Lewis Hamilton and the number 44 are closely tied. It’s the six time world champion’s racing number. Not only used during races, 44 is used with branding and tagging Lewis himself. LH44, is a popular social media tag used for Lewis Hamilton posts.
So, why does Lewis Hamilton drive with the number 44? Why doesn’t he utilize the #1, reserved for the defending world champion.
In 2014, the FIA changed the regulations pertaining to driver numbers. Drivers had to choose a personal race number between 2-99. The #1 was reserved for the defending champion. If using #1, the chosen number of the driver remained blocked from use by others.
Starting 2014, Lewis Chose 44. Why? It goes back to his development years on the karting circuit. Arriving for his first ever race, he saw the number 44 on his father’s license plate. Since then, According to Lewis, it has become his lucky number. Speaking about the choice of number 44, Lewis commented:
“The number came from my karting days. When we arrived at my first race, I looked at my dad’s number plate and it had ‘44’ on it, and then it just became my lucky number,
I hope one day there will be a movie about it.”
It certainly has become his lucky number. An exceptional go-kart career with the 44, saw him win multiple youth championships. His meteoric rise saw McLaren sign him to their youth driver program in 1998.
Racing with #44 in F1 has seen Lewis claim 5 world championships in six years. He has 62 F1 race wins with the number. Add in a total of 97 podium finishes as well. It’s become one of the most iconic race numbers across motorsports.
Lewis Hamilton and 44 certainly can lay claim as the most iconic F1 number. In fact, it’s on par with popularity with the number 46 used by Italian MotoGP legend, Valentino Rossi. The two motorsports legends will be swapping rides in the near future.