We explain who is entitled to which numbers and how the new system will work
13 December, 2013
The number allocation for Formula 1 is reportedly underway, earlier this week the FIA contacted current Formula 1 drivers to select their preferred numbers which will remain with them throughout their career and will be prominently displayed on the front of their cars.
As per the 2014 sporting regulations Article 21.2: “Each car will carry the race number of its driver as published by the FIA at the beginning of the F1 season. This number must be clearly visible from the front of the car and on the driver’s crash helmet.”
“Prior to the start of the 2014 World Championship season race numbers will be permanently allocated to drivers by ballot, such numbers must then be used by that driver during every F1 World Championship Event he takes part in throughout his career.”
“Any new drivers, either at the start of or during a season, will also be allocated a permanent number in the same way.”
“The only exception to this allocation process will be for the reigning World Champion who will have the option to use the number one. The number that was previously allocated to him will be reserved for him in subsequent seasons if he does not retain the title of World Champion.”
Although the rules suggest a random ballot, the FIA has clarified that the number selection process will be done as originally proposed, with drivers getting to choose in the order in which they finished in the 2013 Championship.
Thus Sebastian Vettel will get to choose his preferred number first. He will also have the luxury of choosing to run with the number one plate, until he loses the Championship whereupon he will revert to his bespoke number.
The deadline set by FIA requires drivers to submit their number choices before Christmas, and already drivers are showing interest with newly signed Force India driver Sergio Perez targeting number 11, and Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne shortlisting the iconic number 27 along with 25 and 21 – number 27 - forever linked with F1 legends Gilles Villeneuve and Ayrton Senna.
Felipe Massa is keen on number 19 while Valterri Bottas wrote on Twitter: “So been thinking about racing number for my F1 career. I heard BO77AS already, any other ideas?!”
F1 drivers and fans alike have embraced the concept, which has been common practice in MotoGP and NASCAR for decades. (GP247)
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