We Asked F1 Fans If They Still Care About Racing With The Number 1 – WTF1

We Asked F1 Fans If They Still Care About Racing With The Number 1

For the first time since 2014, we’ll see the number 1 back in F1 as Max Verstappen confirmed in a post-race interview in Abu Dhabi that he’ll run the number as the reigning World Champion.

The number 1 brings back memories of champions like Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and Michael Schumacher, who carried it on their cars following world championship success. But with personal numbers introduced and a new generation of fans having never seen the champion carry number one, do people still have feel the same way about it?


Sebastian Vettel was the last driver to have the number 1 on his car, using it in 2014 following his fourth world title. 2014 was also the year when F1 introduced personal numbers where the drivers would now carry a number throughout their career rather than be based on the world championship standings from the previous year.

While Vettel wanted to carry the number as champion, Lewis Hamilton did not. Hamilton chose to stick with number 44 even as the reigning champ, having only used the number 1 following his first world title in 2008 back when it was mandatory.

The other driver to win a title in the personal number era was Nico Rosberg, who retired from F1 after being crowned champion.


So with a whole new generation of F1 fans growing up without seeing the number 1, we wanted to know if veteran fans had more of an association with the number 1, while new fans preferred the personal approach.

Over 4500 of you responded to our form, asking two simple questions:

  1. When did you start watching F1? (Before 2014 or After 2014)
  2. If you were an F1 driver and won the championship, would you use the number 1 or your personal number (e.g. 33, 44)

Firstly, we had pretty much an even split of F1 fans with 50.1% watching after 2014 and 49.9% watching F1 before 2014.

So would people watching before 2014 care more about the number 1?

Here are the results…

There we have it, it’s not by a huge amount but the data shows that the number 1 is preferred by an older generation of fans, while keeping a personal number is the more popular option for fans who’ve grown up in the personal number era.

Are you excited to see the number 1 back in F1? Let us know in the comments.

5 thoughts on “We Asked F1 Fans If They Still Care About Racing With The Number 1

    • MV33 doesn’t have any. He just relies on bullying tatctics and cries like a baby along with his fanboys when others do unto Max what Max does to them.

  • I think it’s great to see the number 1 back – maybe I’m just showing my age, but you work hard to earn it, and I think it’s showing pride in your job to carry the 1. It probably motivates the rest of the grid even more to beat you, too, which is nice.

    • Except MV33 didn’t earn the AD win and thus didn’t earn the right to use no1 as WDC. But if #Crashstappen needs to have a No1 on his car to prove to him self that he was gifyed that title then it says alot about his childish ego.

      • Verstappen didn’t choose the rules or the decisions which led to him winning. And he didn’t win in just one race. He won over the whole season. Hamilton would have won anyway had he not made the ‘magic’ mistake. Twice.

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