The Formula 1 drivers’ numbers have already been revealed by F1′s governing body. The numbers chosen by the drivers shall remain permanent over the course of their careers with the only exception of the number 1.
Under the new F1 rules, drivers are allowed to pick a number which they will carry over the rest of their careers. If ever there are conflicts with the selection of numbers, such as two drivers picking the same number, preference is given to the driver who ranked higher in the 2013 championship.
Number 1 is designated as a special number which is only given to the reigning world champion. So, based on the F1 rankings in the 2013 season, Sebastian Vettel has the exclusive privilege to use it.
Vettel’s chosen number for his career is 5, however, he exercised his right to make use of number 1 this season. For Mercedes’ own drivers, Lewis Hamilton selected 44 while Nico Rosberg chose 6.
How Drivers Came Up Their Numbers
Some drivers have included superstition in selecting their numbers. For instance, Fernando Alonso picked 14 because he used it during his karting days when he was a teen and he considers it as a lucky number. Hamilton also used number 44 during his karting career. Another example is Jenson Button who chose 22 because it was the number of the car he used to win his only world title in 2009.
On the other hand, other drivers simply did not mind their numbers. One of them is Kimi Raikkonen who coolly said that he selected number 7 simply because he has been using it since last year and he saw no other reason to get another.
Purpose of the Formula 1 Drivers’ Numbers
Similar to other sports, F1 introduced the numbering so that its drivers could be associated with them. The Formula 1 drivers’ numbers would greatly help them, their team as well as the whole F1 organization on a marketing standpoint.