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An overview of all the F1 driver numbers and their history

In this article we'll delve into the fascinating world of F1 driver numbers, tracing their evolution and uncovering the stories behind driver number choices.

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Why are driver numbers important?

In Formula 1, driver numbers hold significance, often reflecting a driver's identity or career milestones. While the process of selecting a number may seem straightforward, it carries various considerations. Initially, drivers choose a number upon entering F1, often reflecting personal preferences or historical connections.

F1 driver number's history

Max Verstappen used to race with driver number 33. However, when you win the championship, you're able to change your driver number to 1. Since Verstappen became world champion in 2021, he chose to change his driver number to 1.

Sebastian Vettel chose the driver number 5 as a tribute to his childhood hero, Michael Schumacher, who also raced with the same number.

Lewis Hamilton has driven with the number 44 since his karting days, and he has kept this number as a tribute to his start in racing.

Banned F1 driver number

Some driver numbers are banned or unavailable due to various circumstances. For example, car number 17 isn't available as a mark of respect to Jules Bianchi, who unfortunately suffered a fatal crash in 2014.

Overview of the F1 driver numbers

Driver Driver number
Max Verstappen 1 (previously 33)
Sergio Perez 11
Charles Leclerc 16
George Russel 63
Oscar Piastri 81
Carlos Sainz 55
Fernando Alonso 14
Lando Norris 4
Lewis Hamilton 44
Nico Hulkenberg 27
Lance Stroll 18
Alexander Albon 23
Zhou Guanyu 24
Kevin Magnussen 20
Daniel Ricciardo 3
Esteban Ocon 31
Yuki Tsunoda 22
Logan Sargeant 2
Valtteri Bottas 77
Pierre Gasly 10

Why did Max Verstappen choose driver number #33?

Before clinching his first world title, Verstappen raced in Formula 1 with #33. The reasoning behind this choice is rather straightforward: during his youth, the Dutchman considered #3 to be his lucky number. While he initially desired to use it in F1, the number had already been claimed by Daniel Ricciardo. Consequently, Verstappen opted for #33, symbolizing "double happiness."

How long is a driver entitled to his number?

A driver is entitled to a driver number for up to two years. Whether the driver can keep his number depends on if he returns within this period in case of a comeback, for example. We saw this happening earlier with Fernando Alonso, Alexander Albon, and Nico Hulkenberg in the past seasons.

What are the F1 driver numbers?

In Formula 1, driver numbers bear significance, often reflecting a driver's identity or career milestones. Although choosing a number may appear simple, it involves several considerations. Initially, drivers select a number upon entering F1, often based on personal preferences or historical ties.

Why is number 17 banned in F1?

As a tribute to Jules Bianchi, who tragically lost his life in a crash in 2014, car number 17 remains retired from Formula 1.
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