And it’s to be applauded, because race numbers have always been an important part of fan-engagement, whatever the discipline. Since numbers were assigned to a driver for an entire F1 season in 1974, fans have made an association with their favourite driver and a given number. Yet in recent years that has become ever harder thanks to a combination of tiny numbers, forgettable drivers’ helmet designs and high cockpit sides.
With drivers invited to choose a permanent number for the 2014 season (Lewis Hamilton, for example, selected 44, a number that has a sentimental value to him from his karting days) added to this new initiative, things have improved noticeably.
Which brings us onto the reason for this top 10. Think back through the history of driver/number pairings in various categories of racing and several obvious ones spring to mind, while others trigger a spark of nostalgia, regardless of longevity or success. These are our favourite 10 – a mixture, we feel, of numbers and names from both camps. Clearly, there are many others that’ll have the same effect on enthusiasts of a certain persuasion and/or age, so do let us know which ones would be in your top 10.