Will F1 start retiring driver numbers?

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Just_a_fan
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Re: Will F1 start retiring driver numbers?

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BlueCheetah66 wrote:
Tue Sep 28, 2021 4:34 pm
I doubt F1 would retire numbers of champions but rather drivers would just avoid the numbers due to it being related to other drivers.

It will be interesting to see how quickly the number 7 will be taken once Kimi leaves as that seems like an in demand number
7 is seen as being lucky in a number of cultures, particularly the "western" ones, just as 13 is often seen as being unlucky.

It would be interesting to ask Kimi if he feels he's been lucky during his years in F1. :lol:
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Re: Will F1 start retiring driver numbers?

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Just_a_fan wrote:
Tue Sep 28, 2021 4:38 pm
Jolle wrote:
Tue Sep 28, 2021 4:10 pm
Of course, F1 already retired one number: 17.
They choose not to retire other numbers yet, also because (I think) due to the relative recent introduction of fixed numbers for drivers, the few big names that left the sport weren’t associated with their numbers yet ( like Button, Rosberg and Alonso). Hamilton is one of few of the older generation that is closely associated with his number and I expect with his retirement they will retire #44 as well.
In MotoGP this is done for years now. So from memory, not only the numbers of fatalities are retired (like 58) but also 65, 34, 69 and probably soon 46 and in the future 93.
I think retiring a number when an active driver dies is one thing, although having said that you'd have had to retire 1, 8, 12, 19, 27 just for Senna (although G Villeneuve used 12 and 27 too, of course). Ratzenberger died with 32 on his car. Go back through the records and you find that a good number of numbers would be retired because they were used by a driver that dies whilst still actively competing.

Perhaps saying "we'll retire a driver's number from 2014 onwards if they die" would be "a nice thing to do", although my own view is that it's fairly meaningless. It's a reaction to the thankfully rare occurrence of death in motorsport these days, nothing more. We make a big thing of it because it is so unusual. It is shocking. But decisions based on emotional responses are often poor decisions.
The difference of the numbers that were on Senna’s, Villeneuve’s, etc car and the numbers now, that Senna and his departed colleagues had no choice in their number, it was handed out to the team while since 2014, it’s part of the drivers identity.

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Re: Will F1 start retiring driver numbers?

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Jolle wrote:
Tue Sep 28, 2021 5:53 pm
The difference of the numbers that were on Senna’s, Villeneuve’s, etc car and the numbers now, that Senna and his departed colleagues had no choice in their number, it was handed out to the team while since 2014, it’s part of the drivers identity.
I'm sure many people think of Gilles Villeneuve as being #27, just as many think of Mansell as being "red 5". Certainly, in the case of Mansell that is often the case.

What if a current driver has a child who makes it to F1? Maybe they want to run "Dad's number". Sorry, it's retired because it was his identity.

Helmets should be a driver's defining item, not a number, IMHO. Back in the day, the helmet was how you knew which driver was which. When Damon Hill chose his helmet design, he asked his mother if it was ok to use his Dad's design, and that was borrowed from the London Rowing Club and made him instantly recognisable. Yes, the halo has made that difficult, but you can still tell Hamilton from Bottas in the onboards just by the helmet, even if everything else on the car was the same.

As already mentioned, the numbers have been used by countless drivers through the generations, to suddenly say "sorry, but for some entirely arbitrary reason we're going to prevent you having a certain number" is silly IMHO.

It's just another one of the silly ideas that modern F1 seems to attract. M'eh.
Last edited by Just_a_fan on Tue Sep 28, 2021 6:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Big Tea
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Re: Will F1 start retiring driver numbers?

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I think I prefer the numbers allocated in team order allocated to the car rather than the driver. It makes more sense as it means something, and does not cause any resentment because 'he has the number I was going to pick'
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Re: Will F1 start retiring driver numbers?

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Big Tea wrote:
Tue Sep 28, 2021 6:05 pm
I think I prefer the numbers allocated in team order allocated to the car rather than the driver. It makes more sense as it means something, and does not cause any resentment because 'he has the number I was going to pick'
I agree. It worked perfectly well. No idea why someone decided they needed to change it other than it allows the drivers to use a permanent hashtag thingy on social media.
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Re: Will F1 start retiring driver numbers?

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Big Tea wrote:
Tue Sep 28, 2021 6:05 pm
I think I prefer the numbers allocated in team order allocated to the car rather than the driver. It makes more sense as it means something, and does not cause any resentment because 'he has the number I was going to pick'
Being grown adults though, I don't imagine they are that childish.
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Re: Will F1 start retiring driver numbers?

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adrianjordan wrote:
Fri Oct 15, 2021 10:32 am
Big Tea wrote:
Tue Sep 28, 2021 6:05 pm
I think I prefer the numbers allocated in team order allocated to the car rather than the driver. It makes more sense as it means something, and does not cause any resentment because 'he has the number I was going to pick'
Being grown adults though, I don't imagine they are that childish.
We would like to think so wouldn't we :mrgreen:
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adrianjordan
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Re: Will F1 start retiring driver numbers?

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Maybe they should offer drivers who break long held records the option of retiring their number when they leave the sport.

I mean LH44 has become so synonymous with Hamilton as a brand, that I would imagine he will want to continue using it for a while after he leaves F1. Perhaps a new driver would have to get his permission to run it within the next X number of years or some variation like that.

I'm not sure where I stand on retiring a number when a drive dies. Imagine a young driver wants to pay homage to Bianchi by running number 17 and has done through his junior career....he gets to F1 and can't.
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coaster
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Re: Will F1 start retiring driver numbers?

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In Australia a drivers number was retired after his death, 05 belonging to Peter Brock. I think the governing body decides this as a memorial to a driver.

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Big Tea
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Re: Will F1 start retiring driver numbers?

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coaster wrote:
Fri Oct 15, 2021 10:59 pm
In Australia a drivers number was retired after his death, 05 belonging to Peter Brock. I think the governing body decides this as a memorial to a driver.
Does that not then mean that as the number is no longer seen no one remembers him?
A race with the number in would ring a bell each time the number is seen until someone else becomes 'more associated' with it.
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coaster
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Re: Will F1 start retiring driver numbers?

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The prefix of the zero was a special allowance for Peter, also he was a folk hero down here in sedan racing.

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Re: Will F1 start retiring driver numbers?

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El Scorchio wrote:
Fri Sep 24, 2021 3:51 pm
Not sure if this has ever been discussed on here, but a quick search didn't yield anything.

Given that each driver has 'their' number for the course of their career now which is forever synonymous with them, and in some sports (predominantly American sports, and what with the owners being American) it's customary for numbers to be retired, do we think this will start happening in F1?

The first obvious candidate is 44 at the moment, but how likely is it that that and possibly other numbers begin to be retired going forward? And would it be a good or bad idea?
Since it's not a team sport and thus there is only a small set of positions across the "league", I think retiring numbers is pushing things too much. Granted, 44 will be heralded just as much as the number 1, even more legendary than 5, or 27, but I don't see anything wrong with another driver using it. It will just be known that anybody who chooses 44 better have the skills to back it up.
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raymondu999
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Re: Will F1 start retiring driver numbers?

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Given Vettel's recent retirement I'm just now posing a question on this thread again. Given the level of success Vettel has had -- mathematically, he is the 3rd hghest on all time GP wins, and tied 4th on all time title wins (as this post is written) and while that would probably maybe change in the future, would F1 consider retiring his number given the level of success he has had? Or for example Hamilton who is the current statistical GOAT -- would F1 retire 44 in honor of him?
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Big Tea
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Re: Will F1 start retiring driver numbers?

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raymondu999 wrote:
Fri Aug 12, 2022 10:10 am
Given Vettel's recent retirement I'm just now posing a question on this thread again. Given the level of success Vettel has had -- mathematically, he is the 3rd hghest on all time GP wins, and tied 4th on all time title wins (as this post is written) and while that would probably maybe change in the future, would F1 consider retiring his number given the level of success he has had? Or for example Hamilton who is the current statistical GOAT -- would F1 retire 44 in honor of him?
I still say no it is a daft idea everywhere. Retire it for a season maybe, but it makes no sense at all.
Maybe a short while for merchandisers, but even that would only be a year or two and I doubt he would gain anything from it.

While he still holds a licence it can not be used anyway.
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Just_a_fan
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Re: Will F1 start retiring driver numbers?

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raymondu999 wrote:
Fri Aug 12, 2022 10:10 am
Given Vettel's recent retirement I'm just now posing a question on this thread again. Given the level of success Vettel has had -- mathematically, he is the 3rd hghest on all time GP wins, and tied 4th on all time title wins (as this post is written) and while that would probably maybe change in the future, would F1 consider retiring his number given the level of success he has had? Or for example Hamilton who is the current statistical GOAT -- would F1 retire 44 in honor of him?
A good question. Of course, for many of us who have been watching F1 for a good number of years, the car number 5 has a previous association with another champion. Red 5 was Mansell's car when he drove for Williams. He took it to Indy, too, funnily enough. And Damon Hill took his title with 5 on his Williams although not with the same association as "Mansell is Red 5".

I'm not a fan of the idea of retiring driver numbers, partly because for many years the number wasn't the driver's it was the team's - as with Mansell and Hill above. If F1 drivers had always had their own individual numbers then retiring them would make some sense, but as many numbers are associated with multiple teams, cars and drivers, doing so now seems a bit silly to me.
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