Verstappen first claimed #1 after successful final 12 months’s world title in Abu Dhabi and used it for the 2022 world championship.
Taking back-to-back world titles, the Dutchman once more will get to decide on between #1 and his private race quantity 33, which he has used since his karting days, however has determined to honour the customized of carrying the world champion’s quantity.
“Sure, I’ll use number one once more subsequent season. For me, beginning number one is probably the most lovely quantity there may be for any racing driver,” Verstappen mentioned in Abu Dhabi.
“How typically do you get the possibility to drive with beginning number one in your Formulation 1 profession? You by no means know.
“I can at all times return to quantity 33 if I’m not world champion. However so long as I’m world champion, I’ll use number one each single 12 months.”
Verstappen: “So long as I’m world champion, I’ll use number one each single 12 months.”
Picture by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Photographs
In 2022 Verstappen grew to become the primary driver to race with #1 on his automotive since Sebastian Vettel in 2014, when the rule introducing private race numbers was launched. Lewis Hamilton opted to maintain his now iconic #44, whereas Nico Rosberg didn’t defend his 2016 world title.
For Verstappen the well-known #1 is a reward for an totally dominant 2022 marketing campaign with Pink Bull Racing, which he thinks shall be exhausting to repeat in 2023.
“This has been a really particular season, not just for me but additionally for the group,” he acknowledged.
“Now we have received the constructors’ title once more for the primary time since 2013 and that’s clearly crucial for all the group.
“I believe will probably be very tough to match this 12 months sooner or later, not to mention surpass it.
“The mindset ought to clearly be to do higher each single season, however that will not be straightforward after the 12 months we had. We also needs to cherish how 2022 turned out and actually get pleasure from these moments.”
As of but F1 2023’s two newcomers Nyck de Vries and Logan Sargeant haven’t confirmed which race numbers they may use of their rookie F1 campaigns.