Alternative F1 Reality – if Teams had kept their historic numbers

Share This Post

AUTOSPORT today carried an article where teams have requested that they keep permanent race numbers. Some time ago, I wrote an article on the forum about what would have happened in an alternate reality where teams had kept their numbers from 1995. It seems an appropriate time to examine that again, so it is repeated below (updated until 2013).

From the early 1970’s until 1995 Fi teams kept their race number from one season to the next, the only change was for the team that had the current world drivers champion having race numbers 1 & 2 and they swapped numbers with the team that carried 1 & 2 the previous year. If new teams entered, they were given the lowest available race numbers, and if teams changed names they kept the same number.

I wondered what would have happened if we retained that ruling until today. After some research, this is my theory.

In ’95 the numbers were:
1 & 2 – Benetton
3 & 4 – Tyrrell
5 & 6 – Williams
7 & 8 – McLaren
9 & 10 – Footwork
11 & 12 – Simtek
14 & 15 – Jordan
16 & 17 – Pacific
21 & 22 – Forti
23 & 24 – Minardi
25 & 26 – Ligier
27 & 28 – Ferrari
29 & 30 – Sauber

In ’96 Schumacher takes number 1 to Ferrari, leaving Benetton with 27 & 28. Simtek and Pacific drop out.

In ’97 Hill takes number 1 to Arrows (change of name from Footwork), leaving Ferrari with 8 & 9. Stewart enters (11 & 12) and Lola enters (16 & 17). Ligier becomes Prost (still 25 & 26).

’98 sees Villeneuve with number 1 at Williams giving Arrows 5 & 6. Lola drop out (if they could ever be considered in?).

’99 brings 1 7 2 to McLaren courtesy of Hakkinen, while Williams take over 7 & 8. The Tyrrell entry (3 & 4) is taken over by BAR.

In ’00, there is no change of race numbers, but Stewart (11 & 12) are renamed Jaguar.

For ’01 Ferrari retake 1 & 2 thanks to Schumacher swapping 9 & 10 with McLaren.

For ’02 Prost drop out leaving 25 & 26 vacant, and Toyota enter (16 & 17). Benetton change name to Renault (27 & 28).

The only change in ’03 is Arrows dropping out leaving 5 & 6 free. There is no change in ’04 at all, and in ’05 Jaguar are sold to Red Bull (11 & 12).

In ’06 Alonso gives Renault number 1, returning Ferrari to their spritual home (27 & 28). Super Aguri are a new entry (5 & 6) and Jordan are sold to Midland, but change to Spyker before the end of the season (14 & 15). Minardi (23 & 24) are bought by Toro Rosso.

For ’07 Alonso takes the number 1 to McLaren, leaving Renault with 9 & 10. BAR become Honda (3 & 4).

In ’08 Raikonnen returns 1 to Ferrari, giving McLaren 27 & 28. Spyker (14 & 15) become Force India.

While Honda (3 & 4) become Brawn for ’09, McLaren and Ferrari swap back to the number they had the previous season following Hamilton’s championship. Super Aguri (5 & 6) drop out.

2010 sees no change in the number 1 team thanks to Button joining McLaren, but Brawn (3 & 4) are sold to Mercedes, Toyota (16 & 17) drop out, and there are new entries for Lotus (5 & 6), HRT (16 & 17) and Virgin (18 & 19).

In ’11 Red Bull gain number 1 for Vettel’s first championship leaving McLaren with 11 & 12. Lotus (5 & 6) become Team Lotus, while Renault (9 & 10) become Lotus Renault, and Virgin change to Marussia (18 & 19).

For 2012 we just have the change in team names with Team Lotus becoming Caterham and Lotus Renault becoming Lotus. This would leave the team numbers looking like:
1 & 2 – Red Bull
3 & 4 – Mercedes
5 & 6 – Caterham
7 & 8 – Williams
9 & 10 – Lotus
11 & 12 – McLaren
14 & 15 – Force India
16 & 17 – HRT
18 & 19 – Marussia
23 & 24 – Toro Rosso
27 & 28 – Ferrari
29 & 30 – Sauber

The only change for 2013 would be the loss of HRT, and for the forthcoming 2014 season teams would retain the same numbers (thanks to Vettel retaining the championship).

A couple of this please me with this. Ferrari end up with 27 & 28 (Gilles spirit lives on), and the current Mercedes team ancestry (Tyrrell) is clear thorough their race numbers.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
PatreonPayPal
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x