F1 2014: The reasons behind the numbers

F1 2014: The reasons behind the numbers

8 February 2014 – F1 drivers have been given the opportunity to pick permanent numbers this year, which will be used for the rest of their careers. But what were the reasons behind their choices? GPUpdate.net reveals all...

Sebastian Vettel
Number 1 for 2014
Number 5 for career


As the reigning World Champion, Vettel is the only driver permitted to use number 1 for the 2014 season. He used his permanent number, five, in karting in 2001 and won his first Formula 1 world title with it in 2010.

Daniel Ricciardo
Number 3

This was Ricciardo's first ever number in karting. He was also a fan of NASCAR's Dale Earnhardt growing up.

Lewis Hamilton
Number 44

Hamilton used this number during the 'Champions Of The Future' karting series in 1996. It is also the combined total of his previous Formula 1 car numbers since debuting in 2007, these being: 2, 22, 1, 2, 3, 4, 10.

Nico Rosberg
Number 6

This is the lucky number of his future wife, Vivian Sibold, and of his father, Keke. Ex-Formula 1 driver Keke won his sole World Championship with the number during the 1982 campaign, while driving for the Williams team.

Fernando Alonso
Number 14

Alonso won a karting race at the age of 14, on July 14 1996, with a kart that sported the number 14.

Kimi Räikkönen
Number 7

Räikkönen used this number last season and, in his typical tone, said that he saw no reason to change it.

Romain Grosjean
Number 8

Grosjean's wife, French television presenter and journalist Marion Jollès Grosjean, was born on December 8, he started dating her in 2008 and he views his new son, Sacha, as the 'eighth wonder of the world'.

Pastor Maldonado
Number 13

Maldonado has not provided the reason behind his decision to choose 13, a number considered unlucky in many countries but lucky in others. The Venezuelan is reviving a number that has rarely been seen in motor racing.

Jenson Button
Number 22

This is the number used by Button during his title-winning season of 2009, while driving for Brawn GP.

Kevin Magnussen
Number 20

Magnussen has chosen to hold on to this number after winning the Formula Renault 3.5 title with it last year.

Nico Hülkenberg
Number 27

This number is the total of Hülkenberg's birthday dates (19/8). The German also sees it as a 'cool' choice.

Sergio Pérez
Number 11

In his early karting days, Pérez consistently used the number 11. It also features in his email address.

Adrian Sutil
Number 99

Sutil was straightforward when asked about his decision, stating, "in my life it's only the maximum!"

Esteban Gutiérrez
Number 21

When asked about his choice, Gutiérrez went no further than explaining that 21 is his lucky number.

Jean-Éric Vergne
Number 25

This is a number that Vergne previously used in his early karting days. He was also born on April 25.

Daniil Kvyat
Number 26

Like team-mate Vergne, Kvyat's number features his date of birth. The 19-year-old Russian also contested his first kart race with the number, but has curiously suggested, "the story about the number has to be made."

Felipe Massa
Number 19

Massa won a selection of championships with this number in the early stages of his career, and says it has always brought him luck. When 19 was not previously available, he switched to the number 91.

Valtteri Bottas
Number 77

Bottas has not publicly discussed the reason behind his number choice, but it certainly works well in terms of marketing and social media. He has already tweeted with the hashtags #Val77eri and #BO77AS.

Jules Bianchi
Number 17

Bianchi was unable to secure any of the three numbers (seven, 27 and 77) he applied for, so he settled for 17.

Max Chilton
Number 4

Chilton has not given an official reason but, like Bottas, he tweeted soon afterwards with the hashtag #M4X.

Kamui Kobayashi
Number 10

Kobayashi first raced with this number in Formula 1, when he replaced the injured Timo Glock in late 2009.

Marcus Ericsson
Number 9

Ericsson is another driver to keep his number choice a secret, but he did start karting at the age of nine.

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