Mercedes driver Sir Lewis Hamilton is the reigning champion in Formula 1. He has a record-equalling seven world titles to his name along with Michael Schumacher.
However, he has never used the number 1 for his car even though it is often used by the winner of the previous season.
Lewis Hamilton revealed the reason he has never opted for this number, even though FIA has allowed drivers to opt for their own numbers in 2014.
“The number came from my karting days,” said Hamilton.
“When we arrived at my first race, I looked at my dad’s number plate, and it had ‘44’ on it, and then it just became my lucky number. I hope one day there will be a movie about it.”
Hamilton has the chance to take the number 1, but he believes starting with a clean slate is more important and it inspires him to compete at his best level.
“Naturally, I think I am a target, but my race number when I was eight years old was 44,” Hamilton said.
“Even though I am number one, and I have been for the last couple of years, and I should have number one on my car, I keep 44 on there.
“So every year, I feel like I’m starting a clean slate and no one’s champion, but I want to be the champion,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton said the number 1 is just not for him. He has had to compete with the number on two occasions, both during practice sessions at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
“I don’t like it at all,” said Hamilton.
“The reason I did it is I’ve been here for six years, and I remember when the team had number one when Jenson [Button] won the world title, and [he] moved to McLaren and brought the number one with him, it’s strange that McLaren would then have the number one on the car.
“I remember the [Mercedes] engineers and the mechanics asking me at one stage asking me if I would do it. And I thought it would be cool to have it on the car for one session so at least they will have a picture somewhere that they could be proud of with that ‘we were number one’.
“44 doesn’t really… that’s my special number. And in actual fact, everyone on the team, on my car particularly, said to me they’re travelling they’ll see a bus number 44 or a flight or seat number 44, and it’s becoming part of their lives.
“This is great because it’s exactly how it was with me. So it was cool.
“But, it was just for one session, and it doesn’t really mean anything.”