Newly-crowned two-time Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton has confirmed that he will go against tradition by not running the #1 on his car next year.

The Englishman – who claimed his second title by winning Sunday night’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – will stick with his personal choice, #44, despite earning the right to race with the #1 traditionally bestowed to the reigning champion.

Lewis Hamilton #44 Tattoo

Among his copious amount of body ink, Hamilton has his favourite number, 44, tattooed behind his right ear.

Ahead of this year’s championship, the entire grid was asked to nominate preferred permanent racing numbers, between #2 and #99, while the #1 was reserved for the current World Champion.

As the 2013 reigning champion, Sebastian Vettel opted to use the #1 on his RB10, but will switch to his personal choice, #5, when he makes his Ferrari debut in 2015.

Hamilton’s choice of #44 hails back to the first number he ever ran when he first ventured into competitive go-karting as a child. Such is his attachment to the number, he’s had it tattooed behind his right ear.

It will mark the first time since 1994 that the #1 has not featured on the Formula 1 grid. That year, Damon Hill ran #0 on his Williams FW16 following the retirement of 1993 World Champion Alain Prost.

Images via RacePictures and XPB Images

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.