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.
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