Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has run with the number 44 emblazoned on his car, despite winning the world title in every single season bar 2016. The British driver has the luxury of using the number one but still chooses to race with the number 44 for three key reasons.
In 2014 the FIA announced a rule whereby drivers could choose any number between 1-99 to race with for the rest of their time in Formula 1. Most drivers, including the likes of Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel, chose their karting number, and the same applies to Hamilton.
The Englishman's use of the number 44 dates back to his karting days when the now seven-time world champion was an eight-year-old making a name for himself. However, this is not the sole reason for Hamilton's choice. In an interview with the BBC Hamilton also confirmed that the number 44 was on the license plate of his father, Anthony Hamilton's car.
"It was my dad's car registration number, F44, so each year it's just a new chance to rise to the challenge," Hamilton told during their Sports Personality of the Year ceremony in 2019.
The reason why he persists with 44 rather than swapping to number one was also explained by the Mercedes during the award show.
"Of course each year I start it's a new fresh start for everyone," Hamilton explained.
"I always start with number 44 because that's the number that I had on my go-kart when I was eight years old."
Hamilton also commented that the number was in essence his lucky number and the results would concur with his theory. The English legend has racked up an impressive six world titles in the seven years since the ruling was introduced.
He has also smashed several records, including the ones for most wins, poles and Hamilton has equalled Michael Schumacher's record haul of seven world championship.