Car number 17 will be retired from use by Formula One drivers as a mark of respect for Jules Bianchi, this FIA has announced.
“Jean Todt, President of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) announced that the car number 17 will be retired from the FIA Formula One world championship in honour of Jules Bianchi,” said a statement released by the sport’s governing body.
“As F1 car numbers are now personally chosen by each driver, the FIA believes it to be an appropriate gesture to retire Jules Bianchi’s number 17.”
“As a result, this number can no longer be used for a car competing in the FIA Formula One world championship.”
Bianchi adopted number 17 in 2014 when drivers were first given the choice of which number they preferred to use. He used it for 15 races that year.
However 17 was not Bianchi’s first choice of race number. He originally expressed a preference for numbers 7, 27 or 77 but as these had already been chosen – by Kimi Raikkonen, Nico Hulkenberg and Valtteri Bottas respectively – he later selected number 17.
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