As a mark of respect for the late Jules Bianchi, who passed away last Friday following severe head injuries sustained in the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix, the FIA will retire the 25-year-old Frenchman’s number 17.
Starting in 2014 Formula One drivers chose their number and it was to stay with them for the remainder of their career.
“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,” the FIA said in a statement.
“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 originally chose 7, a number that eventually went to current Scuderia driver Kimi Raikkonen, who former Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo recently confirmed was due to be replaced by the Frenchman.
The announcement comes just one day prior to Bianchi’s funeral which is scheduled to be held Tuesday at Sainte Raparate Cathedral in the the former Marussia driver’s hometown of Nice.
Image: Manor Grand Prix Racing Ltd