Formula 1 | Leclerc would like to take the n ° 7 from Kimi Raikkonen
A rumor has surfaced that Charles Leclerc would like to take Kimi Raikkonen’s number 7 in F1, but that cannot, a priori, happen.
Leclerc has raced with the number 16 since joining the Formula 1 grid in 2018 with Sauber, as the number 7 he used during his years in the junior category was taken by the Finn.
With Raikkonen now retired from Formula 1, Autosprint claims Leclerc was considering using the number 7 in Formula 1 again as it is now vacant.
However, with the regulations as they stand, Leclerc will not have this option because a driver must keep the number he has chosen throughout his career in Formula 1.
The only exception to this rule is when a driver becomes world champion, in which case he is then allowed to race with number 1 for the following season, as Max Verstappen will after winning the title in 2021.
His number 33 is however reserved for the following season if he fails to retain his title.
Article 9.2 of the Formula 1 sporting regulations stipulates that before the start of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, since 2014, the race numbers will be permanently assigned to the drivers, these numbers must then be used by this driver in each event of the Formula 1 world championship in which he participates throughout his career in Formula 1.
In addition, number 7 should become available again from 2024, because « a driver’s career in Formula 1 will be considered over if he does not participate in an event for two entire consecutive championships ».
As it stands, a new driver entering Formula 1 would have to want to take No. 7. But no article allows a driver to change his number during his career in F1. Perhaps, as time has passed since this rule was created, the FIA will amend it and grant special exemptions. Response in 2024 for Leclerc!