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 while his new Australian teammate Daniel Ricciardo has No.3.
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 last year’s World Series by Renault championship, one of motor-racing’s second tier competitions.
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 No.7, his number in 2013, for his return to Ferrari, where he was world champion in 2007, .
Teammate Fernando Alonso plumped for 14.
“It has always brought me luck, dating back to 14th July 1996 when, at the age of 14, I won the World championship in a kart that had the number 14,” said the Spaniard, who clinched back-to-back world titles in 2005 and 2006.
“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,” tweeted the Frenchman.
Drivers/teams with numbers:
Red Bull Racing:
Sebastian Vettel (GER) 1 (and 5 for seasons when he is not defending world champion)
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS, ex-Toro Rosso) 3
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) 44
Nico Rosberg (GER) 6
Fernando Alonso (ESP) 14
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN, ex-Lotus) 7
Romain Grosjean (FRA) 8
Pastor Maldonado (VEN, ex-Williams) 13
Jenson Button (GBR) 22
Kevin Magnussen (DEN, first season) 20
Nico Hulkenberg (GER, ex-Sauber) 27
Sergio Perez (MEX, ex-McLaren) 11
Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) 25
Daniil Kvyat (RUS, first season) 26
Felipe Massa (BRA, ex-Ferrari) 19
Valtteri Bottas (FIN) 77
Adrian Sutil (GER, ex-Force India) 99
Esteban Gutirrez (MEX) 21
Jules Bianchi (FRA) 17
Mark Chilton (GBR) TBA