Lewis Hamilton says he will keep his number 44 despite having the option to return to the #1 plate as reigning Formula 1 world champion as he doesn’t want to lose the personal and brand connection to his race number.

The four-time F1 world champion ran the #1 plate in 2009 after winning his maiden title the year before but since the introduction of personalised numbers in 2014 Hamilton has consistently stuck with #44.

While tempted by the iconic #1 as a defending F1 champion, the Mercedes driver is keen to retain his affiliation to the #44 as he sees it as the number which “will stay with me forever.”

“I don’t plan on changing it, number 44 is family,” Hamilton said. “It’s really weird and I guess everyone gets a lucky number at some stage, but we chose that, my dad chose that number when I was young.

“There is a picture of me with 43 on my car when I was in cadets because some other kid stole my number and I had to be 43, but that wasn’t really my number, it was one picture they got. I think that was the weekend Mark Blundell had been there to hand out trophies and it was the first time I met a Formula One driver.

“I think I will only use 44. You know you could fit the number 1 within the 44 but I don’t really like the number itself. People had it in the past, Michael [Schumacher] had it, but no one’s had 44 except me.

“It’s been a good number for me since I started. I think it’s the number my fans recognise and can relate to more. The number 1 is good for a moment but you can’t live with it forever. Whereas 44 will stay with me forever.”


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