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One day on the track can make you a safer driver than a life time of driving on the roads.
We'll tell you why, where and when you can get started.
We are eleven days into 2014, and one of the big news items in the world of motorsport, is Nissan confirming they will be entering a factory backed LMP1 team for 2015. Twenty, Fifteen, that's a year away guyzz, why can't Nissan just announce this next year so there is less waiting?
For those who need a quick reminder, LMP1 is the top tier of the WEC, the big boys of endurance racing. Nissan will be stepping into the ring against the undefeatable Audi squad, the very quick Toyota team and the new Porsche entrant whom needs no introduction to the WEC.
With such strong opposition, Nissan might be a little in over their heads. Let's talk about Le Mans, because it's the only WEC that most people know or care about. Audi have won the event 12 times since the year 2000, and they are the only reason why Porsche are returning, to prevent Audi breaking Porsches 16 win record. Like Toyota, Nissan have never won the event, the only Japanese manufacturer to win at Lemans is Mazda.
Unlike Toyota, Nissan have never ever been any good at WEC. For starters, they have only ever made one car... That silly Triangle looking Nissan Deltawing? No, that's a Panoz. What about that cool looking wedge Nissan in the 80's? Nope, that was a Lola, and the other cars they've used include March and Courage. Nissan simply just did the engine and placed a whole lot of Nissan Stickers over the car, and did horribly. Even on Nissan's official website they struggle to say anything nice about quoting "A season of attaining the speed to win and improvement" - in other words, what a whole heap of rubbish this was.
Nissan did have one shot at winning the legendary race in 1998, funnily enough using the only car that they ever designed in house, the R390 GTLM, see picture, but the #32 car fell short and finished 3rd to the two Porsches. The same team that they will be facing in 2015.
The list took a little longer than expected to be publicly released, one would say the FIA were awaiting for the Caterham squad to confirm their drivers which they are yet to do, impatiently the FIA have now released the official list excluding the Caterham drivers who should be confirmed before the first test in Jerez.
- 5* Sebastian Vettel Red Bull
- 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull
- 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
- 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes
- 14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari
- 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari
- 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus
- 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus
- 22 Jenson Button McLaren
- 20 Kevin Magnussen McLaren
- 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India
- 11 Sergio Perez Force India
- 99 Adrian Sutil Sauber
- 21 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber
- 25 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso
- 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso
- 19 Felipe Massa Williams
- 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams
- 17 Jules Bianchi Marussia
- TBA Max Chilton Marussia
- TBA TBA Caterham
- TBA TBA Caterham
* #1 is reserved for the previous years World Champion (Sebastian Vettel)
What does this all mean? Nothing really. Absolutely nothing. It's just a bit of useless motoring gossip which we love!
Looking at the number choices we start with Sebastian Vettel's #5. Vettel ran with #5 in 2010 when he won his first World Championship. Jenson Button also choosing a number that he won his world championship with, #22. The other World Champions in the field not choosing their WDC winning numbers, partly because Fernando also won his WDC with #5 and Lewis with #22, both Lewis and Fernando have opted for their karting numbers, Alonso #14 and Hamilton #44. Kimi Raikkonen, in typical Kimi fashion doesn't care about the numbers so he has just chosen to retain #7 which he used last year.
Nico Rosberg, yet to win his own WDC, has chosen #6, the same number that his father used when he secured the 1982 golden crown.
The Lotus Team is a funny one, here we have two of the most accident prone drivers, Romain with lucky #8, and Pastor balancing it out with unlucky #13. A bit of an oxymoron. #13 has been banned in Formula 1 for quite some time now, for superstitious beliefs, and we aren't too sure Pastor Maldonado is the best candidate to help prove that #13 isn't a bad number... Well at least he has an excuse for crashing into people now. "It was the number"
Bottas has chosen #77, probably something to do with the double 't's in both his first and surname. #val77eri #bo77as.
McLaren are making a big fuss over Kevin Magnussen's #20 on twitter, which they really shouldn't bother doing because only twice has #20 been used on a McLaren, the first time was with Derek Bell racing only one race in the new McLaren M9A that featured an AWD drivetrain system! They did one race and binned the entire project. The second McLaren driver was Peter Gethin, who filled in after Bruce McLaren, the man who started it all, had a fatal accident testing a new development car.
Jules Bianchi, the Ferrari junior academy driver, wanted the famous Ferrari #27, but was left with one of his other preferences, #17. The same number that Australian Touring Car legend, Dick Johnson uses, although we're pretty confident that wasn't Bianchi's intent..
The #27 was soaked up by the ever promising talent of Nico Hulkenberg. Give this bloke a car! One of the very few drivers in the current F1 field that doesn't have any money, a true racer. Let's hope Luca Montezemolo has a soft spot for nostalgia and will want that #27 driver.
Want to add to all the coincidences with driver numbers? Like how Bruce McLaren raced #2 on his first F1 racer, and both the McLaren boys feature #2 in their numbers? Tell us in the comments! It's fun!