ABU DHABI — Lewis Hamilton has no plans to make the number one a everlasting fixture on his car, regardless of working with a car displaying it in Friday’s opening follow session.

Hamilton requested for particular permission to carry the number — historically reserved for the reigning world champion — on the entrance of his car for the opening follow session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. His normal profession number, 44, remained on the again finish of the car. The number one had been eliminated utterly by second follow and changed with the same old digits.

A regulation change in 2014 meant all drivers had to decide a number to carry with them for the remainder of their time in F1. It additionally acknowledged that utilizing No. 1 was non-compulsory and till this weekend had not featured on a car for the reason that 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix — Sebastian Vettel had opted to carry it as defending champion that 12 months.

For the subsequent two years, Hamilton caught with 44. He was overwhelmed to the title by his teammate Nico Rosberg in 2016 however the German driver retired on the finish of that season earlier than having to select between numbers one and 6 for his title defence. This 12 months, Hamilton efficiently defended his crown within the number 44 car, wrapping up the championship on the Mexican Grand Prix in October.

Lewis Hamilton carried the number one on the entrance of his car in FP1 — his normal number, 44, was nonetheless displayed on the again of the car. Charles Coates/Getty Pictures

It means Mercedes has by no means displayed the winners’ mark on its car since becoming a member of in 2010 — it might have if Jenson Button had remained on the Brixworth-Brackley outfit after the takeover of Brawn GP on the finish of 2009, however he determined to be a part of Hamilton at McLaren for that season.

Hamilton needed to deliver that run to an finish this weekend.

“I personally do not prefer it, do not prefer it in any respect,” Hamilton mentioned on Friday night. “The rationale I did it’s I have been right here for six years and I bear in mind when the crew had number one, Jenson obtained the world title and moved to McLaren and introduced it with him… It is unusual McLaren might have number one on the car. The following crew can, wherever you go.”

“Since we have been world champion we have by no means had number one on the car and I assumed it could simply be cool to have it on the car for only one session. So a minimum of they’ve a image someplace that they are often actually happy with the place we have been number one.

“44 does not actually… that is my particular number however everybody on my car, notably, they have been saying to me they’re travelling they usually’ll see a bus number 44 or a flight number 44, it is turning into a a part of their lives which is nice because it’s precisely how it’s with me.

“It was only for one session, it does not actually mean something.”

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