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Huh? What's with the New Driver Numbers?

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 12:  Rubens Barrichello of Brazil and team Brawn GP drives his car during formula one testing at the Circuit de Catalunya on March 12, 2009 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Craig DalrympleCorrespondent IMarch 23, 2009

Ok, so the FIA released new official driver numbers today. Three of the four changes were expected, but I have a problem with the last one.

To sum it up for those cave dwellers that don't realize the FIRST RACE OF THE SEASON is just a few excruciating hours away, here are the changes:

  1. Ferrari requested, and the FIA granted, a change to list Felipe Massa as #3 and Kimi Raikkonen as #4. This supports some of the scuttlebutt that Kimi's drive may be in danger if '09 ends up like '08.
  2. STR Ferrari's Sebastian club has had its numbers flipped with Bourdais, now listed as #11 and Beumi #12. This reflects the Frenchman's "senior" status as a returning driver, with the team and the man from Switzerland as being the rookie. I hope nobody got used to the old numbers, as it's already confusing trying to refer to these two by first names.
  3. The former Honda team, now reincarnated as Brawn GP, has been placed at the bottom of the list and given numbers 21 and 22, thus reflecting its status as "new constructors."
  4. Brawn GP drivers Jensen Button and Rubens Barrichello have been assigned numbers #21 and #22 respectively.

Uh, wait a minute... What was that last one? Yeah, you read it right.

OK, I kinda understand this it is supposedly a new team, and since they are a new team, I guess the numbers would be assigned in the way the drivers were "signed" to the new team, but come on it's the SAME crew as last year! Which one scored more points last year? Refer to item one. Hmmmm. Glad to see the FIA is confused as much as ever.

Yeah, I know, they have rules. (Guidelines?)

That's okay, I am sure Rubens will rearrange the numbers for next year. I'm thinking maybe like #5 for him and a #6 for Jenson.

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