In Formula 1, all drivers use a fixed racing number. The championship introduced this concept in 2014 to increase the recognition of the drivers on the track to the fans. In previous years, raw numbers were distributed based on final standings in the previous World Championship standings.
Now only the pre-season world champion can choose to change his number: he gets the offer to replace the permanent number with the number 1. All other drivers must stick to the number they choose.
Behind the choice of each number is a story for many drivers. It could be their lucky number or they have special memories of the number. This article lists all the numbers for the 2023 Formula 1 season and the interpretations behind them.
List of F1 drivers figures in 2023
Will Max Verstappen drive the No. 1 race in 2023?
As world champion, Max Verstappen has chosen to hold on to the pole position for the 2023 Formula 1 season. Immediately after winning the championship in 2021 in the final in Abu Dhabi, the Red Bull driver has already announced that he will change his usual No. 33 – and He chose the same thing again after winning his second title.
“How often do you get the chance to drive with pole position in your Formula 1 career? You never know,” said Verstappen.
“I can always go back to No. 33 if I’m no longer world champion. But as long as I’m world champion, I’ll use No. 1 every year.”
in 2014 Sebastian Vettel He was the last driver to use the No. 1. In later years, the title went to Lewis Hamilton, who stuck to the No. 44, or to Nico Rosberg. The German hung up his helmet immediately after his world title, so the driver cannot use the No. 1 in 2017.
Why did Max Verstappen choose No. 33?
In the years leading up to his first world title, Max Verstappen drove in Formula 1 with the number 33. The story behind this choice is quite simple: in his youth the Dutchman had the number 3 as a lucky number. He wanted to use it in F1, but the number is already taken Daniel Ricardoso Verstappen then opted to use No. 33, “for the sake of double happiness”.
“As a kid I used to race that number, so I thought it would be fun to use the number 33 in Formula 1 as well,” he explained on social media, accompanying a photo of an electric toy car he was driving in the family park.
At other times in his career he also drove with the #3, while in the European Formula 3 Championship the Dutchman raced the #30 and in his Toro Rosso debut he used the #38.
Formula 1 drivers numbers for 2023 and the story behind their selection
Lando Norris gave it to him McLaren #4, explaining: “The story is that there is no story. Fits perfectly with the #L4ndo hashtag, but it’s not a number I’ve used in all classes of racing.” Norris is a big fan of MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi and had considered using his #46, but said he didn’t want to be a “snapper” so he opted for fourth.
AlphaTauri Driver Pierre Gasly has the tenth position. The Frenchman won the 2013 Formula Renault 2.0 Euro Cup with this number and is also a big fan of soccer player Zinedine Zidane, who played with the number 10 of the French team.
Sergio Perez uses the number 11 in his car. The origin is not in motorsport, but in football. The Mexican is a big fan of Club América, especially former player Ivan Zamorano. “I loved the way Bam-Bam played, how he scored goals. I became a fan of his and decided to race with that number. To this day, I always use No. 11 everywhere, right down to my email address!” Perez said.
Alps F1 driver Fernando Alonso uses #14. On July 14, 1999, at the age of 14, he became world karting champion with the number 14. “From that moment on I knew #14 was my number,” he said.
Charles Leclerc competes in Formula 1 with the No. 16.L Ferrari Driver was born on October 16, 1997. He initially preferred to be the lucky number seven, but that was already taken. Kimi Raikkonen. After that, Leclerc wanted 10th, but that was already being pushed around by his close friend Pierre Gasly. After some simple math, he decided on number 16: “Because one plus six equals seven,” he explained.
Lance Stroll fitted his Aston Martin with the number 18. In the early days of his career, he won the Italian Formula 4 Championship with this racing number. Moreover, shortly after his 18th birthday, he made his Formula 1 debut williams. “I’m a bit superstitious,” said Al-Kindi, “but I like to hold onto small things that are important to me. I don’t want to change them.”
Kevin Magnussen competes with the No. 20 in Formula 1 because it is the number he won in the 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 Series Championship, a year before his Grand Prix debut. McLaren.
Alexander Albon adheres to the number 23, which he also used at the first stage of his Formula One career. In the world of sports, this is a remarkable number. Basketball players LeBron James and Michael Jordan played with this number, as did soccer player David Beckham for part of his career. Like colleague Lando Norris, Albon is a huge fan of Valentino Rossi. In his karting days, the British Thai raced his number 46, but decided to opt for half that number in F1.
Chu Guanyu He chose No. 24. This number was last used in 2012 by Timo Gluck. The Chinese driver chose this number in honor of basketball legend Kobe Bryant, of whom he is a big fan. Bryant played his final years with the Lakers with number 24.
Nico Hulkenberg He returns to the No. 27 he used in the early part of his F1 career. The number is already famous in F1 having been used to great success by Gilles Villeneuve, as well on occasion by a handful of other stars including Ayrton Senna and Jean Alessi. But, it is said, German’s reason for choosing the number 27 is not at all about that, since the date and month of his birthday are added together: August 19th.
Esteban Ocon uses the number 31. The Alps The F1 driver got his first karting title with this number in 2007. He still considers this one of the best years of his career. He also drove his first Formula 1 test in October 2014 in the No. 31 service Lotus.
Yuki Tsunoda chose the 22nd pole position on his F1 debut AlphaTauri. The Japanese driver drove 11th in the early karting days and wanted to use that number in Formula 1 as well, but that starting number is already occupied by Sergio Perez. Tsunoda simply doubled the number and ended up with number 22.
Seven-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton races with the number 44. The Briton drove his first kart race with that number, but didn’t know which race number to choose at the time, so he took the number from the license plate of his father’s car: F44. With this number, he laid the foundation for his successful career, and therefore he wanted to use it in Formula 1. Even in the years when he was entitled to race with the first place as world champion, the Briton stuck to the number 44.
Carlos Sainz gave him Ferrari #55. “The S of my first name is like the number 5 and so is the S of my last name, so the number is 55.” Furthermore, #5 is his favorite number, but that was already taken Sebastian Vettel. With his self-invented pun, he reached number 55.
George Russell uses the number 63. “My brother used to kart with the number 63, so that’s been our family number ever since,” he said. With some creativity, 63 can also be read as GR, which are the initials for Mercedes driver. Others see it as GB, which stands for Great Britain.
Valtteri Bottas is racing the #77. The Finn, like many other drivers, wanted the lucky #7. However, this figure was already taken by his compatriot Kimi Raikkonen. So Bottas chose No. 77, which he cleverly applied to his personal merchandise with the Bo77as logo.
Oscar Piastri has announced that he will run the No. 81 in Formula One, having used the number intermittently in his career. Starting from the No. 11 while karting in Australia, Piastri switched to the No. 81 as the competitor already had the previous race’s number while moving up the karting ladder. When he began competing in Europe he used a variety of different numbers but returned to the No. 81 when he competed in both British F4 and the Northern European Formula Renault Cup.
At the moment, Nyck de Vries and Logan Sargeant have not confirmed the race numbers they will use for their F1 rookie campaigns.
What race numbers cannot be used in Formula 1?
Formula 1 drivers cannot choose to use the number 17. Jules Bianchi He was using this number at the time of a serious accident in Suzuka in 2014. He later died of his injuries from that accident. As a tribute, the F1 organization has decided to withdraw this race number.
How long is a driver entitled to have an F1 start number?
A driver who leaves F1 can still use his old number for up to two years in the event of a possible return. During this period the number cannot be used by another driver. For example, Fernando Alonso could come back after being out for two seasons and pick the number 14 again, which is why Alexander Albon could take the number 23 again and Nico Hulkenberg with the number 27. When a driver returns after a longer absence, he has to choose a new starting number. .