F1 drivers reveal their numbers

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IOL mot pic jan13 F1 Button Number 22 AFP Jenson Button carried the number 22 on his Brawn GP F1 car when he won the world title in 2009. Picture: Karim Sahib

Formula One drivers revealed their car numbers on Friday for the forthcoming season as well as the rest of their careers with former world champion Jenson Button using plastic ducks to highlight his choice.

Governing body, the FIA, gave drivers a choice of numbers between 2 and 99 with the number one reserved for the defending world champion, currently Germany's Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel.

Vettel will opt for the number five in 2015 should he lose the world title he has held since 2010.

The decision to add permanent numbers to the vehicles was taken to boost the sport's marketing possibilities.

McLaren's former world champion Button chose 22, announcing his decision on Twitter alongside a photo of two plastic, yellow ducks, utilising bingo-hall parlance in the process.

“2 little ducks! #22 #jenson22 my new race number guys, great memories,” he wrote.

Button had the number 22 on his Brawn F1 car when he won his only world title in 2009.

His new teammate, Kevin Magnusson, will carry number 20, the same as he used in the 2013 World Series by Renault championship, one of motor-racing's second tier competitions.

“My driver number will be 20, which I won the @WSR_Live3.5 last year,” tweeted the Dane.

Lewis Hamilton will sport 44 on his Mercedes, the same number he used when he started out as a kart driver in his childhood.

Kimi Raikkonen has gone for number 7 on his return to Ferrari, where he was world champion in 2007.

“There's no particular story linked to it,” Raikkonnen said.“It's the number I already had last year and I saw no reason to change it. I like it which is good enough isn't it?”

Teammate Fernando Alonso plumped for 14.

Alonso said he considered 14 to be a lucky number.

“It has always brought me luck,” said the Spaniard, who clinched back-to-back world titles in 2005 and 2006. “That dates back to 14 July 1996 when, at the age of 14, I won the World championship in a kart that had the number 14.

“Let's see if it will still bring me luck.”

Despite its association with bad luck, Venezuelan driver Pastor Maldonado has opted for 13 for his first season with Lotus after leaving Williams.

Force India's Nico Hulkenberg chose 27, the number made famous by legendary Canadian driver Gilles Villeneuve.

Lotus driver Romain Grosjean was delighted with his choice of eight.

“Yes yes yes I have got my first number choice : 8 ~r8main #2014 #f1,” he tweeted.

DRIVERS/TEAMS WITH NUMBERS

Red Bull Racing:

Sebastian Vettel (Germany) 1 (and 5 for seasons when he is not defending world champion)

Daniel Ricciardo (Australia, ex-Toro Rosso) 3

Mercedes:

Lewis Hamilton (Britain) 44

Nico Rosberg (Germany) 6

Ferrari:

Fernando Alonso (Spain) 14

Kimi Raikkonen (Finland, ex-Lotus) 7

Lotus:

Romain Grosjean (FRA) 8

Pastor Maldonado (VEN, ex-Williams) 13

McLaren:

Jenson Button (Britain) 22

Kevin Magnussen (Denmark, first season) 20

Force India:

Nico Hulkenberg (Germany, ex-Sauber) 27

Sergio Perez (Mexico, ex-McLaren) 11

Toro Rosso:

Jean-Eric Vergne (France) 25

Daniil Kvyat (Russia, first season) 26

Williams:

Felipe Massa (Brazil, ex-Ferrari) 19

Valtteri Bottas (Finland) 77

Sauber:

Adrian Sutil (Germany, ex-Force India) 99

Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) 21

Marussia:

Jules Bianchi (France) 17

Mark Chilton (Britain) TBA

Caterham

TBA

TBA - AFP


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