January 20, 2020 / 12:55 PM / a month ago

Motor racing: Good call! F1 rookie Latifi takes race number from area code

FILE PHOTO: Formula One F1 - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - November 28, 2019? New Williams driver Nicholas Latifi ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

LONDON (Reuters) - Canadian Formula One rookie Nicholas Latifi has made the call and will race with the number six on his car in a nod to the telephone area code of his home city Toronto.

Latifi, this season’s sole rookie driver, explained his choice on Twitter in a video posted by his Williams team on Monday.

“I decided to choose number six. So the reason I chose this is because I’m from Toronto and Toronto is known as ‘The Six’, basically because if you’re from there your area code for your phone number is either 416 or 647,” he said.

“It’s a bit silly, but that kind of stuck, so I decided to choose that.”

The number previously belonged to 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg, who retired from Formula One days after his title success with Mercedes.

A driver keeps his number throughout his F1 career but they become available again two entire seasons after they were last used.

The new season starts in Australia on March 15.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by Giles Elgood

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