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F1

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F1 discussion

Todt wants drivers to choose their own numbers

This topic contains 91 replies, has 49 voices, and was last updated by Avatar of sbl on tour sbl on tour 4 months, 1 week ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 92 total)
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  • #129033
    Avatar of cubejam
    cubejam
    Participant

    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

    #163425

    Hardcore fans identify drivers by their helmets. Casual fans identify drivers by the on-screen graphics. Where is the problem?

    #163426
    Avatar of Prisoner Monkeys
    Prisoner Monkeys
    Participant

    I like this. A driver’s number forms a part of his (or her) identity. A lot of drivers have become synonymous with particular numbers – in Australia alone, Peter Brock carried the number 05 for most of his career (.05 being the legal blood alcohol limit when driving in Australia). Greg Murphy has spent over a decade with the number 51 (this year is the first time that he is carrying a different number; one of his proteges in the development series is caretaker of his number). Hell, the Johnson family has kept the number 17 for thirty years and two generations of racing driver. And there were calls for James Courtney to carry HRT’s number 22 this year instead of his rightful number 1 to prove that Holden hadn’t bought him so they could have the number 1 on one of their factory cars.

    Of course, this only works if a car has a highly-visible number. Some are easy to pick out; Virgin and Mercedes in particular are good at this. But others, like Force India, have taken to putting their racing numbers in the small space between the front wing supports, and it’s almost impossible to see. So I think drivers having the right to carry whatever number they like would be a good thing. It would be easy to identify them and it builds up an image. And you could always give the champion the option of carrying “his” number or the number 1 (with no other driver able to adopt his racing number if he chooses to run the number 1). Of course, Fernando Alonso is likely to request the 1 as his number.

    And most importantly, it’s something Sebastian Vettel can’t change from race to race.

    #163427
    Avatar of GeeMac
    GeeMac
    Participant

    Is the drivers number really so important in F1? There have been a few numbers that have become synonymous with certain drivers (a certain Ferrari driver in car 27, Damon Hill’s 0, Nige’s Red 5) but I’d hardly say it was key to helping them build up an image in the sport.

    MotoGP is different, the rider gets his number in 125′s and keeps it all the way through their careers, which is a lot more necessary in a sport where riders move up through different classes in the MotoGP scene a lot more regularly.

    Good call on Vettel PM…but I’m sure Alonso would want his number to be “0.6″…

    #163428
    Avatar of Prisoner Monkeys
    Prisoner Monkeys
    Participant

    Is the drivers number really so important in F1? There have been a few numbers that have become synonymous with certain drivers (a certain Ferrari driver in car 27, Damon Hill’s 0, Nige’s Red 5) but I’d hardly say it was key to helping them build up an image in the sport.

    It’s not something that’s going to happen straight away. Drivers won’t suddenly be associated with certain numbers. But if they carry them for a few years, eventually they will become synonymous. Like the examples I gave of Brock, Murphy and the Johnsons. When Oran Park raceway was destroyed to make way for a housing estate, it was decided that all of the streets in the new subdivision would be named after racing drivers; Skaife, Seton, Moffat, Perkins, etc. One of the streets was named after Peter Brock. The number 05 was so strongly linked to Brock that there was a huge bidding war for number 5, Brock Place – so much so that the number alone more than doubled the value of an empty plot of land. Instantly. That’s how strong a number can be. And as with ice hockey, a driver won’t carry another’s number out of respect for them. At least not until a significant amount of time has passed. No-one in the Edmonton Oilers carried the number 99 after Wayne Gretzky left the team, and the number was officially retired. In the same way, a driver cannot simply adopt the number 05 (though if he was still racing, Peter Brock’s son would have a legitimate claim to it). The number is retired. Mark Winterbottom has the plain vanilla 5, but no-one would dare take the 05 (though I imagine Brock’s family would not object to HRT using it on the anniversary of Peter Brock’s first Bathurst win/last Bathurst win/death/etc.). So it’s not like Michael Schumacher would retire and Nico Hulkenberg would suddenly pick up his number. It would have to be a couple of years before a number is put back into rotation, and the longer a driver carried it, then the longer it would be before it could be brought back.

    The Alonso thing was a joke. The FIA wouldn’t allow a driver to carry the number 1 simply because he wanted it. However, it wouldn’t surprise me if he did an HRT and asked for the number 2. In V8 Supercars, numbering is issued by a Racing Entitlement Contract. If you own an REC, you own a number. Numbers can be changed at request, but you lose the rights to the original number. The only exception is with the reigning champion: if he chooses to use the number 1, his number is put into reserve to be collected later (this happened a few years ago when Jamie Whincup was champion; he joined Lowndes in car 888 for the endurance races, so his normal car reverted to 88 because the drivers in it were not champions, creating a very odd situation with no number 1 for two races). However, it doesn’t happen to the driver’s team-mate. James Courtney won the 2010 title in car 18, which became car 1. But even though they were team-mates, Steven Johnson never had the right to the number 2. He keeps his 17 (and the second DJR car – James Moffat – became 18 when Courtney left for HRT).

    I’m sorry for the lengthy explanation, but here’s the point: the champion’s team-mate does not have the right to the number 2. Anyone can take the number 2 Racing Entitlement Contract if they so choose. And HRT did exactly that. Ostensibly, it was to give themselves cars 1 and 2 when they had the champion in the team, but when someone else – like Jamie Whincup – carried the number 1, HRT still had the 2. The direct implication is that HRT have the first-ranked driver after the champion. Given Holden’s marketing strategy, this is clearly not an accident. Even though James Courtney won the 2010 championship and Jamie Whincup placed second, Garth Tander still carries the number 2. And so it would not surprise me at all if Fernando Alonso chose the number 2 for the direct implication that he is the first driver after the champion.

    #163429
    Avatar of sw6569
    sw6569
    Participant

    I’d love this.

    We’d then probably see a return to drivers numbers being displayed prominently on the car too. At the moment, driver numbers mean nothing and are, quite frankly, useless to a large extent.

    Hamilton or Button might choose number 22 for example.

    How would the process of allocating numbers to begin with work?

    #163430
    Avatar of Icthyes
    Icthyes
    Participant

    I like it in theory. In other sports players carry the same number and in some cases (particularly in the USA) numbers are “retired” in honour of the great player who wore them.

    But really, I’d like the teams to have their old numbers.

    #163431
    Avatar of Prisoner Monkeys
    Prisoner Monkeys
    Participant

    How would the process of allocating numbers to begin with work?

    Probably with the reigning champion. Sebastian Vettel would have his pick of number between, say, 0 and 99 (with the obvious exception of the number 1). That number would then be set aside for him, to be used if and when someone else becomes World Champion. For the sake of argument, let’s say Vettel picks the number 15 (because it was the number he carried when he won his first race).

    Then there are two ways to do it. The first option is to go by WDC place for 2010. Once Vettel had chosen, Fernando Alonso would get to have his pick of any number between 0 and 99, except for the numbers 1 and 15. So we’ll say he picks the number 2 because he’s a git (and also to illustrate my next point). Then we move on to Mark Webber. He can pick from 0, 3-14 or 16-99. But if he wants the number 2, because “he’s not bad for a number two driver”, he can’t have it. Alonso does. Webber will have to pick his own number. And then Lewis Hamilton gets his pick, and so on and so forth until we get to Timo Glock, who is the last driver who raced in 2010 to pick a number. But this is where things get tricky: Pastor Malondado, Paul di Resta, Sergio Perez, Narain Karthikeyan and Jerome d’Ambrosio did not race in Formula 1 in 2010. They would not get to pick their numbers until after Glock, but there would need to be some way of offering them the right to pick their own number. With 24 drivers and 99 numbers on offer, it’s unlikely they would want to cross over and pick the same number, but in case it happens, there would need to be a system in mind.

    The second way of doing things is far easier. Instead of going by WDC places, we go by WCC standings. Vettel would get his pick of number since he’s the champion, and because Red Bull came first in the WCC, Mark Webber would then get to choose. Then Hamilton and Button, Alonso and Massa, and so on and so forth until you get to Glock and d’Ambrosio. Of course, there would then be the problem of whether the teams pick the numbers their drivers would carry, or if the drivers get their own choice in order of teams.

    But whatever way you pick, I can see a lot of arguing over the 27 … but like the 05 in V8 Supercars, I think it would best be retired.

    #163432
    Avatar of cubejam
    cubejam
    Participant

    I’d guess the best way of allocating numbers for existing drivers would be to start in championship order? Ask each driver starting from champion to the bottom driver?

    The point about Nigels 5 is a good one. Imagine if Prodrive had managed to get in with Aston Martin as a brand… and their first driver had chosen 007!

    I think teams would say no though. Drivers have to get the permission of their team to change their helmets, let alone change numbers…

    #163433
    Avatar of Prisoner Monkeys
    Prisoner Monkeys
    Participant

    We’d then probably see a return to drivers numbers being displayed prominently on the car too.

    That’s what Todt wants.

    #163434
    Avatar of GeeMac
    GeeMac
    Participant

    PM, you didn’t have to justify your Alonso quip anymore than I will have to justify mine, I’m pretty sure anyone with a sense of humour could work out they were intended as jokes…

    My point is that I don’t really care what the driver’s numbers are in F1, they matter in some sports (V8′s as PM pointed out, MotoGP, basketball, baseball, American Football, Football etc) and have not historically mattered in F1 (for example will anyone be rushing to choose 3 or 4 because those are the numbers Tyrrell used to use before championship position determined the drivers number?)

    #163435
    Avatar of Prisoner Monkeys
    Prisoner Monkeys
    Participant

    Drivers are a superstitious bunch. Michael Schumacher, for instance, refuses to race with an even number and cannot get into the car without carrying a little toy hairbrush is daughter gave him. Numbers can have a certain significance known only to the driver. It could be something as simple as carrying the number 29 because it is a driver’s wife’s birthday. Or the number 16 because a driver’s sixteenth win was the most memorable for him. Don’t under estimate the power of personal significance. Faith can be a very powerful force. If a driver believes he will perform better because his number is 83 – even if we cannot see any discernable difference ourselves – then who are we to deny him that?

    #163436
    Avatar of ed24f1
    ed24f1
    Participant

    I don’t understand this proposal considering Todt’s recent actions.

    First he reinforces the importance of the Team aspect of the sport, by removing the team orders ban, and now he wants to play up the drivers again…

    #163437
    Avatar of ajokay
    ajokay
    Participant

    I’d love this. Drivers being recognised by a famous number. The same thing happens in a lot of American soports. Some players become so linked with their numbers that when the player retires, the number gets retired too.

    But along with this should come the rule that numbers shhould be BIG, and visible on the nosecone and the rear-wing endeplates, just like it used to be.

    I want this to happen.

    #163438
    Avatar of Prisoner Monkeys
    Prisoner Monkeys
    Participant

    First he reinforces the importance of the Team aspect of the sport, by removing the team orders ban, and now he wants to play up the drivers again…

    How does this “play up the drivers”? All it does is make it easier to tell them apart.

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