2009 F1 driver and car numbers

With the final F1 drivers’ and constructors’ points settled we can now work out who will carry which numbers in 2009.

As the titles have been won by different teams, this means next year the number ‘1’ will not be on the constructors’ championship-winning car for the first time since 2007, when Fernando Alonso sported it.

Williams will use numbers 16 and 17 next year, as they did last year. To find the time they last used higher number you have to go back before 1996, when car numbers were last issued based on championship finishing position, to 1980. That year Alan Jones and Carlos Reutemann used 27 and 28.

Luca di Montezemolo vowed to get the number 1 back for 2010:

[Lewis Hamilton will] have the number 1 on his car next season, but he can rest assured of one thing: we’ll be doing our very best to put it back on a Ferrari.

Full list of expected 2009 F1 team and car numbers: 2009 F1 drivers and teams

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30 comments on 2009 F1 driver and car numbers

  1. beneboy said on 5th November 2008, 18:36

    So a question for the statisticians out there, how many championships have been won by the driver with the number 1 plate ?

    And how many, if any, champions have chosen not to race with the number 1 plate ?

  2. Rishab said on 6th November 2008, 3:22

    Who Gets the first pit garage? Ferrari or Mclaren? Does it go to the World Champion or the Constructor’s champions?

  3. Has anyone actually driven with the no. 1 without being reigning champion? I heard that John Watson did once, when standing in for Nikki Lauda.

    Also – re. Damon and 0. I thought that was rotten too. Especially after Williams offered Prost first choice of numbers, and he chose 2 because he said he wasn’t a nobody. Surely the FIA could’ve just given Williams 2 and 3 that year, and worked up from there? And, given that the number allocation system has changed since then, what happens next time someone wins the championship and doesn’t race the following year?

  4. Post no. 16 – by that, you mean how many reigning champions have retained their title the following season, right?

    The answer is: eight drivers have done this.
    They are: Ascari, Fangio, Brabham, Prost, Senna, Schumacher, Hakkinen, Alonso.

    The first three on that list would not have driven with the number one the following year, though, as the custom of the previous year’s champion being the no. 1 driver did not start until the late 1960s or early 70s. Before then, numbers changed with each race.

  5. michael counsell said on 6th November 2008, 20:10

    17 is bad luck in many countries becuase in Roman numerals it can be arranged to appear like “I am dead” I think.

  6. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 6th November 2008, 20:29

    XVII? How do you pronounce that?

  7. beneboy said on 6th November 2008, 22:32

    Thanks Nick !

  8. Dario said on 7th November 2008, 9:12

    Hi Keith, the Roman number XVII is your 17th. Michael Counsell is right, XVII has the same letters of VIXI the latin word wich means “I lived” (I am dead).
    There are many other popular superstitions due to Christianity.
    Greetings from Italy.

  9. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 7th November 2008, 9:18

    Dario – Ah I get it. Thanks!

  10. the numbers are decided by who finishes where in the constructors so say frerrari was 1st they would get 1,2 and if maclaren was 2nd it would be 3,4 ect thats why they had 19,20 this year as they had all the constructor points deducted

  11. It will be nice to see number 1 on Lewis’s car in 2009

  12. wy can’t they choose they’re own number. Everyone choose they’re number one after the other starting whit the one that got the higher point last year

  13. Tony Nguyen (@iipatch) said on 27th May 2012, 15:38

    If the champion doesn’t enter the next championship, what happens to the number 1 car?

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