Since 2014, Formula 1 has introduced a new numbering system for the single-seaters, which allows each driver to choose their own race number that they carry with them throughout their career.
Over the years, we have learned to memorize a bit of all the numbers on the grid, also counting the relatively few substitutions that took place from season to season; however, we hardly know the reasons that led each of them to make the choice, which ranges from memories of the past to superstitious reasons related to loved ones to necessarily alternative choices with respect to the original idea.
Here is Scuderia Ferrari drivers Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc race with numbers 55 and 16. We also take a look at Mick Schumacher’s choice to take #47:
Carlos Sainz – 55
For the Spaniard, 55 was certainly not his first choice. His favorite number is 19, already chosen by Felipe Massa in the year of his Formula 1 debut back in 2015. The second option was 5, which was taken by Sebastian Vettel, who at that moment was racing for Scuderia Ferrari. Hence, this last figure has been doubled, and was a great idea also from a marketing perspective, because it can be considered as the last S from his name and the first of the surname (Carlo55ainz).
Charles Leclerc – 16
For Charles Leclerc there is similar scenario to that of his teammate: the Monegasque driver would have wanted 7, already used by Kimi Raikkonen at the time of his Formula 1 debut in 2018. The second option would have been 10, which was also taken (by Pierre Gasly). So Charles Leclerc decided to use 16, his birthday and whose sum (1 + 6) is just 7.
Mick Schumacher – 47
Also a secondary choice, but not too much, for the young Ferrari Driver Academy member and Haas driver. He would have wanted either 4 (linked to the number with which he won the European F3) or 7 (the number of titles won by his father Michael), but both were already used in 2020 by Lando Norris and Kimi Raikkonen. So Mick Schumacher decided to use them both, later discovering a curious analogy: “If we add up all the days of the family’s birthday, the result is 47. A very nice coincidence for me”. – Mick Schumacher admitted.