A new numbering system has been introduced to F1 for the 2014 season by the sport’s governing body, the FIA, writes James Beckett.
This season, F1 drivers have been allowed to choose the number they would like displayed on their car during 2014 – a number they will carry until the end of their Grand Prix careers. The only exception is that the reigning world champion will carry the number 1 for the season in which they are champion.
The Brackley-based Mercedes Petronas cars of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg will carry 44 and 6 respectively, while Silverstone’s Force India duo, Niko Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez, will display 27 and 11.
The part Bicester-based Toro Rosso cars of Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniil Kvyat have chosen 25 and 26.
The FIA hope the move will allow drivers to further develop their brands and create strong links through the supporting ranks. Number retention has been used successfully in the American NASCAR series since the 1950s, and Europe motorcycle racing has seen the system work well for Barry Sheene, who always carried the number 7 on his motorcycle and Valentino Rossi who is globally known for racing as number 46 in Moto GP events.
Nico Rosberg said: “I chose the number 6 because it is the number that my dad won the world championship with back in 1982. It is special to me for that reason and I hope it will bring me good luck this year and in the future.”
The 2014 F1 World Championship is now less than two months away with the Australian Grand Prix set to kick-off the season in mid-March.