Hamilton using number 1 and 44 in Abu Dhabi

2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton is displaying a number one on his car this weekend but is still officially entered as number 44, Mercedes has confirmed.

The Mercedes driver has used number 44 every since since drivers were given the option of choosing career numbers in 2014.

Formula 1 rules state “each car will carry the race number of its driver as published by the FIA at the beginning of the season” and it must be “clearly visible from the front of the car and on the driver’s crash helmet.”

Hamilton is officially entered as car number 44 on the FIA entry list and that number is displayed on the sides of his car. However the number one is displayed on its nose.

“It is car 44 on the entry list and timing screens and races under this number – the number is still present on the engine cover,” Mercedes confirmed in a statement.

“But Lewis has requested and been given permission to run the number one on those nose at this final race of the season because he’s world champion.”

The team also revealed Hamilton is running the same power unit which was damaged during the Brazilian Grand Prix.

“The problem in Brazil was caused by a failure in the variable inlet system that caused unstable combustion. Engine settings were changed to contain the risk of failure / maximise performance during the race.

“We have made hardware changes outside the sealed perimeter and we are running that engine (power unit three) today. Data will be reviewed after [second practice] to make sure all [is] okay.”

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Picture: Mercedes via Twitter

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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18 comments on “Hamilton using number 1 and 44 in Abu Dhabi”

  1. This irritates me more than it should… the FIA is constantly patronising fans by saying decisions are made so as not to confuse us (eg: no helmet design changes, coloured tyres etc.); then allow a driver to race with two numbers on his car.

    Of course, this doesn’t confuse me, so I shouldn’t have an issue with it… but for some reason it irks me!

    1. To me, the only question is why Hamilton never ran #1 in all the years he was (and is) entitled to. 🙂

      Agree that the FIA should just ask for the 1 to be slapped on the side of the car as well, for consistency.

      1. Agreed. It shouldn’t annoy me but it really does

      2. He should allow having both, but it cannot confuse us fans.
        I suggest he puts 1×44 which should make all happy ;)

        Or Maybe it should also show pole positions, races wins, WDC position, WDC titles, and WCC position.
        Something like: (82-72+1)x(5-1)=44

      3. He always said that he didn’t consider himself the WDC the following year when he was competing for it again. As far as he is concerned it’s a reset from pre-season testing.

        So running it for the final race after winning both the WDC and WCC makes sense, and is making a statement while still remaining relatively humble.

    2. @ben-n He won the championship. Fans will see a number 1 on the car. I think most fans will be able to make the connection.

      1. @david-br – I know, I agree with you… just sits strangely with me.

        As an aside, is he displaying the ‘1’ because he is the 2017 WDC or because he is the 2018 WDC? For example: if Vettel had won the title this year with two races to spare, would he have been allowed to display a ‘1’ on his car? Totally hypothetical of course… my understanding of the rules are that only the previous years World Champion has dispensation to run the number one.

        1. @ben-n No, I think it’s definitely the case of using the privilege he has from winning last year to display the ‘1’ in this race. I have the opposite reaction – I really like the fact he’s just using the number for the final race. Yes it’s a statement. Why not? It’s a well deserved championship for driver and team. I get why he uses ’44’ but ‘airing’ the number ‘1’ also seems good for him and for Formula 1 in general.

  2. Probably Mercedes think that after 5 years they need some good photo opportunities for ads, “a Mercedes F1 car that #1 written on it”. They never had in modern era.

    1. My thoughts exactly.

  3. Ok dear! Hope this does not offend the luck god attached to the number 44 and makes 44 unlucky.

  4. Perhaps Lewis thought everyone had forgotten he was world champion, and that he therefore needed to remind everyone of that?

  5. I missed the number 1

  6. They should let his faithful wingman carry the #2 on his car.

    1. Then they have to put Stoffel under contract

  7. Finally a #1 Mercedes!
    I hate so much that stupid number system!
    Missing the old times when permanent numbers were assigned to the true stars of the sport: the cars.

    1. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
      26th November 2018, 11:42

      I suggest you switch to Roborace if you genuinely believe that.

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