January 23, 2022

Formula 1 – Max Verstappen (Red Bull) will break the codes again by wearing the No.1 in 2022, for good reason

Max Verstappen will not let this opportunity pass by. He will keep his word by wearing the number 1 proposed each year by the International Automobile Federation to the reigning world champion. The Dutchman, crowned Sunday in Abu Dhabi at the expense of Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) in a controversial final lap, will sport the 1 on his Red Bull RB18 in 2022.

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He had already said it, on the eve of the first tests of the Grand Prix of Sao Paulo, on November 11. With 19 points ahead of his British rival in the title race, four rounds from the end, he had agreed to answer the question: Would you wear No. 1 if you were world champion? “Absoutely !, he had said. How many times do we have the chance to drive with number 1? And it’s good for merchandising too, you know? So it’s smart to do that. “

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Since Sunday, the conditional is no longer in place, and it is the first Dutch champion in the history of Formula 1 that he has confirmed the news. “Yes I will use it, he assured, Monday. This might be the only time I can do it in my life. I think this is the best number possible. I’ll put it on the car. “

He will therefore abandon the No. 33 adopted when he started working for Toro Rosso in 2015. However, this is not the only number with which he appeared in the Grand Prix at the wheel of a single-seater. During his apprenticeship in the discipline in 2014, he rode with the n ° 38 as a freelance during three free practice sessions on Friday morning, in 2014. Why the n ° 38? Because he was considered the 3rd rider of the Italian team, and because it was 8th in the constructors’ world champion the year before, in 2013.

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Through this choice, Max Verstappen stands out once again from his star-studded predecessors. Since the introduction by the FIA ​​of a unique race number in Formula 1 in 2014, no world champion has worn this famous No. 1 yet synonymous with prestige. Lewis Hamilton had refused to do so in 2016, for two reasons: he wanted to be identified with No. 44 adopted only two years earlier, after wearing the numbers 2, 22, 3, 4 and 10, and even the 1. And then, he had judged that this No. 1 referred to the previous season and that it did not mean much for the current season.

To this day, Sebastian Vettel remains the last world champion to have ridden with the n ° 1, on the body of his Red Bull in 2014. Sacred in 2016 and retired in the wake, Nico Rosberg had not had the leisure to do so. carry.

It should be noted that Lewis Hamilton had nevertheless agreed to wear the No. 1 world champion once in his Mercedes years, during a Friday morning free practice session in Abu Dhabi in 2018, to allow Mercedes to take photos for promotional purposes. The German team had received exceptional authorization to do so.

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