Max Verstappen reveals he will change the number on his car from 33 to ONE if he beats Lewis Hamilton to the F1 drivers’ title this season… as Red Bull star jokes it is a ‘smart’ move because he’ll be able to sell more merchandise!
- Max Verstappen is closing in on his first ever F1 title, as he leads Lewis Hamilton
- Verstappen admitted this week he will change from No 33 to No 1 if he wins title
- F1 rules state the champion can switch, but nobody has done it since 2014
- There are four races left of the season, and Dutch driver leads by 19 points
Red Bull superstar Max Verstappen has confirmed that he will change his F1 driver number from 33 to No 1 if he beats Lewis Hamilton to the title this season.
The Dutch driver, 24, is leading Hamilton by 19 points with just four races to go, but is already being asked about changes he would make should he win the championship.
F1’s rules state that a reigning champion can swap to No 1 if they desire and, although it has not been done since 2014, Verstappen says he would.
Max Verstappen will wave goodbye to the number 33 if he wins the drivers’ title this season
Verstappen is desperately trying to beat his rival Lewis Hamilton to the 2021 championship
Verstappen also joked that it would be good for merchandise if he changed to the No 1
‘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!’
The last driver to make the change was Sebastian Vettel in 2014, while Hamilton has always opted to keep his No 44 after winning his seven titles.
The other F1 champion, Nico Rosberg, retired immediately after lifting the trophy.
The F1 roadshow rolls into Brazil this weekend, before races in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi to finish the 2021 season.
Despite closing in on the title, Verstappen says he is taking nothing for granted.
Brit Hamilton has always opted to keep his No 44 after each of his seven world titles
Verstappen has raced with the No 33 on his car for his entire F1 career to date
The last champion to change to the No 1 after winning the title was Sebastian Vettel in 2014
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 here, and again after this weekend we will try again to try and win the race.
‘My approach every single weekend is the same, so we will not change that.’