'There's no way someone could take over Hamilton's number 44, right?'

'There's no way someone could take over Hamilton's number 44, right?'

29-09-2023 06:00

Ludo van Denderen

Stoffel Vandoorne got to enjoy the number 1 on his DS Penske car for a year as the reigning Formula E world champion. But the season is over, with Jake Dennis as the new world champion, and so the former F1 driver must pass on the most important number in motorsport. A remarkable rule in Formula E makes it unclear which number he can put on his electric car from the 2024 season onwards.

Will it be number 2, which Vandoorne drove in Formula 1 during his years at McLaren? Or maybe still number 5, which was on his car before the Belgian took the world title in Formula E. "It's not one, and it's not five," Vandoorne said in a press briefing, which included GPblog. "Number 2? Could be. I don't even know myself, actually, at the moment."

Taken over Hamilton's or Verstappen's number?

In Formula 1, a driver who is no longer a world champion automatically gets his old number back. In Formula E, that does not appear to be a given. Indeed, Jake Hughes now has the number 5. "I never choose number one. I always get my number," says Jean-Éric Vergne, Vandoorne's teammate.

"But it shouldn't be possible for another young driver to arrive and take the number five of Stoffel. I mean, if Lewis wins the championship this year and he takes the number one, I don't think anybody could take the number 44. The same with Max. I don't think anybody that year coming in, like Logan Sargeant, who is a rookie, should be able to choose the number 33. I don't know who has the number five. They should be giving you back the number," the Frenchman then tells Vandoorne.

"I tried to ask it. We had a fight," the Belgian responds, laughing.

Vergne: "Send the lawyers in!"