Rosberg yet to decide on using No. 1 in 2017, could keep ‘lucky’ No. 6

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Nico Rosberg is yet to decide whether he will use the No. 1 reserved for Formula 1 world champions in 2017, having used No. 6 through his title-winning campaign.

Permanent numbers were introduced to F1 for the 2014 season, with the No. 1 being reserved for the defending world champion should they choose to use it.

Sebastian Vettel ran with the No. 1 through 2014, with his preferred choice, No. 5, being reserved for when he was not world champion.

Lewis Hamilton has opted to pass on the offer to use the No. 1 through 2015 and 2016, having won the past two titles, and instead stuck with his traditional No. 44.

Rosberg claimed his maiden F1 World Championship on Sunday in Abu Dhabi, defeating Hamilton by five points in a nail-biting finale.

Rosberg has raced with No. 6 since permanent numbers were introduced, and is yet to decide on whether he will make use of the No. 1 for 2017.

“I have no idea,” Rosberg said when asked what number he would use.

“I love number six of course, my dad won the World Championship with number six as well, so it’s a very lucky number for us.

“Don’t know, that’s it.”

Rosberg will be the first F1 driver to make a decision about using the No. 1 without having previously used it, with both Vettel and Hamilton running the number before the new system was introduced in 2014.

A similar choice regarding use of the No. 1 is given to drivers in IndyCar, with Scott Dixon sticking with his No. 9 for the 2016 season despite winning the 2015 title. Simon Pagenaud is expected to race with the No. 1 in 2017 as defending champion.

Kubica, di Resta complete Williams F1 tests in Hungary

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Robert Kubica and Paul di Resta have both completed one-day tests for Williams in a 2014-spec Formula 1 car as part of the team’s evaluation for its 2018 line-up.

Williams is known to be considering a number of drivers to partner Lance Stroll at the team next year, including existing racer Felipe Massa.

Massa is thought to be going up against Kubica and di Resta for the 2018 drive, with the latter duo taking part in a private test at the Hungaroring in Budapest this week to aid the team’s evaluation.

After missing out on a 2018 Renault drive due to lingering questions about his physical condition six years after his rally accident, Kubica tested for Williams at Silverstone last week before getting back behind the wheel of the 2014 FW36 car in Hungary on Tuesday.

Kubica’s test was called “productive” by Williams, with the Pole handing duties over to Mercedes DTM racer di Resta on Wednesday.

Di Resta raced in F1 with Force India between 2010 and 2013 before returning to DTM, but made a surprise return at this year’s Hungarian Grand Prix with Williams when Massa was taken ill. Di Resta impressed on short notice, putting himself in contention for a full-time return to F1 in 2018.

Williams has one of the few remaining seats on offer in F1 for 2018, with Massa’s future known to be in question after a quiet campaign thus far.

The Brazilian had been due to retire from F1 at the end of last year, only for Williams to recall him after Valtteri Bottas’ late move up to Mercedes following Nico Rosberg’s surprise retirement.

Massa has made clear he would like to keep racing in F1 next year, but only if the deal is right and if Williams is determined to keep him.

While Massa, Kubica and di Resta appear to be the three leading contenders for the seat, Williams technical chief Paddy Lowe made clear in Japan there was a “large range” of drivers under consideration.

“You’ve probably seen a number of names that are floating around that we’re looking at, but honestly, the range is almost unlimited,” Lowe said.

“We will consider all ideas. We’re not in a super hurry to do so, and we’ll just make sure we land the best line-up we can.”