Like Cristiano Ronaldo and the number 7, Michael Jordan and the number 23, and Nigel Mansell and ‘Red 5’, Lewis Hamilton and the number 44 for be forever linked. But to celebrate his historic fifth world championship success, #LH44 will, at one Grand Prix weekend only, become #LH1...
Hamilton has had the option to run the number 1 on his car in 2015, 2017 and this year by virtue of being the reigning world champion, but always opted to stick with his iconic number 44 - the number he chose when drivers were given the chance to pick their own race numbers in 2014.
On Friday in Abu Dhabi, however, Mercedes revealed Hamilton had requested and been given permission to run the number 1 on the nose of his Silver Arrow at the season finale. His car is still officially entered under the number 44 and that figure still appears on the engine cover.
It the first time the number 1 has appeared on a car in Formula 1 since the 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, when Sebastian Vettel ran it on his Red Bull in his final Grand Prix as reigning world champion. Hamilton has only previously run with the number 1 once - in 2009, the year after his first world title success with McLaren.