Red Bull's Max Verstappen says he still has every intention of using the number 1 on his car in 2022, despite appearing on track at the Abu Dhabi test with the number 33 still emblazoned on his car.
F1's driver number rules are that drivers must use their own for the entire duration of their careers - with Verstappen's being number 33.
The exception to this is for any driver who is crowned as World Champion. They have the option of running their driver number, as Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton has done every year, or of running the number 1.
Verstappen running the number 1 means it will be the first time the number has appeared on a car for a Grand Prix since the season finale in 2013, when Sebastian Vettel had it on his Red Bull before the introduction of the driver number rules.
"The best number out there!"
Verstappen confirmed after his race victory in Abu Dhabi that he intends to use the coveted number during the 2022 season, having previously indicated that he would do so.
"Yeah, I will – we'll run it," Verstappen told media, including RacingNews365.com, after winning the race and world title on Sunday.
"How many times can you do that? I mean, I don't know. Maybe it's the only time I can in my life. I think it's the best number out there, so I will put it on the car!"
Verstappen's first track time since winning the championship came on Tuesday, as he took to the Yas Marina Circuit again as part of official post-season testing.
He's driving Red Bull's mule car, a modified 2018 car to run the bigger 18-inch wheels being introduced for 2022, and still had the number 33 on his engine cover.
That's because his official confirmation as World Champion takes place at the FIA's prize-giving ceremony on Thursday, 16 December.