Lewis Hamilton has received permission to race with #1 on his Mercedes Formula 1 car for the final race of the 2018 season in Abu Dhabi.

Hamilton was crowned F1 world champion for a fifth time at the Mexican Grand Prix in October, while Mercedes clinched its fifth straight constructors’ title one race later in Brazil.

China GP F1 2018 Preview

The use of #1 on cars is reserved for the defending champion should they wish, but Hamilton has preferred to retain his traditional number, #44.

However, #1 will make a return to F1 in Abu Dhabi this weekend after Hamilton was given permission by the FIA to run with it on the nose of his Mercedes W09 car.

“It is car 44 on the entry list and timing screens and races under this number - the number is still present on the engine cover,” Mercedes confirmed.

“But Lewis has requested and been given permission to run the number 1 on the nose at this final race of the season because he’s world champion. And it’s even a nice shade of metallic red to match his helmet!”

It marks the first time #1 has appeared on an F1 car since the 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, when Sebastian Vettel raced with it for Red Bull in his final race as defending world champion.