27: Nico Hulkenberg

How each driver chose their 2014 race number

2014 F1 season previewPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

The FIA has changed its policy on car numbers for 2014 and allowed each driver to choose their own.

Here’s what each driver chose as their career number and how they picked them.

3. Daniel Ricciardo

“It was the first ever number I raced with, it just got given to me when I was go-karting, and it stuck with me pretty much all throughout my karting career. Once I got the number three, I realised that a hero of mine, the late, great, Dale Earnhardt, was also number three in NASCAR.”

4. Max Chilton

Max Chilton, Marussia, Bahrain, 2014Like Bottas, Chilton chose a number he could incorporate within his name: ‘M4X’.

5. Sebastian Vettel

“[The] first time I won the championship in Formula One I had number five on the car. Generally I think number five was very successful in Formula One: Nigel won the championship, Michael won the championship qith number five. And I have a very good memory to number five on my go-kart, I had a very good season back in 2001 with a lot of wins.”

6. Nico Rosberg

“I chose number six as my race number because my dad wrote me an email saying ‘ah, that was a really lucky number for me, I was world champion with that number, you need to take that’. Then I spoke to my fiancee, she said ‘ah, six is my lucky number, take that”. I also won a championship in Formula BMW with number six, back in 2002.”

7. Kimi Raikkonen

“There’s no particular story linked to it. 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?”

8. Romain Grosjean

“Simply I like this number, plus it has some significance to me. My wife was born the 8th of December, we started dating in 2008 and, to my eyes my son is the 8th wonder of the world. That’s why I picked up number 8.”

9. Marcus Ericsson

Marcus Ericsson, Caterham, Jerez, 2014“I just like that number”

10. Kamui Kobayashi

Kamui Kobayashi, Caterham, Jerez, 2014Kobayashi put ’10’ as his first choice and his second choice, and didn’t list a third choice. He pointed out he used the number when he made his F1 debut with Toyota in 2009.

11. Sergio Perez

“It’s the number I’ve been using all my career since karting. I’ve enjoyed having number 11, so I went for it, and luckily I ended up getting it as my first choice. I will be wearing it the rest of my career, except when I win the world championship, when I will be wearing number one!”

13. Pastor Maldonado

“The reason I choose the number 13 is just because I like it. In Venezuela it is not an unlucky number and it actually has a long history in Venezuelan sport.”

14. Fernando Alonso

“It has always brought me luck, dating back to 14th July 1996 when, at the age of 14, I won the world championship in a kart that had the number 14. Let’s see if it will still bring me luck.”

17. Jules Bianchi

Jules Bianchi, Marussia, Jerez, 2014After failing to get any of his first three choices – 7, 27 and 77 were all taken by other drivers – Bianchi settled on 17.

19. Felipe Massa

Felipe Massa, Williams, Bahrain, 2014“It was my number when karting and my uncle also used 19 when he raced. Luckily it was one of our numbers this year anyway!”

20. Kevin Magnussen

“I don’t really have any particular reason why I picked 20 as my number. It’s the number I had last year when I won the World Series [Formula Renault 3.5] championship. I also had it in karting when I won the things I won in karting. It’s just a number that’s followed me a little bit so I thought if we have to go for one number it should be that.”

21. Esteban Gutierrez

“The number 21 has always been my favourite number. I always chose it as a lucky number. It’s also the number of my age when I started Formula One, so it’s quite a special number for me. It was my first priority.”

22. Jenson Button

“22 is a good number for me, it was in 2009 anyway that’s when I won the world championship with it. It’s also the number that McLaren last won the [drivers’] world championship with, in 2008 with Lewis [Hamilton].”

25. Jean-Eric Vergne

Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso, Bahrain, 2014Vergne picked number 25 because his birthday is on April 25th.

26. Daniil Kvyat

Kvyat also picked his number because of his birthday – one day (and a few years) later than Vergne’s. “I also competed in my first karting event in Russia with that number. But there’s not much history behind it and I’m looking forward to making something of that number as I start my F1 career.”

27. Nico Hulkenberg

27: Nico Hulkenberg“One, it’s my birthday dates together: 19.8; and two, it’s simply a cool number.”

44. Lewis Hamilton

“When we started racing go-karts it had 44 on the number plate. So that’s where you got 44 from. And it just became my number, and we won our first British championship with it, our first races we won with it. And so it’s been the ‘family number’ since then.”

77. Valtteri Bottas

Bottas chose 77 so he could include it within his surname as ‘BO77AS’.

99. Adrian Sutil

The drivers were given a choice between 2 and 99 and Sutil said he simply went for the highest number available.

Test drivers

Three test drivers have also run in their teams’ cars this year. Here’s which numbers they chose:

34. Daniel Juncadella
40. Felipe Nasr
46. Robin Frijns

2014 F1 season preview

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Images © F1 Fanatic, Caterham/LAT, Marussia, Force India, Red Bull/Getty, Williams/LAT

102 comments on “How each driver chose their 2014 race number”

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  1. Kobayashi put ’10′ as his first choice and his second choice, and didn’t list a third choice.

    Hehe, that’s determination !

    1. @gwenouille @fixy Determination only gets you so far. When I went to my army service 11 yrs ago I chose a particular unit as my 1st, 2nd and 3rd options out of three. Haven’t got any of them :)

    2. Probably there’s no need to overrate Kamui’s “determination”. After all he only had himself to compete with at the time.

  2. I like the ones with a bit of history behind them, like Massa’s, Ricciardo, Button and particularly Rosberg who brings a few different stories together with his number 6.
    And I’m not sure why exactly, but the 14 looks great on the front of Alonso’s Ferrari.

    1. GB (@bgp001ruled)
      12th March 2014, 1:50

      agree! history behind is cooler. the idea of choosing numbers because they look like letters in the name is a little stupid isnt it M4X…

    2. Didn’t anyone notice that 14 is also in the name of the Ferrari F1 car for this year?
      It’s curious that the F14T will have the number 14 in it!

  3. Can somebody please explain what’s the logic behind BO77AS and M4X? I still can’t get it. I mean it could easily have been BO88AS or M2X!

      1. hahaha Bobbas xD

    1. Well the idea is that a 7 roughly resembles a T, and a 4 roughly resembles an A.

  4. Magnussen said no reason then gave a relatively in depth reason?

  5. Kobayashi put ’10′ as his first choice and his second choice, and didn’t list a third choice.

    Thats’ what I call determination! Good luck Kamui!

    1. GB (@bgp001ruled)
      12th March 2014, 1:53

      actually id call it stupidity! he is given three choices and only takes two with them being the same choice!!! had someone picked up ten, he would have still have to choose a new number! thats not determination!

  6. I like it that my favorite F1 number 27 went to a really deserving driver. Hope NH finally proves it this year that he deserves a place in a top team. #27 for WDC soon hopefully!

  7. Not a lot of drivers picked a high number (>30), maybe because there’s no history behind numbers above 28.

  8. I’m still a bit disappointed the FIA didn’t allow them to pick “0”.

    1. @geemac: Or “00” for all you Dick Dastardly fans :-)

    2. @geemac I’m even more disappointed they weren’t allowed to pick irrational numbers, like pi or e…

      1. GB (@bgp001ruled)
        12th March 2014, 1:58


    3. Damon Hill and Jody Scheckter raced with the number 0. :)

  9. I like Kamui’s “all or nothing” attitude – much like his driving :-)

  10. In Venezuela, 13 is a good number.
    But then again, crashing is considered lucky there as well.

    1. Is it really considered lucky to crash there?! Might explain some of Walldonado’s behavior. Regarding the 13 number, it’s a superstition that’s strictly European(and by extension north american too). For Jews 13 is a lucky number. The Japanese couldn’t care less, but for them the dreaded number is 4. It’s all cultural remnants of a bygone age

  11. Surprising that Sergio picked 11, which also seems to be his favorite finishing position. :)

  12. Considering that the idea was the have numbers that were more identifiable with each driver, the numbers are still not that visible on the cars that much really. I think in the same way that in the premier league there is a standard font for the numbers on the back of palyer’s shirts, the FIA could provide the teams with a distinctive / standout standard graphic / decal that should, under the sporting regulations have to be potitioned within a mandated ares, such as one on the nose and on on each rear wing endplate.

  13. I would have thought Maldonado may have picked 69 considering it makes no difference to what position the car ends up!

  14. Bottas and Grosjean have the best reasons. The rest are ridiculously cliche and predictable.
    Grosjean’s is sute, and Bottas’ is just funny

  15. Raikkonen and Stig are brothers lololol

  16. That must have annoyed Bianchi, I get wound up enough when somebody has my number on iRacing!

    ‘0’ will always be Damon Hill’s though, which I quite like. iRacing wont let me have ‘0’ sadly…

  17. dissapointing no one chose 69

  18. Great to see a rule that is common sense (and already successful in NASCAR and MotoGP, in various forms) finally take hold in Formula 1. My favorite part was the bit about Riccardo having Earnhardt Sr. as one of his heroes…who says NASCAR doesn’t have global reach? ;)
    Although with the way Dale Jr. is racing this season, Riccardo may have been better with 88 as his number!

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