New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

F1 drivers play numbers game

2014-01-11 07:42

DUCKS IN A ROW: Jenson Button has opted for No.22 on his 2014 race car - just as he did with Brawn in 2009. Image: Facebook

PARIS, France - Formula 1 drivers revealed their race-car numbers on Friday for the forthcoming season as well as the rest of their careers with former world champion Jenson Button using plastic ducks to highlight his choice.

Governing body the International Automobile Federation, gave drivers a choice of numbers from 2 to 99 with the No.1 reserved for the defending F1 champion, currently Germany's Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel.

Vettel will opt for No.5 in 2015 should he lose the title he has held since 2010.


The decision to add permanent numbers to the vehicles was taken to boost the sport's marketing possibilities.

McLaren's former champion Button chose 22, announcing his decision on Twitter alongside a photo of two yellow plastic ducks, using the bingo-hall parlance in the process.

"2 little ducks! #22 #jenson22 my new race number guys, great memories," he wrote.

Button had 22 on his Brawn F1 car when he won his only F1 title in 2009.

His new team mate Kevin Magnusson will carry No.20, the same as he used in 2013's Series by Renault championship, one of motor-racing's second tier competitions.

"My driver number will be 20, which I won the @WSR_Live3.5 last year," tweeted the Dane.

Lewis Hamilton will sport 44 on his Mercedes, the same number he used when he started out as a kart driver in his childhood.

Kimi Raikkonen has gone for No.7 on his return to Ferrari, where he was champion in 2007. Team mate Fernando Alonso plumped for 14.

"There's no particular story linked to it," Finnish driver Raikkonen told Ferrari.com. "It's the number I already had in 2013 and I saw no reason to change it. I like it, which is good enough isn't it?"

Alonso said he considered 14 a lucky number.


"It has always brought me luck, dating back to July 14 1996 when, at the age of 14, I won the World kart championship in a kart that had that number 14," said the Spaniard, who clinched back-to-back F1 titles in 2005 and 2006.

"Let's see if it will still bring me luck."

Despite its association with bad luck, Venezuelan driver Pastor Maldonado has opted for 13 for his first season with Lotus after leaving Williams.

Force India's Nico Hulkenberg chose 27, the number made famous by legendary Canadian driver Gilles Villeneuve, and Lotus driver Romain Grosjean was delighted with his choice of eight.

"Yes yes yes I have got my first number choice : 8 ~r8main #2014 #f1," tweeted the Frenchman.

Drivers/teams with numbers:

Red Bull Racing:
Sebastian Vettel (GER) 1 (and 5 for seasons when he is not defending world champion)
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS, ex-Toro Rosso) 3
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) 44
Nico Rosberg (GER) 6
Fernando Alonso (ESP) 14
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN, ex-Lotus) 7
Romain Grosjean (FRA) 8
Pastor Maldonado (VEN, ex-Williams) 13
Jenson Button (GBR) 22
Kevin Magnussen (DEN, first season) 20
Force India:
Nico Hulkenberg (GER, ex-Sauber) 27
Sergio Perez (MEX, ex-McLaren) 11
Toro Rosso:
Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) 25
Daniil Kvyat (RUS, first season) 26
Felipe Massa (BRA, ex-Ferrari) 19
Valtteri Bottas (FIN) 77
Adrian Sutil (GER, ex-Force India) 99
Esteban Gutiérrez (MEX) 21
Jules Bianchi (FRA) 17
Mark Chilton (GBR) TBA


There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.