Jean Todt says it’s too hard for fans to identify drivers. The car number is visble on the side & nose of the cars, but at distance they aren’t visable. So most fans use the coloured cameras to figure out who the driver is. The first driver in a team gets a red camera & the second gets a yellow one. Failing that, fans can identify drivers using their helmets. E.g. Schumacher has a bright red helmet whereas Rosberg has a yellow one.
Of course, this means you have to remember who is #1 or #2 & who wears which helmet. Not hard for hardcore fans like us, but what about the fans that aren’t so hardcore?
Currently drivers race under the numbers set from the previous years championship order. For Example, Red Bull won the championship, so they get #1 & #2, McLaren were second so they get #3 & #4.
The world Champion always gets #1, so when Jenson Button won his championship at Brawn he was able to bring #1 & #2 to McLaren while Brawn, who later changed into Mercedes had to take #3 & #4.
Lorenzo #99 & Rossi #46 will keep their numbers for the rest of their career.
Jean todt is proposing that Formula 1 switch from this method, where the championship position dictates who gets what number & proposes F1 change liek other motorsports. NASCAR, MotoGP & WRC are examples where a driver chooses his own number.
For example: Valentino Rossi, the legendary MotoGP rider is of course #46 while Jorge Lorenzo has always been #99. If that driver wins the championship he can decide whether he races as his own number, or as #1. This year Lorenzo will race with a #1 on his bike as he is champion.
“Like in NASCAR, a driver who is arriving in Formula 1, he gets a number. He would keep it for all of his career. You could identify a driver with a number. At the moment, you don’t find the number, you don’t find the name.”
For this to happen todt would need the majority of the formula 1 teams to agree.
“You need to have some strong ground for changing,” the Frenchman added. “You need to have a minimum of positive opinion among the group in Formula 1. So far, unfortunately, they are not interested, they are quite happy. It will come, it will change.”
I like the idea, the champion is the only one able to choose if he gets #1 or keeps his own. It works in MotoGP so it will work in F1. Like Rossi is 46