F1 2017 car numbers – old system

THE 2017 Formula 1 season is finally here with the opening round this weekend in Australia.

It will be the first time since 1994 that the reigning World Champion will not be on the grid, courtesy of Nico Rosberg’s shock retirement from the sport less than a week after he won the drivers’ title.

Certainly not a zero: Damon Hill at the wheel of William’s 1993 championship-winning FW15C.

On the last two occasions when the reigning champion has not defended their title (Nigel Mansell in 1993 and Alain Prost in 1994) the number ‘0’ was used by their team, Williams, and carried on both occasions by Damon Hill. The number 2 was carried by Prost in 1993 and by Ayrton Senna, David Coulthard and Nigel Mansell a year later.

Number 0 would have returned for 2017 where it not for drivers now being able to pick a permanent number for their entire career. But if we still used the system where car numbers were determined by the previous year’s constructors’ standings, this is what this year’s numbers would look like.





Valtteri Bottas



Lewis Hamilton



Daniel Ricciardo

Red Bull


Max Verstappen

Red Bull


Sebastian Vettel



Kimi Räikkönen



Sergio Pérez

Force India


Esteban Ocon

Force India


Felipe Massa



Lance Stroll



Fernando Alonso



Stoffel Vandoorne



Carlos Sainz Jr.

Toro Rosso


Daniil Kvyat

Toro Rosso


Romain Grosjean



Kevin Magnussen



Jolyon Palmer



Nico Hülkenberg



Marcus Ericsson



Pascal Wehrlein


Bottas is number 0 based on Damon Hill (the then non-champion in the team at the start of 1993 and 1994) using said number. The other drivers who switched teams: Ocon, Magnussen, Hülkenberg and Wehrlein, as well as rookies Stroll and Vandoorne use the higher numbers in their respective teams.

In the instances where a team has retained both their 2016 drivers, the driver who finished higher in the drivers’ championship gets the lowest number.

Coincidently both Ricciardo and Vettel would be using their permanent number under this system.

Fact: Jody Scheckter is the only other driver to have used the number 0 in F1 (1973 Canadian and United States Grands Prix).

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Pulsar books Robot Wars Grand Final place

PULSAR advanced to the Robot Wars 2016 Grand Final after being reinstated to the fifth and final heat.

Pulsar - winner of the fifth heat of Robot Wars 2016.

Pulsar – winner of the fifth heat of Robot Wars 2016.

The Shropshire-built machine was eliminated in its group battle along with veteran Thermidor 2 (Chompalot – Iron Maidens Champion and Ironside3 won), but was given a reprieve by the judges when Chompalot spectacularly burst into flames after its defeat to Gabriel in the first head-to-head.

Chompalot begins to smoke...

Chompalot begins to smoke…

...before bursting into flames.

…before bursting into flames.

Gabriel, an amazing robot akin to a scaled-up Stinger, advanced from its group battle with Beast at the expense of Crazy Coupe 88 and Infernal Contraption.

After Gabriel vs. Chompalot it was clear that the latter was unable to continue, so Pulsar was allowed to re-enter the heat, but with Chompalot’s loss on its record. Pulsar earned a knock-out victory over Beast and Ironside3 to book its place in the heat final.

Pulsar would meet Gabriel for the first time in the heat final after Gabriel first lost on a judges’ decision to Ironside3, then beat Beast via knock-out.

Ironside3 knock-out Beast in their head-to-head, but missed out on the heat final by one point.

Pulsar (Foreground) pushes Gabriel in the heat final.

Pulsar (Foreground) pushes Gabriel in the heat final.

The heat final was the closest of the series as it went all the way to a judges’ decision which was awarded to Pulsar, who will now join fellow heat winners: Carbide, Shockwave, TR2 and Apollo in the Grand Final tomorrow.

The sixth place in the Grand Final will be awarded by the judges to one of the five heat runners-up: Behemoth, Thor, Dantomkia, Storm 2 and Gabriel.

My opinion: The wildcard should be decided by a winner-takes-all group battle between the five robots in question.

All images taken from robotwars.wikia.com.

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Fiji to keep current national flag

FIJI’S Prime Minister, J.B. Bainimarama, has announced that the South Pacific nation will keep its current national flag, a reversal of a long-running proposal of his.

A statement by Mr Bainimarama’s said the money that would have been used to change the current flag, flown by Fiji since its independence from the United Kingdom in 1970, would be redirected to the Tropical Cyclone Winston recovery effort. Winston claimed 43 Fijian’s lives and left tens of thousands homeless in February.

Fiji's national flag is a Light Blue Ensign with the country's Shield-of-Arms.

Fiji’s national flag is a Light Blue Ensign with the country’s Shield-of-Arms.

Bainimarama’s statement:

“While I remain convinced personally that we need to replace some of the flag’s colonial symbols with a genuinely indigenous expression of our present and our future, it has been apparent to the Government since February that the flag should not be changed for the foreseeable future.

“The cost of any flag change is better spent at the present time assisting Fijians back on their feet.”

But the success of Fiji’s men in the inaugural Olympic Rugby Sevens tournament has also been a factor in this U-turn. Fiji defeated Great Britain 43-7 in the Gold Medal Match of the men’s competition to win the nation’s first ever Olympic medal during the current Rio Games.

The PM hopes his compatriots will ‘proudly display their flag to welcome [back] the Fijian Rugby Sevens team on Sunday [21st August].’

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Apollo launches into Robot Wars Grand Final

APOLLO launched itself into the Robot Wars 2016 Grand Final after defeating reigning World Champion Storm 2 twice in episode four.

Apollo - winner of the fourth heat of Robot Wars 2016.

Apollo – winner of the fourth heat of Robot Wars 2016.

The Birmingham-built machine not only beat the competition in the heat, but flipped no less than three house robots! Dead Metal and Matilda were overturned in Apollo’s head-to-head with Storm 2, while Shunt fell victim to Apollo in the heat final.

Apollo becomes only the second robot to flip Dead Metal...

Apollo becomes only the second robot (after Gravity) to flip Dead Metal…

...before Matilda is flipped too!

…before Matilda is flipped too…

...and Shunt makes it three!!!

…and Shunt makes it three!!!

Apollo advanced from the group battle with PP3D (the ‘successor’ to Seventh Wars Champion Typhoon 2) at the expense of two-time Annihilator Champion Kan-Opener and Sweeney Todd before defeating PP3D and Storm 2 (via a judges’ decision), but then lost to an already eliminated Eruption.

Storm 2, New Blood Champion and Seventh Wars runner-up, and Eruption came through the second group battle against Sabretooth and Terror Turtle, the latter being flipped out of the arena by Eruption, which then lost its head-to-head against Storm 2 in their next bout.

PP3D won a judges’ decision over Eruption after both robots became partially immobilised. This eliminated Eruption as it had also lost a judges’ decision against Storm 2.

The final head-to-head bout saw the eagerly awaited re-match between Storm 2 and Gary Cairns (PP3D/Typhoon 2). Storm 2 ran out victorious and so advanced to the heat final with Apollo.

But there was to be no Grand Final qualification this time around for Storm 2 as it was thrown out of the arena by Apollo.

Apollo throws World Champion Storm 2 out of the arena.

Apollo throws World Champion Storm 2 out of the arena.

Apollo now joins Carbide, Shockwave and TR2 in the Grand Final. The final two places in the Grand Final will be taken by the winner of this Sunday’s heat and a wildcard chosen by the judges.

Images from robotwars.wikia.com.

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TR2 reaches Robot Wars Grand Final

TR2 went through the third heat of Robot Wars 2016 unbeaten to book its place in the series Grand Final.

TR2 - winner of the third heat of Robot Wars 2016.

TR2 – winner of the third heat of Robot Wars 2016.

The machine saw off no less than five veteran robots or teams which included: Or Te (successor to Fifth Wars runner-up Bigger Brother) and Supernova (Third World Championship runner-up) in the opening group battle, Big Nipper (Seventh Wars heat finalist), Dantomkia (Third All-Stars Championship runner-up) and King B Remix (the latest incarnation of Second Wars semi-finalist and inaugural Tag Team Terror Champion King Buxton).

TR2 (R.) flips Dantomkia in the heat final.

TR2 (R.) flips Dantomkia in the heat final.

TR2 defeated Dantomkia by knock-out in the heat final to join Carbide and Shockwave in the Grand Final.

Dantomkia progressed to the heat final with head-to-head victories over King B Remix and Big Nipper, the latter via a judges’ decision. Big Nipper beat King B Remix in their bout.

As well as Or Te and Supernova two newcomers fell in the opening group battle: Glitterbomb and the wooden – yes wooden! – Overdozer.

Editor’s Notes

This coming Sunday we may see the ultimate Robot Wars grudge match between reigning World Champion Storm2 and PP3D. The latter robot was built by Gary Cairns who drove Typhoon 2 to the Seventh Wars series title. Typhoon 2 beat Storm2 in the championship decider, which has gone down in history as one of the most controversial battles of all-time.

The viewing figures for the first two episodes of Robot Wars 2016 make very pleasant reading in my opinion. Episode One’s first broadcast picked up 2.578m viewers, making it the third most watched programme on B.B.C.2 during the week ending 24th July. Episode Two received 2.342m viewers in the week ending 31st July. It was the fifth most watched B.B.C.2 programme that week.

All images taken from robotwars.wikia.com.

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Shockwave shocks Thor on Robot Wars

SHOCKWAVE won the second heat of Robot Wars 2016 to join Carbide in the series Grand Final.

Shockwave - winner of the second heat of Robot Wars 2016.

Shockwave – winner of the second heat of Robot Wars 2016.

The newcomer from Reading defeated veteran robot (and New Blood Grand Finalist) Thor in the heat final after the latter had gone undefeated prior to the final bout.

Both Shockwave and Thor advanced from the heat’s opening group battle which saw the demise of DisConstructor (which lost in its opening battle of the Seventh Wars) and Seventh Wars and World Championship Semi-Finalist Tough as Nails, the only non-British (Dutch) robot in the field of 40. Shockwave pitted DisConstructor early on whilst Thor was grabbed by Tough as Nails. However Thor and Shockwave managed to push Tough as Nails up onto the arena wall where Thor’s axe blows were enough to immobilise the Dutch competitor before pitting it.

The second group battle saw M.R. Speed Squared and Foxic advance at the expense of Draven and Chimera. The Stinger-like Chimera’s exposed tyres were ripped to shreds by M.R. Speed Squared’s spinning blade before it set about immobilising Draven. Foxic managed to survive the battle unscathed despite struggling for traction on the arena floor.

M.R. Speed Squared's (R.) first hit on Chimera.

M.R. Speed Squared’s (R.) first hit on Chimera.

But all was not well for M.R. Speed Squared afterwards as the team discovered many of the five-week-old robot’s bearings were damaged. M.R. Speed Squared took on Thor in the opening head-to-head battle. Thor kept close enough to M.R. Speed Squared to prevent its blade from rotating properly and pushed it around the arena into Dead Metal, the flame pit and the floor flipper (which flipped both robots) before M.R. Speed Squared eventually drove itself into the pit, giving Thor three points for the knock-out win.

Thor (R.) and M.R. Speed Squared are both flipped by the arena floor flipper.

Thor (R.) and M.R. Speed Squared are both flipped by the arena floor flipper.

Shockwave picked up three points for pitting Foxic in their first head-to-head contest. Little Foxic surprised everyone by pushing Dead Metal across the arena!

The two winning robots (Thor and Shockwave) met in the next battle after both teams modified the front of their robots prior to the contest. Both robots suffered damage, Shockwave from Thor and Thor from Matilda. Thor won the judges’ decision and two more points.

Thor (C.) takes damage from Matilda (L.) after damaging Shockwave.

Thor (C.) takes damage from Matilda (L.) after damaging Shockwave.

Will_Thomas_injury[1]After the fight Shockwave’s Will Thomas injured some of his fingers on his robot as the team extracted it from the arena.

That bruising encounter was followed by perhaps one of the most boring and poor battles in Robot Wars history. M.R. Speed Squared beat Foxic on a split judge’s decision after not much happened.

Foxic was on a mission to cut Thor’s axe off in their head-to-head battle. Sadly for Foxic it was Thor’s axe that immobilised it right next to the flame pit and Dead Metal. After the house robot exacted its revenge (and ‘Cease’ was called) Matilda flipped Foxic into the pit. With three more points Thor advanced to the heat final.

The last head-to-head was a winner-takes-all between Shockwave and M.R. Speed Squared. Shockwave was in total control throughout, flipping its opponent twice and pushing it into the house robots too. M.R. Speed Squared was finally pitted and eliminated.

At the end of the head-to-heads Thor had eight points, Shockwave six, M.R. Speed Squared two and Foxic nil.

Thor went into the heat final against Shockwave as the favourite, but disaster struck when Shockwave rammed Thor into the arena wall rendering all but the axe useless. Shockwave pushed Thor into the pit to claim its place in the Grand Final.

Shockwave (R.) pits Thor to advance to the Grand Final.

Shockwave (R.) pits Thor to advance to the Grand Final.


  • Team Danby (Foxic) competed in the Second Wars’ Featherweight Championship with Deadline.

All images from robotwars.wikia.com.

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Carbide wins in Robot Wars return

CARBIDE won the first heat of the brand new series of Robot Wars.

Carbide - winner of the first heat of Robot Wars 2016.

Carbide – winner of the first heat of Robot Wars 2016.

The Derbyshire robot overcame mechanical problems early on in the heat to defeat veteran machine Behemoth in the heat final to book its place in the series Grand Final.

Carbide’s devastating spinning blade weaponry is reminiscent to that of Hypno-Disc’s and could well win it the series title in a few weeks time to join the ranks of the Robot Wars greats.

But perhaps the greatest competitor of them all, Razer, shocked everyone by being dragged into the pit by Kill-E-Crank-E in the opening battle. Ironically the winner of the Fifth Wars and double World and All-Star Champion was eliminated by and along with the successor to Pussycat, a robot that built its reputation on defeating Razer in the Fourth Wars.

Kill-E-Crank-E (nearest) pulls Razer into the pit with it.

Kill-E-Crank-E (nearest) pulls Razer into the pit with it.

Razer’s and Kill-E-Crank-E’s elimination meant Terrorhurtz (fourth in the Sixth Wars) and the immediately popular Nuts advanced to the next phase. There they were joined by the aforementioned Carbide and former World Championship runner-up Behemoth, who between them saw off Bonk (the successor to Mute) and The General, the latter losing its wheel to Carbide’s spinning blade.

Despite its axe not working, Terrorhurtz was able to defeat Carbide (which itself needed a weapon transmission re-build prior to the contest) in the first bout of the head-to-heads by pushing it around the arena, onto the flame pit and into Sir Killalot despite taking damage itself. Terrorhurtz pitted Carbide and earned three points for a knock-out win.

Behemoth vs. Nuts went to a judge’s decision after neither could immobilise the other, though both took damage from Matilda’s flywheel. Behemoth was awarded the victory and two points.

The third head-to-head fight saw Behemoth take on Terrorhurtz in a veterans battle. Behemoth took full advantage of Terrorhurtz’s axe still not working and eventually flipped it over and pushed its opponent into Dead Metal who proceeded use its giant circular saw to damage one of Terrorhurtz’s gas bottles.

Robot Wars fans finally got a glimpse of what Carbide could do when it fought – no – destroyed Nuts. Any doubts Carbide’s team had about its weapon’s operational abilities were laid to rest as Carbide tore off Nuts’ flail ring, left nasty gashes in its main body, sent bits of buckled metal flying everywhere and finally removed an entire wheel with enough force that it flew out of the arena.

Nuts is cracked by Carbide.

Nuts is cracked by Carbide.

Carbide went straight back into the arena, this time against Behemoth. The latter tried to employ the tactic that saw it beat Hypno-Disc in the first All-Stars competition, which was to hit the blade of Carbide head-on with its bucket scoop. But after one too many hits the bucket separated from its hinges, leaving the machine weaponless and defenceless. Carbide pushed its rival into the pit to guarantee its place in the heat final.

In order to reach said heat final Terrorhurtz needed to knock-out a hastily rebuilt Nuts. Terrorhurtz’s axe was working once again and used it to attack Nuts right from the off. But Nuts wouldn’t give in and continued moving, even after it once again lost its flail which got stuck under Terrorhurtz. Nuts avoided the pit and withstood an attack by Shunt and survived the three minute contest which Terrorhurtz won on a judge’s decision. But those two points weren’t enough.

With the head-to-head league completed Carbide had six points, Behemoth and Terrorhurtz had five points each and Nuts had none. Behemoth advanced thanks to its win over Terrorhurtz.

The heat final between Behemoth and Carbide initially went the same way as their mini-league fight. Carbide was doing all the damage and Behemoth was trying to absorb it. But Behemoth seemed to become immobilised near the open pit. Rather than take any more punishment from Carbide, Behemoth reversed into the pit à la Chaos 2 in the First World Championship.

Behemoth (right) backs into the pit, surrendering to Carbide.

Behemoth (right) backs into the pit, surrendering to Carbide.

Carbide will be joined in the Grand Final by four more heat winners and a wildcard chosen by the judges.


  • For the first-time ever two former Grand Finalists (Razer and Terrorhurtz) met in the opening round.
  • Razer’s first round exit is the earliest a Series Champion has gone out.
  • The General competed in the Third Wars’ Robotic Soccer competition.

All images from robotwars.wikia.com.

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Euro 2016 Predictions

I MADE my Euro 2016 predictions back in April.

Who do you think will win?

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Football League Expansion

YESTERDAY the Football League announced plans to expand the professional game in England to five divisions of 20 teams for the 2019-20 season.

This would see the number of professional ‘League Clubs’ rise from 92 to 100. Not since the creation of the Premier League in the 1992-93 season would English Football have seen such a change.

At the moment there are 20 teams in the Premier League and 24 each in the Championship, League One and League Two. The 72 non-Premier League sides play 46 league games per season. This would drop to 38 in a 20-team league, but, it would mean fewer mid-week games.

For this proposal to go ahead, 90-per-cent of the 72 teams must support it at the Football League’s A.G.M. (Annual General Meeting) in June 2017.

There have been 92 League Clubs since 1950.

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Why I’m glad Ukraine won Eurovision

THIS may not sit well with some, but I’m glad Ukraine’s 2016 Eurovision entry, 1944 by Jamala, won.

It’s so refreshing to see that, after hosts Petra Mede and Måns Zelmerlöw spoofed Eurovision and its songs with Story of ESC and especially Love Love Peace Peace, that a song about the horrors of war and genocide triumphed over the more ‘traditional’ Eurovision topics.

I say this because Jamala’s lyrics were inspired by a real-life event: her great-grandmother’s deportation from the Crimean Peninsula by Stalin in 1944, and the resulting death of one of her children. Also, the use of the Crimean Tatar language gave the victims a voice once again and made my hairs stand on end.

1944 has made me realise I must learn more about this historical event, something no other Eurovision song has before.

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