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Hamilton wants to keep number 44 on his car

  • Published on 25 Nov 2014 07:44
  • comments 3
  • By: Rob Veenstra
2014 world champion Lewis Hamilton wants to keep his personal race number 44 next year rather than switch to number 1. Traditionally, the reigning world champion in F1 wears the coveted number 1. But a change early in 2014, mimicking the system in MotoGP, meant drivers were able to pick their own number between 2 and 99 to keep for the rest of their careers.

Having run the number 1 throughout the season, outgoing world champion Vettel will now revert to his chosen number 5 to take to Ferrari in 2015. Mercedes' Hamilton has run 44, and even has the number tattooed behind his right ear. "44 is my number," the Briton said this week, after securing his second career drivers' title last weekend in Abu Dhabi. "I won my first championship with 44 in karting so I'll ask the team if I can keep it on my car now. Whether the 1 is on my car or not is not important to me."

British media sources are reporting that Hamilton is close to securing a new $30 million per season deal with Mercedes that could keep him at the team until 2020. Already with a contract for 2015, the dotted line may go unsigned until he has appointed a new management team in the coming months, but he told reporters on Monday that the 2016 contract is "a formality". "I haven't made any decisions of how you go about it, but I currently have a great contract. Ultimately I think not a huge amount will change," said Hamilton.

On Monday, it also seemed as though team boss Toto Wolff was not ready to negotiate the new deal anyway, having partied deep into Sunday night. "Definitely for me it (negotiate a contract) would not be the best thing for me to do," the Austrian joked, while Hamilton revealed that he drank mainly watermelon juice to celebrate his title. (GMM)

Replies (3)

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  • My vote - let him keep "44" on his helmets, team jackets and personalized driving coveralls, if that's what he wants. But put "1" on the car, as a clear tribute - on the track - to the Mercedes race and factory teams that built and maintained that incredible machine, and enabled Lewis to be the champion. Oh, and honor the tradition of F1 re car marking.

    • + 0
    • Nov 26 2014 - 01:47
  • Ironbuket

    Posts: 7

    I disagree, I think Lewis or rather the team as it's not his personal car should be able to keep 44 if they wish and from my understanding of the rules they are perfectly within their rights not to use the number 1. So Lewis only needs to convince the team, there is no FIA rule saying he has to use the number 1. Personally I think the whole numbering system is badly thought out. With the high turn over of drivers recently, cars will be running 3 digit numbers before we know it. Will Stevens didn't get issued a number when he raced for Caterham at Abu Dabai, probably to conserve numbers? If Lewis gets 1, why cant Nico get 2 and Daniel get 3? Then 4,5 might say what about us. Stupid botched half/half system IMHO.

    BTW BtwnDitches, it's hard to find a story where you haven't posted a comment - you sure have a lot of spare time :)

    • + 0
    • Nov 27 2014 - 06:15
  • ironbucket, it's hard to find a recent story where you HAVE posted a comment. Post MORE.

    I like this site because it selectively collects more interesting items from several other threads and doesn't overdo the pop-ups, or give equal time to moto-racing and F-others, like many others do. And, yes, I am retired - with almost 50 years of tracking open wheel racing internationally, which I do by reading copiously and now watching many races (also practice and qualifying) via Internet at odd hours. I attended F1 races at Watkins Glen and many Indy 500's (was there during the "British Invasion" in the 1960's).

    BTW, I believe that the long-standing F1 tradition of assigning the number "1" to a driver's car has only ever applied to the current world champion. Current F1 rules also preserve this tradition but only to one driver and his/her car, and it is completely optional, so re-numbering corruption & expansion are inhibited.

    • + 0
    • Nov 28 2014 - 07:44

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