After a thrilling F1 season, Max Verstappen, who won his first world championship last weekend at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, has now confirmed that he will be running #1 for his Red Bull instead of #33 for 2022 as the reigning world champion.
When asked about his plans for the 2022 season, here's what Verstappen had to say:
"I'll try to defend the title but the thing I am also looking forward to is to drive around with number 1."
Max Verstappen was always clear, as he claimed on various occasions, that if he did indeed win his maiden championship title, he would definitely swap his #33, which he has had for the whole duration of his F1 career so far, for #1 for his car in 2022.
As reported by ESPN F1, he said:
"How many times can you do that? I don't know, maybe it's the only time I can in my life."
A car on the F1 grid with #1 will be present in 2022 for the first time since Sebastian Vettel's, where he took the number as the reigning world champion with the Red Bull as well. Although Lewis Hamilton has had the opportunity to take the number on various occasions as a seven-time world champion, he has always chosen to stick with #44 for her Mercedes.
Why did Max Verstappen go for #33 in his F1 career?
With the number 33 splattered across all merchandise regarding Max Verstappen, the number has almost become synonymous with the Dutchman to any real F1 fan. The reason for choosing this number was simpler than one would imagine.
Verstappen, in an interview with Anas Bukhash, revealed his favorite number, and here's why he chose to go with 33:
"Actually my favorite number is 3 but it was taken already by Daniel Ricciardo, so I couldn’t but then I was like you know what, I’ll just add another 3 behind it; its double luck."
Although Verstappen will be ditching this number for the upcoming season, the association of 33 with Max Verstappen will take a while to fade.