Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has confirmed that if he beats Lewis Hamilton to the title this season, he will change his F1 driver number from No.33 to No.1.
With only four races remaining, the Dutch driver, 24, leads Hamilton by 19 points, but he’s already being asked about changes he’d do if he won the championship. F1’s rules stipulate that a reigning champion can switch to No. 1 if they like, and Verstappen claims he would do it, despite the fact that it hasn’t happened since 2014.
‘Absolutely’, he responded to the question. ‘How many times do you have the opportunity to drive with No 1? And it’s good for merchandise as well, so it’s smart to do that!’
Sebastian Vettel was the latest driver to switch in 2014, while Hamilton has always kept his No 44 after winning seven championships.
Nico Rosberg, the other Formula One winner, retired shortly after receiving the trophy. This weekend, the F1 roadshow arrives in Brazil, followed by races in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Abu Dhabi to round up the 2021 season. Even though he is closing in on the championship, Verstappen says he is not taking anything for granted.
Speaking to reporters in Brazil, he said: ‘In four races, a lot of things can happen. We are looking good, but things can change very quickly. I already said that after the race in Mexico.
“I mean, I’ve had a bigger lead already in the championship and that disappeared within two race weekends, so we have to again try to do the best we can hear, and again after this weekend, we will try to try and win the race.
“My approach every single weekend is the same, so we will not change that.”