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Driver numbers

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Driver numbers

Postby Stuart-Aspey on Sun Oct 21, 2012 4:31 pm

Good afternoon everybody, how are you enjoying your Sunday?

I have a strange question. Does anyone know how drivers were allocated their numbers in the 50's and 60's? The reason for asking, I was trying to work out why Jack Brabham was not driving the Number 1 during the 1960 season? I think he only drove the number 1 at 3 races, even though he was the reigning World Champion and sucessfully defended his title.

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Re: Driver numbers

Postby Ciro Pabón on Sun Oct 21, 2012 7:34 pm

Hi, Stuart, welcome by all means. Sunday is OK, thanks. Actually, more than OK, because the gallon of chocolate ice cream and mountains of milk cream have my endorphins peaking.

Sure, we know everything and more. Way more (for example, if we don't know something we invent the answer).

When I was young and dinosaurs roamed the earth numbers were assigned on a race by race basis if I remember well the issue (which you could wisely doubt, giving the alarming rates at which the few neurons that my wild youth left more or less intact are expiring).

It wasn't until 1974 that people became obsessed with numbers and the pecking order they reflect. I blame that on the 1974 film "Herbie Rides Again" in which the VW starring in this cheesy movie repeated its racing number with fatal consequences for this "sport".

I remember I once used the number 13 1/2 and nobody blinked: try to do that these days, filled with formalities.

To check my theory... erm, my answer, I opened Wikipedia at random in the article for 1960 Monaco GP and found that, for example, Stirling Moss ran with the number 28. The next race, in Argentina he carried the 36. Then in Zandvort he drove car 7.

You can see a pattern here: take the number, add 8 to it and divide it by 4 and you get the numbers for the two following races. Pretty simple.

For example, if you had car number 1, the following races you were assigned numbers 9 and 0.25. I hope that's crystal clear.

On a side note, numbers themselves weren't invented until 1949 (along with the invention of dogs), so old GP races used Egyptian hieroglyphs as we all know.
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Re: Driver numbers

Postby Stuart-Aspey on Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:29 am

Ciro, thank you so much for your response, I think.

I can't imagine Ferrari agreeing to use 27 & 28 again if they weren't champions, as the viewing hoardes would wonder why they were given such lowly numbers.

With the allocation of different numbers per race, die cast models become as difficult to identify as the ever changing helmet designs of Sebastian Vettel.

Thanks to GrandPrix.com, also, as its race reports have the drivers allocated numbers. It's allowing me to identify them in the old photos.

Stuart (31, wow dinosaurs were still around in 1960?) :coffee:
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Re: Driver numbers

Postby Adam on Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:42 pm

Personally I'd like it changed so that drivers once again chose their own numbers with which to race, a la MotoGP (barring number 01, which naturally goes to the reigning champion). So for the 2013 season Vettel (probably) gets 01, everyone else gets a choice between 02 and 99. If two drivers want the same number, the higher finisher in the previous championship gets dibs. In the event it's two rookies who want the same number, or another such complication, toss a coin. These numbers must be displayed on cars at all race meetings so they are clearly visible on the front AND side of the car, i.e. about four times the size they are just now. And barring the champion's number, those numbers are kept for the rest of a driver's F1 career. So if Vergne, say, wanted Webber's chosen number, he has to either wait for the Aussie to retire, or beat him in the 2013 standings.

It'd bring an almost gladiatorial personality back to the forefront of the sport... which is probably why it'll never happen. :roll:

Or at the very, VERY least, bring back the number 13 - it's a joke for a supposedly secular sport.

Also, Ciro, 36 over 4 is not 7, and 9 over 4 is not 0.25.
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Re: Driver numbers

Postby Stuart-Aspey on Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:18 pm

Either before, or after Quali, don't mind which way they do it, i'd like to see the test drivers, in each representative team have a 20 lap sprint race, just to help with their race craft in the formula one cars, and also, so the fans effectively get to see two formula one races over tge weekend.

I'd also like them to bring back non championship races so that teams can try out new untested parts. Now, if they can do this AND reduces the cost of the sport to allow new teams to enter, that would be great. Thank you.

Stuart. :hihi:
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Re: Driver numbers

Postby Ciro Pabón on Sat Oct 27, 2012 4:02 am

Adam wrote:...Also, Ciro, 36 over 4 is not 7, and 9 over 4 is not 0.25.


Of course 9/4 is 0.25 in imperial bushels, but that not what I said, kiddo. I never make mistakes (unless you count subscribing to this forum).

What I said was (for Moss, who started with the number 28): "take the number, add 8 to it and divide it by 4 and you get the numbers for the two following races". I never said "add 8 to it and divide the result by 4"

28+8= 36
28/4= 7

Got it? Moss numbers in the two following races were 36 and 7.

Now, if you start with number 1 then:

1+8=9
1/4=0.25

If you don't get it yet, I was cleverly bringing to the thread the absurd notion of having number 0.25 in a car.

Now you can laugh, once the joke has been explained.

Actually, if you got an infinite number of racers and the first car has number one, the second has number 0.5, the third has the number 0.25, etc. then you could say: "I understand" and paint the number two in just one car.

In a similar fashion (this Adam will like) you could use as a rule to paint negative even numbers (-2, -4, etc.) and then erase all numbering and [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1_−_2_%2B_3_−_4_%2B_·_·_·]paint the number 0.25 in just one car[/url]... (this is one nobody will laugh at, sigh).

For example, in your system, if you can pick any number between 2 and 99, I would suggest pi, e, epsilon or phi. Why limit ourselves to being whole when you can be real? And better yet, you would be rational.

This means that if I got number one, after winning the WDC, I could paint the number 0.9999... and it would not change anything. I would love to know what officials would do in this case.

Certain troubles (explanation for Adam: joke using the similar pronunciation of 13 and Certain
Image

Moreover, you could reserve certain numbers for certain names. In the permanent list Adam proposes, the following last names would be permanently associated with the following numbers:

Pick: 6
Dirty: 12
Place: 2
Fantastic: 4
Chapter: 11
Type: 95
Seven: 11
Studio: 54
Ball: 8
Chanel: 5
Area: 51
Plan: 9
America: 1
Musketeer: 3
Menage: 3
Poo: 2
Pee: 1
Dent: 42
Bond: 007
Magnificent: 7

I don't know if I have to explain why America is number one, why pee is number one and poo is number two, what's a "menage a trois", who's Adam Dent or what Studio 54 was...
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Re: Driver numbers

Postby Lawrence on Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:40 pm

Stuart-Aspey wrote:With the allocation of different numbers per race, die cast models become as difficult to identify as the ever changing helmet designs of Sebastian Vettel.


Actually for the die cast and slot cars from the 1950s and 1960s, it is possible to identify the specific race (and year) the car was in. That is kind of cool. It is also kind of cool that A.J. Foyt was always number 14.
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