Newly re-elected FIA president Jean Todt has said that he supports the request of teams to assign permanent car numbers assigned to drivers, instead of the current system based on the championship classification.
Teams has drivers have recently been pushing for permanent race numbers, just like in MotoGP.
Formula One also used to have a similar system in place until the FIA mandated numbers to be assigned to each team according to their classification in the Constructors' Championship of the year before. The numbers of each car are then usually assigned according to the position of the drivers in the Drivers' Championship, but this can be changed upon agreement within the team.
Frenchman Jean Todt said to the French newspaper L'equipe he is fully supportive of the idea.
"I think it would be nice if the drivers keep the same race number, with the exception of the world champion who always displays the number 1.
"When I watch a Grand Prix now, I cannot see the name or the number of the driver," he complained. "I know they need the space on the cars for the sponsors, but I think that there are solutions — for example we could put a number on the helmet."
The idea was however mainly proposed for marketing reasons, as it will allow drivers to use their numbers on their merchandise instead of having them changed almost every single year.
While the exact specifications are not yet finalized, it looks more and more that the permanent numbers will definitely happen, perhaps as early as next year.