldonado with 13. I understand in some cultures 13 is considered lucky,”

      There’s no such thing as luck…

      1. AuraF1 says:

        13 would be a great number to have personally. I don’t believe in luck.

      2. Voodoopunk says:

        Same here, I would have picked it too.

    2. Andras F. says:

      Hulk’s #27 may show his intention to move to Maranello to revive the legendary number on the proper car…

      1. Nic says:

        My thought exactly. I really hope this happens!

    3. Random 79 says:

      You’ve been waiting for an article like this for a long, long time haven’t you? :)

      1. goferet says:

        @ Random 97

        Lol… Maybe!!!

    4. Glennb says:

      Didn’t James Hunt win his title with 7? I could be wrong as usual…

      1. Alexis says:

        It was 11. Half thought Kimi might have chosen it

      2. Sujith says:

        No. He drove a number 7 McLaren in the 1978 Season :)

      3. goferet says:

        @ Glennb

        No James Hunt won the 1976 title with the number 11 on his car.

    5. Basil says:

      Kimi is not the oldest on the grid.

      Also, real racers because of nostalgic feelings? Come on…

      1. Alexis says:

        ” irresponsible of him to pick such a ghastly number especially in such a dangerous occupation”

        Just in case you don’t know – a number doesn’t actually have any affect on anything that occurs in the world.

        In other news, the Tooth Fairy doesn’t exist.


      2. AuraF1 says:

        Kimi is the oldest on the grid now Webber is gone.

        I agree the numbers are about marketing and it’s a probably chosen as a bit of fun. It doesn’t have to be a major decision it’s like picking your helmet colour – it’s not a life altering decision just a bit of fun branding.

      3. goferet says:

        @ Basil

        It’s true, Kimi is the oldest by a couple of months, followed by Jenson, then Massa, then Alonso.

    6. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      I never knew the Tour de France riders wore their 13 vests upside down. Seems daft when a crash over the handlebars inverts it back to a 13 again just at the point the viewers go. Ooooooh, unlucky, that’s gonna hurt ;)

    7. JOhn Crawford says:

      Maybe the Hulk is just a fan of Casey Stoner ;-)

    8. Wade Parmino says:

      It would be interesting to know what number Webber would have chosen. Maybe 2, so he could write “not bad for a number” in front of it. I’d have loved to see that.

    9. Elie says:

      Kimi is already a world champion in ’07 – of all years so your theory goes out the window before its even conceived

    10. hero_was_senna says:

      Ironic really, Villeneuve carried the number 27 for 1981 and the 5 races of 1982 but his death obviously impacted on that number.

      In fact the number 27 was on Alan Jones’ Williams from 1978 till he won the WDC in 1980.

      Senna used it because of Prost’s defection to Ferrari in 1990, taking the number 1 with him.

      Whatever the reasons, brave numbering choice from the Hulk

  22. Mocho_Pikuain says:

    I don’t know if #14 was the first number Alonso used in karting, he chose it because he won his Karting WC (only driver on the current grid to do so) with kart number 14 beeing 14 years old on july 14th.

    1. seifenkistler says:

      I think it is a lot of ‘luck’ Alonso won it. I don’t mean his talent but the surroundings:
      talent scouts in your area,
      sometimes date of birth (my daughter is late in year so at the 5 year scout for soccer she was 1 year back, which is a lot of a difference at this age)

      Vettel’s family supported him with own money at kart racing. The father sold his own racing car he used for mountain climbing races. So european series was already at the limit for the family and Vettel won the 2001 european one.

      1. Mocho_Pikuain says:

        Alonso’s first kart was made by his father’s, not bought, and Alonso had to work (apart from racing and going school) to earn some money so that he could keep racing. He slept while travelling by car because his family couldn’t afford any other transport and he had to end earlier his Friday classes and miss every Monday because he had no time enough in a weekend to go race and come back from most of the kart racing events he needed to assist to keep succeeding. He had one of the most dificult karting carreers you can find in any F1 driver and if he won that KWC was because he was, is and will allways be the best driver of his era.

  23. Mikael Frennesson says:

    I’m sorry to see that F1 don’t care about it’s history more. Being brought up in The seventies, for me is The numbers identical With The teams. Ferrari numbers 11 and 12 and 27 and 28 for so long. You have The constructors championship, for me The perfect solution Would have been that The teams should have The numbers and The team With The champion switches With The former Champions team. Just like it was in The past.

    1. Colin Brockley says:

      Thank goodness, I was beginning to think I was the only one who remembered that being the case. Mansell was only Red 5 because Williams cars were 5 and 6 at the time…

      1. Spectreman says:

        That and because Piquet didn’t give a damn, he had a verbal agreement with Sir Frank Williams that he would enjoy #1 driver status. In retrospect, it’s clear he should have insisted on keeping what was his traditional number at Brabham. But how could he have foreseen Sir Williams’ terrible accident? Without him in the picture, the British team obviously favoured the British “fast idiot”. Which was, as we’ve seen, like shooting themselves on the feet. Piquet could easily have carried the ’86 WDC trophy had he been given preferential treatment.

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        Which says it all, Williams don’t do preferential treatment.
        Mansell would have won the 1986 title with preferential treatment too, or with tyres that lasted and didn’t blow up.

        Piquet proved when he moved to Lotus just how good he was. Whereas Senna was regularly three seconds quicker in qualifying over Nakajima, Piquet struggled with getting to the 1 second barrier.

      3. Spectreman says:


        You’re forgetting Piquet’s accident (thru no fault of his own) pre-race at Imola ’87, which significantly affected his performance (2nd race of the season and yet he still won the title). And that his strongest asset was probably setting up the car, which Mansell was routinely allowed to just copy, until Piquet said “Enough!” (and fell further into disgrace with the British press).

        If you really like F1 (and not just your “hero”) you will certainly enjoy watching this:


        “It was like making a looping with a Boeing 747″
        Sir Jackie Stewart about Piquet overtaking Senna, Hungary 1986

    2. Nic says:

      I agree with this too. Too bad I guess, they went with the individuals. I would have loved to have seen Ferrari with 27 and 28, Williams with 5 & 6, Lotus with 11 & 12. Maybe Tyrell could make a comeback and take 3 & 4.

  24. PaulL says:

    Maldonado, unlucky 13?

    1. Colin McGerty says:

      You buy your own luck. “Make”. Sorry, I ment “make”

      1. Wade Parmino says:

        He is a race winner you know. Winning an F1 race is not something a talentless pay driver can do. Maldonado deserves more respect than he gets from most people.

      2. Colin says:

        Wade, you’re right. I was being flippant.
        Both he and Grosjean have stuck around because, even though they have struggled at times, as they say, you can’t teach speed. It will be interesting to see who comes out on top at Lotus this year.

  25. Erik says:

    Hulkemberg I think has the best number by far, let’s hope he can live up to it.

    1. Voodoopunk says:

      Yes, because Alan Jones won the world championship with the number 27, fantastic driver.

      1. hero_was_senna says:

        So did a certain Ayrton Senna in 1990

  26. Laurence says:

    I like Val77eri Bo77as’ choice, very clever.
    I can see a few good marketing ideas here like Alonso’s 14 making an A. Think of Lorenzo’s 1 bring made up of L in Moto GP.

  27. Laurence says:

    I meant JL for Lorenzo.

  28. Jenks says:

    Pastor Maldonado #13. Unlucky for some…

    1. Random 79 says:

      Ironically it’s unlucky for anyone who is not #13 ;)

    2. Optimaximal says:

      Apparently it’s lucky for Venezuelans.

  29. Richard says:

    I’ve not seen the direct quote, but I love that Kimi was reported as saying that he is using number 7 as he ran that number last year and saw no reason to change it!

  30. Chrisn says:

    As quoted by @danielricciardo: Reason for #3 is it was my first ever number in karting and I was also a fan of Dale Earnhardt.

  31. Trent says:

    So Vettel had his own, non-Red Bullified helmet design back in the karting days. Refreshing to see it.

    Can I propose that all helmet designs are locked in for 5 years at a time?

    James, very eager to know, do the teams lean on drivers to change their helmet designs based on the colour scheme of the car? (eg Kubica’s yellow helmet at Renault, Rosberg at Mercedes)

    1. James Allen says:

      Not particularly as far as I know but that’s a good line for a post some time

      1. AuraF1 says:

        I think Mercedes must have been shaking their heads when Rosberg and Hamilton wanted yellow helmets (I know the exact hue is different but on quick viewing it made identification tough in 2013). But it was good to see they didn’t demand one change to red or something.

      2. Trent says:

        Would be interesting to know what you find.

        David Coulthard once mentioned in commentary that he was offered a million dollars by McLaren to change his helmet colours.

        With that in mind, it was evident that Raikkonen and Montoya both had helmets that evolved towards McLaren colours over their tenure. Alonso’s, too, was suspiciously devoid of his usual colour palette.

        I fear this is a case of someone in a marketing office failing miserably to understand the significance of these designs to the fans.

      3. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

        Spot on! Imagine if that marketing person was around in the late 80s, asking Senna to change his yellow to white and his blue green stripes to Malbo Red and Black!

        Perchance they’d get the same treatment as Eddie Irvine crazy effort unlapping himself!

    2. Gwion Daniel says:

      The top of that helmet is very similar to what Schumacher used to wear before he changed it to all red. Any significance?

    3. Rachael says:

      I totally agree with Trent. Many drivers’ helmet design has tended to “evolve” over the course of their careers.

      However, I find the way that Vettel constantly changes his helmet design, quite disconcerting.

      Although, admittedly, not as disconcerting as watching him constantly waving his finger around.

      1. Voodoopunk says:

        How either of those things can be considered disconcerting I’ll never know.

    4. Tim says:

      JB also changed his helmet colour scheme to match the Brawn. Don’t know at who’s behest though, sorry.

      1. AuraF1 says:

        Wasn’t that because he was driving for free and looking for joint sponsors or something? I seem to recall something about him thinking he was out of a drive and then Brawn pulled the deal with Honda and Mercedes together to put a team out with the mostly built 09 car but they didn’t have sponsor deals so they didn’t have much time to come up with a sponsored design.

        Personally I don’t mind them changing helmet designs if it’s their own choice. I quite like Vettel for not being attached to one and retiring them as he wins. When they have to change because of a sponsors demand it does seem a bit soulless but then it’s just some colour schemes. Much more annoying is the bland corporate speak that the driver-drones have to spout.

  32. OlPeculier says:

    I’d have had a lot of respect if any driver chose 42.

    1. F1 Badger says:

      Why’s that? I should probably know but don’t!!

      1. pm says:

        Its the answer to life, the universe, and everything

      2. kfzmeister says:


      3. Tim says:

        It’s the meaning of life, according to the Author of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Not sure if that’s what OldPeculiar meant.

      4. OlPeculier says:

        It is :)

      5. F1 Badger says:

        Haha of course!! Very good. I was searching for an F1 connotation. But I gues that’s included in LTUAE!!!!

    2. Mark says:

      What is significant about 42?

  33. Brian Duddy says:

    I believe Riccardo said somewhere that 3 was a karting number, as well as a tribute to Dale Earnhardt.

  34. James says:

    Hmmm… 27 should really be on a Ferrari, but on the plus side, at least 5 is ready for a Brummie resurgence in the future.

    1. Voodoopunk says:

      I didn’t realise that Vettel was a brummie?

  35. Turbo says:

    Riccardo twittered that he went for number 3 due to his love of Dale Earnhardt as a youngster and his first karting number.

    Go Daniel !!!

  36. Matt W says:

    27 and 28 should really have been reserved for Ferrari. It feels A bit distasteful for any other team to race with those numbers (27 in particular).

    1. Voodoopunk says:

      Don’t talk rubbish…

    2. Simmo says:

      The issue with that is that the numbers are given to drivers and not the teams.

      If they were team numbers then I would agree.

    3. Rodrigo Lamas says:

      That’s being a window of the past. Get a life.

  37. Chromatic says:

    Only Seb and Kimi have chosen to stick with the old numbers from last year…

    1. Random 79 says:

      Seb didn’t choose #1, he chose #5. #1 is reserved and allocated to the current WDC.

  38. Magnus says:

    Kimi chooses 7, with the words, “I see no reason to change from last year”. You got to love him. No sentimental reasons. True or not, a damn good story.

    James pls write a Kimi book of anecdotes and comments!
    A Coming bestseller of all times.

    1. Jim says:

      Rather short though ;-)

      1. Random 79 says:

        And difficult to understand at times :)

  39. goferet says:

    I have read this from the Sky site

    Apparently Maldonado picked number
    13. This number has been used by several Venezuelan athletes, mainly baseball and they’ve been quite successful.

    1. Rirory says:

      Wilt Chamberlain of LA lakers fame had 13 too

  40. Pablo says:

    Bottas chose his one because it fitted his name: Val77eri Bo77as.

  41. Luke says:

    I heard Kimi is No7 because that was his number last year and he saw no reason to change it.

    Classic Kimi

  42. DB says:

    I liked the previous-year-result formula, because it represented on-track performance. These personal histories are cute and may make merchandising sense, but it is one more stunt that takes the focus away from the racing.

  43. Mike says:

    Fantastic from a marketing perspective, just look at motoGP and Valentino Rossi’s #46

  44. Sven says:

    I wonder if anyone will take on the 27 number or if this will prove to be to iconic for anyone to touch.

    1. Tim says:

      Did you consider reading the article before posting your comment?

      1. Bikram says:

        tim spot on lol

  45. Eduard says:

    In the Netherlands Number 14 is johan cruyff. Not sure if fernando has any sentiment with that, although spaniards probably have, dutch people do!
    Nr. 14 = Best player=best racer ;-)

    1. Mocho_Pikuain says:

      Well, Cruyff is strongly related to FC Barcelona and Alonso supports Real Madrid, so not likely…

    2. Galapago555 says:

      Don’t think so. Fernando is a well known Real Madrid supporter, while Cruyff played in the 70s for (and then coached in the 90s) their arch-rivals Barça.

      1. Danny says:

        Xavi alonso is number 14 for Real Madrid so there might be something there…

        On a different subject you’ve got to feel sorry for jules bianchi, his three choices were all allocated to other drivers (7-raikkonen, 27-hulkenberg & 77-bottas). Just unfortunate he wasn’t driving for a more competitive team then he may have got what he wanted as opposed to his likely fourth choice of 17!

  46. Prise says:

    #27:The Hulk The boy done well there, surprised some other higher placed drivers didn’t grab that.

    1. veeru says:

      although #27 is iconic, it has a fair share of tragedy with it.

      having said that, he is The Hulk. isn’t he?

      1. Prise says:

        Yes he certainly is..!!
        I just think of the great drivers associated with that number; Gilles, Alan Jones, Tambay etc.
        I bet most Italian F1 were looking to see if who chose that number.

      2. Tony Geran says:

        Number 27 was used by Alan Jones, Mick Doohan and Casey Stoner to win world championships. It has more resonance for Australians than Italians (or Canadians) surely. Was also used by one J Hunt in his Hesketh Days. Would have thought Kimi would have used #11 (Hunt’s championship number). Can see why Rosberg chose #6, was the number used by Keke to win the ’82 championship.

  47. Jock Ulah says:

    Never mind ‘back-story’ –

    Obviously ‘13’ implies an ‘interesting’ future-story . . .

    1. Voodoopunk says:


      13 isn’t considered unlucky in a lot of countries.

      1. Jock Ulah says:

        Obviously referring to the ‘owner’ and not the numeral . . .

      2. Voodoopunk says:

        So ’13′ doesn’t obviously imply anything then?

  48. Dario says:

    I think number 7 should not be used and be given to Michael.

    1. Valentino from montreal says:

      Great Idea ! Just like the NHL retired 99 for Wayne Gretzky ..

      For me anyways , Schumacher will be associated to # 3 forever .. His 98 , 99 and 2000 Ferraris were all no 3 if I’m not mistaken …

      1. M Wishart says:

        I dont understand your point?

        You point being what?

        98 Hakkinen
        99 Hakkinen
        00 Schumacher

        So with number three on his car he won the championship once out of those three years you have spoken about.

        I say again, so what is your point?

    2. Andrew Carter says:

      Why, he’s retired.

  49. Anil Parmar says:

    Well Kimi says that he chose 7 because ‘I had it last year’ which is typical of the Finn, however he won his title in 07 which may have something to do with it.

  50. Paige says:

    As if there wasn’t already good enough reason to stay away from Maldonado on the track, he now carries the mark of doom with him. ;)

    1. Voodoopunk says:

      How is 13 the mark of doom?

      Unless you believe in luck that is.

  51. Alex says:

    I think drivers having personal numbers is a great idea, F1 could learn a lot from Moto GP. Come on #44!

  52. Chris Ralph says:

    All very cute. But as one can hardly see the numbers on the cars amid all the advertising the helmet colours and camera tower wings will remain the only faint hope of determining who is who at speed.

    1. James says:

      The new regs state that numbers have to be clearly visible on car & helmet from now on.

    2. Random 79 says:

      Not true: Maldonado’s car will be easy to spot because it will be the one with all the bits of carbon fibre around it.

      1. Mocho_Pikuain says:

        Troll! But now let’s try to get serious here, I really hope Grosjean has left behind all his dangerous rookie era, otherwise seeing a Lotus on their mirrors its goin to be such a worry for the rest of the grid…

      2. Spider says:


  53. Andrew Carter says:

    Well, Rosberg’s already said that he chose #6 because it’s the number Keke carried to the 82 crown.

  54. Ravi Ghowry says:

    From BBC News: ‘The famously unemotional Raikkonen said he picked seven because “it’s the number I already had last year and I saw no reason to change it”.’

  55. Sujith says:

    Kimi probably opting for number 7 because James hunt raced a number 7 car?

    1. JEZ Playense says:

      But James H raced with 5 & 22 (an possibly other numbers). Now Kimi is very like Barry Sheene according to the -urban legends- so perhaps there is a link since James was close with Barry…

      1. Sujith says:

        Yes I checked. He had the number 7 McLaren in the 1978 Season. He won the championship with a Number 11 McLaren.

    2. Rachael says:

      Number 7 will forever be associated with the very popular Barry Sheene.

    3. Elie says:

      He won in 07 dont forget

  56. derschorsch says:

    I think Sebastian Vettel chose 5 because of the roman 5 being a “V” like Vettel.

  57. JW says:

    Daniel Ricciardo’s reasons are on his twitter account. “Reason for #3 is it was my first ever number in karting and I was also a fan of Dale Earnhardt.”

  58. malcolm says:

    This is a great idea, having watched MotoGP for years, and the iconic #46 of Valentino Rossi, this should be a great idea for F1. Everywhere around the world there are stands full of yellow and #46 flags and its a great spectacle!

  59. Glennb says:

    Alan Jones won his title in 1980 with #27. Villeneuve won nothing but is remembered for it.

    1. Dave Aston says:

      Villeneuve didn’t win a title, but to say he won nothing is pretty harsh. He was a phenomenal racing driver, only 6 Grands prix wins but was going to win plenty more, and was looking good for the title in ’82. One of the fastest ever, an uncorrupted, free spirit, favourite of Enzo, and even though I haven’t been to Italy for over a decade, my impression was that, for Italian racing enthusiasts, he is still THE man.

      1. Glennb says:

        Unintentially harsh, I agree. He was very talented and would no doubt have achieved much more.

  60. Sujith says:

    The longest time period waiting for the next championship by a driver is set in the record books as 7 years (Niki Lauda, including a retirement period in between). Is Kimi gonna hope he gets to win his 2nd title 7 years later after his first? Does that have a significance with him choosing #7?

    haha pure speculation at its best!! :P

    1. Mocho_Pikuain says:

      So if Alonso wins, he gets the record, doesn’t he?

      1. Sujith says:

        Yep 8 years :)

    2. goferet says:

      @ Sujith

      I think that Lauda record should be 6 years.

      You shouldn’t count the year in which a driver last won the title nor the year they won their next and so this equals to 6 years for Lauda.

      1. Sujith says:

        @goferet, I wasn’t counting. I just noticed one of Jsmes’s earlier posts about Alonso where he was talking about it and as Mocho_Pikuain pointed out, the new record going to Alonso for 8 years if he wins in 2014. And yes in the RUSH movie, at the end, Niki talks of meeting Hunt in London after 7 years with him as Champion again. :)

      2. Wade Parmino says:

        But a driver is not crowned champion at the beginning of a season. Lauda was champion upon the completion of the 1977 season and was then champion again at the end of the 1984 season. 7 full years.

  61. ketthalllotus says:

    Some number thoughts…..
    no 27 should be retired. No one, not even Vettel, should dare to use it. It belongs to Gilles and no-one else.
    Where is no 5? I can just see Mansell now on his way to the copyright office. Please no!!
    Didn’t Prost use a ‘Zero’ for one season? “Who wants to be a zero”
    And at least Maldonado will have his unlucky number 13 to blame when he spins / crashes etc this year. I guess it’ll be a change from blaming the other guy or the car or the team

    1. Voodoopunk says:


    2. Nick says:

      I think it was Damon Hill that was the zero, and Alain Prost that did not want to be a zero.

    3. Lindsay says:

      Vettel has number 5.

    4. Glennb says:

      Damon Hill used 0 from memory.

    5. Sujith says:

      I believe, Allan prost retired as world champion and took his Williams with him. The number 1 was then lost because the reigning world champion was not on the grid the next season. Senna drove the car with #0 and had the fatal crash in it in 1994 I believe. Correct me if I am wrong guys.

      1. Sujith says:

        Alain Prost. Sorry :P

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        You are right apart from Senna, he drove with number 2 in 1994, Hill raced with 0 in 1993 and 1994.

      3. Bikram says:

        Damon Hill used number 0 in 1993 & 1994

    6. LT says:

      Prost used 0 as Mansell the WDC, had moved to Indycar.

      Likewise Hill used 0 as Prost retired after winning the WDC the following year.

    7. Andrew M says:

      I don’t think Prost ever actually raced with a zero. The “Who wants to be a zero?” quote came about when he joined Williams in 1993 – after Mansell left as World Champion, the team had numbers 2 and 0 on their cars, Prost took 2 for the reason in that quote.

    8. Paul D says:

      Gilles is one of a number of oustanding drivers who have used #27 incl Senna, Mansell and Prost.

      The #27 is always associated with Gilles but he actually only used it for 2 seasons.

      I’m not into retiring numbers. It’s only the fact the #27 wasn’t retired after 1982 that the legend of the number grew and we were treated to magical occasions such as Canada 1995.

  62. Topher Smith says:

    Many people think 13 will be unlucky for Maldonado, but I understand 13 means ‘pride’ in Venezuela.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Shame he won’t be racing in Venezuela then.

  63. Sebee says:

    V, S, 5. You can see, it was a natural choice.

    No one wants to be #2?

    1. Simmo says:

      Reserved for if Webber ever returns ;)

    2. luqa says:

      I would’ve thought 55 would be the number SV would choose- using your logic..

      1. Sebee says:

        55? What is this NASCAR? I said S, V, not SV. :-)

        Honestly, I have never liked double digit numbers in F1. Rarely in history of F1 have I cheered or paid serious attention to anyone with a double digit number.

        Single, digit or bust! Which meaks you wonder about this nostalia for 14 and 44.

    3. Red Leader says:

      #2 is reserved for Aussie Grit’s comeback season in 2015.

    4. Wade Parmino says:

      Prost won 3 championships carrying the number 2. I hope Webber would have picked it had he not retired.

  64. Glennb says:

    #22 has suffered 274 breakdowns in history.
    #2 cars have notched up 221 mechanical retirements compared to 163 for #1.
    #1 had 181 wins (thanks Schumi and Seb)
    #5 has 130 wins.
    looks like Seb has it covered either way ;)

    1. Wade Parmino says:

      Look everyone it’s goferet’s brother. ;)

  65. Simon says:

    Nico Rosberg is wearing the number 6 that took his father Keke to the title, and Jules Bianchi ended up with 17 after his first 3 choices – 7, 27 and 77 – were taken by other drivers.

  66. Rockie says:

    Vettel was also driving car 5 when he won his 1st WDC

    1. John S says:

      That’s why I thought he chose 5!

  67. Valentino from montreal says:

    Nobody wanted to take 69 ?

    1. Random 79 says:

      Okay, I’m going to ask to you to concentrate and take this really, really like fully seriously.

      Imagine two cars in a 69. Is that something the drivers will be looking for on the track? It’s not right man.

      On the other hand, when someones new narrow front nose runs up someone else’s new larger and extended single exhaust pipe, that’s going to create some funny images :)

      1. Elie says:

        Can you imagine the commentary “And car 13 has ran up the rear of car 69. Its an exact reversal of what Maldonado did in the last race. It could be a while before marshals clear up this entanglement”

  68. Mitchell says:

    it always surprised me that 13 wasn’t used in motor racing. I’d take 13 (my rugby position), but I wonder what Maldonado’s reason is?

    1. Dave Aston says:

      Weirdly, in the 60′s in Australian Touring Car racing, pragmatists Bob Holden and Bruce McPhee would choose to run 13, because they knew no one else would want to. If they were at the same meeting, one would run 31. But, at the annual endurance race at Bathurst, the numbers were allocated to drivers. In ’66, Bob got #13, and won (in a Mini, with Rauno Aaltonen). In ’68, Bruce was given #13, and he won too. Bruce only let his co driver, Barry Mulholland, do one lap. Their first four starts together at Bathurst, Barry drove a total of four race laps, and got four podiums – a 1st, two 2nd places and a 3rd.

  69. jeffrey says:

    Rosbergs number is the number of his Dad Keke, when he won his WC

    Ricciardos number is his number from karting, and also the number of his idol Dale Earnhart

    Raikkonen just picked the number he already had :)

    Bianchi wanted 27, however Hülkenberg already had that one, for obvious reasons…

    13 seems to be a lucky number in venezuela?

    Bottas chose 77 because he saw the marketing potential of combining it with his name.

    don’t know about the rest…

  70. David says:

    Nico’s #6 would of course be an homage to his father, who drove under that number during his years w/Williams.

  71. alexdhq says:

    I have a blank

    Sutil got 99 problems but the ________ ain’t one

    1. pushthebutton says:

      court case in germany

    2. Dave Aston says:

      The word you’re looking for is ‘bitch’.

    3. Simmo says:

      But Maldonado is 13 of them

    4. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      Is it “Capri-Sun”

  72. Jonathan Ratcliffe says:

    Apparently bbc sport are reporting Raikkonen chose his because he ran it last year and didn’t see any point changing it!

  73. Matt says:

    Maldonado #13 makes a lot of sense.

  74. Bru72 says:

    So funny that Maldonado has gone for 13. Unlucky for everyone else ;)
    It is actually a lucky number in some countries.

  75. Anaconda says:

    Bottas’s 77 is for large part adopted because of marketability and fan merchandise. When you write the name Bo77as, it makes a lot of sense. It’s going to look “cool” on a baseball cap..

  76. zombie says:

    About time too. Motogp has always allowed personal numbers. Numbers like 46 ( Valentino Rossi ), 34 ( Kevin Schwantz ),58 ( the late Marco Simonocelli ) etc have become a part of motorsports history and popular culture.

  77. Richard says:

    Well it introduces an element of individuality, but removes a yardstick of prior performance. The 2014 formula I think is likely to be even more convoluted than previously because on the restrictions on fuel usage, and max. power availability. Whatever this new animal is, it certainly is not what F1 should be. I think it is likely to be even more limp than the last few years, indeed it will be a tyre, fuel, power conservation strategic exercise. – Whatever happened to racing: All a bit of a farce really. In terms of fuel economy road cars are probably light years ahead of F1 race cars so what’s the point?

    1. Robb says:

      Amazing segue.

  78. Darkhorse says:

    3 was Ricciardo’s first karting number and he was a fan of Dale Earnhardt!

  79. seifenkistler says:

    Just won 10 Euro. I said nobody wants to be number 2.
    Many choosing first numbers – did quite the same ,wearing a Number 4 below my goalie gear in soccer because i started defensive midfield in below 6 years age 7 people team.

  80. Stephen Taylor says:

    Shouldn’t the last but one paragraph say that Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean are no longer team mates?

  81. Dave Shark says:

    I hope Ferrari realise that the spirit of 27 will be racing against them in 2014, and kicking themselves for not signing the equally talented but significantly cheaper and more hungry Hulkenberg over Raikkonen. Still fingers crossed for 2015.

    1. Dave Shark says:

      27 is also fondly remembered by the Tifosi as raced by Alesi & Mansell in the typical spirit of the Scuderia.

      Not to forget, 27 was also used by Senna & Prost to lesser effect.

      1. Nick says:

        You say Senna to less effect for 27, yet he was 1990 world champion with that number, whoops.

    2. AuraF1 says:

      We’ve yet to see if Hulkenberg is ‘equally’ talented to Kimi. Maybe he is more hungry and significantly cheaper (not that cashflow is an issue for Ferrari) but in terms of talent, Kimi has already proven himself, Hulkenberg shows ‘promise’ but not results. Ferrari aren’t that big on taking chances on ‘promise’ they generally like to buy in proven talent. Plus Kimi was clearly a dig/motivator aimed at Alonso. Bringing in Hulkenberg wouldn’t have had the same psychological impact on the relationship.

  82. Vaisa says:

    Kimi has the number. The lucky number seven!

  83. Ace says:


  84. vicnsi says:

    “Reason for #3 is it was my first ever number in karting and I was also a fan of Dale Earnhardt. http://pic.twitter.com/Z9zBntEewl

    “Cool. got number 6 for my remaining F1 career! My future wife’s and my dad’s lucky number. so it has got to work for me too! ;)”

    “Here’s some news: my driver number will be 20 this year, which I won the @WSR_Live 3.5 title with last year. http://pic.twitter.com/0xZdZXYYTv

    @SChecoPerez: “Ever since I was a kid I always wore the 11, in karting. Actually my email has 11 in it as well,” he grinned. “A lot of things have to do with 11 so I identified myself with that number.”

    I believe also Jean-Eric Vergne(25) and Felipe Massa(19) have chosen numbers that tie back in some way (sentimental-value/good-luck) to their years in Karting.

  85. bones says:

    Massa’s 19 because that was Senna’s first number in F1?

    1. Spectreman says:


      No, Massa used 19 in his years in karting. Besides, he didn’t like Senna. I mean, he did, until the day he asked Senna for an autograph and Senna refused.

  86. Justin Whitby says:

    Wasn’t sure about the idea at first but has grown on me now I’ve seen the list.

    What will happen when a driver leaves the sport? Will their number be retired or will it be available to new drivers coming through.

    Also wonder if iconic numbers such as 27 and 5 should have been honourably retired before the process.

    1. Voodoopunk says:

      “What will happen when a driver leaves the sport? Will their number be retired or will it be available to new drivers coming through.”

      You really need to think about this?

      The only numbers available are 2 to 99, so if they were retired along with the driver F1 would have to stop due to a lack of said numbers.

      1. Chris D says:

        He raises a valid point though. How soon after a driver exits the sport does their number become available again? We regularly see drivers retire, or get ousted for a few years, only to return again – so what happens if a new rookie has taken their “career” number?

      2. Voodoopunk says:

        Then I guess the answer is for them not to return, they lose the number when they retire, otherwise there won’t be any left to choose from.

        At least that makes sense to me, but you can bet the FIA will think up some daft rule that won’t work properly.

      3. James Clayton says:

        I’d imagine if you retire and then make a comeback, then it’s though **** if somebody else has taken your number in the interim. The number follows you throughout your career… if you retire the career is over, if you come back you’re starting a new career.

      4. Voodoopunk says:


        I see it the same as you.

  87. CNSZU says:

    In Chinese culture, 4 is the unlucky number, because it sounds like “death”. Hamilton needs to be careful.

    1. AuraF1 says:

      Did alright in his karting career plastered with 4′s… Maybe he doesn’t believe in Chinese myths…

      1. Voodoopunk says:

        Just like Maldonado doesn’t believe in the myths about the number 13.

    2. Random 79 says:

      Yes, but Lewis has 44 and maths says that two negative make a positive.

      1. Kirk says:

        In China, the more 4′s, the worse is the number, but nice try.

      2. Random 79 says:

        I have to admit my Chinese maths is a bit rusty :)

  88. Rick says:

    The numbers are so small, and extremely difficult to see with all the sponsorship graphics, does it really matter ?
    When Gilles was sporting 27, you could actually see it as the car went by…

  89. AlexD says:

    In case of Grosjean, #8 is the maximum number of cars that he took out at the start of the race.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Finally – someone who can explain Maldonado’s #13! :D

  90. Ravi govin says:

    44 can be written as LH for marketing & merchandising purposes.


  91. radohc says:

    lot of talk for nothing, the number will be that small that nobody will be able to read them, but ok, at least there is something to talk about during off season.

  92. Gord says:

    For Lewis, 44 can easily be written as LH.

  93. FlatOutArt says:

    Hulk is aligning the stars in anticipation of Kimi walking – after getting a bashing from Alonso in 2014.

  94. Paul Kirk says:

    I supose it’s semi interesting to hear about the numbers, but in reality they’ve gradually faded away over the last few seasons and nobody cares any more. The cars don’t seem to carry numbers any more and if they do nobody can see/find them due to the clutter of other stuf on the cars! It stands to reason that the number isn’t as important as the advertising stuf. And what do fans follow? The number or the driver or the car or the team or just the racing?

  95. James says:

    Vergne’s #25 was agsin a karting number.

  96. Andras F. says:

    My 7 years old son who loves both Formula-1 and football told me when we looked at the new numbers: Fernando Alonso’s brother at Real Madrid have the same number #14
    I told him later that Xabi Alonso is not his brother… :)

  97. Luke Dalton says:

    I can understand some drivers choosing “sentimental” numbers, but I thought it would be a great chance to have different numbers to what we’ve seen in F1 in a longtime (1-25) and barring a few, the drivers have chosen the same old numbers, its like they didn’t realise you could choose between 2-99.

    We’ve not had a car number above 30 since 1994 (Simtek & Pacific) or a number above 40 since 1989 when AGS had 40 & 41 for their drivers in a record breaking season for no. of teams.

  98. Nick Hipkin says:

    Cant help but feel F1 has missed an open goal by not allocating the numbers to the teams instead of the drivers.

    Would have loved to see the Ferrari’s running 27 and 28 again. Never looked quite right since they lost them. Not to mention Williams with 5 and 6 and Mclaren with 7 and 8 or 11 and 12.

    I just hope there doesn’t come a day when a World Champion elects not to carry the number 1….

    1. Racyboy says:

      Rossi didn’t carry #1 and nobody seemed to notice.

  99. Andras F. says:

    Will be interesting to see:
    -the number font/designs/colours for each driver
    -if teams will allow drivers to put the unique design to the car (like MotoGP) or numbers would fit to the overall styling and same for both cars in a team
    -the size of the numbers on the cars as those will be like brands from now on

    1. Random 79 says:

      Unless they’ve changed the regs for 2014 the cars in a team have to run essentially the same livery, but hopefully we do get bigger numbers.

      1. AuraF1 says:

        It would certainly help a lot of the TV commentary – especially with Lewis and Nico’s dual yellow helmets – think a great big number on the car would help cut down on the embarrassing stumbling in the commentary boxes there!

  100. Peter says:

    Kimi ran out of budget for new helmet design as Lotus still haven`t paid him. (seven is already on his 12` helmet).

    1. Peter says:


    2. Random 79 says:

      Lol. Might actually be true though…

  101. Gord says:

    Nobody picked 2 out of respect for Mark Webber.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Yes I’m sure that was it, otherwise they’d all be jumping at the chance to be the #2 driver.

    2. Kimi4WDC says:

      2nd place, first looser. That is the mentality they learned to drive with from early on :)

  102. Yago says:

    Fernando Alonso won the karting championship with number 14, the day 14 of I don’t what month, and he was 14 years old! Belive it or not!

    1. Kimi4WDC says:

      Anyone who would have won that day of the 14th would have been 14 years old.

  103. Jean-Louis says:

    If Ferrari is still interested in Bianchi, they won’t be too happy with his (ultimate) choice for n. 17…

  104. Alex says:

    I wonder if Massa’s no 19 was inspired by Senna? 19 was, of course, Senna’s number in his first year back in 1984. Also the FIA should have started as they meant to go on in preserving the sanctity of driver numbers: 27 should have been retired as a tribute to Villenuve.

    1. Paul D says:

      Not sure I agree.

      What would the criteria be for retiring a number? Do they have to have passed away in a F1 car with that number, is it a drivers success with that number, length of time with the number, a view on that drivers popularity, how do you measure that?

      Difficult one.

  105. Nuno says:


    I guess Hulk choose the 27 in order to be an extra appeal for a possible Ferrari seat in the future.

    1. James Allen says:

      It was also Senna’s number

      Shows a feeling for F1 history

      1. Rachael says:

        Another much sadly admired driver was the late Michele Alboreto, who interestingly retained the famous 27 longer than anybody.

      2. Tim says:

        Shows a business acumen more like.

        His future in F1 being as uncertain as it is is slightly helped by that number as opposed to a random number.

        Hulkenberg is one of the drivers I’ve never ever heard tslk about the history of F1.

    2. Racyboy says:

      I think we’ll see Ferrari #27 in the future.

  106. Bullish says:

    I can understand why Ricciardo picked number 3.
    Vettel – seen as the number 1 for the team.
    Webber – “not bad for a no. 2 driver”
    Ricciardo – number 3 is next in line.

  107. Steve JR says:

    ….and it’s nice to see that Felipe is not #2 this year!

  108. Simon Lord says:

    Stirling Moss must be disappointed to see his famous #7 go to a man who is the very definition of charisn’tma.

    1. Elie says:

      Stirling Moss once said “quite frankly Raikkonen is the fastest man on the planet” before Kimis sabbatical. I somehow dont think he will mind.

  109. Steve Rogers says:

    0 – Damon Hill replaced Nigel Mansell in 1993 at Williams. Mansell was 1992 World Champion so because No. 1 was reserved for the Champion it wasn’t available for Hill. He drove as 0 till the end of the season, then because Prost, the new Champion, stayed in F1,the number 5 became available and was Hill’s for his remaining three years at Williams.

    27 – you people who bang on about Gilles Villeneuve are showing your age :-) but it’s far too late to “reserve” it! To me it will always be Jean Alesi’s number from his stint at Ferrari in partnership with Gerhard Berger.

    1. Jim says:

      That’s not correct. Prost also retired at the end of 93 so Hill used 0 again in 94. Williams swapped with Benetton for 95 that’s when Hill used the number 5. They kept these numbers for 96 by coincidence as Schumacher took the number 1 with him to Ferrari and Benetton had 3 & 4 as conductors champions.

      1. Steve Rogers says:

        Thanks for setting the record straight :-) It’s all getting to be a long time ago…

  110. Elie says:

    Im not fussed about driver no.s: Surprised Kimi got what many consider “lucky no 7″. But then again “some say” he drives with the luck of a drunk lol.. Then theres the perfect union of Finns with Bottas on 77.
    Its been 7 years for Kimi lets hope hes got the itch back! All suggestions are he has.
    As for Fernando – I wouldnt be surprised if he waited till Kimi got 7!just to suggest hes twice the driver with14. Perhaps the mind games have just started.
    I love the no 5 -Seb couldnt have done any better really

  111. Paul D says:

    Vettel may be 5, but they’ll only ever be one Red 5!!

    I remember Schumacher tried ‘Red 5′ once in Spain 1994 and had a mechanical breakdown so never used it again!

    1. Rockie says:

      Well he might do blue 5!

    2. SteveS says:

      Vettel won the 2010 WDC using a red number five.

  112. matski says:

    As well as reviving the #44 from his karting days, has Lewis Hamilton also been given a new lucky conker by his mum…?


  113. Keith Aldrich says:

    Stirling Moss raced number seven.
    Imagin him in a Ferrari!

  114. alexyoong says:

    Not surprised one bit that no driver chose no. 2. Associated with no.2 driver, first of the losers. Massa could have chosen it as an amusing poke at his Ferrari past.

  115. Warren G says:

    I think the numbers should have been given to the teams rather, with the historical teams allowed to pick first. Most comments on here relate to certain drivers using a number while at a specific team.

    More history could have been created with drivers possibly feeling a sense of pride at being allocated at a classic number. Take Ferrari for example: 1 of the strongest driver line ups possibly since Senna & Prost, think how awesome it would be seeing them race in 27 & 28, introducing a new generation to the story behind those iconic numbers.

  116. Alexx says:

    James, are there any restrictions on what color the number must be displayed in?

    Drivers should be able to cash in on merchandise with new numbers, a-la,

    Valentino Rossi yellow 46!

  117. PeteC says:

    “Incident involving car number 13 to be investigated after the race”

    At least we’ll know exactly who it is from now on :)

    1. Random 79 says:

      Bang on :)

  118. Triangle says:

    I’m glad Ricciardo has gone for #3, it’s a lovely number

    1. Racyboy says:

      It’s the magic number.

  119. Sebee says:

    We’re into the 3rd week for Schumi…agonizing.

  120. Howard P says:

    I love Kimi’s “had it last year, can’t be bothered to change” reason. That’s him to a tee :)

    I’m guessing no-one will ever dare to take No.2 for obvious reasons.

  121. Darren says:

    I prefer this to the system of irrelevant numbers that we have had the last 20 years or so but I still think I would have prefered a return to the old system of team numbers. Perhaps its a ploy to make the drivers more noticeable. Either way I hope they increase the size or do something to make the number more obvious, you can’t see them at racing speed on the TV.

    Im still laughing at Maldonado taking 13 it really will be bad luck if you see 13 in your mirrors!

    Interesting to see so many of them take numbers from earlier in their career, the numbers obviously still hold some meaning to the drivers.

    I wonder if Webber would have gone for 2 if he was still around?!

    1. Damian Coyle says:

      I’d hope so! 2 has a helluva pedigree: Prost(won the title as a 2), Senna, Ascari, Fangio, Mansell, Hakkinen, Moss, every Hill bar Damon, Berger, Coulthard, Surtees, Clark, Rindt and er, Pedro Diniz. Shame to see it going to waste these days

  122. Aura says:

    I don’t really swallow Kimis explanation of his number, even tough his story was hellava funny. Number seven is still, as we all know, very popular gambling number and what is gambling if not life as a F1-driver.

    1. Racyboy says:

      I don’t buy it either. Kimi’s cool, but he ain’t that cool.I bet he was doing cartwheels inside.

  123. Chris says:

    James, we won’t have this American type situation where they retire numbers will we?? And what happens if drivers take a sabbatical or do a Kimi for two to three years??

  124. Racyboy says:

    Will drivers get to choose the type style and colour, or will it be one size fits all?

  125. Vivek says:

    I am happy Kimi chose No.7, My favorite driver choosing my favorite number. Perfect !

  126. Bruno says:

    I think they made it all wrong. If you change car number every year, actually you sell more t-shirts !! On condition that… numbers are bigger on the cars. With the lack of interest of sponsors for Bernie’s F1 nowadays, don’t tell me it’s impossible ! I think the best solution would be to reshuffle the numbers every year according to the previous year’s drivers championship.

    1 Vettel (Red Bull)
    2 Alonso (Ferrari)
    4 Hamilton (Mercedes)
    5 Raikkonen (Ferrari)
    6 Rosberg (Mercedes)
    7 Grosjean (Lotus)
    8 Massa (Ferrari)
    9 Button (McLaren)
    10 Hulkenberg (Force India)
    11 Perez (Force India)
    13 Sutil (Sauber)
    14 Ricciardo (Red Bull)
    15 Vergne (Toro Rosso)
    16 Gutierrez (Sauber)
    17 Bottas (Williams)
    18 Maldonado (Lotus)
    19 Bianchi (Marussia)
    23 Chilton (Marussia)
    24 Magnussen (McLaren)
    25 Kyvat (Toro Rosso)
    26 Kobayashi (Caterham)

    Great grid.

  127. Martyn Wayn says:

    I’d of chosen #01, who had this apart from Dale Earnhart!

    1. Martyn Wayn says:

      Actually, I forgot about the General Lee! Martyn Wayn, Yes maybe they don’t like #01!!!!!!!!!!

  128. Damian Coyle says:

    Is 0 the most successful car number in F1 history? I mean every driver who’s had it (okay, just Jody Sheckter and Damon Hill) went on to win the world title. If I were an F1 driver (and could actually fit in a car) I’d totally want a ducks’ egg on the front


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