Drivers to pick ‘career numbers’ next year

2014 F1 season

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013Formula One drivers will select race numbers which they will retain for the rest of their careers from next season.

Drivers will be given the choice of numbers between 2 and 99 from next year.

The number one will remain for special use of the reigning world champion, if they choose to use it. Where two drivers choose the same number, whoever finished highest in the championship will have first preference.

This is the first change to the numbering system for Formula One cars since 1996, when the current system based on the constructors’ championship finishing positions was introduced.

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150 comments on Drivers to pick ‘career numbers’ next year

  1. KaIIe (@kaiie) said on 9th December 2013, 20:14

    This is a good thing, but frankly, if the numbers on the cars are as small as they currently are, this really makes no difference.

  2. How often is it possible for those actually attending a race to see a number on the side of a car? Not very from my experience.
    There should be a minimum size for them.

  3. Hairs (@hairs) said on 9th December 2013, 20:35

    This has great scope to really annoy someone like Hamilton who might lose out on a Senna number to someone in a better car.

    I wholeheartedly agree, but only if drivers have the option to look at the final list and switch numbers to annoy someone else.

    • Richard said on 10th December 2013, 10:59

      There is only Vettel and Fernando who can take a potential number choice away from him (these are the only two current drivers who finished ahead of him).

  4. JamieFranklinF1 (@jamiefranklinf1) said on 9th December 2013, 20:36

    I’m not really too pleased about this. As I said in the forum, I’ve never had any trouble identifying drivers, and even if for some reason, I do, then the commentary team or on-screen graphics are quick enough to tell me. There is just no need for this, and there are plenty more significant issues to address than something as trivial as this.

  5. Eric (@wista) said on 9th December 2013, 20:40

    I like this change, it will greatly increase the marketing power and opportunities for F1, the teams, and the driver.

  6. JMLabareda (@jmlabareda) said on 9th December 2013, 20:49

    So if Fernando and Kimi become 27 and 28, the numbers will move with them if they move teams…

    Would have preferred the numbers to be allocated to teams, not drivers (NASCAR and Indycar style).

  7. I, for the life of me, can’t see why people have a problem with this. The number thing can become part of a legends story. Rossi will forever be associated with 46 for example. But he changed his helmets to reflect his personality, his sense of humour, his creativity, or what was happening in his life at the time. But 46 always stayed true, I think that this worked in perfect harmony.

  8. Seanus said on 9th December 2013, 20:53

    Can I assume that last year’s championship order will be the order current drivers pick there numbers in? Constructor order for rookies?
    Also if Vettel chooses 1 will he also pick his “normal” number now or wait until he needs it.
    To make it worthwhile they need to get a large enough number on either side of the car, the nose and possibly the drivers surname on the back of the rear wing beam. As im guessing this is to try and aide recognisability of drivers.

  9. petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 9th December 2013, 21:05

    Surprised people are so against this. I think it’s a great idea and gives drivers more of an identity. When I think of Nigel Mansell, I think of a red number 5. When I think of Hamilton, there isn’t anything iconic that springs to mind.

    When Hamilton moved from McLaren to Mercedes, there was nothing of Hamilton on the car. If his number moved with him, there would be something that marked him apart.

    The FIA need to take this further IMO and stipulate that the numbers have to be a minimum size. They need to be visible on the cars.

  10. smudgersmith1 (@smudgersmith1) said on 9th December 2013, 21:07


  11. Harvs (@harvs) said on 9th December 2013, 21:09

    I Hope Hamilton or Button pick 22.

  12. HoHum (@hohum) said on 9th December 2013, 21:11

    I can’t really give a flying fig one way or the other about the virtually invisible numbers but this is just another example of FIA/FOM looking to copy something from other series as a quick fix but as usual they ignore the real reason for the other series popularity – good wheel to wheel racing.

    With the help of PDVSA Maldonado will buy a better number than he deserves, assuming Lotus can maintain their current form.

  13. Mackeine Loveine (@cocaine-mackeine) said on 9th December 2013, 21:13

    Well good idea…. for marketing. As I Ferrari fan I would like a cap with the permanent number of Kimi or Alonso.

  14. bull mello (@bullmello) said on 9th December 2013, 21:15

    This is OK, especially compared to other proposed changes. I like this idea, kind of a throwback.

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