Revealed: How Daniel Ricciardo Pushed Max Verstappen to Use 33 as His Car Number

Published 01/06/2022, 12:50 PM EST
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA – OCTOBER 01: Race winner Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing celebrates with third place finisher Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Red Bull Racing on the podium during the Malaysia Formula One Grand Prix at Sepang Circuit on October 1, 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

During the final sector of the 2021 Formula 1 season, championship protagonist Max Verstappen was asked whether he would race with No. 1 on his car if he wins the title. “I will indeed drive with number 1,” said the Red Bull driver.

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“You don’t often have the chance to do that, maybe it’s my only chance. I think it’s a beautiful, I’m definitely going to stick it on the car.”

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Jump forward a few weeks ahead, and the world champion is Max Verstappen. And a man of his word, he will stick the No.1 on his car next season, which means his previous No. 33 will rest for at least a season.

We know the simple story behind the No.1, but what about the No. 33?

As it turns out, ‘Super Max’ chose the 33 on the advice of his former teammate, Daniel Ricciardo. Initially, Verstappen wanted No. 3, which he considers his lucky number. But that number was taken by Ricciardo.

So the Dutchman chose the 33, “for double happiness.”

Formula One F1 – Mexico Grand Prix – Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Mexico City, Mexico – November 4, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during the press conference Pool via REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

We know about Max Verstappen now, but why does Ricciardo use No.3?

Ricciardo, who races with the No.3, does so because of his love for the American legend Dale Earnhardt. The McLaren driver is a huge fan of the seven-time NASCAR champion.

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In fact, Ricciardo had one of the most special moments of his life as he put in some laps in his idol’s car at the COTA before the United States GP.

Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 23, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo drives Dale Earnhardt Sr’s 1984 Chevrolet Monte Carlo NASCAR around the circuit REUTERS/Mike Blake

Numbers for Formula 1 drivers are either preferential or they hold a special meaning or even superstitions. But at the end of the day, they’re just numbers that represent them.

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And the real numbers that count are the ones they put in at the racetrack.

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Shaharyar

1194 articles

Shaharyar is a Formula 1 & NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Journalism from Amity University, he has been a passionate follower of motorsports for better part of the decade. A Max Verstappen and Ferrari supporter, he dreams of a pairing of the two in future.

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