The FIA has released a provisional entry list for the 2014 Formula 1 season, confirming each of the assigned numbers that this year’s Formula 1 drivers will carry for the remainders of their career.
That the FIA firstly chose to release this information late on a Friday night was rather odd timing, but there were also a number of typo errors on the entry list itself, with both McLaren and Lotus – displayed as ‘Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Ltd’ and ‘Lotus Renault F1 Team Ltd’ – listed with incorrect names.
Lotus and Marussia were also, interestingly, both listed as ‘subject to confirmation’, with the latter team’s second driver seemingly confirmed as Max Chilton – the Banbury-based team has not made an official announcement as yet.
But the main talking point is the assignment of the drivers’ racing numbers. There were some interesting selections, with some drivers adopting a choice reflecting tradition or sentimentality, while for others, the choice was more practical or commercial.
2014 Formula 1 World Championship – Provisional Entry List:
|No.||Race Drivers||Entry / Team||Engine||Chassis|
|1.||Sebastian Vettel||Infiniti Red Bull Racing||RB10|
|3.||Daniel Ricciardo||Infiniti Red Bull Racing||RB10|
|6.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team||F1W05|
|7.||Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari||TBA|
|8.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus F1 Team||E22|
|11.||Sergio Pérez||Sahara Force India F1 Team||VJM07|
|13.||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus F1 Team||E22|
|14.||Fernando Alonso||Scuderia Ferrari||TBA|
|17.||Jules Bianchi||Marussia F1 Team||MR03|
|19.||Felipe Massa||Williams F1 Team||FW36|
|20.||Kevin Magnussen||McLaren Mercedes||MP4-29|
|21.||Esteban Gutiérrez||Sauber F1 Team||C33|
|22.||Jenson Button||McLaren Mercedes||MP4-29|
|25.||Jean-Éric Vergne||Scuderia Toro Rosso||STR9|
|26.||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso||STR9|
|27.||Nico Hülkenberg||Sahara Force India F1 Team||VJM07|
|44.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team||F1W05|
|77.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams F1 Team||FW36|
|99.||Adrian Sutil||Sauber F1 Team||C33|
|TBA.||Max Chilton||Marussia F1 Team||MR03|
|TBA.||TBA||TBA||Caterham F1 Team||CT04|
|TBA.||TBA||TBA||Caterham F1 Team||CT04|
Reigning champion Sebastian Vettel will race with the number ‘1’ as he seeks to earn himself a record-equalling fifth successive Drivers’ Championship title this year. The German has also reserved the number 5 in seasons where he no longer holds the title, perhaps being a nod to both Nigel Mansell and Michael Schumacher, the latter winning his first World Championship crown racing the #5 Benetton Ford in 1994.
The likes of Daniel Ricciardo (#3), Sergio Pérez (#11) and Lewis Hamilton (#44) all selected the first number they ever ran when they started out in karting.
The likes of Felipe Massa (#19), Kevin Magnussen (#20) and Jean-Éric Vergne (#25) will each race with the numbers they ran during their breakout championship title wins – Massa’s was in the 2001 Euro F3000 championship, while Magnussen and Vergne were victorious in the 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 and 2007 Formule Campus titles, respectively.
Jenson Button secured his preferred #22, the same number he ran en route to winning the 2009 Formula 1 championship with the Brawn GP team – it remains the highest number a driver has run in their championship-winning season.
Nico Rosberg’s choice (#6) was a nod to his father, Keke, who raced the number en route to winning the 1982 World Championship crown with Williams.
Kimi Räikkönen (#7) and Romain Grosjean (#8) both keep the same numbers they ran when they were teammates at Lotus last year.
“It’s the number I already had last year and I saw no reason to change it,” Räikkönen – quite hilariously – said of his selection.
Räikkönen’s teammate Fernando Alonso will run his lucky #14, while Esteban Gutiérrez (#21) will also race his lucky number.
Conversely, Pastor Maldonado is defying any sense of superstition by picking the typically unlucky #13, which hasn’t been used since the 1976 British Grand Prix.
At the upper end of the scale, Valtteri Bottas secured #77, which allows him to use the ‘BO77AS’ branding. Adrian Sutil opted for the highest possible number allowed, and will race with #99.
Poor Jules Bianchi didn’t get any of his three shortlisted numbers (having nominated #27, #7 or #77 in order of preference), and instead took #17.
His teammate Max Chilton remains without a number while the futures of Giedo van der Garde and Charles Pic are still up in the air. Both finished ahead of him in the 2013 standings, and therefore get their preferences ahead of the Englishman, assuming the secure the two still to be confirmed seats at Caterham.