Nicholas Latifi has decided to use Nico Rosberg’s old race number for his Formula 1 career, having been the only driver left to choose.
Nicholas Latifi was the only driver on the 2020 Formula 1 grid yet to choose a race number to use for his career. Upon entry into Formula 1, drivers have to choose a number between 1 and 99 with which they will race for the entirety of their Formula 1 racing careers.
The Canadian driver steps up from Formula 2 into Formula 1 this year and, despite having driven the Williams for practice during Grand Prix weekends during 2019, had yet to choose a permanent number. The numbers displayed on his car during FP1 session in 2019 are FIA-assigned numbers for that very purpose.
Latifi has decided on the number ‘6’, which was last used in 2016 by Nico Rosberg as he claimed the title that season. However, the rules are that a driver’s race number becomes available again when a driver’s career is deemed to have ended. This is when a driver has sat out two Formula 1 seasons or more, meaning Rosberg’s number became available for use again from the start of the 2019 season.
Latifi explained the reasons behind choosing the number six: “The main reason is that 6 is so closely linked to Toronto. It’s where I’m from, where I was raised, and the city I’m proud to be representing.”
“Toronto is widely referred to as ‘The 6’, which is partly down to Drake, who’s also from Toronto. He mentions the name in one of his early songs, and one of his albums was originally called ‘Views from the 6’.”
“Other 6 links are that Toronto was one divided into six districts, and that the two telephone area codes for Toronto start or finish with a six.”
“For all these reasons the name has just stuck; anyone who’s from North America knows what ‘The 6’ is – especially if they listen to Drake…” Latifi continued.
“It also happens to be the number I used for three out of my four seasons in Formula 2. Although that was more by chance, as DAMS was given 5 and 6 because of the finishing positions in the championship. But as soon as we had those numbers, I knew immediately which one I wanted!”
Want to know what number @NicholasLatifi will be using in F1? 🔢
Of course you do! We'll let our Canadian rookie explain his choice 👇 pic.twitter.com/csaJB6177R
— ROKiT WILLIAMS RACING (@WilliamsRacing) January 20, 2020