Verstappen to run No.1 for F1 title defence in 2022

Newly-crowned Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen has confirmed he will carry the number one on his Red Bull car for his title defence in 2022. 
1st place and new World Champion, Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB16B.
1st place and new World Champion, Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing…

Verstappen passed rival Lewis Hamilton on the last-lap of a dramatic and controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to clinch his maiden F1 world title and deny Hamilton a record-breaking eighth world championship. 

Earlier this season, Verstappen had indicated that he would swap his chosen number 33 to use the coveted number one on his Red Bull next season if he were to become world champion. 

Asked by if he had decided whether he will definitely use the number one on his car after winning the world title, Verstappen said: “Yeah I will run it. 

“How many times can you do that? I don’t know, maybe it’s the only time I can in my life. 

“It’s the best number out there. So yeah I will definitely put it on the car.”

It will mark the first time since 2014 that a driver has run with the number one on their car. Sebastian Vettel was the last driver to do so, following his fourth and final title triumph with Red Bull. 

Aside from running the number one during practice sessions, Hamilton has opted to race with his number 44 ever since permanent numbers were introduced in F1 at the start of 2014. 

Verstappen to run No.1 for F1 title defence in 2022

Meanwhile, new Alfa Romeo signing Guanyu Zhou will race with the number 24 when he makes his F1 debut next season after graduating from Formula 2. 

Verstappen has remained ice cool all season despite the huge pressure of being involved in his first proper F1 title fight, though the Dutchman conceded he felt the nerves in the Yas Marina finale. 

“Throughout the season, I think everything was fine,” he said. 

“I was just looking at it race-by-race and that helps a lot but of course yesterday, that was quite a nervous day for sure when you are fighting for the title.”

Verstappen admitted the late safety car caused by Williams driver Nicholas Latifi’s was “a miracle” he needed in order to seal the title, having had no answer to Hamilton’s pace throughout the race. 

“I saw that I was not catching enough and I just told myself I am going to keep pushing until the end and I’m not going to give up,” he explained. 

“That’s what we did. Of course the safety car came out and we needed a miracle and it did happen, but you still then need to capitalise on that and you need to go for the overtake and that’s what we did. It was a dramatic end for sure.” 

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