While he has a clear advantage over Lewis Hamilton in the championship, Max Verstappen said on the eve of the first tests of the São Paulo Grand Prix that he intends to use the number 1 in 2022 if he is crowned this season.
Max Verstappen is determined to take the opposite view of Lewis Hamilton. Since the introduction of personalized and permanent numbers in F1 at the start of the 2014 season, number 1 is no longer automatically used by the reigning world champion. Since the evolution of the regulations, with the numbers which are no longer linked to the constructors classification of the previous season except for the driver holding the title, only Sebastian Vettel opted for this symbol during the 2014 season. Indeed, like motorcycle riders Valentino Rossi, Marc Marquez or, more recently, Joan Mir and Fabio Quartararo, Lewis Hamilton never wanted to swap his number 44 for number 1 following the six world titles won since 2014. Nico Rosberg, meanwhile, did not have the opportunity to wear it because he ended his career on his title of world champion in 2016. However, this habit may well change as early as 2022.
Verstappen excited to wear number 1
With 19 points ahead of Lewis Hamilton at four Grands Prix at the end of the season, Max Verstappen is more than ever a title contender. Present in front of the press this Thursday on the eve of the first tests of the Grand Prix of São Paulo, played on the Interlagos circuit, the Red Bull Racing driver did not evade the question relating to his choice of number in case of a title. world acquired by the end of the season. His response was immediate: “Absolutely! “. “How many times do we have the opportunity to drive with number 1? “, He added in the process. In addition, Max Verstappen sees another advantage in the idea of moving from number 33 to number 1 for a season: “ And it’s good for merchandising too! So it’s smart to do it! If that were to be the case, the number 1 would make his appearance in the race for the first time in eight years, after have been affixed during a free practice session in Abu Dhabi in 2018 on Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes, again for marketing reasons.