PARIS – official series release — Mark Thompson/Getty Images Europe photo —
Jean Todt and the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) have announced that car number 17 will be retired from the FIA Formula One World Championship in honor of Jules Bianchi.
Bianchi, who succumbed on Saturday to injuries sustained nine months ago in an accident during last year’s Japanese Grand Prix, raced with number 17 during the 2014 season, notably scoring his and the Marussia team’s first championship points in Monaco.
While F-1 car numbers are now personally chosen by each driver and Bianchi had selected to race the No. 17 before he was injured in the accident at the Suzuka Circuit, interestingly, 17 was not Bianchi’s first choice. The Frenchman had requested 7, 27 or 77, but all were taken by drivers who finished above him in the 2013 standings and were hence given priority.
As a result of Monday’s announcement, the number 17 can no longer be used for a car competing in the FIA Formula One World Championship.
CREDIT: Formula One